A Woman for President and a Woman for Vice President
by W Goodwin
You should know right up front this isn’t one of those well-researched position papers. It’s not even a realistic political proposition. It barely rises above the level of a casual observation despite the fact American voters are at a place we’ve never been before. The possibility is so unique someone has to shine a light on it, and it looks like that someone is me.
For the first time in America’s short history, we have the opportunity to elect women for president and vice president. This is absofuckinlutely amazing. It shivers my mind to think only a hundred years ago we ended one of our government’s countless prohibitions, the big one blocking half our population from voting. Despite the success of the women’s suffrage movement, despite almost two and half centuries of women forced into the back seat of the “American Dream,” despite half of the country’s population and talent being women, despite fifty years of Title Nine federally-mandated gender equality… despite these and so f-n many other injustices heaped on women, the United States has yet to inaugurate a female as our president or vice president. Now, if we so desire, we could have both.
It’s abundantly clear we need a sea change in how we do government. At least half of us loathe the idiocy of a bullying, nasty, cynical, dishonest, petty, whitish male of sketchy cognitive skills, but that’s only part of the quagmire of American leadership. We need people at the top who are quicker, smarter, more able to grasp complex issues, more motivated by ideals than profits, and more attuned to the fundamental shifts crashing upon the crowded, flooding shores of humanity. In addition to the experience and judgment attributed to the more doddering of the current candidates, some of the younger ones also possess better mental flexibility, less loyalty to corporate powers, and more optimism than cynicism. Despite the diversity of American society and the complexity of international relations, our present leaders seem to view the present challenges as a series of facile choices between A or B and good or bad. Wouldn’t it be sweet to elect new leaders (♀ x 2?) who are responsive to the complex and nuanced ways human nature really operates?
What if we actually fill the top positions of Federal government with women? More than a few of us believe a woman president would be more likely than a man to bring her female Number Two into more meaningful roles than VPs usually have. It’s easy for me, though I suspect I’m naïve and overly optimistic, to imagine them actually working together for the good of the country. To change domestic policies, for example, two women at the top could do something truly evolutionary, something along the lines of national mothering to inspire and encourage the country on a daily basis. Theoretically men could do this too, but they haven’t so far. Isn’t it likely the right women would be much better than most men at gently bringing about the healing, the peace, the cooperation and the inclusive decision-making that men have shown scant political will or ability to accomplish for generations now?
Maybe some of you are fretting at this point, fretting about the gender-related limitations of a female still clinging to your imagination. You’re probably willing to insult all your mothers, wives and sisters by telling us that in a moment of crisis this hypothetical female president could become hog-tied by menstruation or hot-flashes. And, you demand to know, what if the Prez and her VP menstruate or hot-flash at the same time in the oval office, the floor of the U.N. General Assembly, or on camera with Putin? And, god forbid, what if one of those bitches becomes pregnant while she’s in office? What if they’re both preggers at the same time?
I suppose the title of this piece will net a few misogynistic trolls who’ve stumbled into Medium’s hallowed halls, so if that last paragraph sounds like your point of view, curb your misogynistic hysteria. Maybe it was tongue-in-cheek, or maybe you’ve now cleverly concluded I don’t share your POV and you’re probably writing me off as another so-called “woke” female desperately clinging to the tenets of feminism like a life ring. If you’re hell-bent in your troglodytic rush to condemn the idea of women at the top, then try to take this notion in the spirit of that inimitable Alabaman creed “Audemus jura nostra defendere” Besides, you’re probably an open-carry dude anyway, so respect my rights too and don’t shoot me.
Careful with your assumptions, misogynist. Whether I’m a man or a woman, my gender is irrelevant to these musings (and I don’t think you’ll find clear proof of my birth gender anywhere in my recent writings).
Personal issues aside, women continue to be effective leaders in many countries, including our own (Pelosi being the most obvious current example in federal government). At any given moment since the middle of the last century, there have been between 11 and 18 female leaders of countries. Some have introduced far-reaching feminist policies (Michelle Bachelet of Chile comes to mind). Of course many female office-holders behave like political men, stealing, lying, back-room dealing with the boys, sending our youth to war… Maggie Thatcher never appeared to give a hoot about women’s equality, now did she? On the other hand, if we were to elect a female president and a female vice-president, sexism would become a glaring issue. It would send a message of gleeful censure to sexist pigs everywhere as the world’s male leaders begin to interact with our new female leaders. Dreaming on, I even envision female leaders leading to a disavowal of sexism among the rich, good-old-boy politicians.
And what if a female president or V.P. becomes pregnant in office? Who wants peace in the world more than a pregnant woman? Who has more empathy and kindness than a woman with child? And during her troublesome last trimester, guess what? The other woman at the top could step in during those distracting times.
Why hold back? Perhaps one day we’ll reach the point where we enact a new constitutional amendment defining the presidency as a rotating committee of four or five women at different overlapping stages of pregnancy such that only women between months three and seven, the time they are most positive and desirous of peace and least bothered by the pains and distractions of pregnancy, would be governing. This presidential committee of pregnant women would make all the presidential decisions affecting people’s welfare and health but let computers with input from professional, non-political statespersons make all the political and economic decisions.
I know, I know… That’s some novel stuff, but like I said, tongue-in-cheek.
Few would disagree that woke women with greater representation in government are more likely to vehemently oppose war while being more outspoken and active about the welfare of children, the poor and the needy. These differences, long ignored or paid only lip-service by entrenched, male-dominated administrations, would trickle down into all aspects of American society with far-reaching positive implications for public policy.
Some historians and political analysts have observed that, internationally, women are most likely to gain executive political positions when their countries are undergoing fundamental upheavals. Now, after two centuries of relative stability in America’s political system, the U.S. is indeed such a crisis today. Women at the top could be just what we need for the healing to begin.
If you don’t care for two women at the top, how about two billionaire businessmen then? Nodding your head, you say a man would make a better commander-in-chief. But then, unlike one of the current women candidates, neither of the billionaires or the incumbent have been to war, despite the fact this country has been at war for most of their lives…
I know you’re going to vote. Thanks.