Succeeding, Irrespective of Trump

Succeeding, Irrespective of Trump

Sallie Krawcheck is the ex-CEO of the largest ‘wealth management’ business in the world, Merrill Lynch, and held executive roles at Citi Wealth Management, Smith Barney, and others. She recently published this blog.

Let’s look at a few excerpts.

[Women] can’t rely on others to fight this battle for us, and so we must redouble our efforts.

I’m hearing from more and more women that we must “put on our big girl pants” and do this ourselves.

If we care about this, we have to do something different — and more — tomorrow than we did yesterday.

And:

The election of Donald Trump as President of the United States could just be the best thing that has happened to professional women in a long time.

The “big girl pants” thing is breathtakingly condescending, and doesn’t appear to have been used with any sense of irony. But beyond that, the statements I’ve pulled out are an insult to the women that have credible sexual assault claims against Trump (or any other sexual predator).

They’re also insult to all the women who are striving pretty damn hard to make their way in male-dominated businesses already.

I’ve worked in a business where I was the only female technician. I was bullied and harassed; I was signed off with anxiety and depression. I know what it’s like to work twice as hard, yet be passed over for promotion. I can’t describe how insulting it is to imply Trump’s election would offer inspiration for professional woman to try a bit harder.

Trump’s election is a symptom of the problem we are facing. It isn’t a catalyst for the solution.

Krawcheck’s article reminds me of Sheryl Sandberg’s book, Lean In, in which a middle class woman explains why they need to try harder at work. (Krawcheck is poised to release a book called Own It with a very similar synopsis.)

Here’s my opinion. Women should succeed irrespective of Trump. They already work fucking hard. They shouldn’t have to credit Trump for their success. Articles like this are normalising Trump’s behaviour. It’s a process we should all resist.

In our new post-truth world, people sometimes say weird things to get in a newsfeed and sell a copy of a book. I get that. But maybe that’s why we’re in this mess in the first place. We need to look more closely at the things we are casually endorsing, and stop making excuses for state-sanctioned misogyny.

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