It took me time to grasp the leadership qualities of Hillary Clinton. I was used to more flamboyant female leaders. Women partisans I knew during WW2. Hemingway captured the type perfectly in Pilar (“For Whom the Bell Tolls”), women who openly confront men. Grandmotherly types like Golda Meir, who didn’t budge from threat and gained the respect of negotiators in male dominated societies. In fact my novel “Dosha, flight of the Russian Gypsies” depicts women of all types, from the needy to the radical to the wise leadership of an elder. I myself grew up liberated, not by choice, but by lack of the normal protections of childhood and young adulthood. So when I found myself surrounded by raging American feminists in the Sixties, I felt the movement was misguided, mainly because many believed in bashing men to elevate women, whereas I felt that a healthy society is one of shared power, equal but different, male and female complementing each other.
Since then I have met women who have risen to the top of leadership in corporations and government positions. I have witnessed many of them mistaking toughness and lack of compassion for leadership. Hillary is of a different ilk, a woman of compassion and a leader with vision. When her husband strayed, instead of breaking up her family, marking her daughter with relationship insecurities for life, and leaving herself remaining wealthy but alone like so many other divorcees for the rest of her days, Hillary opted to work it out. I have watched her carefully stand her ground, getting her points and messages across in male dominated societies. She has been bravely and tenaciously fighting for women’s rights across the world. I even came across notices of Hillary trying to stand by Europe’s most vulnerable and once again viciously persecuted minority, the ancient, once nomadic Roma/Gypsies population.
We have every reason to be proud of our Hillary, hard working, smart, a true woman and effective world leader in her role as US Secretary of State.