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Clinton's Capabilities Outweigh Gender Concerns

Susan Harmon
Staff Writer   

   As a woman in a male-dominated society, I understand the importance of current presidential nominee Sen. Hillary Clinton.

   I feel the need to root her on just because she is a female and a fellow Arkansan.  Still, her credentials for president outweigh my loyalty to her as a familiar face among many strangers in the political race.  

   In 2008, I speculate Clinton will persist in the election for presidency as a second-term senator, a respected member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and the best fund-raiser in the party.

   Congresswoman Hilda Solis said, “Hillary held the first hearing on environmental justice communities in the Senate, giving people like me an opportunity to speak out about the harmful effects of toxic pollutants for families from under-served neighborhoods.  But this is just one example. From protecting a woman's right to choose, to ending the war in Iraq and reforming our public schools - Hillary has been a consistent advocate for change." 

   The one problem with Hillary foremost in most of our minds doesn’t involve the embarrassing legacy left by former President Bill Clinton, but the Islamic people’s view of women and the possible effects on the most powerful country on Earth. The task of pulling our troops out and seeing the Iraqi government defeated remains unachieved, and if a male American president fails, a female president’s chances fall short to complete the task. 

   The Iraqi War originated in 2003 and continues on to this day for the simple fact Islamic groups supposedly gained supplies needed for weapons of mass destruction.  Religious beliefs and moral character clashes remain a popular cause for the Iraqi War, yet my belief stays with our alliance with Israel. The concern some Americans feel for Clinton as president of the United States stems from the very basics of Islamic beliefs. 

    As William Dudley explains in Opposing Viewpoints, in Islamic societies, there is a division of roles creating a woman’s space in the private sphere of the home and a man’s in the public arena. The Islamic religion discourages social interaction between men and women when they are alone, encourages promised marriages with no age limit, and their idea of punishment for a rebellious wife includes a beating.  

   The Quran states, “Tell the believing women to lower their gaze and guard their private parts and not to display their adornment except that which ordinarily appears thereof and to draw their head covers over their chests and not to display their adornment.” 

   Islamic men express chauvinism and misogyny just by the previous statements. So, why should the United States elect our first female leader when our male president’s attempt to secure our land continues to fail against a male-dominated force?

   Can we not remember the mistakes of our past male presidents? Most of us remember Watergate, the Iran Contra Scandal and Whitewater, which was a controversy completed by her own husband. The tragedy of 9/11 shows how false the theory is that a male president ensures our feeling of safety because of a male’s strength and rigidity. 

   Because she is female, Clinton running for president raises eyebrows.  But because of her credentials and the simple fact she endured many obstacles in her husband’s presidency, my vote is swayed for the first woman president.  However, a male vice president in the shadows to fight Islamic urges to attack may help undecided voters to overlook Clinton’s gender and focus on her capabilities.      


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ŠThe Voice 2007
01/13/2008 03:20:01 PM —