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Election shouldn’t be about gender

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POSTED: February 2, 2008 5:00 a.m.

In the day and age where anything goes and everyone is supposed to be equal, are women really on the same playing field?

Gloria Steinem said that women are never front-runners, according to her opinion editorial published in the New York Times this month.

"Gender is probably the most restricting force in American life, whether the question is who must be in the kitchen or who could be in the White House," she wrote, pointing out that black men were given the right to vote a half-century before women of any race were permitted to touch a ballot. "This country can no longer afford to choose our leaders from a talent pool limited by sex, race, money, powerful fathers and paper degrees. It’s time to take equal pride in breaking all the barriers."

While I'm not advocating Hillary Clinton for president in any way, shape, or form, the concept is an important one.

During debates for this presidential election, there’s also been a lot of talk around the water cooler about whether or not showing emotion is socially acceptable for a presidential candidate – especially a female candidate.

On Jan. 7, Clinton ‘teared up’ during one of her campaign stops. She was immediately criticized by many as being insincere. Meanwhile, teared up seems a little severe. After all, there weren’t any visible tears and she didn’t need any time for composure. She did, however, admit she’s tired. In her – or any other candidate’s – position, can you really blame her?

"Some people think elections are a game. They think it’s like, who’s up or who’s down," Clinton said during that particular speech. "It’s about our country, it’s about our kids futures, and it’s really about all of us, together."

And then she left it on the final note: The voters will decide.

But, as Steinem notes, the decision shouldn’t be about whether or not Hillary, the woman, would make a good president. It should be about whether or not the winner of the election is the best person for the job. Man or woman, white or black.

Haven’t we come far enough to know that’s all that really matters?

 

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