I highly recommend reading this Michelle Cottle post from The Plank in its entirety, including the long excerpt she chose to post, about the high-level roles women seek and achieve (or not) in our society.
Cottle hits on something I recall reading a long time ago, by a woman who runs a workshop in San Francisco for the female heads of non profits and other organizations. Her goal is to teach these smart, educated, well-informed women how to write opinion pieces and to help them get published. The workshop began as an effort to address the dearth of women on op-ed pages. Her conclusion was that women are generally less sure of themselves when it comes to asserting their opinion, even on topics they’re extremely knowledgeable about.
Women, the conclusion was, are loathe to call themselves experts on something. Men, on the other hand, don’t so much mind. Cottle’s post takes this a step further, saying that even in circumstances where women are experts, they need more time, more rumination to write something they feel would be worth reading in a big magazine or newspaper. And, in the case of Caroline Kennedy, if she’d been cut-throat enough, if she’d had the gumption to say she deserved the Senate seat, she would have gone for it.
It’s definitely worth thinking about, especially as we consistently question the role of “sexism” in our society and in politics in general.