What’s Keeping America From Electing A Woman?

“Americans like to think of ourselves as exceptional, but in the case of women’s political leadership, we’re exceptionally backwards.”  

By Joy DiazMarch 4, 2016 2:21 pm|

If you’re hooked to Netflix’s “House of Cards” you probably know season 4 is available to stream starting today. The show is about fictional power couple, Frank and Claire Underwood. During the last season he’s the President of the United States. But his wife is parting ways with him and thinking about running for president herself.

But this sounds familiar, right? We have a former First Lady vying for the White House. So, is it time for America to have a woman president?

Nancy Cohen thinks so – she’s a historian who just released a book called Breakthrough: The Making of America’s First Woman President.

Cohen says she started the book a few years ago with questions about whether a double standard was stopping women from running for President and what history could tell us about women coming into power. Cohen says she expected, by this point, to see women running for the White House from both parties.

More than 50 nations have elected women to lead them, Cohen says.

“Americans like to think of ourselves as exceptional,” she says, “but in the case of women’s political leadership, we’re kind of exceptionally backwards.”

She wanted to investigate whether the US is simply more sexist than other countries who’ve elected women. Cohen says for close to 200 years, legal restrictions and sexism kept women out of the Oval Office, but things have changed.

“The really surprising, and really great, news is that it isn’t sexism anymore, holding us back from electing a woman president,” Cohen says. “Women themselves banded together… and they started getting women into office, to prove that women were capable leaders.”

Listen to the full interview in the audio player above.