Women are taking charge, pushing back and kicking ass all over the place. They have been for quite a while.
More Girl Power to ya, I say, as the husband of one strong woman and the father of two more.
Not that they or any other women need to give two shakes about what I have to say; they certainly don’t need approval from me or any other man. In the words of the incomparable Annie Lennox and the late, great Aretha Franklin, “Sisters are doin’ it for themselves.” (Watch the video).
And if “it” means doing the right thing, they’re doing it for others, too.
In the latest high-profile example, women leaders of multiple nations have shown up their male counterparts in their handling of the coronavirus pandemic. Opinion writers around the world have been writing about the superior responses of these and other female leaders:
- Mette Frederiksen, Prime Minister of Denmark
- Sanna Marin, Prime Minister of Finland
- Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany
- Katrín Jakobsdóttir, Prime Minister of Iceland
- Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand
- Erna Solberg, Prime Minister of Norway
- Tsai Ing-wen, President of Taiwan
A sampling of the headlines reveals a plethora of superlatives:
- “What Do Countries With The Best Coronavirus Responses Have In Common? Women Leaders,” by Avivah Wittenberg-Cox, Forbes
- “Women Lead Better Than Men? The Coronavirus Crisis Proves It Once and for All,” by Netta Ahituv, Haaretz
- “Are female leaders more successful at managing the coronavirus crisis?” by Jon Henley and Eleanor Ainge Roy, The Guardian
- “Countries led by women have fared better against coronavirus. Why?” by Austa Somvichian-Clausen, The Hill
- “Women leaders are doing a disproportionately great job at handling the pandemic. So why aren’t there more of them?” by Leta Hong Fincher, CNN
- “Female world leaders are handling coronavirus crisis ‘in a really impressive manner,’ experts say,” by N’dea Yancey-Bragg, USA Today
- “8 (More) Women Leaders Facing The Coronavirus Crisis,” by Avivah Wittenberg-Cox, Forbes
The women featured in these pieces kick ass big time. The opinion pieces point to their intelligence, strength, compassion, collaborative approaches and willingness to listen to experts, not to mention their lack of egos, for their effective handling of the crisis in their countries.
As just one example, Prime Minister Ardern has brought new coronavirus cases down to zero thanks to her government’s “go hard, go early” strategy.
Compare that to the performance of the misogynistic, racist and self-aggrandizing U.S. president. From the earliest days of information coming in and warnings by experts about the looming pandemic through today (May 19, 2020), and it’s clear the Trump Administration has turned our situation into a colossal screw-up.
And in my judgement that’s putting it kindly.
While New Zealand is at zero new cases or deaths, the United States, with what appears to be a total lack of strategy, leads the world in COVID-19 cases and deaths with 1.36 million and 82,246, respectively*, according to Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
All of which makes one wonder… why haven’t we, the citizens of the United States, put a woman in charge of dealing with these crises and bringing about the change we desperately need? It’s not going to happen in this election cycle, unfortunately, but it can’t be long.
As The Eurythmics and Franklin pointed out in that 1985 track, the chauvinistic “behind every great man” bullshit is quickly coming to an end.
There’s work to be done, but given the strong women pushing back, taking charge and kicking ass these days, we’ll get there soon.
Watch and listen to Keb Mo’ featuring Rosanne Cash – “Put a Woman in Charge”
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