“The idea that sex is something a woman gives a man, and she loses something when she does that, which again for me is nonsense. I want us to raise girls differently where boys and girls start to see sexuality as something that they own, rather than something that a boy takes from a girl.”
— Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Saturday, October 18, 2014
Are Women too Emotional to be leaders?
I assume he meant women should not be leaders because they lack the emotional fortitude that men possess. But men do express emotions. I think anger is an emotion. Maybe my definition or my idea of what expressions characterizes an emotion might be somewhat skewed but the last time i checked men might not cry, write a poignant article or mope around but they will definitely get angry. In my estimation, men can be just as emotional as women only that they express their feelings differently.
I have never seen :The Honorable Portia Simpson Miller, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia, President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner of Argentina or President Dilma Rousseff of Brazil cry for that matter. But i did see Minister Kern Spencer "sob" in Parliament during the Cuban light bulb Saga. Not only him but Former Prime Minister Edward Seaga is widely known to cry publicly and even so is still consider among the masses as a militant leader. Male leaders from time to time will shed a few tears and there is nothing wrong with that. Some men might squirm at the idea of a man crying but maybe if we encouraged our boys to cry more, we would not have so many angry disaffected youths walking around beating their chests like King Kong.
I do not see a male as less of man for being "emotional, if anything it reaffirms his humanity. I think women are very strong individuals and have more balls than a lot of men put together. Women can certainly do more with less money, take care of children without a partner and tolerate the excruciating pains associated with childbirth labor.
If crying is the only thing that disqualifies a woman from a leadership position then anger displayed by men should deem them unfit for leadership. People get killed everyday because most men cannot keep " their emotions" in check. It is because of "masculine emotions" why our jails are teeming with males and wars are waged each year. On the path we are heading with women dominating men in our Universities and Managerial positions we might very soon have an all-female parliament. OOps!!!!
Any woman will admit that when a lover, brother or male relative is hurt, his emotional expression will range anywhere from mild annoyance to rage, men do not cry but they will get upset and let out a slew of profanities. Crying is considered a weak emotion while anger telegraphs strength and defense but anger often lead to violence. I do not thing getting loud, angry and abusive is a demonstration of level headed emotions necessary to run a country. Females are far more sensitive but are not so due to sex but socialization and hormones. Look at all the problems we are having in this world ran by testosterone.
One writer muses that if the world had more female leaders we would have less wars only a group of countries not having any form of dialogue. That might be the issue that most men have with the idea of female leaders that their "emotions" will affect their decision making process. It means that if a country is to go to war then a female leader would be hesitant for her maternal instincts might kick in and she would feel empathy for women and children in that country who might become casualties of a war. It is not that women are not inclined to be ruthless but men will claim that they are more capable of handling this part of leadership.
I do not think leaders turn off their emotions when they make certain decisions. Everyday leaders and citizens make choices concerning their lives based on their own individual rationale. Women who lead companies and countries have displayed that they are just as capable of making rationale decisions as men. One's ability as a leader should not be based solely on gender but on effectiveness based on skills and demonstrated experience.
Men and Women cry, people react to situation differently and even hardened men in the face of hopelessness and exhaustion will become emotional. Emotions do not always influence bad judgement, some people do attest to having clarity after a bout of emotional outburst. I am female, i cry whenever i feel overwhelmed, it is my natural response, it is my expected reaction based on gender roles and social norms. Does it make me or any other female more or less likely to make erroneous decisions, maybe and maybe not. We have experimented with both male and female leaders so that should tell us something about gender bias when it comes to politics.