While there are those who chose to focus on cabinet positions while penning their complaints about a lack of a diversity in the Obama Administration, ignoring the president’s record on reproductive rights, equal pay, appointments to the Supreme Court, and the existence of those who served during his first term in office, the president is making actual progress without bluster.
During his first term in office, the president appointed a record 72 women to the federal bench, and in six separate instances, he appointed the first woman to a specific post.
President Obama is the first to not select a majority of white males for lifetime appointments on the federal bench. And he has also appointed three openly gay judges, surpassing the Bush record of appointing zero.
This idea that President Obama has a problem with women because the head-count of women in his second term cabinet may not meet a specific quota is short-sighted. But I’m not going to go too deep into it myself, because frankly there are people far more qualified to discuss the topic than me.
Part of why this President has so many more men than women to choose from when filling any post rests in the sexism which continues to mark and harm our society, at each and every level, not least the professional level where women continue to suffer systematic discrimination. And for all that, 43% of Obama appointees have been women. Not to mention that if the GOP had not successfully hounded Susan Rice out of the nomination process last month, we wouldn’t even be having this conversation right now — because the optics of a single woman of color would have been magically enough.
I want to see more women in leadership positions. I want to see more women getting better jobs and better pay and better benefits. And (note to the Republican Party) I want to see women treated as human beings, rather than vessels for the next generation and/or lying sluts who spread our legs and cry rape.
If you want to see a shining example of a lack of diversity, that a look at the Republican side of the aisle in congress.
John Boehner wasn’t even going to appoint a single woman to a committee chairmanship until the calls to do so reached a crescendo, and after all was said and done he appointed a woman to the House Administration Committee.
Tokenism is the Republicans’ game. We should let them play it.