I Don’t Want a Female President
About a year ago, while I was at my Introduction to Women’s Studies, somehow we ended up discussing that what America needed after President Obama was a strong woman ruling the country. That would be a great step ahead in our vindication for equality and women’s rights. All my classmates (13 women and 1 man) agreed. I was the only one saying no. I blinked a few times and then said that I didn’t want a female President if the main reason why we were advocating for her was her gender. That gave them second thoughts and finally felt forced to agree to a certain degree.
I am a feminist and I strive every day to make a difference. However, I don’t let my hopes get in the way of common sense. When I think about the president of a country there are a few things that automatically come to my mind: confidence, trustworthy and decision among many others. Failing to take those into account is a terrible mistake and being a feminist or follow any other kind of values shouldn’t get in the way of seeking the best decision. I came to realize this when, on my Facebook wall, people started discussing if the next Doctor Who should be a woman or not. Some people were pointing out the necessity of breaking with the tradition and “evolve”, which I agree with. But then I thought that actually, what I really wanted for the show was a great actor or actress to keep up the charisma of the previous Doctors, making me fall in love with the show over and over again. Different situations, same thought process.
People have a common error here and that is confusing the possibilities that women have in comparison to men. That is the real problem; we have fewer opportunities and have to strive more to be noticed and break through the taboos and all-the-bad-stuff-that-I-don’t-want-to-mention-here. Therefore, I support positive discrimination, favoring women to have more chances to outstand and improve. And I have to admit that I still have a bittersweet attitude toward positive discrimination. My real hope is that one day we could just get rid of that and let the candidates show us what they have regardless of their gender. That is what I aim for.
For now, if we screw it up somehow along our way to success, our burden is going to be a double punishment. Imagine that a woman is selected mainly because of her gender over another male candidate that is proving to be more qualified. If she fails to accomplish the duties of her position, this is what many people are going to perceive and rebuke: first, she is not good enough and secondly, she is not good enough BECAUSE she is a woman.
Because we live in a damn sexist world.
Because we have to be beyond great to stand out.
Because we are not allowed to commit mistakes or we would be taking steps backwards in our progress.
Because it is sad but it is painfully true.
But many other women are deliberately excluded BECAUSE they are women. Sad but also painfully true.
Having reached this point, I feel like we are trapped within expectations, falling for positive discrimination to enhance our role in society and striving to be authentic and independent at the same time. In most cases we can’t handle it all because being good is not good enough. Being great is not great enough. Sometimes, even being fucking amazing is not enough. We have to be beyond expectations.
Yes, I want a female President.
No, I don’t want a female President if we are basing our decisions to vindicate feminism.
What I want is a person capable of handling the responsibilities of the position and the chance to fight for that position under the same conditions and prejudices that any other person regarding of their gender.