This is what parity looks like!! The new Francois Hollande government in France has appointed a gender equal cabinet having appointed 17 women and 17 men to lead the various departments. Hollande kept a campaign promise (how unique is that!!!!) to boost France's pitiful ratings and overnight France went from having a 16% female cabinet to having a 50% male/female cabinet.
You can read all about it here. You could quibble that the appointments given the women were not the most important cabinet posts, but I'm not in a mood to quibble. In one fell swoop, parity was achieved, and hopefully France will continue down this path of parity. France ranks nominally better than the United States in female representation in government, France ranking 69 to the U.S.'s 78. Hopefully this move will be a real game changer for France.!!
I'd like to know how Hollande was persuaded to make gender parity a campaign issue. Back in 2008, many Hillary supporters attempted to appeal to the Obama campaign to make the same promise and were rebuffed at every turn. They were not only rebuffed and stonewalled, they were ridiculed as if to say that this idea of a gender equal cabinet was totally ridiculous.
I'd like to suggest that one of the presidential campaigns needs to make this kind of promise. If one of the campaigns decides to nominate a woman VP and to promise a gender equal cabinet, that party would instantly become the new "party of women." And make no mistake, whichever campaign made such a move would win. If you take away the loudmouths on either end of the ideological spectrum (maybe 30% of the electorate) who would instantly and vocally pooh-pooh this idea on sight, the vast majority of people in the middle would love an idea like this. At the very least, enough people would be attracted to such an idea to swing the election.
It must be remembered that the ideological extremes would hate this idea not because it is a bad idea, but because they perceive that it would threaten their power. And in a way they would be right------it would pull the rug out from under them. But if you look at it another way, what's wrong with jump-starting female equality? There are plenty of great and qualified women in both parties to more than fill an ENTIRE cabinet. We've covered the territory of greatly qualified women for VP on this blog. Anyone who thinks that this idea is just less important than other issues is either tone deaf or just plain ignorant about women and feminism or is an outright sexist. NOTHING is more inmportant than living up to the promises we make to our girls------that they can be whatever they want. As I always say, that idea is just a dream at this point.
Let's ask our presidential candidates to do more than pay lip service to get our votes. Let's ask them to one up the French---------zuts alors!!! We are the U.S. and we can do it!!! But we need to convince both campaigns that we want something solid for our votes. Not the game of fear tactics. We want to do better than the French. A woman VP and a gender equal cabinet. It's all so simple......
And a special thanks to EC who brought this whole thing to my attention today.