Sunday, December 23, 2012

John Kerry's Nomination: Politics is still for boys

So it's final. John Kerry has been selected to replace Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State. He has some big shoes to fill. As First Lady, the madam was not very popular with Americans although that changed after the Clintons left the White House.

Many warmed up to Mrs. Clinton when she paved her own political path as Senator and finally as the country's diplomat. Whether or not that had to do with her husband's affair having victimized her in the eyes of many, or perhaps a personal attitude adjustment is still up for debate. More likely than not the first reason seems more appropriate, considering that, as a society we still tend to attack strong women until they are viewed helpless.

And attack they did. During her time at the White House, Mrs. Clinton was often criticized for being too aggressive and domineering. Apparently, the assumed gender roles has made it difficult for many politicians to cope with a strong woman among their midst.

We saw this happen again with Susan Rice's preliminary nomination, which was met with resistance by House members. Many who opposed Mrs. Rice's nomination reverted to the Benghazi murders of four American diplomats, although President Obama has repeatedly taken responsibility.

While John Kerry has been targeted for criticism in the past, rumor has it his nomination will be accepted without much debate.  On the other hand, Mrs. Rice was nearly bullied out of accepting the role. She gave in to avoid partisanship that would continue to derail the country's future well-being. As most doting mothers, she backed down for the sake of compromise. And I am not passing judgement; instead, I find it an honorable gesture of accommodation. One that should serve as an example to elected leaders who can't seem to agree on anything.

And for those who try to pass my argument off as another feminist attempt at weak rhetoric, keep in mind that we've yet to elect a female president. And that Hillary Clinton is only the second woman to serve in such a high position. And it's the 21st century, folks.



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