Hello, faithful readers, and people who googled this page by mistake.
So, there are numerous ways one could imagine in which the US falls further behind in gender equality. In this case, it's in our running series, "Countries that already have had elected female heads of state." This includes places from Ireland to Liberia to Pakistan to the UK to Jamaica. It does not, sadly, include us, the US.
Today, India has joined the august body of people with female heads of state before the so-called leaders of the free world. (That's us again.)
That still doesn't mean I'm for Hillary Clinton. J-Friend APVS recently pointed out that, despite not having terribly strong identification with Hillary politically, she thought that having a woman as prez of the US (or a black man, an equality concern for a different day) behind the podium every day for 4 or 8 years, standing, sitting, signing there as the so-called leader of the blahdyblah blah would be an extremely potent visual. (I took some liberties with APVS's exact phrasing).
We here at the Continuum agree, but strongly disagreeing with Hillary on matters of policy (or, more precisely, not trusting her to do the few liberal things she's mentioned and trusting the loopholes she's left herself in the rest will get well-used) we're not ready to vote for her. On Iraq, we find her very disappointing, and on everything else, mediocre at best. We -- er, I, sorry for the affectation -- don't trust Obama, for his part, because his resolve hasn't been significantly tested, and I'm still very very disappointed/frightened by his noises during his Senate campaign about rethinking the wisdom of legalizing gay marriage and the possibility of attacking Iran. It's not just that he said these things that I disagree with, but that he said them in a race he almost couldn't possibly lose. NO ONE likes Alan Keyes. Illinois voters seemed more likely to ask Dick "Dick" Cheney out for a drink than Alan "I hate Carpetbaggers like Hillary Clinton" Keyes "Carpetbagger for Senate '04." The man was not popular, and not just because his voice sounds like Jon Stewart doing an impersonation of the doctor guy from the Simpsons after having had his nose broken. If you can't stand up for liberal positions when your insane-oh "my gay child is going to hell, ha ha" conservative opponent is so thoroughly disliked by everyone and has no chance of winning ("Hmm, we can choose a black man or a black man brought in by the Republicans for the sole reason that he's a black man to compete with the other black man"), then I have nooooo faith that you'll make the hard, correct progressive calls I'm looking for when your gonads are really on the line.
So. Yes. India: Woman President. First one. Beat us, by at least a year and a half if not more. (They did already have precisely one woman prime minister -- they're one of those countries with both a PM and a prez -- which is good and all, though Indira Gandhi was not, from all accounts, a nice person -- in the forced sterilization, authoritarian head of state meaning of the phrase "not a nice person".)