Recently I have been watching the show Commander in Chief. This is a show that tackles the idea of what it would be like to have a female as President of the United States. What would it be like to have a First Gentleman instead of a First Lady? How would our country react to such a change in political power? How would other countries react to us as a country with a female President? These are all questions that this show works to tackle.
President Allen, the mock female President of the show, was Vice President when President Bridges, the President at the time, gets a stroke and dies, leaving Vice President Allen next in line to become President. There then becomes a lot of discussion about whether or not she would be a fit person to rule the United States of America. Also since she was not elected as President would the country like and accept her?
The first female presidency is full of many questions that are incredibly hard to answer. One of which is, what is the role of the First Gentleman? The First Lady tended to be a woman who was there to keep the household running. She did things like plan events and was in charge of the meal menus. However, this is not necessarily a job that a First Gentleman would want to do. The show navigates around the role of the First Gentleman well. It exposes the stereotypical gender roles that are often present within relationships, but need to be reconsidered when there is a female as President. The roles a person has within a household and within a relationship should be determined by the two people and not by society, but it is hard to get away from those pressures. So the role of the First Gentleman needs to be reworked.
Another question and concern that is addressed is how would the country deal with having a female President, especially an unelected one, as is the case of the show. They show that people have concerns about whether President Allen is really able to deal with the pressures of the being President and whether or not she can really lead the country. There is constantly concern expressed that a women is not as level-headed as a man, considering there are 3 days a month where she is just physically “unstable.” Could a woman really be able to control and lead a country like the United States of America? The answer to this, of course, is yes. A woman most definitely can. What makes a good President is not their gender, it is their personality and ability to handle difficult and stressful situations, the end.
A third question the show works to address is how other countries would react to a female President. Considering most countries that we interact with have male Presidents, especially during the time of this show in 2005, it is a good question to wonder what other countries would think of an America with a female President. One instance is when President Allen has a formal event where the Russian President is invited and attends. The Russian President asks President Allen to dance and there is an uproar about whether or not it would be ok for the President of the United States to dance with another President since this issue has never had to be addressed in the past. In the end President Allen does dance with the Russian President, but it points out there are a lot of unanswered questions having a female President in the White House. There are certain actions that may or may not be acceptable now.
I highly recommend this show as it tackles a lot of interesting gender dynamic issues within politics. Many of the answers it comes up with are theoretical considering this has yet to happen. But it does evoke a lot of questions about what would really happen if we were to have a female President. With the 2016 election coming up and speculation that Hilary Clinton may run, perhaps we are getting close to the possibility to test out how accurate the show Commander in Chief is to reality. I hope that we will have a female President within my lifetime and see how she deals with the pressures of the Presidency.