Since the 2016 election, several studies have found that not voting for Hillary Clinton was correlated with sexist attitudes toward women. Now some in the media are questioning whether “America is ready for a female president.”
The argument goes that because of endemic sexism in the U.S., maybe a female candidate would not be able to defeat a vulnerable Donald Trump in 2020, whereas a male opponent would.
In 2016, Trump exploited sexist stereotypes by portraying Clinton as a weak woman who lacked the stamina to be president. No doubt, Trump would employ similar tactics if faced with a female opponent in 2020, but is endemic sexism a reason to question the viability of female presidential candidates?
In the 1940s, endemic racial prejudice was one reason that many argued against integration of blacks into the military. Fortunately, Truman did not buy this argument and today, racial minorities represent over a third of our enlisted military.
Only by facing sexism in our society and overcoming it will we ever achieve gender equality in society. Saying that because of sexism, people should not support female presidential candidates, is giving in to the very patriarchal forces that helped to Donald Trump.
John Pryor, Bloomington