Hillary Clinton has announced her bid for the presidency in 2008, attracting raised eyebrows and harsh criticism from many Americans.
Some Americans seem to meet the mere idea of a female president with raised eyebrows and skepticism, but there are many who think that it's time for that to change. America has always seen itself as a lone superpower in the world, leading all other nations by example; a shining crusader for such values as liberty, freedom, and equality.
But if that is how America wants to be perceived, America needs to take a step forward when it comes to putting women in office.
And oh, are we behind. Israel, India, Liberia, England, Yugoslavia, Poland, Turkey, Norway, France, Rwanda, Mongolia, and many other nations throughout the world have all had women hold the highest office of their government at one point or another during the
twentieth century. While some of the world claims that Islamic nations treat their women poorly, Benazhir Bhutto has already been the first female prime minister of Pakistan, an Islamic state.
And yet, many Americans shudder at the thought of a woman president. When Nancy Pelosi became the first female Speaker of the House, bloggers began talking about her fashion choices and hairstyles more than her policies and accomplishments in office! Never have I once heard people talk about George W. Bush or John Kerry's choice of clothing—sounds to me like a double standard. I think it's truly saddening that it is still hard for some Americans to take female politicians seriously.
In a December 2006 poll, CNN found that only 60% of Americans believe the nation is ready for a female president. Everyday, more people keep asking: Is America really ready? But I ask you: why not?
If other countries elected a woman without thinking twice, why are Americans generating so much discussion about whether we are really ready or not? Better question: why wouldn't America be ready? There really appears to be no reason why a female president couldn't do a great job in office; it just requires us as voters to break a long-standing tradition of male presidents th
at is very difficult to break. The issue extends far beyond just the office of the presidency. Currently, in the 110th Congress, 71 of 435 members of the House are women and 16 of 100 Senators are women. Though these numbers show a dramatic increase from previous years, the growth has still been sluggish, and the road long and hard.
So in the end, is America really ready for a female president? In short, yes—but only when Americans stop discussing and questioning the idea as if a female leader were such a revolutionary concept. Many other countries have already done so, proving that it is not that revolutionary of an idea at all. However, this is still the country founded on the principle that all men are created equal, and women running for any office, especially the presidency, face a challenging uphill battle. But there is no question in my mind that America is not only ready for a female president, but long overdue.
In 2008, Hillary Clinton, a woman with six years of Senate experience and eight years of White House experience—something that few other candidates can ever claim–is running for president, and there's no reason we can't elect her. We can, and should, help elect her and get rid of this notion that America isn't ready for a female president—because nothing could be further from the truth.