I recently read about Mrs. Lori Otter’s Women In Leadership initiative. Mrs. Otter is right: “Leadership is a learned trait and a learned characteristic.” Effective leaders exercise gravitas, humility, respect, candor, and moral courage. I want (my children to be) leaders that are offended by indecency, are compassionate, choose their words, and inspire the best in others. All these values are indeed taught and learned.
So why did Mrs. Otter attend the Trump rally in Reno on Nov. 5? One cannot advance women and support Trump: It’s the height of hypocrisy; these are mutually exclusive endeavors. The I-WIL website shares articles, and one discusses the self-doubt women experience when considering leadership positions. Perhaps self-doubt persists when invectives are spewed and tacitly approved? When women with power are silent and attending rallies? True leaders are firm even when it’s politically risky. Leaders keep their principles when they’re inconvenient. Inspirational leaders don’t say one thing and visit Nevada doing another.
Post-election the point is not moot. The work of cultivating women leaders and of raising leading girls is just beginning. Tax-free cookies taste sweet, but what Idaho needs is an uncompromising female leader of women and girls. Don’t talk about it, be about it.
Mary Katherine Torres, Boise
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