Why A Woman In The White House?

The better question is why not? Why aren't there more females in the U.S. Congress? If we can talk about race, let's talk about gender. Whatever race she is, it's going to be a great day when a woman becomes president or vice president.

But why, people ask, push for a woman to be president? Surely, they argue, you don't want just any woman to become president. That's a trap. It's a subliminal invitation to an unwanted repetitive episode (URP). Most people get suckered into replying with: "Of course not." It's a rut. The better answer is: "I'm willing to give her a try. She can't do much worse than what we've had." Or, "If she gets far enough to win, she's doing something right."

I don't want just any man to become president, but somehow that just keeps happening.

Sure, the woman who becomes president should be exceptional. But not anymore so than male presidents.

I look at my daughter and the many young women and girls on The White House Project website and my heart skips. Apparently 81% of voters would vote for a woman. We just don't know which one.

Barack Obama is terrific in many ways. But he isn't perfect and neither is Hillary Clinton. John McCain was a wonderful Naval officer. But he slips up a lot. Who isn't flawed?

So, why not a woman president? Why not a woman as flawed as men who seek election?

Shouldn't we ask ourselves whether women are being held to a far higher standard, their every move, every outfit, facial expression, and utterance studied and criticized? Is this observation, despite extensive research support, sour grapes?

It's time to get honest here about our country and how we see women leaders.
The difficulties Hillary Clinton now faces are not all attributable to her gender -- perhaps not even most. But a sufficient amount of what she does wrong is exacerbated by gender stereotypes. The press is all over her -- often using those.

Michelle Obama was recently maintaining a low profile. Was her "political mistake" greater than the mistakes of those around her? Is she an angry woman? Is anger somehow part of leadership for men, but not for women? That view is as prevalent as it is stupid. Given the gotcha press we have now, wouldn't you be angry sometimes if you or your spouse were running for president? I'm getting angry just thinking about it.

So again, why not a woman for president? How long must we wait? Who will be good enough? Does such a woman exist? What traits must she have above and beyond those of male candidates? Can we tell our daughters that one day it will happen? Or are the cards stacked against us?

Let's not have just any woman for president, but let's have one soon. And let's do so by not slipping into unwanted repetitive episodes. Let's have the much needed debates no matter the gratuitous critics among us who try to stop them.

Dr. Reardon blogs on bardscove and The Thin Pink Line