Girls are Made of More than Sugar and Spice
Girls are Made of More than Sugar and Spice
Written By   |   04.14.09

Reading Time: 3 minutes

An interesting conversation has been ongoing in my house over the last few days. It began early last week, when I was informed of a statement made by my youngest daughter. She had expounded on her political views. With all the confidence and experience that accompanies eleven year old wisdom, she announced, “Me and Megan don’t think girls should be president!”

As a child of the sixties, I was absolutely positive this could not be MY daughter’s own philosophy. This had to be the work of peer pressure-plain and simple. This was obviously her girlfriend’s point of view; my daughter must have thought Megan– being a couple years older– was pretty smart and confident, and, therefore, right.

Besides, it’s not really cool to argue politics at that age. After all, there are really important things to talk about when you can still wear skates all day. It’s all about being “in” and “accepted” or at least that’s how I consoled myself when faced with my apparent failure as a mother and role model.

My comfort was short lived. I soon discovered that the majority of my daughters thought along the same lines as the 11 year old- that a woman should not be president.

Where did I go wrong? Had I not taught them to be confident, intelligent women? Had I not told them they could accomplish their dreams? Was this one of those weird mind-twisting episodes of “The Twilight Zone,” with me trapped in the seventies-while my own daughters had become Archie Bunker clones?

I realized it couldn’t be the seventies because the all the men in my house agreed a woman could make a good president.

A couple of the girls claimed that women would be too emotional, or not be able to react decisively in time of war.

I attempted to explain to my girls that some of the greatest world leaders have been women, like Golda Meir. (Note another disgrace; not one of them knew who she was.) I had to explain that Golda Meir had been a Minister of Labor, Ambassador to Moscow, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Secretary-General of Mapai, and that was all before she became the Prime Minister of Israel. Not to mention while serving as Prime Minister, she saw war and the slaughter of her country’s Olympic athletes, and acted decisively.

What about Margaret Thatcher? A woman admired by Ronald ReaganTime described her as a “champion of free minds and markets” because “she helped topple the welfare state and make the world safer for capitalism.”

British historian, Paul Johnson, wrote of Margaret Thatcher, “Thatcher had supported in the face of sometimes spectacular opposition: free markets and free minds. The world enters the 21st century and the 3rd millennium a wiser place, owing in no small part to the daughter of a small shopkeeper, who proved that nothing is more effective than willpower allied to a few clear, simple and workable ideas.”

Somewhere along the way, I have failed to expose my daughters to great women of courage and influence.

The fact that we have a woman and a black man as presidential candidates is proof that this generation is does not suffer under the delusions of past generations who believed in the inferiority of race or gender.

If given the opportunity, I will do my part, vote, and actively campaign so we will have a woman elected to guide this country.

Neither gender nor race should be an issue; we are past that. Great women can be great leaders– history has already proven this. She alone has the experience to step into the presidency. She alone has run the country as a trusted advisor to the president for two consecutive terms. She has not been just a white house hostess, entertaining the wives of foreign leaders with tea parties. She has set policies, met with heads-of-state, and worked tirelessly with little fan fare as a mover and a shaker with power, dignity, and grace.

That’s why, given the chance, I want nothing more than to see Condoleezza Rice as the next vice president and role model for my daughters.

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