Kirsten Gillebrand, D-Senator from New York, caused a stir earlier this year when she published her memoirs, Off the Sidelines: Raise Your Voice, Change the World. In it, she described in detail, including specific comments made by members of Congress, the sexist culture of the U.S. Senate.
I saw her speak yesterday, on Charlie Rose, and it reminded me of my friend, Vassiliki Katrivanou, who is currently a Member of Parliament in the Greek government in the Syriza party. To celebrate #TBT, here is the post I wrote about Vassiliki last year, about her experiences with power, soft vs. hard power, sexism, and her way of navigating those dynamics.
The most important power you have is the one that’s not yours
It’s a remarkable story. A good friend of mine – practically overnight and without planning to do so – became a Member of the Greek Parliament. Some of you readers may know Vassiliki Katrivanou. A Process Work trainer, facilitator and filmmaker, who worked internationally, Vassiliki was living in her native Athens after almost a decade living abroad. She arrived back in Greece just in time for Greece’s biggest crisis since the end of the civil war in 1949.
Greece is in the middle of a crisis of enormous proportions: a political, financial, social, and as Vassiliki adds, constitutional crisis. People are living on the edge: 30% unemployment, 50% of youth unemployed, and no sign of development or a way out of the crisis in sight. And, as history has shown, in the midst of desperate times, ideologies like fascism become attractive. A new neo-Nazi party, the Golden Dawn has emerged, and is now the third largest party in Greece. (more…)