In less than a week, the most important political election of our lifetime will take place. Though stated as a hyperbole, if it propels more people to get out and vote during this mid-term election, it serves a purpose.
Beneath this election runs a strong current of women on the rise as candidates for local, state, and national offices. Why is it important to give serious attention to women as leaders? For me, it has to do with how women come to know who they are and what they’re capable of, as well as how they form perspectives on ideas and issues.
Researchers have studied the differences between how men and women learn and develop ideas and perspectives. One study published in 1986, called, Women’s Ways of Knowing: The Development of Self, Voice, and Mind, was authored by four women professors and developmental researchers from New England. They interviewed and studied more than 100 women who varied by age, levels of education, socioeconomic contexts, and cultural backgrounds. Here are a few common threads found across their stories:
1. Women struggle to be really heard in schools, families, and jobs when they offer ideas that often seem outside the norms of conventional truth, defined by males as mainly objective, dispassionate, and divorced from personal experience.
2. A woman will genuinely find her “voice” when she enhances objective knowing with her intuition, personal meaning, and self-understanding.
3. Women can claim the power of their minds when this way of knowing is honored by teachers, families, colleagues, and voters.
I’ll tell you who will get my vote -- women who have found their unique voices by testing claims of truth with their experiences and intuitions!
I’m Connie Seraphine, and that is my Perspective