I began this blog (two short days ago!) with several questions regarding the apparently rising influence of religious fundamentalism in America. One of my queries was numerical -- how many people in the United States actually buy into the views of the Religious Right, especially anti-feminism? I got some answers yesterday via Feministing, which noted that "nearly eighty percent of Americans are ready for a woman president."
My first reaction was horror. Doesn't this mean twenty percent of Americans will not vote for a woman presidential candidate based solely upon her sex? That is one in five people! Maybe, I thought, I am even more out of touch with my fellow citizens than I even realized.
I breathed more easily once I read the related links. According to this USA Today article, the majority of those opposed to a woman president are older folks:
One in four Americans 65 and older said they wouldn't vote for a female president; just one in 20 of those under 30 held that view.
That means that my new friends Crystal and Caleb, who I understand to oppose the notion of women leaders on the national stage, are among a minority of just 5% for their "under 30" demographic. (This is just a demographic statement, not an argument that they are wrong. I believe that they are wrong, but not because they are in the minority.)
There are other interesting statistics in the White House Project's report:
79% of Americans are okay with the idea of a woman President
84% of Americans are okay with the idea of a woman Vice President
90% of Americans are okay with a woman Supreme Court Justice
What's up with that? Who are the 5% who think a woman VP is okay but not a woman president? What is the distinction in their minds?
Finally, while I didn't read the actual poll, I assume the questions were general and abstract, such as "Would you potentially ever vote for a woman president?" This poll does not account for potential subconscious responses to a woman candidate, such as a possible tendency to take her less seriously without realizing it if she is smaller or shorter or speaks in a higher pitched voice. (It's no coincidence that the producers of "Commander in Chief" selected six foot tall Geena Davis to play the first woman President. Real progress would be if they hired an actress who shops in the "petite" section like me!)