By Mary Anna Mancuso
Clash Daily Guest Contributor
Most of the time, I’d argue women are equal, but when it comes to politics they still have a ways to go.
When a woman announces she is going to run for office, she under goes a kind of scrutiny masked in congratulatory remarks. People question her on how she plans to juggle work/life/family obligations if she wins; all the while wondering if she’ll be tough on crime. No one would ever ask a male candidate how he plans on juggling his time between being a father, husband, and elected official, because frankly nobody cares.
In 2012 when Mitt Romney ran for president no one ever once asked how he would strike a balance between being a Father, Husband, and President of the United States. Rather the American public wanted to know things like, his stance on, foreign policy and economics.
While women have become equal participants in society, they still have to answer the looming question of how will they juggle being a wife, mother, and conservative crusader on a regular basis. Last time I checked their personal affairs and juggling numerous hats has never hindered their ability to get the job done. If anything, it has only strengthened their skill at multi-tasking and time management. Alas, the scrutiny, judgement, and barage of questions are not coming from men, but from other women.
Women in the political arena spend more time trying to prove to other females they can do it all, instead of why they are the best candidate. The issue here is not gender inequality, but a gender bias from other women. Female candidates must prove they can still act like a lady and get the job done. Women running for office are either perceived as unfit for the job, such as Sarah Palin, or as strong and ruthless such as Hillary Clinton. Both women were met with resistance when they ran for office.
In 2008, when Sarah Palin ran as Vice President, she was viewed as a box Republicans were checking to show they could appeal to women, and the press was more concerned with her wardrobe than her stance on education or her experience as Alaska’s Governor. When Hillary Clinton ran for president, she was viewed as strong and independent but people still questioned her ability to be taken seriously on world’s stage and if she’d be tough on terrorism. Clinton and Palin worked hard to prove they were woMAN enough for the job. Between courting male voters, wearing pearls and acting like a lady there was little time to talk about their platform and why they were qualified to lead our country.
Only time will tell if women will gain equal footing in the political arena, and be respected among their fellow women. The fact is maybe if we had more women in politics America would be on a different path. Here’s to hoping that someday every female candidate will be judged on their campaign platform and voting record, instead of how they respond to trivial questions such as: “Who made your outfit?” or “Who will raise your kids when you’re elected into office?”
After innovating several successful social media campaigns, she was named one of Florida’s up and coming conservatives by the top political blog in Florida, “The Shark Tank.” Today, Mancuso hosts a lecture series called “Politics 3.0” which focuses on how social media has changed the political landscape.
After receiving a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Brockport College, Mancuso obtained a Master’s degree in Political Science with a dual concentration in American Politics and International Relations from Long Island University. Her background is in communications with a focus on online social media. Previously she has worked at the New York Bureau of Fox News, NBC-Universal, and as the Deputy Communications Director for the Republican Party of Virginia.