Speaking at a Hillary Clinton fundraiser in New York on Sunday, President Obama explained why we have not to this point had a female President.
“This should not be a close election,” Obama said, “but it will be, and the reason it will be is not because of Hillary’s flaws but because structurally we’ve become a very polarized society.” But it’s more than polarization. Politics has always been polarized, though not necessarily to this extent. The problem is that the voting public just wasn’t ready to accept a woman as President. A Gallup poll released last year reveals that today, 92 percent of Americans are willing to vote for a woman, compared to the scarcely 33 percent who said they would in 1945 — and America is finally to the point that we (liberals more than conservatives) can recognize a strong, capable woman as presidential material. But it wasn’t always this way, as Obama pointed out:
“I will also say there is a reason why we haven’t had a woman president. We as a society still grapple with what it means to see powerful women. And it still troubles us in a lot of ways, unfairly. And that expresses itself in all sorts of ways.”
The idea that a woman would make a capable president is far more popular among Democrats than our right-wing counterparts, with 28 percent of Democratic women and 23 percent of Democratic men saying they prefer a woman to a man, though 29 percent of the men still favored a male candidate. Among Republicans, 15 percent of men and a shockingly low 8 percent of women say they would prefer a female candidate with 42 percent of men saying they prefer a set of testicles resting on the chair in the Oval Office. Additionally, 55 percent of Donald Trump supporters say that they would be less likely to vote for a candidate who identifies as a feminist even though about half of them recognize that society favors men over women.
Naturally, the President’s words infuriated conservatives, many of whom snarkily blamed him for the fact that in all of America’s history we have not had a female President (after all, he did defeat her in 2008).
The race will, indeed, be close as the President says (and these people and many others like them will be voting) — so make sure to head out and vote Blue on November 8.
Featured image via Getty Images