How to Shut Down Sexism: Tips From 9 Powerful Women
How can we shut down sexism, on and off the campaign trail? Glamour editor-in-chief Cindi Leive and Facebook vice president of U.S. public policy Erin Egan gathered together a group of powerful women, in and out of politics, at Kinship in Washington, D.C., to discuss that very question. The event landed in the midst of a week in which Donald Trump made gender-based attacks against Hillary Clinton a central element of his messaging. Sexism, on the whole, is shaping up to have a huge influence on how young women will cast their votes come November. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) and Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), along with actress Connie Britton, female journalists covering the election on the ground, and more of D.C.’s high-powered women from both sides of the aisle joined in the spirited discussion.
Here, a few of their (abbreviated) ideas for dealing with sexism, should you face it in your life or career:
Cindi Leive, editor-in-chief of Glamour: Write it down, record it, so that you have evidence you can refer to later. Sarah Hurwitz, speechwriter for First Lady Michelle Obama: Realize it’s not about you. Don’t be ashamed. You’re not alone. In fact, you’re in very good company. Great women throughout history have had to overcome sexism.
Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard: Focus on your mission. Disprove others' perceptions through actions.
Katie Walsh, chief of staff at the Republican National Committee: Don't overthink it. Don't wonder, well if I say that, what will they think of me, because I’m a woman? Trust yourself and say what you believe.
Michelle Fields, ex-Breitbart reporter who sought battery charges against Donald Trump’s campaign manager Corey Lewandowski after he forcibly grabbed her at a campaign event: I was one of those young women who didn’t believe sexism was a big issue. But I’ve realized the gravity through my own situation with Trump. I felt alone until other women who’ve dealt with it talked with me. We need talk to other women.
Connie Britton, actress on "Nashville": Take care of each other: It's surprising — women sometimes have a more difficult time writing empowered female characters for TV. But we need to be a reflection for women so they can see themselves in an empowered way.
Melinda Arons, strategic partnerships at Facebook: Elevate the women around you. Men are promoted based on potential; women are promoted based on performance. Be sure the women on your team are getting seen, that their contributions are made public, so that they continue to advance.
Jessica Valenti, columnist for The Guardian: Don’t let their remarks in. Don’t let their criticisms make you afraid to be vulnerable.
Crystal Patterson, government and politics outreach manager at Facebook: Don’t let other people’s hang-ups define you and your goals.
Photo Credit: Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Glamour