In Jamaica we have Portia Simpson-Miller who assumed the role of Prime Minister of Jamaica in 2005. She successfully won the presidency of the People’s National Party and went on to lead that party in the 2007 General Elections. That campaign was one nasty affair. Just like her previous campaign for party presidency, her critics were merciless in questioning her intellectual capacity to be Prime Minister of Jamaica.
Although Portia had ‘mass appeal’ and was popular with poor, working class Jamaicans she was projected in the media as an uneducated woman lacking in finesse and ladylike qualities. She was too passionate and aggressive. This tack pitted Portia against educated elite women whose sensibilities were offended that such a woman should represent them. The card was played in such a way that it appeared that the issue wasn’t with the fact that she was a woman. No way. It’s just that she was just not the right kind of woman.
In the US, Hilary Clinton began rewriting history as the first woman to advance as a nominee going after the Presidency of the United States. Unfortunately, for Hilary she was running a year when America has to air in public their prejudices against women and a sorta-Black man. Hilary’s intellect, moral values and ability to represent American women and the nation at large surfaced before she even got out the gates.
She was criticized for being too tough and too aggressive. She was also deemed an opportunist and a racist to boot. But what is familiar is that she was also not seen as fit for presidency. Her moral values were not straight and she was not intellectual enough. Hilary like Portia was deemed to be the wrong kinda woman for presidency.
Enter Sarah Palin. About 3 weeks ago the US media went abuzz with a new woman on the block. Sarah is running for Vice President to the Presidential candidate of the Republican Party, the opposing side to Hilary’s Democratic Party. Like Portia and Hilary, Sarah is getting her share of battering.
Her moral values are under scrutiny. Her critics say she is a tough-cookie. They say her intellect is not too sharp but it’s passable since she’s not aiming for presidency. The long and short of it though is that even for vice-presidency, Sarah Palin is another of those wrong kinda women.
All these women who are deemed wrong candidates do not fit stereotypical codes of conduct for women. They are not of sufficiently sound moral character. For some they lack the intellectual capacity for presidency. All these grounds for disqualification somehow seem not to be too pressing for male candidates. Especially in the case of intellect and the US presidency. Whaatt??
So if these women are the wrong kind of women, what might the right women for these positions look like?
Do share your suggestions while I see what sort of profile I might be able to come up with.