PATSY R. BRUMFIELD: Capability true issue, not uterus

By Patsy R. Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal

An Internet blog raised a small dust storm this week with the question: Can a pregnant woman turn Yahoo! around?
While rather offensive, it still is a curious question, generally, about the potential success of new leadership at the busy Internet search site.
But let’s turn that question into a more general one, which may not be spoken too loudly in today’s society but surely comes up in board rooms and locker rooms.
Can a pregnant woman be effective in the business world?
This idiotic question reminds me of the days when people got all shook up about the surely disastrous consequences of a hormonal woman in the White House.
Oh, goodness. Should we limit the presidency to post-menopausal women or could we develop some kind of medical intervention that could stabilize the personality of a pre-menopausal woman?
And goodness, if the latter, should she be banned from child-bearing, if that were an option?
And, what if she already has children? Will they simply perish under the necessary tutelage of a nanny or their father because Madame President is flitting around the world in search of peace?
In the face of these irrelevant talking points, I think about the pioneer women of America, who drove those ox-drawn wagons across the Great Plains or walked behind in the choking dust to new promises.
Did anybody ask any of them if they could do their jobs in the motherhood way?
I suggest such a question would have been laughable or at least worth a walking stick across the noggin.
Capability is an individual issue. It’s not male or female, black or white, pregnant or not pregnant.
Are you capable of turning Yahoo! around, as a business person?
As for the presidency, this wonderful country has flourished – rapidly or slowly – under all manner of male presidents.
Some were good people but poor leaders. Some were not very smart but fairly decent leaders. Others, well, they fit into the continuum of bad to great.
But nobody ever asked them how their hormones were doing.
“Say, how’s your testosterone level? Feeling a little aggressive or passive today?”
These days, as we lean hard to avoid life’s perilous ditches, we’re all called upon – male and female – to do our best every day to be capable at whatever we’re doing.
Pregnancy can and, in some instances, does have a negative effect on a woman. In most cases, their doctors can do something about it.
Usually, those women have sufficient capability not to take on Yahoo! or the presidency or the leadership of the local P-TA.
We’re all individuals, and to each his or her own, I say.
If you’ve got talent, don’t let anybody get in your way, pregnant or not.
And America is going to have a woman president one of these days. Get used to that idea, too.
Patsy R. Brumfield writes a Thursday column. Contact her at (662) 678-1596 or

Click video to hear audio