Elders and the Unfriendly Skies
CNN: Elder Sex is a Dirty Joke

The Question of a Woman President

category_bug_politics.gif [This post is adapted from one that was originally posted at Blogher.org.]

What better issue is there for elders than concern for the future of the country and the world. With careers done or on the wane, with children raised, elders have more time for thoughtful consideration of political, cultural and social issues. And sometimes, maybe, we have a bit more experience and perspective to contribute to the public discourse.

It is disturbing, in a presidential race that may be the most crucial of our lives, to see so many women supporting Hillary Clinton because she is a woman, as if that were a qualification. And Senator Clinton herself frequently reminds audiences that “It’s about time we had a woman president.”

I disagree. I think it’s about time we had a president of any gender who respects the oath of office, upholds the Constitution, runs an open, not secretive, government and sees to the welfare of all the citizenry, not just the wealthy elite.

Only a few people in the United States these days would vote against a candidate just because she is a woman. Most polls show that 90 percent or more of voters are “ready for a woman president.” So that question is settled.

The only other pertinent question about every candidate of any gender is: can he or she lead the United States out of the quagmire it has sunk into, and correct the wrongs that have been perpetrated against its citizens and the Constitution.

Women are as qualified – or not – as men. Women are also as beholden to corporate money interests as men. There are suggestions that Mrs. Clinton will raise half a billion dollars for her campaign.

That is an obscene amount of money that can buy an election with ease, a good deal of it from lobbyists and bundlers, big pharma and other corporate contributors that some other candidates have refused – and others have accepted.

But I’m not here to argue the merits of Senator Clinton’s candidacy; only to emphasize that her gender is irrelevant and I am ashamed, as a woman, of all the women’s organizations and blogs I read urging support of Clinton based on her gender.

All candidates, even if they raise less money than Clinton, owe their souls to corporate backers. And that is my point: before she is a woman, Senator Clinton is a politician and deserves no less scrutiny, before we vote, than a male candidate.

And no extra credit for being a woman.

[At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Matty explains a case of dental foot-in-mouth disease in When Will I Ever Learn?]



you wrote: "...I think it’s about time we had a president of any gender who respects the oath of office, upholds the Constitution, runs an open, not secretive, government and sees to the welfare of all the citizenry, not just the wealthy elite..."

Amen to that! I don't care about the race, gender, age or religious beliefs of a candidate, if they would actually do what they're supposed to as a President, and not be beholden to, what are in effect, "stockholders."

I absolutely agree with everything you said, Ronni. People that vote for single issue candidates (Think "right-to-life" - freedom-of-choice", etc.) are cheapening the electoral process.

The color of one's skin, where one worships (or not), gender, or other divisive issues should never be considered. I would choose a candidate who has proven to be honest, efficient and pragmatic. He/she should also be flexible and an intellectual. In other words, the exact opposite of what we now have in the White House.

P.S. I have a bit of tongue-in-cheek when I say I would choose an honest politician. Is there such an animal?


My own number one qualification, bar none. I wish more candidates would speak to the constitution, the greatest document ever written.

I agree wholeheartedly Ronni. I also feel ashamed when I read support being offered just for gender.

..."The Constitution" that is, forgive me for making it disappear with the wrong punctuation marks above!


There is no question that the country is ready for either a Black or a Woman President.

You are so right about not voting for either of our Black or Woman candidates simply because of their color or gender.

We must get back to the rule of law and an administration who respects the Constitution and abides by it. Our current President makes up the rules as he goes along, and his policies have made our Country very unpopular .

We need a new President of any gender or color who can reestablish the good will our country formerly enjoyed with the rest of the World.

excellent points!

Hmmm.... I agree with Ronni and the commentators on the desirable characteristics for our next President. I also believe that none of the candidates in any party are displaying them perfectly. So, as in past elections, we choose the one who best fits the criteria in order of importance to us individually. That choosing process includes intellectual judgements and intuitions. All things being equal or balanced, I believe that many women and women's groups honestly believe that Clinton can be as good a President as we can cull from these candidates. Added to her strengths, mindful of her very real limitations, there is nothing blind in trusting another woman and wanting to see the portraits of our country's leaders honor a wider variety of our citizens. Hopefully, most people would not support Clinton only because she is a woman. People believe she has the potential of being a decent leader with citizen centered policies. Personally, I support Obama. But if I change my mind, I would be able to support Clinton as a leader, a person, and a woman.

As I said when you posted this at Blogher, amen! I am tired of our politicians playing fast and loose with the Constitution and that's a large percentage. Only one candidate has pointed out that the Iraq war is unconstitutional and it isn't Hillary Clinton. I have long contended that sometimes the best man for the job of presidency is a woman but I don't think that will be the case in 2008. I am undecided and will stay that way because I haven't seen much to inspire me to commit to a candidate.

I agree with the criteria that you describe as being most important when selecting a president. This does not include all those other factors of gender, race, etc. as you describe.

What I also would like to have revealed in all this campaigning are particulars about the individuals who are part of each candidate's inner circle. These people can be of more influence, therefore of concern, than the president we choose to elect.

I was astounded to hear a coupe of women I work with say they would vote for Hillary because she is a woman. This wa last summer and I can tell you that they had no idea what she had accomplished, or not, in her political career other than she was the "right" gender.

They truly scared me when I heard them because it seemed as if they would vote for Pol Pot if he was female and think they were doing a great thing for voting for a woman.

Some of those women were in their 60's and some in their 20's - at least the ignorance is spread equally among the generations.

Voting for a candidate simply because she is a woman is just as sexist and narrow-minded as voting against her for being a woman. We need a president who is ethical, honorable, a diplomat and a true visionary who can imagine the long term effects of present day policies on, say, global warming, and have the grace to acknowledge defeat in an unwinnable war without simply throwing more bodies of America's young onto the funeral pyre.

Why do a human being's sex organs paramount in deciding if he or she is appropriate to be an administrator? The deepest gulf within the human race is sex evidently. Several years ago I wrote a definitive article about whether Hillary Rodham Clinton would make president. I mentioned that she knows both sides of the aisle in DC because she once worked for Barry Goldwater. The religious fundamentalists would appreciate here willingness to stay with her husband through thick and thin as her vows decreed. She also would have a First Husband who is brilliant politically. What more could anyone ask for? Well, just for starters she is brilliant herself and was way ahead of her time in heading the attempt to bring health care to the masses in this country even though the opposition dumped on her for it. Let's start considering people as people and not as male or famale. Our country needs the best minds and compassionate spirits as leaders without continuing to allow the humans with the male sex organs to continue to rule the world.

Sorry, I got so excited about this issue that I didn't preview my entry. Overlook my first grammatical goof to get to the content which says that gender need not determine one's competency for leadership.

But who is out there we can trust? There are no more Jimmy Carters and look how long he lasted. Truth does not prevail, money does and you buy elections. I see no solution to the problem.
Dorothy from grammology

As someone with a real identification with the Baby Boom generation of which I am a member, I'm so sad to see us still having these conversations. Of course you're right. Of course we should have fine candidates and an educated electorate and a bit of hope and idealism left in our world view. Of course all that we hoped for in our younger years should be true by now. Of course none of that has happened. Of course not.

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