Kaboom! (sound of glass shattering!)
I know some of you readers are probably Bernie fans. But no matter who you wanted to win the Democratic presidential race, let’s just stop for a minute and say OMG, finally, it happened, it’s a woman!
I know you are going to bring up this and that and all of the rotten tomatoes will come flying from all sides and for many reasons. I might lose a few followers, but I’m okay with that because…in my lifetime, it happened. I’m not that old, but 228 years is a long time to wait.
After Hillary became the Democratic nominee for President of the United States of America, I wondered hmmm, why, why hasn’t a woman come this far before? So I did some basic research and briefly, here’s what I discovered about women and country leadership…
1. Hatshepsut was one of the most powerful women in the ancient world and the one and only female pharaoh in recorded history (1473 B.C.)
2. The first woman to rule a country as an elected leader in the modern era was in Sri Lanka; Sirimavo Bandaranaike was elected as prime minister of the island nation in 1960 and later re-elected in 1970.
3. There are more than 175 current heads of state worldwide. Only 18 – just over 10% of those top posts are held by women.
4. The first woman who stood for Presidential elections was Victoria Woodhull in 1872 from Equal Rights Party, followed by Belva Ann Lockwood in 1884 from National Equal Rights Party and many more afterwards. But no single woman has yet been able to make it to the White House.
What happens to women who attempt to run for President? In ‘Women For President‘, Erika Falk analyzed the gender bias which media has demonstrated in covering women candidates since the first woman ran for America’s highest office in 1872. Falk examined the campaigns of nine women who ran for president through 2008: Victoria Woodhull, Belva Lockwood, Margaret Chase Smith, Shirley Chisholm, Patricia Schroeder, Lenora Fulani, Elizabeth Dole, Carol Moseley Braun, and Hillary Clinton.
Falk found little progress in the fair treatment of women candidates stating,
“the press portrays female candidates as unviable, unnatural, and incompetent, and often ignores or belittles women instead of reporting their ideas and intent. This thorough comparison of men’s and women’s campaigns reveals a worrisome trend of sexism in press coverage, a trend that still persists today.”
When we are reading the news or listening to the media, it’s small wonder why we may not want to like Hillary, much of the things said about her and how they are said are colored by bias. That doesn’t take away from the things she did or didn’t do that we might agree or disagree with, it just adds a different perspective; a bigger ear to listen with.
Most of you readers are interested in and working towards long-term change in our world. This moment, whether you like who she is or not, is a turning point and a shattering of the glass ceiling for women. It’s a step forward in equal rights for your daughter, your sister, your wife, and yourself.
This has been an era of great and mighty change. Let’s remember how long it took to get here and #givethankstothosewhowentbefore