Guests: Lauren Besser, author of the much read blogpost “If Bernie Had Been Bernadette“; Heidi Hartmann, President and Founder of IWPR (Institute for Women’s Policy Research) on “campaigning while female” in the U.S.
After 227 years+ of male-exclusive presidency, many in the U.S. would like to see, at long last, a woman president. At the same time there are valid reasons to criticize the woman who, for the first time in history, has a good chance of attaining that presidency (as well as many reasons to praise her)–Hillary Rodham Clinton. This places feminists in a terrible bind–should we publicly criticize the first possibly successful woman presidential candidate–and thereby discourage people from voting for her–when we don’t know when/if another woman will have a shot at this highest office within our lifetimes? In many other countries we would not have to be in this bind because we would have more choices of female candidates at all levels.
Woman heads-of-state: Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (Liberia), Angela Merkel (Germany)
In many other countries we would have more choices of women candidates for all offices. The U.S ranks 33rd when it comes to women in national legislatures and has never had a woman head-of-state. Countries with higher proportions of women’s representation–at all levels–tend to have certain characteristics in their electoral systems: by and large these are parliamentary systems, with proportional representation, where there is money set aside for the promotion of women –and many have quotas for women candidates (and other politically disadvantaged groups).
In the first part of our show, we’ll discuss the bind that many left-of-center women find themselves in, with Lauren Besser, whose recent article “If Bernie Had Been Bernadette” has been causing quite a stir.
Our next guest will be Heidi Hartmann, President and Founder of IWPR (Institute for Women’s Policy Research) on “campaigning while female” in the U.S. We’ll discuss how our own 2-party, winner-take-all system places many obstacles in the paths of women candidates.
If time permits, we’ll play an excerpt from a debate that took place in Jamaica, when Senator Imani Duncan Price of the Jamaican Senate has proposed quotas for female candidates to promote parity with men.
We’ll also have our Feminist News Headlines Roundup, and, if time permits, listener phone calls at 718 780 8888, toward the end of the show.