Out of the Mouths of Babes

Nearly 100 years since the 19th amendment, 140 years since the first female ran for president, and 165 years since the Seneca Falls Convention and still there is work to do.

Every now and then, we’ve all met people who are wise beyond their years.  For those of us nearing our retirement years, it’s sometimes difficult to relate to the younger generations and image how their views have been shaped by social media and the internet.  Kristen Barnhardt is a key member of the Allinium team whose insights and impressions defy her age.  She mentioned that she had written an article for a high school newspaper many years ago and I asked her to find it and share it with me.  Keep in mind this was written by a 15 year old, 4 years before we had a female Presidential nominee.

Here it is...

It’s been nearly 100 years since the 19th amendment was added that provided women with the right to vote in America, 140 years since the first female ran for president, and 165 years since the famous Seneca Falls Convention. American women have made great strides since the women’s suffrage movement, yet still we lack a substantial amount of women in high positions of political power, namely as president. This raises an important question: Why the social taboo on a female president? Women are notorious for possessing the skills required of presidents - such as high-level verbal communication skills, negotiation skills and, of course, getting their way.  According to Dr. Lou Ann Brizendine, a neuropsychiatrist and author of the new book "The Female Brain", girls, even from a young age, exhibit stronger traits in verbal ability, negotiating, and sharing. "It's hard to believe that something as tiny as a little hormone could have such a robust behavioral effect for all of us," said Dr. Brizendine. 

In fact, it’s easy to argue that men best exhibit undesirable traits of a president. Helen Caldicott, an anti-nuclear advocate and author of the book “Missile Envy”, was famous for arguing that masculine insecurities accounted for the cold war’s ‘perilous spiral of arms.’ Due to nothing but societal stereotypes and a physical inclination towards males to be the stronger gender, it’s drilled into young boy’s heads that they need to provide and protect - especially for women. Young boys are often directed towards toy soldiers and cars, rather than baby dolls and purses. All of this makes it understandable why we have such an inclination to want to entrust the position of commander and chief to a male president; however, we’ve moved on to times of significantly greater equality. This isn’t the dark ages; women are just as capable of making militaristic decisions as men. In fact, by electing a female president we might find war would be a lot less commonplace.

Strong political figureheads like Dilma Rousseff, Angela Merkel, and Sonia Gandhi have proven that a woman is more than capable of succeeding as president. Dilma Rousseff, the first female president of Brazil, has set a great precedence for future female leaders with a personal approval rating at 79%, which is greater than that of American president, Barrack Obama. Angela Merkel, chancellor of Germany, is one of the more popular leaders in Germany who received an approval rating of 77% and has received many great honors and awards. She even received the prestigious US Presidential Medal of Freedom, awarded to her by Barack Obama, which is ironic considering her ratings have continuously been greater than his.  Sonia Gandhi, who has served as President of the Indian National Congress and who has been offered a position as prime minister of India, has been ranked ninth on Forbes top one hundred most powerful people on the planet. 

Women as a whole have taken grasp of their rights and proved themselves capable of holding the highest office. Obviously, no one should vote for a candidate simply based on their sex; however, as a society everyone should call for more of our intelligent, powerful, empowering, and inspiring women to push their way through the political playing field.

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