Catchup – May 2015

I want to say how touched I was by the many responses to my February letter. It thrills me to know that we can stay in touch after months and years of separation. Thank you.

Recently I have been focusing more and more on the glass ceilings being broken by so many courageous, committed, intelligent, and creative women. I know this is having a deep impact on women worldwide, giving them courage to step up and take a risk, to raise their voices, to seek new adventures and leadership roles. As long as we continue to encourage the younger generation to take those risks, we will continue to find ways to create greater peace and security in this global world.

.As I think about these developments, I believe that one of the ways I can contribute to positive change is to use my deep and wide network of colleagues from so many years and so many continents. I plan to share with you ideas and events that come to me; we can all work together to inspire each other and new friends.

Our ability to connect easily and help one another came my way last week. For many years I have carried in my wallet a quote that is often a battle cry for workers and oppressed people. It is, “We are many; they are few.”   I wanted to know where that quote came from, and when I asked a few people online I quickly learned that is from an 1819 poem by the English poet Shelley. (The Mask of Anarchy.) Although the original phrase is “Ye are many,” it has been correctly understood, and used, to express the position of people as they seek to make changes in the established order. Thank you Nancy. I love being able to find information like this.

What I want to share today came to my attention from Byron Kennard, a colleague of many years, one of the original creators of Earth Day, and a brilliant man who continues to think and write about a just and productive economy. (Read more of Byron’s work at

Recently a comment by Byron stopped me cold. Byron was responding to remarks about how experience is defined for women. His comments refer to an article by Carl Anthony. Byron believes that the increasing power of woman around the globe is driving ever more anger toward woman, and thus a continued devaluation of their experience. In this case, the example is the unwillingness of the press to give any credit to Hillary Clinton for her extraordinary experience and service as First Lady for eight years.

hillary-clinton-working-on-the-truman-balcony Here is the essence of Byron’s remarks:
“… this analysis touches on very deep-seated and profound aspects of society. It strikes at the very heart of sexism.

“It casts light on hidden aspects of sexism that most people don’t see — how insidious it is, and how it is still powerfully at work. But – THE GOOD NEWS – all over the world men are losing power to women.  And, boy, oh, boy, do men hate this transformation. That’s what this struggle is really about.”

The link below will bring up the full Carl Anthony article; here is a small sampling:

“As was true during her failed candidacy for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination, however, the print, broadcast and online mass media seems intent on yet again willfully ignoring the invaluable political skills, and one-of-a-kind professional experience she gained during those crucial first eight years she was a public figure, from January 20, 1993 to January 20, 2001. At this point, it certainly seems to be a willful decision – but why?

“In fact, the only aspects of her First Lady years which the media fixates on relate to her personal life, political scandals, and reaction to media and partisan attacks. Those lurid subjects decidedly fascinate the general public. Examined more rationally, some of them do offer legitimate grounds for consideration of her as a potential President.

“Emphasizing this, however, and belittling or ignoring the enormously substantive legacy of her First Lady years ultimately distorts the truth about Hillary Clinton as, arguably, the most visible woman in the world at the time – even, at times, among the most important.”

I would treasure any responses you have to this article and this opinion.

Now that winter in my part of the world has finally moved on, the tree outside my bedroom window has budded and the birds have returned. A joy to awake to sunshine.