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Women must band together to achieve true equality

Esther J. Cepeda on

Those are the big issues, but the small, day-to-day ones are just as alarming.

Probably the most loathsome thing I've read recently came out of the publishing world -- a field sorely lacking both women in powerful positions and diversity. The fashion industry trade journal Women's Wear Daily reported that upon arriving to meet and greet her staff at Vanity Fair, Radhika Jones, the newly appointed editor-in-chief, got the side-eye from Anna Wintour, the ultra-influential editor-in-chief of Vogue magazine.

Yes, Jones, who is of Indian descent and is a Harvard graduate and an alum of top publications like The New York Times, The Paris Review and Time magazine was apparently mean-girled by members of her new workplace because of her taste in clothes.

Sigh.

In her new book, "Girl Logic: The Genius and the Absurdity," comedian Iliza Shlesinger explains such carnage. "Why do well-meaning women -- women who know better, feminists even -- feel the need to tear each other down? Frankly, I think it's because, no matter how much progress this society has made, there are still limited opportunities for women. Women are left desperately trying to reassure ourselves, whether it comes to men or money or kids or jobs, that 'there's enough to go around.' And sometimes there is. But sometimes there just isn't, and feeling starved for opportunity can make anyone a little competitive."

 

Whether woman-on-woman bullying results from victimization, powerlessness, certain privileges or competition born of scarcity, one thing is clear: Women must respect and care for each other enough to band together and fix the power dynamics that continue to keep us from achieving full equality.

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Esther Cepeda's email address is estherjcepeda@washpost.com.

(c) 2017, Washington Post Writers Group

 

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