I have turned 59 recently, and I have been voting since I was 18. I STILL won't have the opportunity to vote for a woman for president this year!! And I'm grumbling about it. It's 2012, and the only conclusion that can be drawn is that in this country neither Democrats nor Republicans are ready yet to seriously consider electing a woman for president. Oh yes, we have made a little progress, that is for sure. We are now letting women into the field to run for president, and we are considering them a little more seriously, but when push comes to shove and decisions must be made, as a nation we just can't envision a woman leading us.
Michele Bachmann is a case in point. Let me say up front, I didn't always agree with her positions. Some of them were even a little creepy to me (that's just me). But I was extremely proud and impressed with the way she conducted herself as a candidate. She entered the fray with gusto, confidence. She was articulate, and she stood up to the boys with strength, dignity, and no apologies. She even made history by being the first woman ever to win the Iowa straw poll.
But she still was judged by the sexist standards of the day. Yes she made a few boneheaded mistakes-----they all make them. But because she was female she was much more harshly judged for them. The "stupid, ditzy woman" meme is always a powerful deterrent to letting a woman run anything.
The Republican field appears to be fractured between the Romney forces and the rest who are splitting the conservative "values" vote. There's a movement to start consolidating that "values" vote into fewer candidates in order to beat Romney. So if the "values vote" candidates are Gingrich (that's quite a joke!!), Perry, Bachmann, Santorum, why was it that polling showed in Iowa that the voters decided that Bachmann was the most unelectable? In my opinion, and in the opinion of much of the ongoing polling, NONE of the above-mentioned candidates has a chance against Obama. Only Romney appears to have much of a chance of beating Obama. So I ask you this------why is it that of the group of "unelectables" the woman ended up being voted out first?
An argument can be made that she was simply a bad and weak candidate. But if you look at these candidates on paper, that argument just doesn't hold up. NO ONE has weirder positions on certain things that Ron Paul, so the "weird position" argument isn't a strong one. Her views match those of Perry and Santorum almost point for point. I maintain that the reason she was the first to go is that we still aren't ready to consider a woman to lead us beyond a certain point. That point is a little more advanced than before Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin ran. But not much.
The BIGGEST sexist argument you will ever hear is when someone says ---"ANY woman, just not THAT woman." Let's get that straight and in the open right now. That argument is sexist to the core, and if you ever hear it, you must call that person out. It is an argument made for the person who says it to look tolerant. But under it is a feeling that that person can't accept the idea of a woman leading this country. Period. Maybe the person saying it is unaware of that reality, but if you press them, on it, you will win the argument, and maybe you will make that person more aware of their prejudices.
I heard that argument all of the time about Hillary when she was running. And no one NO ONE was more qualified and capable of being president than Hillary. Even the people who said that awful thing in 2008 are regretting their decision now.
So I'm a little grumpy that I will not be given the choice to vote for a woman for president once again. Will I live long enough to see that day? BOTH parties are awful when it comes to "women's issues." The only women's issue that matters is getting women elected and leading things in proportion to our numbers. All of the other "women's issues" have become de facto balls and chains to divide women up and clip our power. As soon as women wake up and see that, women will be elected. My two great friends, "T" and "N" have convinced me that women can at least start by voting for all of the women in their own party without having to hold their noses too much. Let's get on with it!! And to Michele Bachmann-------great effort!!! You have shown a few more potential female presidents the way!!!! Kudos to you!!!!