By Patricia M.
There is a debate ever since Hillary Clinton entered the political arena as to whether she has the potential to become President of the United States. Although she has stepped down as Secretary of State for President Obama, many are gathering behind to support a potential run for President in 2016. Her potential social location has been a position of a man for more than 3 centuries so it is time for a change in gender? Although there is a need for change, qualifications should be essential in a world of politics still dealing with sexism. In a country working towards equality in all aspects of life, it is important to reflect that change in our government. Those supporters who are biased may help her political campaign but it is crucial to recognize her true potential to lead a nation.
The media has been on top of Hillary ever since she appeared beside her husband on the road to his Presidency. She was not like any other First Lady in that her opinion and job in the political platform blossomed. It was not until she sought the Democratic nomination for Presidency in 2008 that the media struck her hard. An article in the US News states the obvious that “Among the key findings is that sexism, more than ideology, drove the media's anti-Clinton theme”. Journalists took the opportunity to target Hillary much more than Barack, although he is still the center of racial discrimination. Men like Rush Limbaugh feed the issue of sexism with calling Hillary the “testicle lockbox” and claiming “she reminds men of the worst characteristics of women they've encountered over their life”. This is a man who is threatened by the power of a woman and constantly brings up typical stereotypes. By allowing a man to spew sexism, we lose focus on matters of more importance such as our economy and education.
“I think [women] should be armed but should not vote. … Women have no capacity to understand how money is earned. They have a lot of ideas on how to spend it. … It’s always more money on education, more money on child care, more money on day care.” One would assume that the previous quote comes from a man but in fact it came from Ann Coulter. It does not help to have controversial women like Coulter representing women in politics. We need more women such as Prime Minister Gillard of Australia who confronts a hypocritical Leader of the Opposition that is “Capable of double standards, but incapable of change.” We need a woman like Eleanor Roosevelt who relentlessly fought to be heard and would say that “Women must learn to play the game as men do”. Had it not been for Roosevelt who support the Women’s suffrage and even past her husband’s presidency encouraged women to speak up and rallied beside them, we would not have the privileges we have as women. This is why we must continue as a nation to go forward with the fight for equality in order to spread the opportunities that not one particular race, gender and so on are entitled to. The beauty of our country is the wide-spread diversity, which slowly but sure is moving through our government.
Hillary is the person to make a difference against sexism here in our country, not someone like Coulter who is going backwards in the equality department. A perfect portion of Hillary’s most recent speech at the Women in the World Summit;
“Fighting to give women and girls a fighting chance isn’t a nice thing to do,” Clinton said. “This is a core imperative for every human being and every society. If we do not complete a campaign for women’s rights and opportunities, the world we want to live in, the country we all love and cherish will not be what it should be.” Just as Roosevelt stood on the importance of having the right to vote, Hillary has the right to lead and more importantly the capabilities which far too often overshadowed by the men surrounding her.
“I suppose I could have stayed home and baked cookies and had teas…” is a well criticized quote making a reference to a common stereotype that a woman belongs at home and not in politics. Is it truly necessary to make a reference to stereotypes like these? Perhaps it is a strong message to encourage women to come forward and do more than what is expected of them. There is an evident global issue with sexism but slowly women, such as Hillary Clinton, are rising to be judged based on their ideology. Although Hillary’s run for presidency was not a success, she gave hope that if not with her, one day a woman will hold office. As Tomasky from Newsweek says, “In the 20 years she’s been on the stage, the country has gone from wondering whether women could handle the toughest jobs to knowing they can.”
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