Is America Still Too Sexist To Have A Female President? (OP-ED)


After eight years of rampant racism make way for sexism!

Well, it’s that time again, my favorite season of all: Election season! Debates and primaries, and then on to the Presidential campaigns. I love it. I live for it.

One thing I am NOT looking forward to this election cycle is the sexism that’s already rearing its ugly head from the right wing, but it’s not just the right wing, it’s from the left and middle crowd too.

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It wasn’t totally unexpected, seeing as though the last eight years under President Obama has conjured up some of the nastiest racists, people I thought were left behind in the Jim Crow south. I knew they existed of course, but I had no idea they would come out of every hole in the woodwork with such force, so openly and unapologetic and proud to be an unintelligent hate-filled a$$hole. I thought most racists were secretive and only let things slip when they were drinking or angry. I thought professionals cared about their image. I thought politicians would be worried that they would lose constituents by being openly racist. I was wrong. Or I was white. Probably mostly the latter.

Now that Hillary Clinton has announced officially she will run and is doing well in polls, it’s looking like she will be the front runner for the Democrats. Of course, anything could happen between now and Nov. 4, 2016, but it’s a pretty safe bet that she’s going to get the nomination, and polls show all her Republican opponents trail far behind her.

Two storms are brewing on the horizon that could possibly make Clinton lose her spot in the White House to the GOP.

First, the left-leaning crowd wants someone more lefty than centered. Personally, this is how I feel as well. A populist President would be a welcome change after watching left of center President Obama struggle to compromise with the right-wing only to have them constantly pull further and further to the right, making compromise impossible and making progress slow and frustrating. So, I figure why not have a President who is as far left as the GOP likes to pretend Democrats are?

Many also feel Clinton’s ties to Wall Street and history of voting for the Iraq war during her time as a New York Senator means more of the same the left has grown weary of. Far-left liberals are tired of being anti-war and having to compromise that moral disagreement to get a left-wing leader. Especially with ISIS and the right wing’s desire to destroy the terrorist group looming near.

So, with that kind of indifference from the left for Clinton, many longtime Democrat voters will undoubtedly stay home instead of voting. That’s why one of the best moves she could make would be to take a populist like Sen. Elizabeth Warren on as Vice President. If she doesn’t take Warren (or someone further to the left like Bernie Sanders) on as VP, I fear we will have to endure one of the clowns from the GOP for at least four years and watch all the hard work of President Obama be torn apart out of spite because she split the left’s vote. I will probably vote for Clinton regardless, because the prospect of any of the right wing nominations as President gives me night terrors, but I will be loathe to do so.

I also understand that people don’t want the same old politician who has friends on Wall Street and won’t change what really needs to be changed. However, it’s also important not to forget Hillary still stands for a lot of issues the GOP never will — like women’s rights, gay rights, equal pay for women, pathways to higher education, advocating for the needs of poor mothers, etc. It would be rare to find a politician you agree 100 percent with.

Sexists, sexists everywhere!

The second storm we’ll see are the sexists blustering in from every camp to show the country their ugly faces. Now, we know sexists thrive on the right, but it’ll be hard to watch liberals show their sexist feathers too. The right wing and those who are running for office in 2016 are already starting to show how chauvinistic they really are.

For example, Donald Trump is expected to run. Here is one of his retweets:

Twitter

Twitter

Also, in an interview with Politico, Sen. Rand Paul made the underhanded remark about Clinton’s age and possibly her fortitude (many men think women crumble under opposition):

I think all the polls show if she does run, she’ll win the Democrat nomination, but I don’t think it’s for certain. It’s a very taxing undertaking to go through. It’s a rigorous physical ordeal, I think, to be able to campaign for the presidency.

Of course, chumps like Paul and Trump are the expected voices of male piggishness, and every comment thread about her are filled with these average Joes making fun of her looks, her age, her body, her femininity, her personal life, just EVERYTHING. The “scandals” are a safe haven for these sexists to hide behind to look like they have “valid” reasons to attack Clinton, much like they did to President Obama.

But it’s not just her looks; society is ingrained with the notions that women just aren’t as good at things as men are. We saw this recently from the female CEO of Go Ape, Cheryl Rios, said she doesn’t trust a woman’s hormones to make adequate decisions for the country.

