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Courtney McMahon, 34, New York, USA


The other night as your eyes filled with tears, you described to me a real heartbreak. The heartbreak you feel as a woman, when you realize that not only did your sisters never have your back, but we intentionally held you back- pushed you down. How selfish we can be. How big it makes us feel momentarily to use what little power we have to stop someone else from shining, because then we're safe, then there's no threat. No threat to that middle-management, mediocre tenure that we worked the minimum for. We didn't break our backs or think outside the box or live in other clichés of overachievement. We got to the middle and settled in. And your bright light and your ability to connect made us feel small, made us realize what we ignored for a long-ass-time, which is that we gave up. Which is that unlike you, who teaches because you want to learn and grow, we teach because we failed at what we set out to do, which was to create, to inspire. We looked into your face and told you…we told you all of that. We collectively decided to keep you, the runner-up.    

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