By DOUGLAS G. FRANK, Staff Writer
A woman will never be president in my lifetime in the United States of America.
I said it four years ago to a quiet room of political progressives, and to my delight, I received a few gasps and groans. “I’ll bet anyone in this room $100,” I said loudly, knowing that three-quarters of the room knew I wasn’t good for it anyway, “that America will elect a black man president way before a woman ever gets elected.”
That was good enough to start a delicious debate. But I was right, and I knew it. My point was reinforced later when John McCain, who, up to this point, I had considered to have a healthy dose of common sense, selected Alaska Governess Sarah Palin as his running mate. Even Obama was smart enough to know that a woman would torpedo his ticket. He instead opted to appoint Hilary Clinton to his administration. To this day I still believe that McCain made a crucial error. Had he selected Tim Pawlenty, he would be the commander-in-chief right now.
This is the unfortunate reality we live in today. America remains brutally, harmfully, arrogantly sexist. It’s obvious in media, the way that Hollywood harlots are drooled upon and manipulated to fit into the male idiosyncratic fantasy world, but it is even more prevalent in Corporate USA, the entities that truly call the shots, as we are reminded ever so clearly by the lovely 99%-ers out there (keep up the good fight fellows!).
How many billionaires are women? How many multi-millionaires? Oh, did you find one or two? What’s that ratio like?
Too lazy to look it up? I’ll spell it out for you. The Forbes 400 (http://www.forbes.com/forbes-400/list/), which lists the richest people in America, lists the following women:
#6: Christy Walton (inherited her husband’s estate, John Walton, son of Sam Walton, founder of Walmart).
#8: Alice Walton (daughter of Sam Walton, founder of Walmart).
#20: Jacqueline Mars (granddaughter of Frank Mars, founder of, you guessed it, Mars Candy, available in your local Walmart stores).
#26: Ann Cox Chambers (daughter of James M. Cox, founder of Cox Communications).
#29: Abigail Johnson (granddaughter of “Ned” Johnson, founder of Fidelity investments).
Now that we’re past all the trust-fund babies, we have to go quite a ways down to find the next four rich women all tied at #96, a trophy wife, two spoiled privileged daughters, and our first hard working woman on the list.
#96: Dannine Avara (Wife of the late Dan Duncan, Houston Pipeline mogul and founder of Enterprise Products).
#96: Milane Frantz (daughter of the above-mentioned Dan Duncan).
#96: Randa Williams (another daughter of the above-mentioned Dan Duncan).
#96: Gayle Cook (I have to give this woman some credit. Her and her husband William Cook started medical device company, Cook Incorporated, together in 1963 in the back of their apartment and grew the company together.)
That rounds out the top 100. Do we see a pattern here? In fact, there isn’t one self-made billionaire woman until you get to #139, none other than Oprah Winfrey. Sadly, the only other self-made woman on the list is at #331, Meg Whitman, former chairwoman of Ebay. In all, 37 women (9%) are among in the top 400 richest people inAmerica, and only 2 of them (half of a measly percent) didn’t inherit their fortune from successful men.
I admit that the dichotomy of the super-rich demographic is not a fair microcosm of modern America, but it does illustrate my point about the prominence of female entrepreneurship in the male-dominated corporate establishment.
Further, I introduce the demise of racism. As global commerce has increased business dealings with many ethnic types, skin color hardly seems to be an issue anymore. I give you this illustration. A crowded room of 100 top executives and board members of a Fortune 500 corporation are introduced to their new CEO, a black male. Negative thoughts around the room probably stem from the kind of food the man likes to eat, the types of cigarettes he smokes, and which part of town he grew up in.
Now, given the same scenario, the new CEO is an attractive woman. “Bitch” is probably echoed inside 100 cavernous minds. “I wonder who’s dick she had to suck to get to the top.” “What’s gonna happen when she’s on her period, watch out, she’ll lay off half the floor.” “What a great ass!”
I rest my case. America has bridged the racism gap merely by expanding commerce globally and exposing themselves to other cultures and races on an intellectual level. But in all of these societies, women’s role is diminished behind men. Here in America, with a surge of conservative family values and archaic Christian women roles, coupled with media’s extreme bilateralism (pick up and read a copy of Maxim and Cosmopolitan one day, or GQ and Woman’s Day, etc. and you’ll see what I mean) we are possibly further apart than ever from sexual equality. We have a lot of issues to resolve before we let Grandma in the White House.
And that’s my giving a damn.
Douglas is a concerned citizen, and practices real estate in the Southwestern region of the United States.
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