Watching the second Republican debate, something incredible struck me – and it had absolutely nothing to do with politics. It had everything to do being a women.
There’s been a lot in the media in the past few years about women, about girls, about being strong and being respected. Sheryl Sandberg wrote Lean In and people of all persuasions read it. Women, men. Democrats, Republicans. The CEO and the middle class and the night janitor. Girl Scouts teamed up with women’s rights groups and pushed to Ban Bossy. Always has gotten press for their #LikeAGirl campaign. An absolutely brilliant video was created two years ago that reveals the differences between impressions of men and women doing the same thing:
Carly Fiorina is an incredible example. People laughed at Sarah Palin when she was the first female Vice Presidential candidate on a big ticket. People scoffed eight years ago that the Democratic race was “the woman” against “the black man.” But Hillary is back. And Carly is a force to be reckoned with.
Carly Fiorina, unlike most of the men on stage, did not get flustered. She didn’t just meet the men where they were, she beat them. She was more impressive, more polite, and revealed herself to be a woman of effortless class. Sure, she interrupted the men, but so did the men. Sure, she went over time, but so did the men. She addressed the fellow candidates on stage with polite candor. She treated them like the incredibly intelligent people they are. When they disagreed, and they did, Fiorina kept to the issues and avoided ad hominem attacks.
She was the only person on that stage who consistently encouraged the audience to use their brain – she was the only person on that stage who seemed to recognize that we have brains. She had just as many facts as the men. She answered the questions without a stutter, without a drop of sweat. She won the “kids table” last time, and I think she won tonight’s debate again.
I watched eleven Republicans stand on stage tonight and present many positions that I fundamentally disagree with. I watched Carly Fiorina stand on stage tonight and present positions I disagree with.
I watched Carly Fiorina stand on stage tonight, and I watched her represent women with class and grace and brilliance. I watched Carly Fiorina stand on stage tonight as a role model for little girls who see infinite possibilities in front of them. She is a conservative role model that young girls in conservative families will get to see as an example they can aspire to. She is persuasive, but not pushy. She is smooth, not a show-off. She isn’t bossy, she’s a boss.