When, oh when, are we going to have a woman President (of the United States, I mean, not General Motors)?
Ten years ago Dottie Lamm predicted that we would have one in ten years. Well, the ten years are up, so what is keeping us ? I have a $10 bet with a friend that the first one will be a Democrat.
Also about ten years ago a Florida crone (female, 70 years old, feminist activist) created a line of T-shirts with the picture of Margaret, the ambitious little girl in the comic strip Dennis the Menace. She put Margaret's smiling picture on them with the words, "Someday a woman will be president." She sold them to a national retailer, but when a customer complained that they did not uphold "family values" the store pulled them, It turned into a national furor between the feminists and the "keep the women barefoot and pregnant" group, or as Pat Robertson intones, "The wife must be
subservient to her husband." Of course I immediately ordered one from the woman who made them and it is one of my favorite T shirts.
It has been a long, painful journey from Abigail Adams' plea to her husband John (which he ignored) in 1776, "Remember the ladies" to the point of even thinking about a woman President. I was six years old before my mother was allowed to vote. The strong women's movement of the 70's opened a lot of doors, but the glass ceiling is still pretty thick. The cracks are beginning to show, and some women have stuck their heads through it.
But don't sell American women short. One of "us" managed to go clear through the ceiling while sitting on a bus. Rosa Parks was not the President nor a Senator, but neither was she a "simple seamstress with tired feet." She was a political activist whose courage to say "no" changed history. This past week her body has lain in state in the Rotunda of the Capitol. She is one of the thirty Americans who have ever been so honored, and the first woman and second African-American to receive the honor.
Why should we not have a woman president? There are lots of women out there who are well qualified, well educated, politically experienced, brilliant, and more than able to do the job. And they can all pronounce nuclear. They are quite able to balance the responsibilities of home and career. As Pat Schroeder said, " I have a brain and a uterus and I use them both."
This year we have two fascinating (to me) political television shows.
In "West Wing" Allison Janney has taken over as Chief of Staff. But even more exciting, in "Commander in Chief" Vice President Geena Davis takes the oath as President of the United States when the President dies suddenly. And she is obviously going to be a darn good one. Neither was elected, but it's a start.
And according to Ellen Goodman, we have two real-life women right now who are qualified. "Both Hillary and Condi have done something new.
They have passed the 'competence test,' a bar set much higher for women than for men. . . . (but) there is still something in our culture that praises us more for 'quiet dignity' than dangerous acts of courage."
Will it happen in my lifetime? Probably not, but I can dream, can't I?