Smashing the Glass Ceiling and Electing a Woman President
Nichola D. GutgoldPenn State Lehigh Valley October, 2012
No woman on a major party ticket What have we learned from past women candidates?
Sarah Who? John McCain’s Running Mate A little- known governor Video: Palin/Hilary from
Over 500 college age women were asked:“Did the bids of Hillary Clinton and SarahPalin make you think that a woman would become president in your lifetime?”
The year 1992 was dubbed “The Year of the Woman” because more women were elected to Congress than ever before. Fifty four women took congressional oaths of office in 1992. On the heels of the Anita Hill trial women said “we will remember in November” and they did.
Carol Moseley-Braun First African American woman elected to the US senate. Reports that in 1992 people at the Capital mistakenly took her for staff (such as a secretary or cleaning person).
Margaret Chase Smith Patricia Schroeder Carolyn Moseley Braun (1964) (1988) (2004) Elizabeth Dole (2000)
“After I went to Congress, astudent asked me why all ourpresidents had been white men.I knew why, but the reasonswerent good ones. So Idecided to run. I campaigned in32 states. People looked at mefunny. I suffereddisappointment, anddisillusionment because of myrace.”
- Shirley Chisholm after her1972 bid for the presidency
Candidates need to care about their appearance and style. “When a man shows feminine qualities it is accepted far more easily than a woman who acts in a male fashion. A woman politician who appears feminine is soon regarded as a little mother. She is not regarded as being decisive. A woman leader must be tough, strong, and caring, all at the same time.” ---Marie Wilson, president of The White House Project
The first non-symbolic or viable candidate for president who is a woman endured harsh media criticism.
Parliamentary systems in other countrieshave allowed for the election of more women tooffice.Tough media treatment of women candidatesin the United States may keep more would-becandidates away from the US presidency.Programs that encourage women to run arehelpful.
When we have a criticalmass of women willing torun, possessing the “topten” qualities --- and whobeats her opponent --America will have awoman president