Ms. Cheryl Rios, CEO of Go Ape Marketing recently incurred a barrage of criticism when she posted on her personal Facebook page her belief that women should not become President of the United States. Rios said women are not capable of the Presidency due to: "hormones" and a "biblical background ... that's how God wanted it, and again, it's my belief and how I run my household and how I am."
Everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion. With that being said, I could not disagree more vehemently with Rios' position. Do you think the following names: Angela Merkel, Golda Meir, Benazir Bhutto, Queen Elizabeth I and Margaret Thatcher ring a bell for Ms. Rios? They represent some of the world's most prestigious female leaders, past and present.
Let's discuss the two main reasons Rios suggested disqualifies women from the Oval Office: "biblical background", i.e. religious belief and "hormones" i.e. science (neuroscience and endocrinology). As far as what God "wants" for women, (or anyone else for that matter), far be it from me to touch this with a ten-foot pole. Religious beliefs are rooted in faith; therefore, its validity and truth cannot be proven or disproven from a scientific, logical perspective. Therefore, it is an exercise in futility to argue this specific disqualification for women from the White House.
Let's turn to Rios' second reason for eliminating women from the Oval Office: "hormones." The scientific study of hormones, specifically within the specialties of neuroscience and endocrinology are subjected to the rigors of the scientific method. This rigorous research method test theories before they can be considered fact -- based upon statistical data and empirical research that can be duplicated. In other words -- show me the data to support your theory and then, and only then, can your theory become a fact.
Regarding Rios' reasoning that a woman's hormonal imbalance should prohibit her from holding the highest office in the USA, Rios would have done well to state scientific research to back up her claim. I suspect Ms. Rios is referring to the monthly hormonal shifts inherent in being female; yet I wonder if she is aware of the fact that men exhibit monthly hormonal shifts as well? As mentioned earlier, religion and what God wants is not within my wheelhouse of expertise, but I am somewhat schooled in neuroscience and I've yet to see any scholarly data or scientific articles that have concluded women cannot lead -- on any level -- as a direct result of hormones or more specifically "hormonal imbalance." There is a ton of research being conducted today using sophisticated high tech equipment demonstrating how emotions/ hormones influence decision-making abilities and leadership qualities. If Cheryl Rios or anyone else can provide scientifically valid research showing a direct correlation between hormonal fluctuations and one's inability to lead, please send it to me as I would be more than happy to read it.
I wonder how Cheryl Rios feels about how the male leaders who exhibit an abundance of testosterone, combined with an increase of cortisol when stressed -- resulting in hormonal fluctuations -- has not served the world?!
For millennials it may seem like ancient history, but it was not that long ago when many believed U.S. women should not be given the legal right to vote -- for a myriad of reasons that are today considered totally absurd and ignorant. It was also once believed women should not work outside the home; for reasons that, in retrospect, would be considered ridiculous today as well. Once a women's place in the workforce became inevitable (due to many reasons, World War II and the Women's Movement of the 1960's being two of them), it became conventional wisdom that pregnant women should not work outside the home -- with two of the main reasons stated for this prohibition echoing Rios's reasons for why women should not be in the White House: hormones and God.
Furthermore, I would be remiss not to mention the direct correlation between Emotional Intelligence and Leadership. Research consistently indicates men and women who are at the highest echelons of corporate leadership exhibit an equally high degree of Emotional Intelligence -- regardless of the very real gender differences manifested in leadership style, communication, collaborating, conflict resolution and all the other relationship "soft skills" that are tantamount to great leadership. Hormonal fluctuations do not appear to be an issue!
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