One thing I love about America is that we get so hung up on our own social justices and injustices, that we fail to see that most of this shit has happened before…and we are waaay behind the power curve. Take for instance this whole “woman president” thing. Good thing, right? So cutting edge. Much progressive.
Or nope. Not only is HRC’s nomination *not* groundbreaking at all–even for America–but America is literally a part of a global minority of nations to not have had a female head of state or head of gov. Like…Kyrgyzstan beat us, with the election of Roza Isakovna Otunbayeva. (If a Stan Brother beats us at something, I’d tend to hope it was in shit like ‘goats per capita’ or ‘cities with Roman fortifictions still in use.’)
Now, I ain’t nay-sayin’. Don’t get me wrong here. But the fact that we, as a nation, can get all worked up over this shit like it’s something new, and the good ol’ U.S. of A. is leading the way for women’s rights…is perfectly fucking hilarious.
This lesson’s gonna be a long one, dudes and dudettes. So put your thinking caps on, grease down, lube up, and remember these things come with an R rating, for ‘Restricted,’ as in “‘Restricted’ to people who don’t wanna be complete dipshits.” Welcome, one and all.
So, aside from beating us in goat demographics, Kyrgyzstan is on that long list of countries who have or have had female heads of state. Sirimavo Bandaranaike was PM of Ceylon and Sri Lanka three times (starting in 1960). (For quick reference, go on ahead and check where the fuck we were as a nation regarding equal rights in 1960.) This earns her the champ title of First Female Head of gov in the modern world. But… since she was appointed to this position and not elected by the people, Vigdís Finnbogadóttir, of Iceland, ranks in as the world’s first democratically elected female head of state. Just so her resumé wouldn’t be so drab, she went on ahead and held that post from 1980 to 1996… making her the longest-serving elected female head of state ever.
Corazon Aquino, of the Philippines, became the first female president in all of Asia in 1986. Pakistan’s Benazir Bhutto (whom I had met once); Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia; first elected female head of state in Africa. Dilma Rousseff of Brazil (a country we’ve been shitting on in the news as being dirty, backwards, and dangerous); Tansu Çiller of Turkey (also a country we trash talk on the regular; sliding in waaay the hell ahead of the U.S. in having women run shit). The list continues to include Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri and Senegalese Mame Madior Boye.
The list goes on… That’s all before we even mention the obvious UK, with Margaret Thatcher. Back in the height of the Cold War she was a regular fixture on the nightly news. And let’s just go ahead and set aside historical shit like half the British monarchy, Catherine (II) the Great, Cleopatra (VII Philopator), or measly ol’ Hetshepsut, as not applicable to this “ladies runnin’ shit” convo. Deal?
But no, seriously way to…uh…blaze the trail here for women in politics.
(As an afterthought here, to my knowledge–which is limited, in this regard–none of the above-mentioned [modern] women have a trail of bodies, controversy, and/or investigations tied directly to them. So, we are kinda leading the pack on that one… for reals.)
Let’s bring it all back home, though. Shit ain’t cutting edge here, either. Follow me. Girl by the name of Victoria Woodhull announced her candidacy for President of the United States on April 2, 1870. She was nominated on May 10, 1872. Her nomination was ratified on June 6, 1872. This made her the first woman nominated as a candidate for POTUS. In 1872. Like…awhile back.
(This is where the knitpicking will start.) Most historians agree that Woodhull was the first woman to run for President, but more than a few have issues with the legality of her run…since she was younger than the constitutionally go/no-go age of 35. Haven’t heard her name much in this current POTUS commercial…I mean candidacy.
HOWEVER!!! Belva Lockwood was the first woman to legally run for President of the United States, if you’re not happy with Woodhull’s age thing–which in and of itself could be considered agism by today’s standards. Belva ran in the both the 1884 and 1888 elections. Her running mate in 1884 was Marietta Stow. (Also a woman. Another first.)
Yeah. So there’s that. Not that you’ve heard of any of it, though. The current candidacy needs you to hold hard to the [mis-]belief that the shit going on right now is new and fresh.
That pretty much covers all the political bits of this little ditty. Next installment gets to the war parts. And women parts…in war.
Featured image courtesy of sariabenazir.wordpress.com