So amidst a crowd of children wanting to touch the gavel new Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi took her new position as the third most powerful person in our country - the first women ever to hold that position. The commentary on this event has been everywhere. A few things I found interesting.
In a editorial in Ode Magazine
about women in global politics (apparently it's highly likely that by 2009 there will be at least 3 women on the G8) the author looked at the difference women bring to politics. In the past most women in positions of power got to that point by being like men. Margaret Thatcher was often called "the best man on the cabinet." But new leaders like Pelosi are bringing a revolutionary new way of being female in government - as in they are content in being female and aren't afraid to bring their experiences with traditional female roles into the political arena. As seen in the picture Pelosi doesn't hide that yes she is a mother and a grandmother. She will not abandon that identity just because she now has "more important things to do." Which of course helps us see the absurdity of that hierarchy to begin with. She also has chosen to not act like the alpha males in politics. As the editorial said - "At her first press conference after the Democrat's November win, Pelosi spoke in distinctly soft, controlled, feminine tones. Journalists in attendance were visibly frustrated, and Pelosi finally raised her voice, saying, 'But I could use my mother-of-five voice.'" Another interesting perspective is this recent Salon article
I like the idea of female politicians not having to compromise one more aspect of who they are in order to play the politics game. But will it work? Will women ever get respect if they are not men or pretending to be men? Does it work the same way in the church, or is it only in women embracing the traditional female roles that they are valued in the church? How can we start to let all aspects of life inform each other? A mother in politics (and one that is fully both) - deciding who to (or more importantly whether or not to) torture or send to die in war would be a good balance imho.
What are your thoughts?
Labels: Gender Issues, Politics