Tuesday, July 24, 2007

La Presidente*

One of the binds of the current election here in the US is that I have genuinely conflicted loyalties. I honestly believe Barack is the best candidate - on everything that matters to me, he seems to speak to my beliefs. But there is the eternal question: Should I support Hillary? Is it as bad to support her just because she's a woman as those who refuse to consider voting for a female Commander-in-Chief? Obviously, the answer to that is no - to coin Stevens, the difference between a welcome mat and no trespassing sign, although undoubtedly Alito/Scalia/Thomas/Roberts would disagree with me, the turds.

We do seem to claim women in leadership positions as being a unilaterally "good thing," and the landscape really is changing, with women in power in South America, Africa, genuine contenders in Argentina and France (although she lost to that git Sarkozy, sadly) and, now, a President in India. But is that the end of it? Surely not - and I, of all people, given my loathing of Maggie T, should not succumb to it. Which is why this post about Pratibha Patil is so good - because it does bring home that we're still at the stage where we're desperate for crumbs, and accept female leadership as that "good thing" without assessing who the candidate really is, and what she will do with her position.

Which is why I'm not going to feel guilty about rooting for Barry O, although I do think Clinton will end up winning the nomination. What I will do is get angry instead about coverage of Clinton's neckline, as if it's vaguely relevant or important. Even the bloody Times is at it with this article which points out why these women are sexy and fertile and therefore great, rather than dealing with their politics head on. Why do we not talk about men in the same way? Giuliani's third marriages are oft referred-to, but not Kucininich's, or McCain's...

But, as with coverage of Christina Kirchner and Segolene Royal, and, of course, Jacqui Smith**, apparently being sexy is at least as important as your politics. Just so long as you know. Sigh.

*En serio, Xopo, E, se puede escribir "La Presidente"? O sea "el", como "el primer ministro" - o se puede decir la primera ministra? La verdad, no se.

** Apparently it's their fault because Europeans and South Americans "just have sexy in their blood."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm totally wit you on this question. I think it's not helpful to vote for someone because they are a woman just as I would no think it helpful, desirable, responsible to vote for someone just because they are male, black, Hispanic, etc. When it comes to politicians, I think you have to vote for the person you believe will do what you believe is the right thing for your community, country, city, etc.

Si, claro que puedes decir "La Presidenta," otro plus del espaniol.