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December 2, 2013

Publisher's Notebook: Want the job done? Hire a woman

(Continued)

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —

And I’m not talking about strange women like Michelle Bachmann, Nancy Pelosi or Sarah Palin who, when it comes to posturing themselves politically, act a lot like the men who’ve brought Washington to a standstill.

I’m talking more like German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who navigated the debt crisis with competence and authority. She has immense popularity and has led her country to become the economic beacon of Europe.

In an October commentary on CNN during the middle of the government shutdown, author Hanna Rosin explained the leadership crisis succinctly. She said men dither while women rule the world.

“This has not been a shining week for the patriarchy,” she wrote. “The men in suits dither, posture, plan negotiation sessions, then cancel them, and employ copious military metaphors —‘wage battle,’ ‘refuse to surrender,’ — to no effect. Increasingly, they become associated in the minds of the American people with verbs normally used to describe toddlers, such as ‘tantrum’ or ‘throw a fit.’”

Competence, meanwhile, belongs to the women, Rosin said. She cited successful women in leadership positions such as Merkel, International Monetary Fund head Christine Lagarde, Federal Reserve nominee Janet Yellen and the women who took over Iceland and brought it out of recession while its men dithered.

Rosin also wrote, “And this moment of female triumph extends beyond mere competence to unfathomable bravery. The hero of the moment — the person who has been shot at, nearly killed and is still not afraid to talk — is a heroine: 16-year-old Malala Yousafzai, who was nominated for a Nobel Prize and who told Jon Stewart this week that if she were faced with a Taliban gunman such as the one who shot her last year she would, once again, explain to him how important education is for girls. (In response Stewart asked if he could adopt her.)”

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