The phrase “The Woman Card” has been used many times throughout this presidential race. Donald Trump claimed, “…If Hillary Clinton were a man, I don’t think she’d get 5 percent of the vote. The only thing she’s got going is the woman card.” Clinton then used this attack as a campaign strategy when she began advertising real woman cards as a way to receive donations. She coined the statement “deal me in” for a woman card in regards to Trump’s comment. She used this platform to mock the idea that if she is using her so-called woman card to help many platforms of women’s rights such as equal pay, equal health care costs, and unlimited reproductive rights, then so be it. As a prevalent issue in this presidential race, it is important to ask a few questions about the relevance of gender in this day and age. Is the woman card real and does it have anything to do with the success of the presidential candidate Hillary Clinton?
Let’s look at how this woman card has affected women in other countries in the past and present. The U.S. is way behind in the inclusion of female leaders. There are at least 13 countries that already have significant female presidents or prime ministers. In fact, the first female elected prime minister was Sirimavo Bandaranaike of Sri Lanka in 1960. Following Bandaranaike are many leaders such as Helle Thorning-Schmidt of Denmark and Julia Gillard of Australia. Most Notably, Margaret Thatcher was the Conservative Prime Minister in England from 1979-1991. How is it, that, in 2016, this has not occurred in the U.S.? Clearly, this so-called woman card that is so ‘historic’ and is supposedly serving Clinton in this race, has not been helpful in the past. It is completely ridiculous that it is suddenly a factor in her success.
What makes it a factor today, in the U.S. presidential race? All of these powerful women did not rise to power because of this so-called woman card. They rose to power because they have proven to be fit to lead, just like so many women in the U.S. have in many other ways and just like Hillary Clinton has done today. Clinton is a legitimate presidential candidate based on her policy, leadership and experience. It is time for this country to put gender aside. The woman card is truly an irrelevant concept in regards to the success of females in other countries. Why is it relevant in ours?
The second critical point is that there are many statistics that show how pointless this woman card actually is, mostly because most women also believe that there is a man card. The man card has existed in force for many years, as evidenced by the inequality in pay. However, the majority of men actually do believe that Clinton has an advantage simply because she is a woman. On average, about 38 percent of men believe this compared to 26 percent of women. Furthermore, 47 percent of Republican men believe she carries an advantage. On the other hand, an average of 36 percent of women compared to only 23 percent of men believe that Trump has the advantage because he is a man. This number increases to 43 percent in Democratic women. Therefore, it makes no sense that Clinton should be criticized for using this woman card because this concept is extremely biased on both sides. These statistics prove that gender really should be irrelevant in this presidential race, especially because the percentage of women and men in the U.S. is practically equal.
Using the term woman card definitely takes the focus off of Clinton’s political strengths and weaknesses and puts it on gender. This is against everything this country has strived for in the sense of equality over the past decades. We clearly still have a lot of work to do in this area. Regardless of if you think she has an advantage or disadvantage, it should not matter. Is Hillary Clinton the better candidate? Will she represent this country well, with dignity, strength, and intellect? These are the things that should be the primary focus. In this day and age, gender should be absolutely irrelevant if the U.S. is as progressive as it claims to be.