Opinion: Can a woman really run this country?

Raytevia Evans

Raytevia Evans

Raytevia Evans is a second-year graduate student studying magazine journalism and managing editor of KentWired. Contact her [email protected].

With the 2012 Presidential Election getting closer, the media is highlighting more women in politics, specifically those interested in taking Barack Obama’s place in the Oval Office for the next four years. After spending most of my downtime this summer watching CNN political coverage, I found myself reliving the whole Sarah Palin debacle from the 2008 elections — which by the way I found to be a total mess.

So I started to really ask myself, “Would I be OK with a woman running this country?” In theory, the president’s gender shouldn’t matter. But the truth is I haven’t really come up with a solid answer. I don’t think I would be completely opposed to the idea, but there are some reasons that cause me to stop and evaluate the situation.

Reason 1: Fourty-four men have already run this country. From George Washington to the sleazy and quite creepy Richard Nixon, we as Americans only know this country as one that has been led by strong (and as previously stated, sometimes sleazy), authoritative males. Electing a female president would seriously be considered uncharted waters, and I don’t think I really care for discovering the unknown when it comes to the commander-in-chief of this country.

Again, this is not saying that a woman cannot run this country, but as I’ve done in the past when considering who I’m voting for, I have to ask, “Is his or her demeanor/character authoritative enough to run the U.S. and can he/she lead us into a better future?” And to be honest, there is not one female candidate who has fully convinced me that she has that authority — though I must say I was semi-convinced by Hillary Clinton in 2008.

Reason 2: America still has a ruined view of a woman’s role in this country. More women today are putting on suits and working 12-hour days and leaving the whole “barefoot and pregnant” job for the birds. Ironically, a percentage of those businesswomen are making it all work: career, motherhood and marriage. Despite this change in women’s place in society, there seems to still be this idea that women should be married and bear children because that is what’s more important.

This issue even came up in early August during the GOP debate in Iowa where Bachmann was asked “The Bible tells wives to be submissive to their husbands. If you were president, would that apply to you?” In short, totally inappropriate question — though Bachmann handled it like a pro.

Reason 3: After 43 presidents, we finally elected a president who is of a different race other than your typical white male. It took us long enough to put an African-American man in the Oval Office, and it seems everyone fought tooth and nail before they let that one go (the whole birth certificate thing…really?). I would say we’re just going to add this as a huge hurdle we’ve crossed in our American history, and it probably will be another 25 to 30 years before a female candidate wins an election.