Gender Cards in Political Poker

Democrat Hillary Clinton could become the first female president of the United States of America

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Democrat Hillary Clinton could become the first female president of the United States of America

Gigi Richardson, Sentry Staff Reporter

Gender. I looked up the exact definition of the word; it is the state of being male or female. There is also a parenthesized add on in the definition of gender which is typically used with reference to social and cultural differences rather than biological ones. This additional definition is what gender really means today. Though women mostly bear the brunt of the gender stick, men also are characterized as pigs and as being insensitive (to name a few stereotypes). These are awful traits to define a person by, yet they get males very far in the political world. When men are assertive and yell, they are praised for standing up for what they believe in. When women such as Hillary Clinton try to do the same, people shame them for being screeching female dogs (to put it nicely). However, this is not a new phenomenon.

In the past, women were thought of as a man’s personal property. Her justification in the public eye came from her outer appearance, and her mind was wasted. The house was thought to be the ONLY place for a woman. Now it is the House and the Senate (get it?). Doors have opened for women in recent years. Women have even become presidents, from Ertha Pascal of Haiti to Tsai Ing-wen of Taiwan,. This does not make up for the fact that 66 million girls are left uneducated based on the gender roles in their society, yet now more and more females are stepping up as political leaders and overcoming the biases set against them. That is a huge step for women everywhere. However, in the United States, starting with Gracie Allen in 1940, many women have run for a spot in the Oval Office and have fallen short. The big question is whether they lost due to a lack of capability to fulfill the job or due to the fact that they are female. While the gender card can hurt females running for office, it also can work for their benefit.

Hillary Clinton is running for president and doing well within the Democratic Party. Some say she is winning because of the policies proposed. Others say it is due to the sheer fact that she is a woman. While her gender may be a turnoff for some sexist voters, it makes people like me want to vote for her even more. A female in office is far overdue. This is not because it would be nice to say we have a woman in the White House, but because women are capable and it is about time we prove it. Those who will not be voting for the female candidate based on her gender will not come right out and say it. Instead, they will say something more along the lines of a gender slur. They use the unique qualities we have as women and twist them to make us sound weak. For instance, the joke that Clinton would “nuke a country because she is on her period” is lame and overused. Yes, women are generally more sensitive and yes, we have hormones and yes, we cry, but why is that a bad thing? Even so, those are not the only characteristics that define women, so we need to think of more than a woman’s menstrual cycle.

A leading example of a male “politician” playing the gender card against women is the presumptive Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump.

“If Hillary Clinton can’t satisfy her husband what makes you think she can satisfy America,” said Trump.

“I refuse to call Megyn Kelly a bimbo, because that would be politically incorrect. Instead I will call her a lightweight reporter,” said Trump.

The demeanor of Trump’s comments use derogatory words and phrases solely used for women. By doing thing he places them in a certain category away from the men. Comments like this further the separation of men and women in politics and throughout society.

The bottom line is that women are strong and able and smart and deserve a chance to be thought of. This is not asking to be put ahead of males as many oppositionists think. That is not the goal. The goal is equality among genders, an equal shot at success. In the upcoming elections put aside the differences of gender and vote based on quality of the candidate.

This spiel is not to be taken as a crazed feminist view. It is not feminism, it is basic human decency.