There's a serious cultural footprint being made — and it has a spike heel!
Not literally, of course. Well, in some cases: Geena Davis's beautiful black heels come to mind — but the number of women who are taking a stand and demanding to be heard is growing by leaps and bounds.
What's going on? A lot. And it's hard to take it all in. At least for me. So, small bites:
The Huffington Post reported that on the night of April 7,
powerful women turned out in droves for The White House Project's 2010 EPIC Awards to celebrate women's leadership in media and popular culture."
Davis again springs to mind for both her portrayal of the president as well as her initiative to bring awareness to this very issue in children's programming.
This event was in New York, so already I was confused. But The White House Project, founded by Marie Wilson, is so-named because they seek to support "women's leadership in all communities and sectors, up to the U.S. presidency."
If you've ever found yourself in a mire of bureaucratic red tape, you'll find a kindred spirit in Kiran Bedi — and her story just might make you think you've got it easy. I was lucky enough to see this film last year and I loved the fully-fledged portrayal of this complicated woman and her career challenges as the first woman on the Indian police force.
So often we want our heroines to be like Disney characters, charming and sweet all the time — all sugar and very little spice. But being tough enough to withstand entrenched bureaucracy means you lose your temper once in a while, get dispirited and fed up, get stubborn — I think it's called being human.
Ernest Hardy of the Village Voice put it this way:
...But Sir isn't pure celebration; the egoism beneath Bedi's altruism, and the self-absorption that costs Bedi's daughter and husband dearly, are also shown. The result dazzles: a depiction of enviable heroism within a flawed and recognizably human persona."
Filmmaker Megan Doneman is an inspiration too, for her dogged determination to tell Bedi's story.
But I digress. Another EPIC award-winner was Sheryl WuDunn, the first Asian-American woman to win a Pulitzer Prize.
Or perhaps pondering running for office? You might want to pick up a copy of Wilson's book, Closing the Leadership Gap: Why Women Can and Must Help Run the World (Viking, 2004). And check out the The White House Project's Vote/Run/Lead bootcamps for support.
Then put on your spike heels, or whatever shoe makes you comfortable, and move in the direction you want to go. There's help out there if you want it.