As a part of a recent assignment in my M.A. in Leadership program, I critiqued the film, Erin Brockovich through the lens of gendered and generational differences. I’m just about finished with this special topics elective course looking at Leadership & Film through these two specific lenses and have really enjoyed considering leadership issues today through a new perspective. One can look at this specific film and see numerous female stereotypes played out and other issues represented with working women and the struggles that still exist for them to be as successful in the workplace. In the end, after critiquing the film in my assignment and applying it to leadership theory, I realized that there truly is much in terms of “modern day application” to our national and global contexts right now.
In these days of protests and revolutions worldwide and national discord taking place in America with claims of class warfare and cries for economic equality, one can’t help but think about the relevant true-life story of Ms. Erin Brockovich, as she helped bring one of the largest lawsuits in the 20th century to court and bring justice to more than 600 plaintiffs. Earlier today, one of the candidates for the GOP presidential nomination, who’s mantra as of late referred to a “trust deficit” in American institutions of power, suspended his campaign. I found him to raise good questions about the current state of American government and our national discord.
As leaders, we need to be challenged to raise questions and ask why things are they way they are. With the approval ratings of Congress at historic and record lows and continued protests against Wall Street, does leadership still exist? Or, instead, will we open our eyes like Ms. Brockovich did, and address issues of unethical behavior, corporate malfeasance and economic injustice without any positional power at our disposal?
Our systems of power, whether they be Congress, our local school board or even our church are living organisms that need questions asked of them regularly so the blood and breath of these organizations can flow and not die from a lack of trust, ethics or even change for the better.