Gender and Politics

Earlier today I attended my first university lecture of this term. It was a lecture in a course titled ‘Gender and Politics’, and although the lecture was brief considering it was just a basic introduction, I can tell already that the content of this course will be interesting and riveting.

My professor raised a couple of questions for us to consider as we ease into the course, and I wanted to write a post about them because they are so relevant in the world today due to the American presidential election that is occurring. She asked us to consider:

  • Gender and politics is relevant because the gender divide that lies within this concept is prevalent globally. Why must there be a divide?
  • Is it necessary to indicate as to whether or not a woman in a significant political position is female? For example, ‘female’ president?
  • There tends to be a much smaller occurrence of women in politics than men. Why is this?
  • We do we as a society ignore the gender dimension in politics?
  • Why does politics tend to have a political dimension associated with it?

The question ‘Is it necessary to indicate as to whether or not a woman in a significant political position is female? For example, ‘female’ president?’ certainly grabbed my attention. I feel as though gendering in politics is something we have simply become accustomed to, and today it dawned on me that we truly need to challenge this norm and eventually abolish it. Regardless if a person in political power is male or female, must we categorize them alongside their designated gender? The term ‘male president’ has never ben used, yet any news regarding Hilary Clinton always evokes the phrase ‘female president’. The president of the United States is a political position, not a gendered one.

I am sure I will be writing more about the relationship that exists between gender and politics as this course progresses, and I look forward to it.

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