Rios said:

A female shouldn’t be president. Let the haters begin, but with the hormones we have there is no way we should be able to start a war. Yes I run my own business and I love it and I am great at it BUT that is not the same as being the President, that should be left to a man, a good, strong, honorable man.

MANY people possess those feelings deep down. And if Clinton were pre-menopausal, undoubtedly there would be the comments of her starting a war when she’s on her period. Society seems to really fear female hormones.

Maureen Dowd of the New York Times is strictly anti-Clinton and attacks her frequently, but the language of her attacks always reduces Clinton to her gender when she compares her to characters like sex symbols (debate dominatrix), psycho female leads in movies (Mommie Dearest), and attacks her attempts or non-attempts at femininity (grandmother basking in estrogen or a manly woman). The phrases Dowd uses to attack Clinton with are like every attack coming in from the right wing, and while she has some legitimate beefs, they just seem unnecessary. It is painful to watch, because Dowd is actually fairly feminist and definitely a liberal.

My own seven-year-old stepdaughter showed me this idea that men are better recently when she made comments that boys are better than girls. I asked her where she got that idea, and she said she is sad that she can’t be strong like a boy, and someday she will grow breasts and possibly have a baby and men don’t have to do that. Also, boys were making fun of her for “throwing a football like a girl.” But I was also telling her about a female lawyer that I’ve hired and she said something to the effect of, “Well isn’t it better to hire a man?” I asked her why, and she replied, “Because they never stop until they win.” I asked her where she got that idea, and she said in movies men are better doctors and lawyers and stuff.

I’ve certainly always tried to teach her that it isn’t what is between a person’s legs that determines what kind of a person they will be, but society is right behind me inundating her undeveloped brain with images of staunch gender roles and female insufficiency. Shows on Disney show her that all she needs to care about are her looks and which boy likes her. The playgrounds are still filled with the same boys who exist to make her feel less than. And things are supposed to have gotten better! I grew up on 90’s television where women were constantly portrayed as crazy, overbearing nags, who are weak and stupid, and their sole purpose was to make the male leads happy and to be the butt of the joke.

It’s not just TV though, it’s everywhere! It’s institutionalized within many of us. Parents unknowingly (or purposely) teach it to their children. Teens learn that boys should only care about sex and that girls are there to have sex with. If a woman is old or taken she isn’t worth anyone’s time because she isn’t a sexual object. Good looking females are valued, homely girls are often treated badly and bullied. Politicians are constantly dictating what women can and can’t do with their bodies and shame their lifestyles. Businesses even tell women they aren’t worth as much when payroll comes in. We are surrounded by sexism.

Another big problem is that men admittedly don’t trust women. This is also a bipartisan issue and will undoubtedly hurt Clinton.

The author, Damon Young, writes:

Do we think women are pathological liars? No. But, does it generally take longer for us to believe something if a woman tells it to us than it would if a man told us the exact same thing? Definitely!

My point is, that maybe society hasn’t come as far as we hoped. No side of the political spectrum is immune to these audacious stereotypes of women and that includes our base who is running a woman as our only hope to keep control over the country. Luckily, I think our base is much more equality-minded and have been the voices of criticism against those unintelligent notions that men are more valuable, but being constantly immersed in a patriarchal society is sure to have scattered effects on liberals too. And the big question is, will it cause the GOP to gain control of the executive branch too?

On both sides of the political aisle, men, who do not like Hillary Clinton for non-sexist reasons still tell me, “Don’t vote for her just because she’s a woman.” Yeah, duh, but not voting against her just because she’s a woman is a bigger issue. Because even if women did want to just vote for a woman, does that mean their vote is invalid? Why is it wrong for a woman to vote for their own gender on the very basic notion that women know each other’s struggles better than a man would?

After watching the mid-term election of 2014 get handed to the GOP, I can’t stand the thought that liberals would want to endure another spanking like that, given the fact that all we’ve fought for and believed in is under constant threat of being pulled back to the 1950’s again. I just hope that like Obama’s presidency opened up the nation to have a conversation on race, and hopefully that wasn’t all for naught, and some healing on race issues has begun. If our base gets it together and Clinton becomes president and the abundant attacks on her gender begin, then hopefully the nation can then have a conversation on females and heal some of our society’s sexist ways.


 

Photo: The Comical Conservative (Facebook)

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