It’s 2016 and there are still people who think a woman can’t be President
Women still face barriers running for public office
Hillary Clinton’s 2016 bid for Presidency met no shortage of controversy, over her use of personal email servers, her supposed love affair with Wall Street and the political establishment, and the “B” word which has eternally attached itself to her name – Benghazi.
As every Presidential nominee meets there fair share of dispute, there is one argument against Hillary’s candidacy that raises the question if our great nation has traveled back in time – Hillary is a woman.
In a 2015 interview rapper T.I. said: “Not to be sexist, but I can’t vote for the leader of the free world to be a woman…I just know that women make rash decisions emotionally…they make very permanent, cemented decisions, and then later, it’s kind of like it didn’t happen, or they didn’t mean for it to happen. And I sure would hate to just set off a nuke…”
Though T.I. later publicly revoked and apologized for his statement, he still articulated the continued barriers women still face when running for public office in the 21st Century.
Surprisingly, even women have vocalized similar concerns of electing a female President.
The CEO of a Texas marketing firm, Cheryl Rios, caused controversy with a Facebook post last April who said: “With the hormones we [women] have there is no way we should be able to start war.”
She added: “Yes I run my own business and I love it and I’m great at it but that is not the same as being the President, that should be left to a man, a good, strong, honorable man.”
Aside from supposed fatal hormones and emotional decision-making, women have faced other disadvantages and discriminations when running for public office, as men are than 80 percent of congress, 90 percent of governors, and 100 percent of past presidents.
Research done by Barbara Lee Family Foundation, a nonpartisan organization, found that female candidates are held to higher standards than men by what is called the “virtue advantage” – the expectation that women are more intrinsically honest and ethical and when they fail to meet this high standard they are punished more greatly than men.
The study also found that female candidates have little room for mistakes and a simple oversight such as not smiling enough (yes, Carly Fiorina) can have grave consequences for their campaigns.
However, the study said voters relate to female candidates in a way they do not with men: female candidates can be policy-driven, qualified, and still be nurturing and talk about family in a way their male counterparts cannot.
Those who oppose a female president are luckily a very small and dwindling minority, in a 2015 Gallup poll only eight percent of those surveyed said they would not support a female candidate as opposed to Gallup’s 1937 survey which showed only 33 percent would be willing to support a female.
Women have been running for president since 1872, however never as successfully as Hillary Clinton, and as all her supporters breathlessly await her predicted Democratic nomination victory, she will continue to represent women’s strength, merit, and capability to those who doubted a female place in the Oval Office.