Feminism | Posted by Danielle B on 04/7/2011

“Hello, Ms. President.” (Is That So Hard To Believe?)

A future Ms. President?

A future Ms. President?

The Yahoo! Homepage is literally one of the first things I see when I get up in the morning, and whenever I see a featured article about a woman who’s made an impact for reasons other than parading around on some reality show with a puke-orange tan (ooh, am I bitter?), I feel a jolt of excitement and curiosity. Click!

Last week, a Yahoo! Homepage featured article was about Geraldine Ferraro, “who in 1984 became the first woman vice presidential candidate on a major party ticket [in the United States].” She passed away two Saturdays ago.

I’ll be the first to admit that I abhor politics.

I know, I know, as a liberated woman I should want to educate myself about this stuff, but . . . I don’t know. Maybe 10+ years of learning about male presidents, male politicians, and a male-dominated political system has left me without many strong women to look up to (It certainly irked me that in my World History class last year, 95% of the women we learned about were concubines or mistresses).

Nevertheless, this article really touched me.

Maybe because Ferraro sounded like an amazing woman: dedicated, inspiring, a pro-choice activist (though controversial), and a “dear human being”.

Maybe because she had a dream not unlike my own, to see a woman inaugurated as the President of the United States of America.

Or maybe it was because I was shocked by the user comments at the end of the article! Usually Yahoonians are like venomous moths, making rude and vulgar remarks in the safety of their anonymous cocoons. But nobody told Ferraro to “go make them a sandwich.” Nobody told her to “get back in the kitchen.” And, astoundingly, there wasn’t a single trace of “Wanna hear a joke? Women’s rights.”

RIP Geraldine Ferraro

RIP Geraldine Ferraro

All the comments I saw were ones of admiration. Sure, a few people admitted they hadn’t always agreed with Ferraro’s viewpoints, but they seemed to have immense respect for her anyway. That really says something about this woman’s character.

?All of this political talk got me thinking about why the United States has never had a woman president. According to this list of Women Presidents from 1945-2011, places like Argentina, Bolivia, Iceland, Haiti, the Philippines, Ireland, Ecuador, Finland, Indonesia, Chile, Brazil – I’m running out of breath here – have all had women presidents.

Why not us? Why not the oh-so-progressive United States?

Though I don’t appreciate some of his more snide remarks (“Every time I think about it – which isn’t very often – I think how wrong it is that we have never had a woman president . . .”), the man in this 60 Minutes video makes some interesting points.

For example, there are currently more women in the US than men (151 million vs. 146 million), and more women take advantage of their voting rights. Shouldn’t that mean that women exert a prominent, influential amount of political power? Could it really be, as the man in this video suggests, that “even women don’t vote for women”?

I don’t have an answer for that one. All I can say is:

???You better watch out the day a woman finally gets elected president, because my heart is going to explode. Not one of those dinky explosions, either – I’m talking nuclear.

But I want to make it clear that I would not vote for a woman simply because she and I share some commonalities (think: ovaries, breasts, that glorious “time of the month”). For someone to win my vote, they’d have to be strong and diligent, decisive yet compassionate.

I think some people think feminists are biased – that we somehow hail all women over all men – but isn’t that a load of utter bullcrap? I mean, I would rather be friends with a guy who was kind and honest than a girl who was a dirty rotten liar.

So while I’m saying that I long for the day a woman takes a seat in the Oval Office, I want it to be the right woman, because you can bet she’s going to get twice the flack for being “of the female variety” than Bush ever got for talking like a drunken monkey.

Ms. President is going to have to be strong, and brave, and lay down the law. She’s going to have to be tough, but fair, and remember where she came from so she can empower a new generation of girls to stand up for themselves. She’s going to have to have thick skin and an unwavering sense of justice and and and and . . .

But I have no doubt that she can do it, because there are billions of these types of women in this country. They just need to hurry up and get their names on the ballot!

Mini-Rant: I’m not even going to tell you how difficult it was to find pictures for this post. I typed in “Ms. President” to Google Images and got Paris Hilton; I typed in “girl American flag” and got chicks in bikinis. Ah, society.
Danielle also writes for Experimentation of a Teenage Feminist

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  • Sargasso Sea @ at 8:14 pm, April 7th, 2011

    Feminism IS politics, Danielle.

    Feminism is a political movement to liberate ALL women from male oppression.

    If we are “liberated women” as you claim, why is there even a need for feminism at all? Why would you spend your valuable time on writing a post for a feminist blog asking why we’ve never had a female president and lament the fact that she’ll have to be extra strong and extra special to even try to be president if we’re all liberated now?

    Calling any girl a “dirty rotten liar” is not a feminist act.

  • allie @ at 10:37 pm, April 7th, 2011

    unless that girl is in fact not of good character. just because you are a girl does not give you a right to act a certain way and be catty. we still need feminism to make sure that we keep the rights we have, and fight for the ones we don’t have. heres a video to prove my point
    i agree with this post, i hope we have a female president that isn’t some man’s puppet, hello Sara Palin!
    but alas i must quote pink,
    “what happened to the dream of a women president/ she’s dancing in a video next to 50cent” if you look at TV show that are on today, majority of them are all about using men for money or their body as a way to make ends meat (diary of a call girl) or to be the most catties person on the planet either to show your the “Diva” or to get the man (real housewives and the bachelor). i want my niece and all young girls to be brought up that they can use their brains, not body, to be something. that they are not a sexual object but a sexual being equal to men, there is a difference!

  • Juliana @ at 3:57 am, April 8th, 2011

    I love this post. I thought I might point out that though the US has yet to see a female president, Latin America–a continent often seen as more conservative than the US due to its extensive population of Catholics–has had many female presidents. I wrote about it actually, in light of Dilma Rousseff being elected president of Brazil: http://julianabritto.com/?p=1907

  • Amy CT @ at 8:56 am, April 8th, 2011

    As a Brit, I have to say, it could be worse. We’ve had a female Prime Minister, and her name was Satan. Sorry, Margaret Thatcher.

    She openly abhorred the women’s movement. And screwed the nation over nicely.

    I know I should be proud that we’ve actually had a woman elected to the highest political office in our nation, but the fact that it was this woman in particular makes me a tiny bit ashamed.

  • NWOslave @ at 7:01 am, April 9th, 2011

    The nature of feminism.

    Ms. President is going to have to be strong, and brave, and lay down the law. She’s going to have to be tough, but fair, and remember where she came from so she can empower a new generation of girls to stand up for themselves.

    Doesn’t this one sentece say it all, to “give” power to girls as opposed to “earning” something.

    To use just one small example of “empowerment” amongst the myriad of State enforced “Equality Laws” we’ll use Title IX in sports. For every 1 woman “given” empowerment in college sports 4 men were forbidden sports in college. In fact, wrestling in college was privately funded for many teams yet the State “forbid” even private citizens from funding wrestling.

    Title IX will now be extended into all college courses. Computer programming is estimated to lose 9 men for every 1 woman who takes this class. How can taking away the opportunity of 90% of the men in this class to “give” this class to 10% more women be considered “equal opportunity?”

  • VictoriaL @ at 7:36 am, April 9th, 2011

    I don’t think that post-feminism is a political movement: men and women are equal in front of the law. Nowadays we’re fighting against social issues.

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