The Sky's The Limit

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While it’s rare for me to wax political, I can’t help but shout a hooray for this wonderful day for women. As Nancy Pelosi was sworn in today as our nation’s first female Speaker of the House, she was asked what a 10 year old girl watching the inauguration should think. To that, the Italian-American grandmother replied that girls can know that “we have broken the marble ceiling of the Capitol, and now the sky’s the limit!” As the mother of my own two beautiful girls, Gabriela and Francesca, I am thrilled and excited to consider the possibilities for modern American girls and women. Nonetheless, as a feminist psychologist, I can attest that women today are still burdened by limitations and obstacles. Those limits, sadly, are mainly self-imposed. Socialized to be humble, agreeable, and giving, we so often devalue ourselves as individuals. We question our own potential, hand over our power, betray ourselves in relationships with others, abandon our dreams, condemn our bodies, and fail to recognize our own value, beauty, and talent. We women also undermine one another, participating in a superficial sorority wherein we judge our sisters based on the spotlessness of their kitchens and the size of their thighs. Please!!! We can only reach the sky when we stand tall and proud as individuals, and when we help each other climb higher still. It is often said that behind every great man stands an even greater woman. Today, as women assume more powerful and influential roles, it is imperative that we as women stand behind one another. If I was podcasting right now, you know there’d be some Helen Reddy music blaring in the background…..I am woman, hear me roar!!! I’m really interested to hear your thoughts on how we as women hold each other back, and how we can serve to strenghten and support one another. What messages can we pass along to our daughters, our students, our sisters and our friends, so that we women stop questioning our value and compromising our dreams? Please share your comments—I’d love to hear from you.

By Dr. Marla Cohen 01/04/2007 05:58 PM

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