RSSTennia Walker

Student at Coastal Carolina University majoring in... Read more


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Female Role Models in Politics?
11/08/11

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Women Leadership

Politics has been a male dominated field where women seem to be left in the shadows. How many of us can use a female politician as a guide to become successful? It seems just yesterday we were presented with women like Condoleezza Rice, Hillary Clinton, Sarah Palin, Nikki Haley, Nancy Pelosi and Michele Bachmann; however, most of the time these women are not presented in a positive light.
For example, Sarah Palin who was first introduced to the American public as John McCain’s running mate for the 2008 presidential election.  Some people blame her for bringing down the McCain campaign. Since then she has become a target for the media as they portray her as unintelligent and belittle her in many ways. This video shows an example of that.
http://youtu.be/L8__aXxXPVc
Despite the negative things people may think about Sarah Palin she does have a substantial following with the Tea Party and other conservatives. She was the youngest and the first woman to become Governor of Alaska. This is a major accomplishment; however, the way she is portrayed might deter a young person with similar ideals to be vocal because they may feel like they will face scrutiny among their peers. She had encouragement to run for the 2012 presidential race, but overall chose not to do so partly because there is still negativity surrounding her public image.  Women are now making history in taking leadership roles in politics is being overshadowed by people who make it their business to have personal issues with women like Sarah Palin. There is a lack of respect.
Condoleezza Rice was the second female Secretary of State, after Madeleine Albright, serving in the Bush administration after serving as the National Security Advisor. She is intelligent and well respected and is more so known for her career in politics than her personal life. She just put out a book, No Higher Honor, about her time in Washington. She has a lot of professional accomplishments that would serve as a model for someone to follow; however, she has never been married or been a mother. It’s safe to say that more women dream to have a family and a successful professional.  In reality it’s hard to balance both because being a mother and a wife is a full time job. In most cases there is a choice between a professional career that consumes your personal life or being the societal norm while giving up your professional dreams.
Clearly the media doesn’t pay enough positive attention on women in politics. It’s seems like the mainstream media glorifies women like Kim Kardashian or Britney Spears. When Michele Bachmann made an uninformed statement about the Gardasil vaccine to prevent certain types of HPV saying that it caused “retardation” people were calling her names like “idiot” and “stupid” while Herman Cain isn’t informed about foreign policy and doesn’t know that China has been a nuclear power since the 1960′s isn’t nearly as ridiculed.
Hillary Clinton is best known for being the wife of Bill Clinton until she made a true political name for herself by running for the Democratic nominee in the 2008 presidential election. With being a former first lady she has plenty of experience in Washington and it wasn’t a surprise when she was appointed and approved to be Secretary of State for the Obama administration making her the third woman to hold that position. Being that Bill Clinton is her husband, could Hillary Clinton be as successful in her political career without him?
There are about four million more women in the United States yet there are only 76 women out of 435 possible seats in the House and 17 out of 100 seat in the Senate. Clearly women are under presented, but is there any incentive to be a female politician?


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2 Responses to this article

carolbaker November 8, 2011 Reply

And no, I don’t think there are enough women in politics either. But when great women, amazing LEADERS like Nancy Pelosi and Barbara Boxer are vilified by the male-dominated media and women like Palin, Bachmann and O’Donnell are revered, I weep for my gender.

carolbaker November 8, 2011 Reply

Women have been dealing with the glass ceiling for a long time and politics is the last bastion of the rich, white male. When one of the loudest voices with one of the largest followings is Rush Limbaugh, one need only look at what he had to say about women in politics and Hillary Clinton in particular: “You have to understand the mindset of a lot of these feminists and women. They think they’re owed this — just like Obama supporters think they’re owed this.” Limbaugh continued: “These women have paid their dues. They’ve been married two or three times; they’ve had two or three abortions; they’ve done everything that feminism asked them to do. They have cut men out of their lives; they have devoted themselves to causes and careers. And this — the candidacy of Hillary Clinton — is the culmination of all of these women’s efforts.”

When one of the loudest and most prolific microphones describes women in this way, his followers don’t vote for them. Hillary Clinton was a graduate of Wellesley College and graduate of the prestigious Yale Law School. Compare that to Sarah Palin. I make no secret of not liking the woman, but she attended a lot of colleges, was a beauty queen and a sports announcer before she entered politics. She’s neither a leader or a brilliant thinker but she presents well to the lowest common denominator who have been brainwashed to believe that smart women are man-hating elitists. Sadly, it is women like Palin who give women in politics a bad name. Not because I disagree with her politics, but because she’s an idiot. Condi Rice is someone with whom I disagree politically, however, she’s brilliant, well-educated, well-spoken and accomplished in her own right. She deserved her years as a leading political figure. And yet, just last week in a public forum, a man called Elizabeth Warren, architect of the Consumer Credit Protection Agency, currently running for the MA senate a “Socialist Whore”. Where was the media outrage then? Where was everyone’s outrage then? It’s become acceptable to use the most derogatory. vile language toward women, and no one flinches.

It’s not enough to have the right plumbing. Women like Christine “I’m not a witch” O’Donnell, Michele “Pray Away the Gay” Bachmann and Sarah “Blank stare when asked about the Bush Doctrine” Palin give women in politics a bad name and set back the women’s movement by decades every time they open their mouths. If I was a man, so threatened by the presence of women in politics, the last three I mentioned are exactly the candidates I’d push toward the front of the line… the women who prove that the female of the species is screechy, simple-minded and unfit to serve.

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