Thursday, October 16, 2008
Women in Politics, Why Haven't We Had a Woman for President?
Years ago I was with my grandma when she was asked, "will the United States ever have a female president" astonishingly enough her answer was a resounding no, then she qualified that statement with the comment "not until women start being nicer to each other. Right now we are just too mean" It was a moment I never forgot. As I aged and matured and went into the work force I saw it again and again, women destroying other women. Who knows why, petty jealousies, insecurities? There really is no telling.
Currently only 3 of the G7 nations have not had a female leader.. Japan, Italy and the US. We claim to be a country that leads and yet we smash our women into mediocrity. But it gets worse, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Chile, Liberia and Sri Lanka have all had female leaders. These are all countries where we as Americans are told they treat their women as 2nd class citizens. I wonder what first class is like?
This year we came oh so close and yet we gleefully destroyed the chances of a qualified individual, merely i think, because she was a woman. Hilary Clinton came to the White House as First Lady, she wanted to work with her husband, change health care. That was her primary goal, yet we mocked and slammed her pushed at her saying we didn't elect her we elected her husband. She stepped back out of the limelight. What a pity imagine what our health care could be like now. As she began her run for our first woman president she had to run as a woman with a man's point of view. We didn't allow her to run from a woman's perspective. Which was a shame, she is a brilliant woman, warm and funny when allowed to be. Now as a registered republican I don't agree with all she says or believes but I do respect the woman. We as a nation let that dream fall through the cracks for a less qualified, more charismatic man. Oh granted it is still an historic run for the presidency but we let a golden opportunity slip through our fingers.
Now the Republicans have countered with Sarah Palin, I am still not sure what I think of her. Sadly I will probably be voting the other ticket this time. But Sarah Palin has brought her own set of female values and ideals to the forefront. And the loudest clammer I hear against her is not is she qualified (which we do hear a lot) but how can she be vice-president and have all those children? Hello? Working mothers can not succeed? Have you not heard the phrase, want something done ask a busy woman. The saddest part of all is that it is not the men bringing her down. No it is the women decrying that she can not do both. This amazes and astounds me why not? I know the women in my family have managed, some more successfully than others, to work and raise their children. Who am I the child of such strong women to decry that any woman can do this? and better yet who are you?
The thing that amazes me is that my grandma's words still ring true.. almost 40 years later. Women will never get anywhere until we learn to be nicer to each other.