Kamala Harris has just made history by becoming the first woman and woman of color as vice president of the US. In her victory speech, the daughter of Jamaican and Indian immigrants honored the women who “paved the way for this moment tonight.” And she assured, “I won’t be the last.”
But more than half a century ago, when the world was a very different place to live in, Kamala’s victory would have been incomprehensible. This little photo interview from Minneapolis Tribune asked people in 1963 whether a woman would make a good president.
Two women and three men weighed in and gave their best explanations of why it wouldn’t be a good idea. A single man said that “women wouldn’t do any worse than some we’ve had,” meaning the presidencies had been so bad so far that women could do the job just as well. The piece was shared by Twitter user Nate Pentz and it serves as sour evidence just what a long way we’ve come since the ’60s.
This strip from Minneapolis Tribune asked people in 1963 whether a woman would make a good president, and this is what they said
After the Twitter user Nate Pentz shared it on Twitter, it went viral
Image credits: natepentz
Nate told us that his initial reaction was “how there are very similar attitudes about women in leadership now as there were in 1963.”
“Look at the boards, and you see that high-level leadership is still heavily tilted to white men.” Nate believes that we have come a long way, but still “have work to do in terms of equality.”
The depressing responses suggest just what a crazy level of misogyny in society was accepted as the norm. In a short interview, Mrs. Maureen Mellum said that “women have enough problems” already and that “a man is more responsible.”
Similarly, Mr. Tom Romanowski stated that “a woman is too likely to give in” and that women are not able “to stand their ground.”
Fortunately, today, the same question will most likely be viewed as absurd, since this shouldn’t even be a question.
Twitter user Keith joined the thread and shared another old and controversial piece on whether women should be spanked
Image credits: keith_dever
Only 33 countries have had a female leader for four years or more since 1966. According to the Atlantic, the top countries in this category are Bangladesh, which had a female leader on and off for 23 years of the last half of the century, India with 21 years, Ireland with 21 years, Iceland had its women leaders for 20 years, and the Philippines, for 16 years.
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka elected the world’s first-ever female prime minister in 1960, 3 years before the little strip from Minneapolis Tribune was published. As the tiny piece of the newspaper suggested, the idea of a female president in the US was not something on people’s minds back in 1963.
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