Madame President?

By Hannah Amburn

For the first time in history a woman is in the race to be a nominee for the U.S. presidency.

April 30, 1789, George Washington was elected the first President of the United States. Then November 4, 2008, history was made when Barack Obama became the first African American president. Now in 2016, there could possibly be a woman elected president.

America has grown and changed since 1789. In those days slavery was acceptable and women had no voting rights. Now, African Americans and women have the same rights as white men.

So,  the question stands: Should a president be elected based on gender, color or ethnicity?

The 2016 elections offer diversity: Hillary Clinton, a woman; Ted Cruz who is of Cuban descent; and Donald Trump, a white man. Many women are overjoyed by the idea of possibly having a woman as president. But will people vote Hillary for president because of her gender or because she is a capable candidate?

At Bishop Sullivan 64 out of 68 students said they would vote for a women president if she was the best candidate. Of the 64 that agreed, 17 were not white and 32 were men.

A feminist is someone who advocates social, political, legal, and economic rights for women equal to those of men. The first feminists emerged in the 1920s when women began protesting for suffrage. Since then, feminists have multiplied, especially in the late 20th century and early 21st century with the debate over reproductive rights.

Despite all that feminists have accomplished over the years, there is still a gender gap. According to an American Association of University Women study from 2014, women were paid 79% of what men were paid. That’s a 21% pay gap. It is also based on which state women live in. Washington had the smallest gap with women paid 90% of what the men were paid. In Louisiana, however, women were paid 65% of what men were paid. The study also reports that women of color were paid even less than white women.

The fact remains that gender and color still poses a problem in American society. If the gender and color of a person affects his or her wage then it will certainly affect the results of the 2016 presidential elections.  

So, the question still stands. Should people vote for a woman simply because she is a woman?

“This is the first time I will be able to vote. I would not vote for a woman just because she is a woman. I want a president that will best help my country,” said senior Gerrard Simpkins.

A president should be elected because he or she is the best candidate. The first woman president would make history, but that is not what the presidency is about. We need a leader in the oval office, not just a face. However, in today’s world women are striving for equality. Both men and women are capable of great things and great leadership. Gender does not affect the ability to make proper decisions, therefore it should not affect the ability to hold a high office.

“I do not think a woman will be as good as a man as president of America. I don’t think the Senate and House will listen to a woman president. Those guys have a lot of pride,” said Chris Tuttle, CEO of CJT Enterprise says.

A woman president may be the best candidate, but once she is in office she may have trouble passing bills and laws. We live in what we call an advanced society, but when it comes down to it, are we really advanced? Or is the concept of the old world still effecting us?

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