“Don’t be afraid of your ambition, your dreams, or even your anger. Those are powerful forces. … Be bold, try, fail, try again, and lean on each other, hold on to your values. Never give up.”

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The quote above comes from the in-depth New York Magazine profile of the woman who would have been US president (if only!), Hilary Clinton. I’m not American, so I couldn’t vote for her, but I would have if I were. My personal take on why she didn’t win was because she was a woman and there is still a lot of misogyny in the world. The takeaway seems to be that, “I just don’t like her. I’d rather Trump win than her.” Even if Trump has proven to be incompetent and may ultimately be dangerous.

A good read. Read the whole here. Meanwhile, some choice quotes from the story:

“The takeaway from Lean In,” says Clinton, “is that there is a stark difference between men and women when it comes to success and likability. So the more successful a man is, the more likable he is. The more successful a woman is, the less likable she is. And it’s across every sector of society.”

Sandberg predicted to Clinton that her reception during the campaign would be very different from the 69 percent approval rating she’d gained as secretary of State. “Sheryl was right-on,” says Clinton. “Once I moved from serving someone — a man, the president — to seeking that job on my own, I was once again vulnerable to the barrage of innuendo and negativity and attacks that come with the territory of a woman who is striving to go further.” So how did knowing that ambition is negatively correlated with likability for women affect Clinton’s approach in seeking the most powerful office in the land?

“Well, this is the joke,” she says. “You gotta be authentic! So you go out and try to be as effective as you can in presenting yourself and demonstrating the qualifications you have for the job, but you’re always walking a line about what will find approval from the general population and what won’t. It’s trial and error.”

Her team recalled the persistent feeling of being in uncharted territory. As McIntosh says, “Should she have showed more emotion? I don’t know. We don’t know whether women who show less emotion get to be the president. Should she have been less hawkish? I don’t know. We don’t know if we can elect a pacifist woman president. We can’t point to where she diverges from a path that other women have taken because she was charting that path, and that might fuck with your analytics a bit, as it turns out.”

The campaign was sometimes frustrated by the fact that Clinton couldn’t play the same game as her opponents. “Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump both excelled at channeling people’s anger,” says Schwerin. “And there was a way in which this anger was read as authentic. But there’s a reason why male candidates can shout and are called passionate, and if a woman candidate raises her voice to whip up a crowd, she’s screeching and yelling.” Clinton understood this, says Schwerin. “So she’s controlled. She doesn’t rant and rave, she’s careful. And then that’s read as inauthentic; it means that she doesn’t understand how upset people are, or the pain people are in, because she’s not angry in the way those guys are angry. So she must be okay with the status quo because she’s not angry.”

[Image borrowed from “Hillary Clinton Is Furious. And Resigned. And Funny. And Worried.”]

 

Bookish


(Image from Bustle)

This post should have come out on March 8, International Women’s Day, but as happens these days in my life, time seems to have a way of slipping by so fast, that before I know it, March is almost ending!

Anyway, I loved this post from Bustle: 11 Bookish Heroines in Literature Who Are Every Book-Lover’s Personal Heroes. It has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? I don’t know though; yes, they are bookish heroines, but not all are my personal heroines, tbh. As a once bookish girl (now grown adult… well, sometimes, ha!) myself, I personally am glad that bookish girls are given their due in literature and pop culture. Now, young girls won’t feel so odd and out of place when they want to spend their recess reading or their weekend with a nose buried in a book, unlike when I was growing up, when I felt like an oddball for wanting to just get lost in a story. Though of course, I do realise that there has to be a balance. Engaging in the real world and also loving reading should not be an either-or, to me. But yeah, hooray for the bookish girls! 🙂

[For more book inspired stuff, head on to my Tumblr, which I have designated my book blog, as opposed to here, which is a catch-all of everything else.]

New year, old goals

Continuing on some old resolutions…

(Image borrowed from Huffington Post)

So I was on Facebook today and saw that I had “memories” on this day. I checked it, and an article I posted four years ago on new year’s resolutions showed up. Here’s the article: New Year’s Resolutions that Aren’t Losing Weight. In my post, I said that these were doable resolutions and now I am wondering if I did well on them — in 2016! I’ve also found these goals to be worth pursuing — or maybe continuing for 2017 — so I think I’ll just use these as my resolutions for the new year, while checking if I did well for 2016. Let’s see…

Continue reading New year, old goals

Life lesson I needed to relearn: Hope floats

So I was cleaning out my room, like I always do when I feel restless and down. It’s great therapy for the blues. I reached for my yellow travel wallet that I got in Hong Kong last year, and like what one does when holding a purse of a bag, I look inside and what do you know: It had something like US$300 in it! I had forgotten all about it. I knew why, of course. The cash was part of the money I had with me in Phnom Penh and things were never the same for me after that trip last year. And so like many things from that trip and the two months after that, I kind of pressed “pause” for awhile. I needed a break and felt suspended from the day to day. Until this moment.

It seemed fitting somehow that something from that trip marks a turning point this time around. The unexpected windfall brought a smile to my face, not just because it’s a welcome infusion of cash. Finding it just felt like the tide turning somehow. Like Fate reassuring me that things always have a way of working out. I feel warm between my shoulders, like there’s a reassuring hand patting me and saying, “Everything’s fine, you’ll get through this.” Storm clouds have broken, and a patch of sunshine peeped through.