Glass Ceiling: Death of Women’s Movement?

8 Sep

I need to thank my friend Jen Lockett for inspiring me to write this post. When Jill Abramson became the first woman ever to hold the position of Executive Editor of the New York Times this past Tuesday, I began to reflect upon how solid the glass ceiling remains for women generally. This makes me think of Marx: “Progress can be measured by the social position of the female sex.”  Given the number of positions that have yet to be held by women and by the bizarre number of women who vote against women’s issues alongside John Boehner and his misogynistic minions, also called the House of Representatives, I worry that the still much-needed women’s movement is dead, or in need of resuscitation.

Here are some examples of significant positions yet to be held by women:

White House chief of staff: I’m hopeful that we will see a pro-woman woman in this position within the next five years.

News network president: Here I am not as optimistic. I was elated when Katie Couric became the first female to anchor the nightly news on CBS solo, but she was replaced by a man and apparently the major networks remain an all boys club.

Supreme Court Chief Justice: Let’s face it; this will not happen while Scalia, Thomas, and Alito are living, and you can’t kill the undead.

United States President: I really would like to see this happen in my lifetime but allow me this one caveat: I would rather eat my own spleen with a rusty spoon than see a vicious homophobic anti-woman like Michele Bachmann take the office of POTUS.  Am I the only one that finds it somewhat shameful that we are of the last Western Countries to have a women head of government?

I do realize and appreciate that we are making progress in the area of women’s rights as we must simultaneously work to eradicate racism, ageism, and all other forms of oppression. I do look for more strong voices, both female and male, working for the women’s movement. For those that are paying attention, I have also tagged this post LGBTQ, for I cannot underscore enough the connection between misogyny and homophobia and the interconnectedness between all forms of oppression.

Here is more information you can read about the glass ceiling.

3 Responses to “Glass Ceiling: Death of Women’s Movement?”

  1. Jay September 8, 2011 at 6:21 pm #

    Apologies for splitting hairs, but:

    News Network President: Paula Kerger is President/CEO of PBS, my preferred television news and information source by a wide margin. Also, now that Jim Lehrer is semi-retired, Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff are integral members of the small team that shares anchoring responsibilities on their flagship program, the PBS NewsHour.

    Chief Justice of the United States: of greater relevance than Alito, Thomas, or Scalia is that John Roberts was born in 1955, and by all appearances is in excellent health. When a relatively young and healthy person is appointed to a highly desirable position that has lifetime tenure, it is merely actuarial reality that such a position is likely to experience very slow turnover.

    POTUS: assuming you live another 40 years or so, the likelihood of a female President in your lifetime is excellent. I am less sanguine that she will be a Democrat: sad to say, if Hillary doesn’t run and win in 2016, I give better than even odds that our first female President will be a Republican, but that estimation is just a crude guess. I think the combined Head of State and Head of Government nature of the Presidency is partially why we have been behind so many nations: if we had a Parliamentary system, Nancy Pelosi would have been the first U.S. Head of Government.

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt September 9, 2011 at 6:24 am #


      I do fear you are quite accurate that the first female POTUS will be Republican. One can only hope that the Republican party will be quite by then, or we will be looking at a woman leading a country that looks like Atwood’s, Handmaid’s Tale.

      • Jay September 9, 2011 at 6:21 pm #

        The Maggie Thatcher model is hard to avoid: she presented herself as the tougher, more macho alternative to her male competitors in the Tory Party, and it is all-too-easy to imagine a female Republican pulling off the same trick.

        I still hold on to a little hope for Hillary Clinton: if Obama loses in 2012 (sigh), and the Perry administration (double sigh) proves to be disastrous failure, I give her good odds of being sworn in on January 20, 2017. An alternative where Obama squeaks into a second term, and the economy is booming in 2016, could also lead to a happy inauguration for Mrs. Clinton in 2017.

        Looking to the far future–40 or 50 years–I predict the first LGBT President will be a Democratic married lesbian with kids and more than a little swagger. But that’s far enough away that it is more like science fiction than like prognostication.

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