[Obama] is pushing against conventional—and political party nominating convention—wisdom in five important ways, with approaches that are usually thought of as qualities and values that women bring to organizational life: a commitment to inclusiveness in problem solving, deep optimism, modesty about knowing all the answers, the courage to deliver uncomfortable news, not taking on all the work alone, and a willingness to air dirty linen. Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, is taking a more traditional (and male?) authoritarian approach.
...As a woman, Clinton feels constrained to portray herself as tough, competitive, willing to take on the bad guys. She has to be more male than men, in the same way that women are reluctant to leave the office early to pick up their children at day care because they fear they will not be thought of as serious about their careers, while men are applauded for doing so.
Obama can raise possibilities that are off the table for Clinton. She needs to tell us that she can solve our problems. Obama seems comfortable in what we think of as a female role: not overpromising what he can accomplish, and telling us that the work of change is ours as much as it is his.
What do the women's leadership research gurus out there think of the way all this is being framed? (Paging my girls at Catalyst! See also comments by rhetoric scholar J.K. Gayle on previous posts.)
Again, kudos to feministingfor the heads up. Image cred.