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If Amelia Earhart encourages competing as the way of finding themselves as persons I would challenge that thinking as merely mimicking what men have already done throughout the ages. If a woman competes to prove to men that she is valuable or has person-hood then she fails to embrace the power of the feminine. When we interpret competition in the paradigm of winning/dominating/oppressing then we elevate narcissism which in turn perpetuates segregation of humans. If we could encourage nurturing as the way of finding ourselves as persons I would postulate that the world would drop barriers of race, culture, religion and whatever else divides us into competitive ‘teams.’ If I enter a race and cross the finish line first do I alone take the glory or do I embrace those who come after because they added to the atmosphere of the competition? Racing alone fails to encourage pushing ourselves to higher limits. In competing against another in the spirit of nurturing one another it will lead to a healthier race. Not that everyone wins (or gets A’s) but the regard for those ahead and behind realizes significance also. If we strive for equality competition is not the avenue to achieve such equality. The glass ceiling cannot be broken by merely becoming another form of maleness. A competing, assertive woman is just seen as a bitch not a female of worth. Femaleness has historically been referred to as weak and dependent. The women of the 21rst century are proving their prowess in leading not by mimicking males but by the expression of community and teamwork. I think Amelia’s own words in her biography indicates that she thought “partnership” and “duo-control” essential for success. In her last letter to her husband before she left for her around-the-world flight she wrote: "Please know I am quite aware of the hazards," she said. "I want to do it because I want to do it. Women must try to do things as men have tried. When they fail, their failure must be but a challenge to others." Even in her ‘failure’ she encourages others to reach for the unreachable, challenging them in a nurturing way not in a competitive egotistical manner. True equality lies in this perspective.
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Dec 29, 2012