Thursday, August 28, 2008

I'm Going to Bore You With Politics for Two Seconds

Last night, Hillary piqued my interest when she said, "My mother was born before women could vote. But in this election my daughter got to vote for her mother for President." Everyone was cheering wildly and at the time, it was another one of those Yay America! moments. But when I think about it, it's not that impressive.

India had a female prime minister as early as 1966. And China, the country that coined the phrase, "It is more profitable to raise geese, than a daughter", had a female president in the 1980s. 26 countries have had a female head of state. 33 countries have had a female head of government.

So sure, in comparison to the countries we are "liberating" in the Middle East, we are a land of equal opportunity. But compared to a good portion of the world, this is not a place where anything can happen. With this election, we did prove that an African-American can win a major party nomination. But we also proved that women still don't have the power that they should. And I feel like it'll be at least another twenty years before gay people have the rights that they should. America may think it's all that and a bag of chips, but it's really not as open and affirming as it thinks. We've got quite a long way to go before we start celebrating.


David said...

good points. hey, at least we're going somewherer... v e r y s l o w l y . . . . .

Shane said...

All this president talk is confusing, we don't have any of that in NZ, chips sounds nice though, yum.

Anonymous said...

i agree with your point overall but you might want to check your facts. china's presidents since the 1949 maoist revolution have been Mao Zedong, Jiang Zemin, Deung Xiaoping, and Hu Jintao, all men.

Hish said...

Strange that the 'glass ceiling' here in the USA hasn't been obliterated yet. Your points are true. But the thing is:
1) Did Hillary Clinton lose specifically because she was a woman, or because she didn't find her stride until much later on and made early missteps (since she went in thinking she was invulnerable)?
2) Are there (powerful) women here in the USA who really want to go all the way up to the presidency, either than Hillary Clinton? Seems to me that everyone acts like Hillary's ambition is a unique case among women. Maybe if more women were to try...?

j said...

david: i guess i'm impatient

shane: yeah, governments suck

anon: Soong Ching Ling was named the honorary President of the People's Republic of China in 1981, two weeks before her death. thanks.

hish: i'm sure it wasn't the only reason she lost. but it was a big one.

Random Thinker said...

I agree with david, specifically, any progress is good progress.

This is the first election that we have an African-American nominee for president. With McCain's nomination of Sarah Palin as his VP choice, this will only be the 2nd time a woman has been on the ticket (the last being Geraldine Ferraro as Walter Mondale's VP choice in 1984).

I am amazed at both the slowness to have diversity as part of our leadership, but also amazed at how revolutionary it really is. So, let's hope that this election cycle means more women will become candidates and more minorities will join in the political process.

Last, while I think Obama is breaking down barriers, this election has another dynamic - it is bringing more people into the political process - as participants, as financial donors and as contributors to the dialogue, and as forces to be reckoned with if their issues and priorities are not addressed by the leaders.

So, this has been very exciting, and I can't wait for election night!

Aek said...

What about the Asian-Americans? I think their shot at presidency is right down there too. Then again, most Asians wouldn't want to run for presidency anyway . . .

g.t. said...

I think what we've been shown is that Americans hate women more than they hate blacks.

Of course, they hate gays even more than women. Not sure who could rank lower...maybe an actual Muslim terrorist? Not a regular Muslim...just one who belongs to Al Qaeda or Hamas.

Oh, and a big old chunk of born-again fundie Republicans hate Mormons. Otherwise they would have Romney as their candidate right now.

j said...

thinker: i think a lot of younger voters are getting involved because obama is running but they are being lured in with lollipops and ice cream. they aren't exactly demanding that their issues get addressed. they just want to see a hip new president.

aek: i want to run. i want that power. i want that house.

g.t.: i don't know if we hate women more than blacks. but it's certainly more acceptable to hate on a woman than a black person.