Sunday, February 18, 2007

Would You Vote for this Woman?

Lois here.

Okay, my question doesn’t really revolve around any of one specific person. In fact, it’s not political at all. It’s more social. I’m simply curious. Is America ready for a woman for president? If you get the chance will you vote female?

Truth be told, I don’t know anyone who would come right out and say, “I absolutely won’t vote for a woman.” But I wonder…are we so subconsciously programmed to think of men as leaders, that we, as a country, will find reasons why no woman would be right?

I grew up on a wheat farm in North Dakota, not exactly the frontrunner in liberal thinking. My mother worked like a draft mule seven days a week. She intimately knew every detail of the farm. In fact, I always thought her to be the stronger, most independent person I ever knew. But I have a sneaking suspicion she won’t vote for a woman. That it simply won’t feel ‘right’ to her no matter what the female candidate’s views might be.

My mother-in-law, on the other hand, is quite liberal in her way of thinking but still maintains that men should be the head of the house. Can we then assume they should also be head of the country?

So what do you think? Are we ready? Would you vote for Hilary on Condaleeza…or what the hell…Oprah? How about your husband? Your parents, your children? What determines how comfortable people are with women in power? Is it age? Gender? Religion? Give me your thoughts.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure that the problem is that people aren't ready for a female president so much as that there aren't many women positioned to run for the office in the traditional way--having been Senator or Governor--compared to the number of men who have. We need to recruit more women into politics, to have a bigger talent pool.

OR, women could decide to run for the office after having a carreer in academics, business or the arts.

Laurie said...

I'd definitely have no problem voting for a woman for president or any other office. I feel that all the politicians are too complacent in their roles and unfortunately many are corrupt! We need a major shakeup after the Bush debacle of the last 6 years.
My husband,in-laws and children would have no problem with a woman president. My 82yo mother would not vote for a woman.

lois greiman said...

I absolutely agree. We do need more women in high positions, but have you noticed that people seem to judge these women by different standards? Calling them unsympathetic or harsh when men would not be labeled the same way in the same situation?

It's tricky, I think. One of the reasons I'm eager to vote female is because women tend to be more...I don't know, sympathetic, but maybe they (we?) lose that when they're put in high positions.

So,Laurie, in your family's case, do you think age is the major factor in determining who would vote for women?

Anne said...

I definitely don't have a problem voting for a woman, though I'm not so sure about voting for Hillary *G* I DO think though that there are a lot of people out there that will NOT vote for a woman... I don't think the world is ready for that yet... it may never be. How sad is that?

lois greiman said...

Anne, it's incredibly sad! So how do we fix it?

Helen Brenna said...

Interesting topic, Lois.

We're long overdue in this country for a woman president. Pakistan, even has had a woman prime minister, for heaven's sake.

IMO, the real problem is that there's too much apathy in this country. A lot of people don't get out and vote who would vote for women.

Michele said...

Oh please let's put a woman in the big white house next time around. Come on, at least let her have a go, give it a try. We've given that shrub fellow a chance at an 8-year try-out. What's so wrong with letting a woman in to sweep up the debris and give the country a bit of a sparkle?

Michele

Betina Krahn said...

I'd have no trouble voting for the right woman. . . really believe we need more women in public life and more women with their fingers on the pulse. But not just us. I think it's needed everywhere.

Unfortunately, I don't see many women on the horizon I'd put that much trust in. So many of the women who have come up through the male-dominated political landscape have learned to operate by the old system and aren't particularly more ethical or wise than the men-- with one exception. I don't think any women I know, even Connie Rice, would have led the nation into war as quickly, arrogantly, and eagerly as The Shrub did. I think women FEEL the effects of war more (the agony of losing sons and empathy with the thousands of women and families caught in the crossfire-- the "collateral damage")and are disposed to see it as a lose-lose situation instead of a win(us)-lose(them) situation.

I think if Britain, Pakistan, India, and Israel can elect women leaders, the US can and someday will. But I'm hoping it won't be until a truly brilliant, compassionate, and deserving woman comes along. I'd hate for the first woman president to end up a dud or a mouthpiece for some special interest groups!

Hey, What did you think of the TV series "Commander and Chief?" I thought Gina Davis was incredibly charismatic and believable!

:) Betina

Debra Dixon said...

Women are certainly capable of leadership at the highest responsibility levels but I think they don't stampede toward leadership positions the way men do. That means we have fewer women leaders from which to choose, especially in the political arena.

The leadership of women is coming. Slowly, but I do think we'll get there.

I would vote for a woman but casting my vote comes down to much more than gender. Except sometimes...locally...I have been known to throw my vote to the woman if I didn't have a strong opinion about the race one way or the other. LOL! If it's six of one and a half-doze of the other, well, I vote for the woman.

lois greiman said...

I agree. Women in general don't get the whole war concept. I mean...it's kind of an antiquated idea isn't it...let's go kill their people...they'll kill our people...and the country with the most killed people loses. Spare me.

But I also agree that in order to make it in politics women may have to take on some of those macho characteristics, which perhaps wouldn't make them any more sympathetic than their male counterparts.

Still, it urkes me that my own gender may not be ready to support a woman president.

Cindy Gerard said...

I'm more than willing to vote for a woman for president. As a matter of fact, after watching our three grandchildren this weekend (5, 3 and 18 months) I'd nominate my daughter in law for the post. Any woman who can raise children this wonderful (no prejudice here :o) ), make our son a happy man AND teach elementary and do all the other things she does wins my vote hands down. Men compartmentalize and women multi-task. Obviously, the job is meant for a woman.

Christie Ridgway said...

Lois, I'm ready for a woman in the White House. As Cindy says, women are great multi-taskers and better (I think) at seeing big picture consequences.

Keri Ford said...

I’d vote for a woman president, though I can’t say I’d vote for the one trying for the ’08 office. From what I gather through hear-say, she can’t decide which Lilly pad in the Pond of Issues to sit on.

I found it interesting when I read Betina’s post about women feeling the effects of war more than a man would. I remember in school and my government teacher used that as an example on why most women wouldn’t make a good president. She’d have a hard time sending a missile to bomb a building in the night and killing the innocent janitorial crew—even if it meant getting a group of four leaders causing all the problems.

I think in this day and time, there are too many double-standards between men and women for a woman to be elected and hold that office successfully in the eyes of the press and vast majority of the nation. It will take somebody brilliant and compassionate (as Betina pointed out) and an excellent multi-tasker (credit to Cindy) to handle every bit of dirt that’s going to be slung her way for each step she takes.

lois greiman said...

Maybe it will take a brilliant and compassionate woman. But why? How often have we had brilliant compassionate MEN in the White House?

principessa said...

If there is a woman who is competent, capable and ready to fill the position then she should have the job. But recently there were women in high positions who made grave errors and were not competent enough, even though they were given a chance.

Laurie said...

Sorry this is so late but in response to the age issue for my mom yes...but not for my inlaws who are both in their late 70's They're both very savvy and always look at every side of an issue. They came over from Hungary (They were forced out)via Germany in the early 50's so they appreciate the many freedoms that so many Americans take for granted.
I fell that woman better start voting and getting involved... our countries' current politians are going backwards. They want to reverse Roe vs Wade!! We need to keep woman's right to decide.

Helen Brenna said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Helen Brenna said...

At the risk of turning this into a huge debate, I agree, Laurie!