By Jenna Perlman, Staff Writer
@jenna_perlwoman

“Her nagging voice is the reason she lost the male vote.”

With the midterm elections over, the United States is looking at the 2016 presidential election. We’ve had many political firsts in the past decade: our first African American president, our first Mormon major party presidential candidate, and our first openly gay senator. And while these progressive steps are awesome for the future of our country, one category of candidates is still not being treated with the same respect as the rest: our women.

You might be saying, “That’s totally not true – we have all these women like Condoleezza Rice and Hillary Clinton that lead our country with grace and power.” Well, you’re right — women have held some of our country’s most powerful positions. But that doesn’t change the fact that women in politics are harassed and portrayed in a different light then men.

An interesting Buzzfeed article took quotes that news outlets have used to describe women in politics and switched them to describe men and it’s made for a hilarious perception on our country’s treatment of our leaders.

How is it appropriate to be describing possible leaders of our country like that? And how is that relevant to their ability to both make affective decisions and be active participants in our democratic government?

The answer is it doesn’t. And no – it’s not appropriate. This article highlights our sad reality that our country still looks focuses on women’s looks and personal lives than their professional experience and leadership potential. Should it matter what Michelle Obama’s bangs look like? Or her body figure? Should a woman in politics be treated with less respect and taken less seriously just because she is a woman? I think the most disturbing out of the quotes on the article is this one:

“I think she’s hot. She’s tiny, she’s short. She’s got a banging little body on him. Facial-wise, I give her about a seven. Body-wise, I give her about an eight-and-a-half. Tight little butt. I endorse her for State Treasurer.”

It’s hard for me to even fathom that this came out of someone’s mouth and that our society still thinks like this. This is 2014, people – I thought we earned equal rights a long time ago.

Going forward, I think it will be interesting to watch the primaries for the 2016 presidential election and if the United States will continue on the progressive path that it’s on. I wonder what’s next for our country, if female presidential candidates will be treated with the same respect as their male counterparts and if the country is ready for a woman president. Either way, I’m ready for what’s ahead.