The apocalypse is coming and we American males are simply not ready for it.
Oh sure, we’ve intellectualized the concept of getting stuck with a woman as president. We are, after all a progressive, 21st century industrialized democracy with enlightened views on all sorts of things. Most of us for instance, no longer hog the remote control to the TV – except on NCAA Saturdays, NFL Sundays, and whenever Eva Longoria might pop up next.
We’ve learned how to show our sensitive side to our female keepers without abandoning too much of our base masculinity although I still refuse to cry when Richard Gere sweeps Debra Winger off her feet at the end of An Officer and a Gentleman. There are limits to my abasement, after all.
And I’ve stopped locking out the Oxygen Channel and Lifetime. I’ve found to my surprise it actually gets lonely sleeping by myself.
But are we American men really, honestly ready to have a woman as Commander in Chief? As Head of State? As Chief Executive? I would say to you, my brothers, that it isn’t a question of whether we are ready or not but rather how we are going to react when the devastating event occurs. It’s the Fire This Time, it’s Noah’s Flood, it’s a midseason NFL strike with replacement players. It’s the catastrophe many of us have dreaded since the first bras were burned back in the ’70’s and all the Playboy Clubs were closed in the ’80’s.
It’s time we embraced the horror and start getting used to the idea that Hillary Clinton is going to be the next President of the United States.
At least you can plan for Armageddon. A couple of cases of spam, some bottled water, and a Winchester Model 70 in good working order with plenty of ammunition would see most of us through. But how do you deal with the shattering of the glass ceiling? What do you do when the ultimate barrier to the Old Boys Club is smashed? What happens when there is no bastion of male dominance that can’t be breached?
Next thing you know, they’ll want a membership at Augusta National.
Women are marvelous creatures, capable of doing anything a man can do and more than willing to tell you that they can do it better. But running the world’s most powerful nation? Commanding civilization’s most awesome military machine? Judging by the way the press has covered her campaign, how can we expect any potential enemy to take her seriously? We’ve been treated to controversies over her cleavage, her “cackle,” her jewelry choices, even her wardrobe has been placed under the media microscope. Can a President wearing a pants suit actually order men into battle?
Such has been the edifying and very serious discussions initiated by the freest, most vapid press on the planet.
I suppose it will be a novelty to care more about what a President is wearing at the State of the Union address than what she might actually say. And no doubt a Hillary presidency would prove a boon to newspaper fashion and style sections editors as they beef up their staff to deal with the expected onslaught of stories dissecting Mrs. Clinton’s tenure from the standpoint of her haute couture fashion sense. Some days I’m sure, we’ll be able to get more news from the New York Times Leisure section than the front page.
I wonder if people will speculate on what Bill will be wearing to the State of the Union? Will he go formal and appear in a tux? It is, after all, an affair of state. The protocol droids at the White House and State Department are probably already busy culling information from dusty tomes going back to Queen Elizabeth I rein trying to discover just where the First Man (Or “First Gentleman” or “First Guy”) fits in as far as all the rigmarole that has marked the formalities of the nation state for 500 years.
And that brings us to the real problem with a woman president – the woman president’s husband. No one believes Bill Clinton’s style will be cramped in any way by his wife’s ascension to the highest office in the land. But considering the former president’s rock star status, it will almost be like having Sting occupying the same stage as Madonna. I can’t imagine the kinds of controversies that are going to be ginned up by the media every time Bill Clinton opens his mouth. It will either be the most fascinating presidency in US history or a train wreck. Maybe both.
To be a little more serious, Americans have carried a dirty little secret around with them for a couple of hundred years. It has been women who have been the catalysts, the organizers, and the crusaders behind every major social movement in American history. From the very beginnings of the republic, women have tried to make America a more civilized country. It was women who were the dynamo in the abolitionist engine that helped rid the nation of slavery. It was women who actually settled the west, keeping home and hearth together on the frontier through an astonishing diversity of skills and sheer willpower. And it was women who led the great social revolutions at the turn of the 20th century that reformed much of American society.
Formidable, tough, intelligent, and resilient, American women make their European counterparts seem a little tame despite the long time presence of women in continental politics. The fact is, American women have had to be tougher, smarter, and more inventive than their male counterparts at every turn to get ahead. And it is best that our enemies keep that in mind when the day comes that an American woman is elected president.
The question isn’t so much are American men ready for a woman president. The question should be is the rest of the world ready for an American woman as president?
If the polls are any indication, we’re all going to find out the answer to that question soon enough.
Rick Moran blogs at Right Wing Nut House.