Somebody must have turned back the clock when I was asleep. When I went to bed last night, we were nearly two decades into the 21st century. This morning I came across a headline that read:
Hillary: People Tell Me ‘I Really Like You, I Just Don’t Know If I Can Vote For A Woman’
This could not be June 1st, 2016. It has to be 1916 – or earlier. After all, women have been voting in America for nearly a hundred years.
It’s been quite a while since the “little ladies” were expected to be homemakers or nurses or schoolteachers or maids – or something peculiarly feminine like that.
Today, American women are lawyers, doctors, senators, scientists, artists, construction workers, tractor drivers, boxers, wrestlers, soldiers…
And for many years now, women have been elected to head their governments all around the world.
At least that’s the way it was when I went to sleep last night.
A woman was head of the German government. A woman had been prime minister of Britain a quarter century earlier. Women had been in charge in any number of other countries – India, the Philippines, China, Mongolia, Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia, Haiti, Jamaica…
Female monarchs have been around for centuries. Britain has a queen today, and the Britons had a queen back in 56 BC. Women have ruled in various parts of the world for as long as humans have been walking upright.
No, not in America. Not overtly, anyway. No woman has been President. Women have exerted political influence in other ways, of course. Eleanor Roosevelt springs to mind. But Americans have yet to elect a woman as Chief of State.
Surely this is just an accident of history?
I know this country has its share of prejudices, but come on! This is the 21st century, after all. Isn’t it?