'Cuz Really, It Changes Everything

A little while ago, I was thinking about Hillary Clinton and her role as America’s chief diplomat — and her aspirations (perhaps passed) to be president. She’s the first woman to hold that office, and we’re looking at three women who might be positioned to serve as president — and that’s got me wondering.

Let’s face it. Sexism is still a potent force in this world. And while here in the US we’ve gotten over most of it, there are large portions of the rest of the world where women are second-class citizens — and in some Muslim nations, essentially property.

Barbaric as it is to us, it’s still the reality in many nations. And it’s a reality we have to deal with, and work with.

Right now, I can think of four major nations that have had women as leaders — Great Britain, India, Pakistan, and Israel. And all four of them were challenged, and all four were quite successful.

In the case of the United States, though, I think it might be a bit different. Margaret Thatcher successfully led her nation in war, but the sun has faded on the British Empire. It’s nowhere near the power it wasup through World War I.

Great Britain, though, is as close as we’re going to get to a superpower that we can cite as a precedent. Maybe India, but they’re more a regional and economic force — at least, they were when Indira Gandhi ruled.

How will the restof the world react when America is led by a woman? When the Leader of the Free World — to put it bluntly — has no actual literal “balls?”

This is not a trivial concern. As noted, there are a lot of nations in the world where women are seen as inferiors, if not actual property. These nations are usually governed by men who are not used to showing respect to women, to treating them as equals, to even thinking of them as anything more than chattel. To deal with a woman as an equal — even to the point of shaking hands — could seriously undermine their standing at home, and those concerns could push them to take a more confrontational stance with the US.

Make no mistake about it — I’m not saying that we shouldn’t elect a woman president any time soon. I’m just saying that we ought to keep that in mind, and be prepared to give our full support President Clinton/Bachmann/Palin, and prepare ourselves as a nation for the challenges she’ll have to face.

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