Former Senator Hutchison speaks at women’s symposium

This news story first appeared on February 1, 2013. For more information click here.

By Katelyn Gough, SMU Daily Campus; February 1, 2013

Former U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison called attention to the need for greater presence of women in politics Wednesday during the SMU Tower Center’s ‘Women in Politics’ symposium.

Sophomore Jenna Hannum said Hutchison’s keynote address covered far more than straight politics, though. This was not a speech delivered to those admiring Hutchison’s political positions.

“My desire to hear the senator speak stemmed less from her political associations and more from her perspective as a successful woman in a largely male-dominated profession,” Hannum said. “Regardless of whether we agree with her beliefs or not, we can certainly learn from her experiences.”

Hutchison discussed the importance of women taking a leap of “confidence and trusting that they can adapt to whatever situation presents itself,” Hannum said.

“I found [Hutchison’s] discussion of the tendency of women to hold back until they feel they are one-hundred percent prepared for every possible outcome [to be particularly significant].”

When asked her views on the recent Pentagon decision to lift the ban on women in combat positions, Hutchison carried on her call to women to rise to whatever challenge or occasion presents itself. She stated her belief that because combat experience is imperative to building and advancing a military career, such bans should not be in place, in most cases. As paraphrased by the SMU Live Blog following the event, “If the woman is able to meet the physical expectations and wants to take that risk, then she should be allowed.”

Hutchison addressed her audience rooted none the less in her assertion that the political atmosphere, and active women within it, must “keep a patriotic spirit, a zeal for freedom” so as to never “sink into mediocrity.”

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Jieun Pyun

AA-Dedman(Tower Center)