By Cynthia Richie Terrell on June 14, 2019
There isn’t a country in the world that’s currently set to achieve gender equality by the UN’s target of 2030.
Not a single nation is doing enough to improve the lives of women and girls – one of the UN’s 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs), which countries have pledged to meet by 2030 – according to the first index created to track progress towards the goal.
The SDG Gender Index finds huge strides still need to be made, with nowhere in sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and North Africa, or Latin America and the Caribbean scoring a ‘good’ rating.
The record number of women in Congress has translated to a record number of moms in office. Today a fifth of the women in Congress have children under 18. Is this actually changing American lawmaking at the highest level?
Running Start, a nonprofit that trains young women to run for office, hosted a panel on “Moms in the House” on Tuesday, with Connecticut Democratic Rep. Jahana Hayes and former Florida Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who both entered Congress with young kids. The two said the changes are real, and affect everything from the Congressional schedule to campaigning to which bills get attention.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has elected its 2019-20 Board of Governors. And it’s more diverse than ever before. These are the folks, for better or worse, who steer the Academy ship. When they assume their posts July 1, the number of women Academy governors will increase from 22 to 24, and people of color will grow from 10 to 11, including the already announced three new Governors-at-Large: DeVon Franklin, Rodrigo Garcia, and Janet Yang.
Among the 54 governors — three for each of 17 branches, serving three years — voluntarily leaving their board seats are Sharen Davis, Leonard Engelman, and Daniel Fellman, while terming out are president John Bailey, Robin Swicord, and John Bloom.
The 2020 election is lurching toward us like a malfunctioning robot, and I think we must ask ourselves: Can we risk nominating a man for president?
Men selected as major-party nominees for president have failed to win the popular vote 50 percent of the time. Contrast that to the 100 percent of the time that a female nominee for president has won the popular vote.
More importantly, are Americans ready to withstand another four years of male presidency? It is unpleasant to traffic in stereotypes, and many men are in no way like this, but recent experience teaches that for usually 31 days a month (sometimes 30, occasionally 28), a male president will fall victim to irritability and irrationality that causes him to embarrass the nation abroad and make emotional decisions not based on math or information. It is good he thinks he is capable, and dreaming big is, of course, to be encouraged for all children! But we must not avert our gaze from the results.
We must think of the average voter. It is not fair, but we must do it! It is all very well, in an ideal world, to say men should be allowed to govern without having to battle against the ugly stereotypes of the man in the minds of voters — voters who, when they see who has been nominated, will only see their third-most-cherished uncle, or a science teacher who tried too hard to be friends with his students, or the source of a cruel and misspelled message on a dating app, or the creative team behind “Game of Thrones.” The voice of such a person, reminiscent as it is of being talked over during a meeting, will seem grating and unpleasant to the ear — somehow too loud and too soft and too high and too low at the same time. And men’s documented need for offices the temperature of a Siberian meat locker will make them seem weak and vulnerable abroad.
Male presidential candidates are noted for their inexplicable and sudden desires to do irrational things, such as assassinate Alexander Hamilton, create the Bull Moose Party or be John Edwards. And once they’re in office, this behavior continues. Sometimes, for no reason, a man will decide to throw himself a Teapot Dome Scandal or a Bay of Pigs, or decide to do things to the Philippines that we have yet to adequately reckon with as a country.
Not all men are Jacksons or McKinleys or even the fellows responsible for keeping Jackson’s loathsome visage on our twenties. But having to battle the presumption that they are will waste voters’ energy — energy better spent being genuinely excited by a candidate!
No, we cannot risk this again. There is just too much at stake to risk nominating the sort of person who, time and time again, has proved unable even to serve in a state legislature without becoming helplessly derailed by the desire to regulate a stranger’s uterus.
Of course, not all men fall into these broad categories! Some men are just weird about having one-on-one dinners with powerful women such as Angela Merkel or Theresa May, which will make it difficult for America to further its interests. Some men are the BTK Killer, whereas other men are only probably the Zodiac Killer.
But this election is too important for such experiments. When Americans look to the person in charge of their government, they should not just think of everything in the past that has gone wrong. There will be another time to attempt the noble trial of seeing whether this country can handle a 45th man as president, after Grover Cleveland twice and — Warren G. Harding! I mean, honestly, Warren G. Harding!
Men have had their chance. Let us not risk four more years of this. After the past 230, we have been warned.