28 November 2012

Female Role Models VIII

Dudes, zero tolerance for bullshit is a GOOD thing.
Susan Rice is the United States Ambassador to the United Nations.  She's a Rhodes Scholar.  Degrees from Stanford and Oxford.  Phi Betta Kappa. Stints at McKinsey and at Brookings.    She's widely regarded as President Obama's first choice to be the next Secretary of State.

However, she's also vewy, vewy mean.  There was even that time she used the bad word that means "poop."

A few Republican Senators have been apoplectic in their opposition to Dr. Rice's potential nomination.  You see, Dr. Rice went on television in October at the White House's request. She recited some talking points about Benghazi that the CIA gave her. The information was recently declassified and incomplete, and Dr. Rice said as much on television.

So just as Dr. Rice's critics realized that we're not all wearing tinfoil hats and this "allegation" is completely meaningless, an article showed up on Reuters suggesting Dr. Rice was "fighting for her political future" and her chances of being the next Secretary of State are "significantly damaged."

The main charge - Dr. Rice apparently has a zero-tolerance policy for, umm... poop.
The antipathy in Washington and elsewhere, though, is based on more than a series of TV interviews. While U.N. diplomats and U.S. officials who have dealt with Rice praise the intellect of the 48-year-old former Rhodes scholar and graduate of Stanford and Oxford, they say she has won few popularity contests during her meteoric rise.
Diplomats on the 15-nation U.N. Security Council privately complain of Rice's aggressive negotiating tactics, describing her with terms like "undiplomatic" and "sometimes rather rude." They attributed some blunt language to Rice - "this is crap," "let's kill this" or "this is bullshit."
"She's got a sort of a cowboy-ish attitude," one Western diplomat said. "She has a tendency to treat other countries as mere (U.S.) subsidiaries."
Two other diplomats - all three were male - supported this view.
"She's not easy," said David Rothkopf, the top manager and editor-at-large of Foreign Policy magazine. "I'm not sure I'd want to take her on a picnic with my family, but if the president wants her to be secretary of state, she'll work hard."
Are you kidding me?  Susan Rice offends your delicate sensibilities?

This is really coming from those "diplomats" - none of whom had the decency to speak on the record - who may prefer paragons of personal restraint like John Bolton.

Contrary to what may be popular belief, the goal of diplomacy is not to blow sunshine up the asses of anonymous pansies who whine to Reuters.  The goal of diplomacy is to influence people and organizations to do things you want without having to shoot anybody.  Henry Kissinger understood that.  James Baker understood that.  Hillary Clinton understands that.

And I'm sorry, but I read this, ahem, bullshit from Reuters and all I can think of is when anonymous staffers whined to Politico that Senator Barbara Boxer had an "abrasive personal style."  So Dr. Rice may be eminently qualified, and she may totally cleared of any wrongdoing in regards to Benghazi, but now she's just a bitch.

So it's time to do what I like to do whenever guys - and in this case, spineless turds who don't have the guts to own their words by sharing their names - say or do something profoundly stupid or hurtful toward women.  It's time to introduce you to some female role models.  These women aren't all necessarily political, but I'm sure they've all experienced challenges in their own fields like what Dr. Rice has had to deal with.   To refresh your memory, here's the criteria I use:
Someone an online mom can show her daughter [or son, a great point my wife made] and say, "See her? See what she's doing? See how she's living in the same world you are, with the same challenges you have, and see how she succeeds? THAT is how you do this. THAT is what I stand for. I want you to be like HER."
Here are the latest selections:

Stefania Pomponi Butler. Clever Girl, that Stefania.  She figured she could do online outreach to women, and particularly women of color, better than PR flacks like me. And she was right.  And we've all learned from her tenacity, her decency, and her brilliance.

Cassandra Pye.  OK, so this is a shameless plug for a colleague.  Sue me.  But Cassandra belongs here.  She's brilliant.  Former deputy chief of staff to Governor Schwarzenegger.  Bigwig at the California Chamber of Commerce.  She was a strong advocate for women's entrepreneurship and political leadership before it was cool.  And I can't think of a single person more committed to and passionate about being a mentor to young professionals.

Anne Osterrieder.  I put the call out for female role models on Twitter, and within seconds she came back to me with a bunch of great suggestions - all scientists, science communicators, and science advocates.  And then the people she mentioned insisted she be on this list - and they're right.  Dr. Osterrieder studies plant cell biology at Oxford Brookes University in the UK and spends a lot of time working on faculty outreach projects trying to reach entire families.

Veronica Arreola.  And speaking of science outreach, if you don't know about Veronica you should.  On her personal blog she says she is "trying to understand the intersection between feminism, motherhood, and her Latinadad." She also works at a Chicago university, directing its women in science and engineering program. What I like about Veronica so much is while she's never shy to speak out about injustice, she absolutely defies the stereotype of the "angry" feminist because she's doing so many amazingly positive things for so many young women.

I'm sure we'll see more crap from more whiny guys soon enough.  That's fine.  You whiners keep complaining - although it might be nice if you used your own names once in a while.  We will keep celebrating the best in people and showing everyone what we're about.


Linda said...

Thanks, David! Love this whole piece.

Stefania said...

Thank you, David. This whole Dr. Rice thing has been bothering me, and you tackled it with thoughtfulness. I had the pleasure of seeing Cassandra Pye (and waving hello from across the room) when I visited APCO last month. How lucky you are to work with her! Thank you, as always, for your words and the care you take with them.