Date of Award
Bachelor of Arts
The breast cancer movement stays away from power struggles and superiority complexes. These women figured out that in order to stay organized and in control, every woman needed to feel included. The nature of the issue of the movement helps as well. Since most of these women fought the disease either themselves or with others, they understand how important a supportive environment contributes to a person's well-being. This support flows into the movement and contributes to the sense of togetherness. Some women are more prone to leadership than others, but that does not mean that they are somehow superior. Their disease taught them how they want to be treated. and that is how they treat others. This does not seem to be an issue-- these women are too busy fighting.
This research exemplifies a number of leadership issues. Women tend to be transformational leaders, especially in highly emotional situations, like social movements. Their passion, anger, and need for control in their lives motivates them to fight for their cause. The nature of the movement itself thwarts power struggles, as these women learned that sharing power leads to healing and motivation. The movement itself is not only striving for social change, but is a movement of support and caring for all women, infected or not.
Women are changing society. They push their agendas to the national forefront. Every breast cancer story inspires others to join the cause. Words like empowerment, conflict, support, motivation, vision, power, and change all complete a vocabulary that describes the ways in which these women not only lead. but change their world. Jose Luis Guerrero said, "If you believe something should change, then you must try to change it, no matter if there are risks." The risk taking is the easy part. Survival is the real challenge. These leaders extend their lives to the fullest giving of themselves for their cause. No book definition of leadership comes close to touching that--the sheer will to succeed, and the will to survive to see the results of the effort.
Silverstein, Amy, "Leadership and the breast cancer movement" (1997). Honors Theses. 1175.