A few days ago, Cheryl Rios, a business woman from Texas, stated that women aren't qualified to become President because of "hormones and biblical reasons." She further stated that she'd move to Canada if Hillary Clinton is elected President. It does not matter that decades ago, Britain had Margaret Thatcher, India had Indira Gandhi and Israel had Golda Meir. It seems that, according to Cheryl Rios, American women have more hormone problems than British, Indian or Israeli women.
We do not live in utopia. There always will be some people who are biased against other people and judge them by their race, sexual orientation and gender. It's a bit shocking that in 2015, that there are people who think a woman should only be a housewife. Worse yet, this judgement comes from another woman, who is the CEO of a marketing company. I wrongly assumed women would advocate for their female peers over their male counterparts. I am an engineer and I did not take biology in college, so I am ignorant about hormones and their effect on women or men. Like Cheryl Rios, I can only voice my personal opinion based only on my personal experience.
Despite the many problems such as disparity in pay, the gender gap in engineering and technology and the women's right to choose, I believe America is overall a better place for women than most other countries in the world. This is one of the primary reasons I stayed in America after my Ph.D. -- I wanted my three girls to grow up in a place where they will have lot more opportunities to purse their dreams than my mother and sisters had.
Everyone has a story behind their opinion. I don't know Cheryl Rios' story, but my story is simple. I was born in a large family. I was the 7th child in the family of eight girls and three boys. My mother a saint; I have never seen anyone with so much patience and love. She is a great story teller. She did not complete high school, though her brothers completed college; this was simply because she was a woman. That was a long time ago. The most important thing about my childhood is that I was surrounded by women and was pretty much raised by my older sisters in my early years. They did everything for me; giving me showers, dressing me up, getting me ready to go to school, helping with homework and telling me bedtime stories.
Even as a child, I knew that my sisters were smarter than me. They worked lot harder than me. They woke up early and did lot of household work. They did laundry, cleaned the house and helped my mom with cooking. They did it all, all while going to school and receiving outstanding grades. Being smart and hardworking is not enough in many societies if you are a woman. None of my older sisters went to or completed college because they had to be married at an early age, or had to take care of household work. I, who never lifted a finger to help anyone at home, was able to go to college just because I was a boy. One of my sisters is such a leader and an organizer, she would be an outstanding CEO of a Fortune 500 company, if only she had the opportunity. Another sister of could have been a world class dancer. Another could have been a world class chef. Another could have become a great teacher. None of this happened, simply because they were born women in a society where their primary responsibility and role in life were to become a wife and mother.
My wife has a masters degree in engineering and yet, people would talk to me about engineering and ignore her because she is a woman. I have never seen anyone multitasking like my wife. When she does things it is almost like a symphony. She could be on the phone with her mom while crushing garlic for dinner, helping our children with homework and making tea for me. She does all this while running a business. I could never do that. My wife is infinitely wiser, hardworking and knowledgeable than me.
I have three daughters, but I have learned more from my daughters than anybody else in all my years in academia. They are still young, but their maturity level at their young age now is something I could not come even close when was at their age. Their posture, their willingness to work hard, the way they carry themselves and care for others is something I can only hope for. I do not know if they have aspirations to run a company, or run for an office. But I certainly do not want someone else, especially another women telling them that they can't do something because of 'hormones.'
In my experience, all the women in my life are smarter and more hardworking than men. They take on more responsibility and claim no credit for all their work. They are caring, compassionate and willing to sacrifice their needs for others. Aren't these qualities that we would look for in a president?
It is a shame that some people hold such low opinion about women. Ultimately opinions like this won't matter. Americans have elected the first African-American President. I do not know if Hillary will be the next President, but I do know that it won't be long before a women is called POTUS.