Thursday, October 15, 2015

More, More, More...Women

You know, a lot of people whine when Hillary Clinton brings up her outsider status as a woman running for president. Your gender is not a qualification for president, they wail! Your vagina will not solve this country’s problems, they hoot! Your sex shouldn’t even be an issue, they scoff! On their face value, all these points are very true. In a perfect world we should not be influenced by a candidate’s gender, race, sexual orientation, et al. None of that should matter. But then, how come it always has?

When we say someone’s sex is not a qualification, we always mean a woman’s sex does not qualify her for something. Because, if you look at the facts empirically, a person’s sex very much does qualify them for leadership. Given our nation’s past history, being a man is automatic qualification for the presidency. Why? Because every single one of our presidents has been a man. Every. Single. One. Dating back to 1789, when George Washington was elected our first president to today, 226 years later, we have had nothing but men hold the highest office in the land. If that isn’t conclusive evidence that we as a nation consider gender important when picking our leaders, then I don’t know what is.

And therein lies the rub. Those who profess we should be a completely gender-blind society miss the fact that we’ve never been one and are nowhere close now. It’s like saying we don’t need feminism because, of course, men and women should be equal. You’re right, we should be; but we aren’t. You can’t deny what’s actually happening. Women still make about 78 cents to every dollar a man makes – and for women of color that number is even worse. Women make up only 84 of the 435 U.S. Representatives and 20 of the 100 U.S. Senators in Congress. Women represent only 24 of the top CEOS in Fortune 500 companies across the country.

Something as simple as Elle UK’s #MoreWomen campaign is incredibly effective in showing us the obvious disparities. Photoshop all the men out of prominent situations and what you’re left with is a bunch of very lonely women.

Guess what, world, we’ll stop complaining about parity when we actually reach it.

Right, so now that that’s settled, how great was Hillary’s definitive “No” response at this week’s debate? It’s a model for all women (and men, because equality) of how to handle bullshit.


Carmen SanDiego said...

Cosmopolitan has been knocking it out of the park lately and now Elle too? Awesome
And well said, DS
Go Hillary!

Franzi said...

Have you read Jennifer Lawrence's essay from the Lenny Letter?
I think it ties in with your post really well.