Sexism vs. Racism

The fact that either Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama will be the Democratic party’s 2008 presidential candidate makes me hopeful for declines in racism and sexism, in the USA as well as the rest of the world. A recent article on NPR raised the question, “Which evil will fall first, racism or sexism?” It seems an awful question to people who desire the eradication of all forms of prejudice. However, as noted in Liane Hanson’s piece, African Americans got the vote before women did. Other countries have had female heads of state. The UK’s Margaret Thatcher, Israel’s Golda Meir, India’s Indira Gandhi and Pakistan’s Benazir Bhutto come immediately to mind. Countries with minority heads of state don’t come to mind as easily (although Peru had Alberto Fujimori). In South Africa, people of color were disenfranchised by apartheid law, so that doesn’t count!

If you can think of other historical precedents on either side of the question, please comment below.

Tags: Politics

Updated at: 28 February 2008 12:02 AM