December 15, 2006

Women: A question on their status

The Washington Post blog - PostGlobal - posed the question: Are women making real breakthroughs in the 21st century or is it still one-step forward, two steps back for half the world's population? -- Samina Ahmed
Though not an answer to the question that has been raised, I thought I would share with you what the publisher of Washington Post, Mrs Katherine Graham, had to say about women in her generation. from her autobiography, Personal History.
Five years after Mrs Katharine Graham became Washington Post publisher (1969) a magazine article on her observed, "Mrs Graham accepts her responsibilities much more often than she asserts her authority". In her autobiography, Personal History , Mrs Graham conceded that this had to do with her sense of insecurity in job; and her feeling that she was a pretender to the throne. Washpost publisher said her feelings then were in character with the generation to which she belonged.
As Mrs Graham put it, "I adopted the assumption of many of my generation that women were intellectually inferior to men and that they were not capable of governing, leading, managing anything but our homes and children. Women, she noted, remained largely silent in a group, unable to participate in conversations and discussions. Such incapacity, she added, produced in her "a diffuse way of talking, an inablility to be concise, a tendency to ramble, to start at the end and work backwards, to over-explain, to go on for too long, to apologise".
For many years into her postion as a newspaper publisher Kathy Graham had this belief that the only reason she had her job was 'the good luck of my birth and the bad luck of my husband's death.

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