When she was born, a friend gave our daughter a little pink tee-shirt reading "future president". It was ironic, I suppose. 6 and a half years later, I'm not 100% sure why this is among the realtively few things from then that we chose to save…but we did.
I am pretty sure we don't want ER to grow up to be Preident, at least if it were our choice. Seems a pretty thankless job and one that's hard to do well under any circumstances. That aside, the bigger question in this moment is whether we think she ~ by virture of being a she ~ could grow up to become president in her life time, or will the oval office remain a sausage-fest?
Our daughter's also black (we're not), and even in retrospect it's stunning and telling to consider that a before a woman did, a black-man made it to the Presidency of a nation whose morality and values can still be doled out with a degree of convenience and arbitariness belying our stated principles. But that's another story for somebody else's website.
(by Seth from FMB)
Let's consider whether in 21c America a woman can be President (of the United States). Hillary came as close as anyone since Geraldine, and whether you think she'd have been a better choice than Obama (for whom ER pulled the ballot in both the primary and general elections at the age of 3) is now besides the point. Spending as much time as we do looking at what makes our part of the world different for men and women, and boys and girls…I'm going to go out on a limb and say I don't see it happening.
I don't see it happening because I thinnk we remain largely sexist, gender polarized, and too many of us on all sides of right and wrong continue to create gender divides and distinctions when we don't have to. The gender-politics of the status quo are so ingrained, I don't see it changing to that degree and this extent soon. Yes, like Obama, any one individual in cobination with the needs of a country can change it in a relative instant, and I hope that happens. I do think we'll continue seeing more women run. and more women win, but I don't think we'll see a Madame (or a Mlle.) President any time soon. Odd, when you consider how many other 1st world countries have, and how long ago some of them did.
So what are we afraid of? Women, I think. The relationship between power and matriarchy, the relationship between women and patriarchy. We're afraid of emotion, and afraid of the emotional. We're afraid of a "woman's prerogative", and as so many parts of our nation become ever more conservative, we're afraid of shifting roles and responsibilities…and as much as many of us are desperate for change at least that many are afraid of it.
We were watching the Wimbledon finals last weekend, and the same little girl for whom this previously mentioned pink tee shirt was a baby gift, looks at Serena playing and says "finally, a woman playing sports on TV." That, like her, Serena is African-American was unremarkable, because after all, she has grown up with a black-man as President. The majority of women she sees, however, are objectified and objects. Beauty not brains or smarts or success continues to eb the predominate or at least the first way so many look at women ~ literally and figuratively.
No doubt it's changing. And no doubt, my little girl will be closer to being able to be and do what she wants to be and do than any generation of women before her…because of all the generations of women (and some men) before her. Will she see or be able to be a woman President? I don't think so.
What do you think? I hope I'm wrong. Tell us, why.
P.S. we wrote this piece because a friend has asked us to consider the subject as USA Networks premiers Political Animals tonight, July 15. We've got nothing to do with the show…but we'll be watching, and hoping that maybe ~ like say Will & Grace did and Glee does ~ a good show can bring into our homes and "normalize" that which isn't yet. Popular culture can change things for the better – or the worse. Here's hoping it's the former. Or at least that it's a good show. We could use a good show.