In these United States we are wondering
if a woman is electable.
Is she likeable enough?
I donate to a woman candidate and I have put a sign
on my front lawn with a woman’s name on it.
I’m a woman. My wife is a woman.
Over half of my students are women. I teach over two hundred
students a semester. I see that women can.
We do and we can. But…
Can a woman lead? A headline asks.
Is she likeable enough to get elected? Another asks.
I was born from a woman.
All of us get here through the legs of a woman.
Women hold up half the sky.
All the slogans of my birth into feminist consciousness stir
and light up.
I believe a woman can lead, is electable,
and I don’t care if like her.
She is not my friend, and won’t be my friend and
anyway, I don’t expect all women to be my friend.
What I want is not for her to be my friend.
What I want is… a woman president.
I want a woman president. I want a little girl
to not be told she can’t be president because she’s a girl—
because girls can’t be president.
Girls have never been president.
Haha, what are you thinking?
I was repeatedly told, and countless numbers
were repeatedly told:
A woman has never been president. You can’t.
You can’t be president. It hasn’t happened.
It means so much more than that you can’t be president.
It means: you can’t.
And I believe, I believe, a woman can.
I can. A woman can.
You can. You can.
In these United States, yes, a woman can lead.
In these United States, yes, a woman can lead, and
she doesn’t have to be liked
by everyone in order to do it.
In these United States I believe a woman can.
In these United States I want a woman president.
Marie Cartier has a Ph.D. in Religion with an emphasis on Women and Religion from Claremont Graduate University. She is the author of the critically acclaimed book Baby, You Are My Religion: Women, Gay Bars, and Theology Before Stonewall (Routledge 2013). She is a senior lecturer in Gender and Women’s Studies and Queer Studies at California State University Northridge, and in Film Studies at Univ. of CA Irvine.