In a new column for TIME, author and social critic Camille Paglia asks, “Why has the U.S., the cradle of modern democracy, never had a woman president?” She suggests several answers to her question, namely that women politicians are often more focused on social welfare issues rather than military issues, which is crucial since Americans are electing a commander-in-chief. Also, she writes that Americans’ perception of “gravitas” is a big factor — women talk faster and smile more, she argues. Paglia also chalks up the lack of a woman president to “the protracted and ruthlessly gladiatorial U.S. electoral process” that discourages more women from seeking the land’s highest office. So, what should America expect from a woman president? Paglia contends that a woman president “must pursue women’s progress without playing victim or bashing men.” And it would be wise for the woman who is elected U.S. president to model herself after German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whom Paglia lauds for combining “a take-charge persona with engaging spontaneity and zest for life. She is a soccer fan, an opera lover, and a home cook and gardener — real person, not the prisoner in a gilded cage that our heavily guarded American presidents have become.”
Read the full story at TIME.