From Britney to Hillary & BeyondFebruary 26, 2008
If one were to count the number of news stories about these two women, there’s no doubt Britney Spears would come out on top. Of course, the minute I penned that, I had to stop, go to Google, and type in “Britney Spears news” and then “Hillary Clinton news.” To my surprise, Hillary beat Britney almost two to one.
But I couldn’t stop at that. After all those years in college, you just can’t let it rest at one inquiry. I typed in “Britney news” and “Hillary news” (in case “Clinton” in the first search caused the higher number), and the gap narrowed, with Britney pulling in almost 6 million stories to Hillary’s 8 million. Then I did one more search, checking only the first names. Britney won this round with 117 million hits, while Hillary pulled in just under 36 million. Even if you account for the Britneys who aren’t Britney Spears, the vast difference in numbers is still telling.
All this Googling led to a similar exercise on YouTube, causing me further diversion as I began to watch videos of both women (all right, maybe one of Britney vs. several of Hillary). I started thinking about the life experiences of these two women that led them to their shared position among the top current newsmakers.
Most of us will never know how they got there, since the truth as reported is not necessarily the truth as it happened. I do know that we are the product of our experiences and that any of us who are old enough to influence the next generation may want to look at these current newsmakers and think about the qualities we want in those who will make news in the future. AAUW’s own National Conference for College Women Student Leaders is just around the corner, so why not sponsor a student or attend if you are one? You never know — you might just be helping to guide the next powerhouse newsmaker.