Will The United States Have A Female President? HuffPo & MAKERS Survey Shows Most People Think It Will Happen In The Next Decade
Ever since Hillary Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign, there's been one question in the back of everyone's mind: Will the United States ever have a female president? Despite popular perception, Clinton wasn't actually the first woman to run for POTUS; that honor goes to Victoria Woodhull, who ran with Frederick Douglass in 1872 to create the single most badass presidential ticket in the history of the United States. Although it's unclear whether Woodhull managed to get her name on the ballot at all, her campaign was followed by numerous women over the next century and a half: Belva Ann Lockwood, Charlene Mitchell, Gracie Allen, and more. Some were more serious than others — Allen's campaign was an extended, Stephen Colbert-like satire of the American political system — but they all had one factor in common: None were successful.
Even Clinton, whose failed 2008 campaign could be considered one of the more successful bids for a female POTUS, hasn't made it to the White House... yet. The fight for gender equality is becoming increasingly visible in America, and that includes changes in attitudes toward women, from their place in the workplace to — you guessed it! — their chances of becoming president. Although women's rights still have a long way to go, a recent study by HuffPost Women and MAKERS shows that the road might not be as long as you'd think.
Let's take a look at some of the more noteworthy findings.
1. Most people think we'll have a female POTUS eventually.
If "eventually" isn't good enough for you, don't worry — 59 percent of women and 54 percent of men responded that they thought we would have a female president within 10 years, and around a quarter of each gender said they weren't sure. Even better, only five percent of women and seven percent of men responded that they thought we would never have one, because they're either sad, angry pessimists or sad, angry misogynists (citation needed).
2. People think it's important to represent women in politics — and they know we're not.
According to the study, 58 percent of women and 47 percent of men (what the hell, dudes?) say it's "very important" for women to be represented in politics, and at least a quarter of respondents agreed that it's "somewhat important." When asked how well they thought women were actually represented, the verdict seemed to be that we could do better: 36 percent of women and 27 percent of men said we're "not very well" represented, which is somewhat of an understatement. However, men seemed to have a rather rosier outlook on the subject, since almost 40 percent said women are somewhat well represented.
Similarly, most agreed that men don't do a very good job of respecting ladies in political positions; the majority responded that men respect them either somewhat, not very much, or not at all. In all likelihood, though, you didn't need a study to tell you that — to get a sense of how people view women in politics, just look at the coverage of any female politician's appearance. Actually, don't, because it'll ruin your faith in humanity.
3. It's getting better!
As dismal as the treatment of lady politicians may be at the moment, about half of women and 38 percent of men agreed that women in politics are "somewhat more respected" now than they were 15 years ago. Of course, 28 percent of respondents thought that nothing has changed, but let's focus on the positives: At least people have stopped talking about how they want to bang Sarah Palin.
Images: Giphy (3)