What does it say about a country that boasts Democracy and Equality?
England has been ruled by innumerable queens. Closer home, India has had women in top positions, not to mention Prime Minister (the most important position) as early as 1966, not once, twice. Sri Lanka has had Chandrika Kumaratunga, a woman as President. I shall not even talk of other European nations, just glide over the Arabic countries. Let us pass over Jewish-Mulsim Israel. Even a country steeped in Islam has a woman leading them - Pakistan has had Benazir Bhutto.
Yet, the ideal of an American President remains that of a man with a loving, supporting family. I wonder why.
The president/ prime minister has a duty and obligations to the country. Yes, it is helpful that they have a family that supports and loves him, but need it be publicised as much?
Where else in the world has one heard of debates as to what you could possibly call the husband of a "Female President"? Surely not "First Gentleman"?! It is surely lucky that Bill happens to be Ex-President. So the debate rests. For now.
So has the US of A come of age? These women are from the time that USA finally opened the gates to possible equality to women. These are the women who have seen their mothers dream of these positions, they are from the generation that lived in awareness of the Glass Ceiling.
They are the women who represent the generation that has grown older and is now reaching leading positions, and show the percentage of male to female in top tiers, till now. Exceptions show the mirror to the rule, dont they?
Nancy Pelosi appeared happy to hear "that her father, a former congressman, would have been proud" (CNN) by Mr. Bush. I wonder if Indira Gandhi would have allowed such a statement in full public glare by the then President Dr. Rajendra Prasad, or he would have even though of a statement like that as praise in public. Good heavens, I wonder how many of us know, or care to know about the parents of the famous modern day political-monarch Maharani (Her highness) Gayatri Devi.
When the Clinton household became infamous, and Hillary backed Bill. When she became Sentor, I was still young. But I hoped, and thought - if ever a woman runs for President in USA in near future, it can be her. Well qualified, unquestionably sharp, definitely humiliated, she has more reason and grit to be up there than any other woman we have heard about. And to make it to this step, you need to be a public figure in the USA. Especially so if you are trying to set a precedent. Step by systematic step she has moved ahead, with enough backing that she has generated.
It will be great if she becomes president, I am happy to see her at least being recieved objectively as a prospect. She will still be counted with her husband as a prior First Lady, because thats how the US is. But yes, it is taking toddler steps ahead.
What I would like next is something remotely similar in Japan. But that I think will be a pipe dream till many years to come.
Isnt it interesting to note that the 'superpowers' of the present world are either openly, or subserviently follow the same path, though for different ideals. When historians write down about these centuries, it will surely be a Patriarchal Society with no doubts that they will talk about. Like oppressed peasants rebelling against a landlord, the occassional mis-hyped, misunderstood "Feminist" movement breaks out.
Will 2007 mark the beginning of a definite change in the power holdings, an equal opportunity position, where women are not just eye candy, home makers and beauties with brains, but just, well, just-another-person-era? (At least on the surface)
or will it be just a blip of exception on this time period in history.