What do you think of all the Martha Stewart hoopla? Is this a case of someone reaping what they sow? Will she go to jail?
I think it is both interesting and sad on several levels. Stewart is one of a relatively short list of prominent business women with money and power in the U.S. when compared to the list of business men with money and power here. She was ‘taken down’ by the system for receiving inside information on a stock that essentially amounted to her saving $55,000 dollars. At the same time men on that list of corporations with money and power were involved in far more nefarious activities…i.e. stealing millions of dollars from regular folks in scenarios like ENRON, TYCO, and Haliburton to name a few. Most of these men have been left comparatively unscathed. The prosecution of Stewart sends out a message to women in power that the system still has quite a ways to go for equality.
Stewart was also held accountable in the court of public opinion for being successful and rich in a time when many feel resentful and powerless to hold those in power accountable. It is also interesting that the very characteristics that helped Stewart compete in business as a woman in a male dominated field are viewed by some as more ‘witchiness’ than actual talent while men exhibiting the same behaviors are judged in more glowing terms. Similar shrewdness, directness, frankness, astuteness, and decisiveness are currently being demonstrated by a prominent NY based business man on TV for a reality show that is garnering high ratings and reviews. As a society, we haven’t yet evolved to the point of demanding to see shows that are designed to celebrate success of people who are doing business with great consciousness and promoting a win-win attitude over an I win-you lose belief system.
As for someone reaping what they sow, yes, but as you can see there is even more to it. People chart for all sorts of experiences for all kinds of reasons. Stewart’s prosecution is part of a greater learning lesson for all of us, not just one for her alone. Hence the points above. Stewart will do some jail time in a more high end center, all the while using her time to privately churn out new ideas and avenues for reinventing herself. She’ll have some commuted time, and in a few years will rise like a phoenix from the ashes again. Meanwhile, look for many other players and some serious maneuvering as several try to emerge to ‘take Martha’s place.’ Martha may be down, but don’t count her out. She’ll be back.
Rooting for someone else’s’ demise only insures that there will be that many more rooting for your own. Remember, when one of us is doing better, all of us are doing better. Like JFK said, “A rising tide lifts all boats.”