American women in general have struggled in gaining people’s acceptance in both society and politicsghost (Sanbonmatsu, p. 368). More specifically, America has never had a woman president since the time of the Founding Fathers to the present time for several reasons. One is that American women have only recently experienced the liberty to go beyond the household tasks usually attributed to their gender roles. As a consequence, it is only recently that America has given ample room for women to excel in what has been the largely patriarchal structure of American politics, although the extent of participation given to American women are not yet completely realized.Two is that few American women have turned to politics and only few of these female politicians have actually taken the challenge to reshape the perception of male-dominance in the American presidency. And three is that even the current setting of American politics, which by and large is predominantly occupied by men, contributes to the presence of the limitations faced by aspiring female politicians, which include either the low recognition of women candidates or the higher regard for male political aspirants within the political system itself (Thompson, p. 340).It is only in the late nineteenth century when women have gradually gained their liberty to participate in the affairs in the society and in the government with less restraint as compared to the earlier years. One thing that can be said from this is that there has been an awakening on the part of American women, knowing only quite recently the capabilities that they have in shaping the nation’s politics and using that knowledge to further expand their social recognition. However, even if women can now freely participate in the American political system, such freedom does not necessarily translate into having the large probability of, say, winning the local or national elections.It can also be said that the inability to transform that freedom into the power to occupy important political positions rests on the earlier influence of men on the political system. Long before women were given the political capability to engage into politics, male Americans were already shaping the course of the American political system (Traube, p. 129). The very fact that we call the founders of the Constitution the Founding Fathers already hints at the patriarchal setting of the earlier days of the government. During those early years, the primary tasks of women were confined within households. They served as the ‘ornaments’ of men during social gatherings, so to speak.Given the unwelcoming history of how women had to endure the status of being ineffective members of the political society as far as the setup of the early political system is concerned, it can be said that it did not encourage American women to turn to politics immediately after they were given the chance to participate in politics. More importantly, even though we now see American women wielding political power in some areas of the United States, with Hillary Clinton bidding for a shot at the presidency although failing to do so in the end, the presence of these women barely match the presence of males in the American political system. The male dominance in that system is overwhelming that it sizes up any identifiable presence of females even in local political areas.The overwhelming dominance of males in American politics also contributes to the realization of the full participation of women in local politics to Congress, and even to the national government. The very existence of the higher regard for male politicians as a result of the long history of the patriarchal American politics continues to this day which, apparently, casts a long shadow from any attempts of American women to break political barriers and suffuse female perspectives into a largely male domain.As long as there is a lack of support from the status quo to further empower women to taking the political course with less hindrance and with more encouragement, it will remain difficult for American women to establish a substantial political presence with reputation (Yuval-Davis, p. 11). Even if we assume that there are thousands, if not millions, of women across the many States of the country seeking to occupy political positions in the national government, the absence of a groundswell of support both from the numerous localities and from the national government will only water down these efforts into a state of ineffectiveness.The recent turn of events in the recently concluded democratic nominations between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton tells us that Clinton will not be having a shot at the presidential race this November 2008. Moreover, such turn of events only implies that even in these modern time were men and women are said to be equals before the eyes of the society female presidential nominees still have a lot to do in order to stand at par with their male counterparts. The confidence of the public remains an important issue that should be addressed by aspiring female politicians in the national government.However, it can also be said that the participation of Hillary Clinton in the presidential nominations is one big step in making the public aware that it is no longer impossible for American women to rise above the challenge of changing the public perception that women cannot go higher in the political hierarchy. The fact alone that Clinton was able to earn thousands and thousands of popular votes and many delegates in the democratic presidential nominations sheds light on the question of whether America has already begun to accept the possibility of having a woman as president. The question now is no longer about the possibility of electing a woman as president of the nation for that question has been answered by the example of Hillary Clinton. The more relevant question in today’s American society is whether or not more women will follow the lead of Clinton.Apparently, in order for more women to actively participate in American politics, several conditions should be met. These include but are not limited to: a substantial amount of local public support to begin with, a suitable financial backing from these supporters, and a support from the current political setting as well just to name a few. If these conditions are met, there are more chances for aspiring female politicians to successfully enter the political realm, both from the local and national levels of the government.Comparing and contrasting the political situations between the past and the present times, it can be observed that there have been substantial changes in the balance of gender participation. That is, instead of having just an obscure number of female politicians and political candidates, Americans now have the liberty to elect women candidates and that these women candidates now have the liberty to actively participate in elections as potential candidates. In the past, women were not even allowed to vote in the elections; today, women can not only vote, they can also enlist themselves as candidates for people to freely choose.Perhaps some time in the future, the United States will elect a female candidate as president, thereby setting a precedent for future generations to learn from and to follow. When that time comes, it can fully be said that gender is no longer an issue in national politics as it will simply become a thing of the past made irrelevant and obscured by the tides of history. And when that time comes, women in America will have certainly achieved one huge leap forward for themselves and for the nation.
Sanbonmatsu, Kira. “Gender-Related Political Knowledge and the Descriptive Representation of Women.” Political Behavior 25.4 (2003): 368.Thompson, Becky. “Multiracial Feminism: Recasting the Chronology of Second Wave Feminism.” Feminist Studies 28.2 (2002): 340.Traube, Elizabeth G. “”The Popular” In American Culture.” Annual Review of Anthropology 25 (1996): 129.Yuval-Davis, Nira. “Women, Citizenship and Difference.” Feminist Review.57 (1997): 11.