America IS Ready

Neha Mukherjee, the editor for smerconish.com, is a rising sophomore at Brown University. She is a Pre-Medical student concentrating in Political Science and has a profound interest in journalism. A recent graduate of the Episcopal Academy, she was born and raised in the Philadelphia suburbs.

Neha Mukherjee, the editor for smerconish.com, is a rising sophomore at Brown University. She is a Pre-Medical student concentrating in Political Science and has a profound interest in journalism. A recent graduate of the Episcopal Academy, she was born and raised in the Philadelphia suburbs.

“America Isn’t Ready.” It is this phrase so often used to excuse our inability in electing a different type of candidate to the White House. 

At one point it was “America Isn’t Ready for a Catholic President.” Years ago, it was “America Isn’t Ready for a Black President.” And today women are the recipients of those unfortunate words.

With six women running for the Democratic Nomination “America Isn’t Ready for a Female President” is the phrase uttered across the country. And the data proves that people are saying it. A 2019 ipsos survey found that while 74% of Democrats and Independents say that “they would be comfortable with a female president,” 33% think that their neighbors would not be comfortable. 

This ideology begins a vicious cycle. Allow me to explain: Once people feel that their neighbors will not support a woman, they internalize these ideas. It is not that they themselves do not want to see a woman become president. But rather that they do not want to “waste” their vote on a female candidate when they have little faith that their fellow citizens will vote the same way. This establishes a pattern: A pattern where strategy is placed over ideology, qualified women are ignored, and our country’s progress is halted. 

As summed up by Farhad Manjoo of the New York Times, “Overlooking a qualified woman because you expect misogynists to have a problem with her is the very definition of patriarchy.”

With too much exposure, rhetoric can become reality. The more that phrase is repeated the more people believe that it is true. So, it is now that we stop spreading this backward idea and embark on a new chapter of our nation's history that prides itself on the idea that anyone regardless of religion, race, or gender can become president, that with the will of people, a person will be elected based on the needs of the country. 

Right our most pressing need is change. And it may be a woman who can make this possible. 

As reported by Vox, a 2009 study of congress showed that women on average have 2.31 of their bills enacted, while their male colleagues on average get only 1.57 of their bills passed.  

And when it comes to women’s issues - which are threatened in today’s current political climate - female representatives co-sponsor more than double the amount of bills. 

Another study found that districts represented by women received on average $49 million more annually than those represented by men. 

Is the ability to pass bills essential in the next president? How important to you is equal pay for equal work? Do you want someone who can fight for funding? Then maybe, America IS ready for a woman. 

Don’t get me wrong, I would not support a candidate solely because she is a woman. First and foremost, when I vote in my first presidential election, I want to select someone who I believe understands the issues facing the nation and presents the best proposals to fix them, regardless of their gender.

But if I decide Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Kirsten Gillibrand, Tulsi Gabbard, Amy Klobuchar, or Marianne Williamson are the right candidate, I won’t be afraid to give them my vote. And, I have faith that my fellow Americans are not scared either. We, the people, decide what we are ready for and today, we are ready for a woman. Start saying it. Start believing it.

Because whether in 2020 or later, I know the future is female.