When the French Revolution began there was a modest movement toward rights for women. This movement didn’t last long. It wasn’t long before the leaders of the Revolution decided that a woman’s patriotic duty did not lay in being involved in public life. A woman belonged at home. She was not allowed to enter the National Convention or gather in a group of five or more women. A good republican mother was kept out of the political and public sphere.
Have we really changed? How do we treat women in the public arena today, especially in politics? Let’s take Hillary Clinton for example. Bill O’Reilly would like us to believe that there is “something about a woman” that does not make her fit for the office of the presidency. People often view women in power as aggressive, pushy, and bossy. When the actual race for the presidency comes around in 2016 what other labels will the media give to Hillary? How many people will be skeptical of electing a woman simply because she is a woman?
It has been 225 years since the French Revolution. Women have come a long way since then. However, the battle is not over. Women still have to fight for their rightful spots as equal players in political life. Within the next few years we could see our first female president. But this advancement for women will not come easily and people will be ready to sow doubt about a female having the highest political office in the nation.
Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “A woman is like a tea bag – you can’t tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water.” What water is hotter than politics? Let’s put women there and see how strong they can truly be and what they can accomplish.