A Letter to My Son
Your sister called me in tears last week, and I struggled to explain how her country had just elected a man like Trump. She sent me Andrew Sorkin’s beautiful attempt to give his own daughter some perspective. Luckily, because I had few words of comfort for her. What could I say? That she can be anything, except President? I thought that what I had to say was better addressed to you, the man I am most proud of, and in who’s hands the next chapter of a long saga will unfold.
This is an invitation to step up. I know you like a challenge, and we have all been set a new one. The outcome of this election was, perhaps with ‘wilful blindness’, unexpected. It will be parsed and analysed for years to come. But for me, its lessons lie at the heart of what I have devoted my adult life to: the need for better understanding, respect and cooperation between men and women and a better balance of power between the sexes at every level: country, company and couple.
Why wasn’t Hilary elected? In short, behind all the inter-connected complexities, it’s because she is a powerful woman. Every woman in business has seen this before. The smart, hardworking, rather uncharismatic woman getting shunted aside by a loud, less competent man. Malcolm Gladwell argues that she, like ex-Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, is feeling the brunt of “moral license,” a psychological finding that humans who do a bit of good can then do incredibly awful things. Because America has proven it is ethically progressive enough to elect a black man to office, it no longer has to prove its openness and tolerance…
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