The question “Are we ready for a female president?” weighs on the US political sphere and influences individual political thought too often. Hillary Clinton’s candidacy was laden with concerns of what it would mean for the US to be led by a womyn. Gender concerns were mapped onto her while at the same time her actions defined gender differences. Does she cry under stress because she is female or does her crying give us insight into the realities of female leadership?
These concerns were bullshit.
Female leadership may appear different because of the way society constructs and perpetuates gender power relations, or it may inherently be different. Who knows? Who cares?
In exciting news, Brazil recently elected their first female president Dilma Rousseff, coming from the Minister of Energy and Mines position. She is one interesting, qualified lady too. To mention a few resume points:
-She spent almost three years in prison for accusations against her radical political alliance.
-Her nickname is the “Iron Lady” for leading with no-nonsense, like taking the lead during the Brazilian blackouts
-She helped write new oil laws to secure steady income for her country
-She ran on a platform that included legalizing abortion (Brazil is a very Catholic nation)
It seems like Brazilian voters hardly stumbled over the gender detail. I think the US should take note of other countries’ willingness and ease to elect qualified female candidates. President Rousseff does not stand alone as a female president. Take a look at this list including 17 female executive leaders!