A writer friend of mine told me recently that I could be a CEO, if I wasn’t cursed with creativity. I don’t know about CEO, but yes, I’m cursed in that category. And couldn’t be more proud of that fact -- and being a part of a community of similarly cursed people.
I think what makes her think about the CEO part is that I have made my living, all these years, as a magazine editor and writer. That’s allowed me to go places and ask questions that the average person cannot, and given me a hard nose for business matters. One part of my profession plays into the other as I write a sci-fi novel (and eventually a script) that is inspired by my work studying how media has changed, how it grips us with the trivial and hides the profound -- how it illuminates the present Presidential campaign circus and points to possible futures that are freaking scary.
I was struck most recently by Donald Trump’s comment that Hillary Clinton is playing the woman card. On the one hand, my female friends and I laugh at the notion that playing the woman card has done us much good. And yet I can’t discount the gifts that have come my way when it has worked: like winning the Writers Lab for Women competition funded by Meryl Streep and organized by NYWIFT and Iris. My winning script, JAGUAR TRAIL, is a sci-fi tale of suspense shot through with a climate change theme.
I think Hillary would have to be mentally challenged if she didn’t focus on the disenfranchised elements of life as a woman in America – a segment of the population that has historically been a great decider in which Democrat is elected President. That’s according to one expert I interviewed for my recent article in Adweek magazine.
The article also reports on how much advertising Hillary is devoting to women’s issues – about two-thirds of her spots on TV. Bernie Sanders comes in with less.
As for Donald, as one polling expert I interviewed said: if he's nominated by the Republican party, no other Presidential nominee will have been less popular with women since Barry Goldwater ran in 1964. Even Super PACs devoted to the interests of Republicans are calling him on the carpet with ads that slut-shame his wife and repeat the insults he’s hurled at women.
How far do you get by disparaging a gender that makes up 51% of the population? Answer today: “Pretty far.” What’s the answer next November, or even this summer at the Republican convention? Now, won’t that be interesting to discover.