Copyright © 2007 Henrietta W. Hay
It is Time for a Woman President
December 7, 2007
At breakfast last week we were discussing snakes, and people were being very nice about my recent adventure. As I left I commented that they might not be so excited about the next column. I had been listening to the debates.
Unanimously, in one breath, they said "Ugh!"
I know that most people are fed up with the debates and the whole Presidential campaign. But I get a kick out of following the ups and downs of the 16(or is it 18?) people trying to be President. And the debates are really fun. Well, I get a kick out of them.
We all have something we are especially interested in. Mine happens to be politics.
And since I have trouble seeing the details of football, or hearing dialogue on sitcoms on television, I listen a lot to the talking heads. When they are not shouting at each other they are talking quite clearly, and they are talking mostly about the election.
The campaign really started too early. But with Iowa moving its caucuses forward to beat out New Hampshire for the first showdown, the election is already current. Iowa will be caucusing in a little over a month. Everybody wants to win in Iowa.
The campaign has opened up one issue that has existed only once before, and I can't ignore it. Geraldine Ferraro, in 1984, was the first woman to run as a candidate on a major party ticket. She was chosen to run as vice president in Walter Mondale's run for the presidency. She and Mondale lost by a landslide. She was attacked as a "pushy" woman right in the middle of the second women's movement.
Now, 23 years later, Senator Hillary Clinton is trying to be the first woman candidate not for the vice-presidency, but for the presidency itself.
Wow! Is that scary? A woman President in this country of freedom! It really wouldn't make too much difference which woman were the candidate. She would face the same type of special attention. In fact, I wish a Republican woman had chosen to run, too. It would have made it more exiting.
The idea of a woman as leader of a nation is not considered strange anywhere in the world - except in the United States.
I Googled "women world leaders." I found far more women listed than I had ever expected. I won't list them all by name, because the editor wouldn't let me take that much space. I couldn't spell most of them anyway. Currently, however, there are twelve women heads of state, representing every continent except Antarctica.
Those countries include Ireland, Finland New Zealand and Germany and eight others.
But here in the United States having a woman president is a brand new idea.
The woman who is running does carry some extra baggage People criticize her marriage and her husband. They claim that Bill will be the real president. But it is quite obvious that George Bush Sr. Has not been running the country instead of George Jr. for the last seven years so I'm not worried.
Some of the criticism is obviously gender based. Take the question in the last Democratic debate. A student asked, "Which do you prefer, pearls or diamonds? Did you ever hear a male candidate asked, "Which do you prefer, boxers or briefs?"
This is, I believe, the most important election in the history of our country. It must not for an instant be taken for granted. But a touch of humor now and then may make some decisions easier.
As for me, I have resolved to live until we have a woman president.