Kathleen Kennedy: “Men who wash dishes are super sexy”

Kathleen Kennedy. / Leticia Diaz de La Morena

The academic from the JFK clan assures that she had to break with the family model to enter politics and fight for feminism. “Sometimes you also have to face law and order”

Doménico Chiappe

As she took the stage at Santander WomenNOW Congress, Kathleen Kennedy, the niece of JKF and the eldest daughter of Senator Bobby Kennedy, asked to close her eyes and think of someone powerful.
Then he asked how many had visualized a woman. To his approval, half of the audience, among whom was Doña Letizia (to whom he said: “You look wonderful, your majesty, very queenly”), thought of a woman. “My Uncle Jack used to say that happiness is using our talents toward excellence,” said Kennedy, a former deputy governor of Maryland and a Georgetown University scholar. “There are two factors to achieve this: our perception of what we are capable of and what society imposes. I come from a family of politicians where my grandfather, my father, my uncles were candidates for the Presidency. What did they have in common? They were men. While my mother had eleven children. What model did I have in my home? It certainly wasn’t the most fantastic for me. I did not want to have eleven children.
But my family did give me values. So I went into politics.

Two days after JFK’s murder, his father, who would be shot a few years later, wrote with a message:
never feel anger, or bitterness, or have a thirst for revenge. «It is very important, if you are in politics, to look to the future. You have to go forward ». She ran for her first public office in 1986. “They told me how I was going to present myself as the mother of three children, and I answered that my father did it with eleven. I finally did politics and was in favor of the feminist movement. That is why organizations are important. Because sometimes the family doesn’t teach you things, but society does. After exhorting women to collaborate, and not fight each other as men do, both in politics and business, she shared something she has learned along the way: “I have to say that men who wash dishes are super-sexual. The sexy thing is cleaning at home, and not water skiing. This is how we have to change the future for men and women.

To young people

He recalled that once he was riding a horse with his mother, she considered that the neighbor’s shots were complaining of hunger and ordered that they be taken to their stables. She ended up being accused of stealing horses, something that there, in Virginia
, it could be punished with death by hanging. “My father was a prosecutor and my mother had been accused of robbery,” he recalled an episode that ended with the maternal acquittal thanks to “a good lawyer.” “I have learned that you can be on both sides of the law, that sometimes you have to face law and order as well.”

At the end of his closing speech, Kennedy left two tips for the youngest. One, do team sports. “It teaches how to make friends, even if they are superficial. Who you know is as important as what you know. And, two, «know how to lose, get used to defeat, because in life there are many occasions when you lose, and you have to know how to get up again. You have to tolerate rejection and keep moving forward. In one word,
resilience.

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Kathleen Kennedy: “Men who wash dishes are super sexy”