BY MARK Y.A. DAVIES
Of all the comments that I saw coming from Democrats and progressive independents when Elizabeth Warren announced the formation of an exploratory committee for her candidacy for president, this comment had to be one of the most troublesome for me, and I saw a version of this comment multiple times from both men and women.
Not the time for a woman? Are you kidding me?
We have only had one woman presidential nominee from a major political party, and she won the popular vote by over three million votes and lost the three states that cost her the electoral college by only about a total of 100,000 votes, and she didn’t really have a compelling message for the middle class; and now Democrats are talking about it not being time for a woman because we have to make sure we get rid of Trump?
You know something we never hear after a man loses any election? “Not the time for a man” – that’s what!
Not the time for a woman? Right after a record number of women were elected to Congress in the mid-term elections? Really? We are going to discount potential candidates’ viability for election because we think the United States is not ready for a woman president and we are so afraid that running a woman will lead to Trump being elected again? Really?
There are numerous women who would make formidable and electable candidates for the presidency of the United States, and we are going to diminish our expectations for them because they are women before one debate has been had and before one primary has been held? Really?
We Democrats may or may not choose a woman to be our nominee, but for crying out loud, don’t discount the prospects of some of our most dynamic and qualified candidates because we are afraid that misogyny in the United States is so strong that a woman cannot be elected. Talk about giving in to the misogyny!
We should not let Trump bully us into not nominating a woman if a woman is our strongest candidate. If a woman ends up being the best candidate to become the Democratic nominee for president and we diminish her chances owing to her gender, we do both our country and the world a disservice in this most critical time.
What time is it? It is time for decent human being, woman or man, to become president of our United States; and Democrats should not let our candidates’ gender be the defining characteristic that propels one of them to the nomination and to the presidency.
– Mark Y.A. Davies is the Wimberly Professor of Social and Ecological Ethics and director of the World House Institute for Social and Ecological Responsibility at Oklahoma City University. Click herefor more of his essays.