Super Tuesday: For the First Time Since Hillary, America Gets to Say If It'll Even Consider a Woman President | Opinion

Last November, a tweet about my experience at 17 years old working in a radio station went viral. I posted, "When I was 19 my boss said I should be a phone sex operator and laughed. I said, "I don't get it." He said, "it's a joke," I said "explain it to me," and that's how I learned that once sexual harassers have to explain why their inappropriate jokes are funny, they stop laughing."

The tweet was retweeted over 130k times. I had clearly struck a nerve. It had over 1.4k comments, many of which were women sharing their own stories. Stories that everyone seemed to be surprised by, except, ya know, any woman who has ever had a job.

According to a Business Insider article, 1 in 3 women say they have been sexually harassed at work. An NPR article from 2018 says that 81 percent of women have experienced sexual harassment. With so many women experiencing such high levels of sexual victimization, even in their professional work environments, is America really ready for a female president? Do we value women as much as we say we do?

A CNN article from May of 2019 celebrated that we had seen the most female CEOs of Fortune 500 companies than ever. But before we tell the feminist movement that their work here is done, that "most ever" ranking only clocked in at a dismal 6.6 percent. This, of course, despite the fact that women make up 50.5 percent of the population and as of 2017, 47 percent of the workforce.

Is America ready for a female president? Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren and Minnesota senator Amy Klobuchar sure hope so. The pair were both endorsed by the New York Times Editorial board in January as being their leading picks (Klobuchar has since dropped out.) And truthfully, their ability to even be in the Senate is no small feat. About a quarter of elected positions in the United States go to women, so our government is nowhere close to providing us with equal representation. The state that I currently live in, Colorado, has never even had a female senator or governor. While 94 percent of American's say they would vote for a woman, Amelia Thomson-DeVeaux says the traits we often associate with politicians, (toughness, aggression, ambition) are often traits we associate with masculinity.

When we say that 94 percent of American's would vote for a woman, we ignore the very subconscious bias that may prevent us from actually doing so. Typical questions like, "is this person likable?" that we ask mainly of women, can bring an impossible balancing act for female candidates.

Are women likable, if they portray themselves as tough, aggressive and ambitious? While American's will support a male candidate they dislike, they are far less likely to support a female candidate that isn't likable. Women also have to prove competence, while we assume men already possess it, according to the Barbara Lee Family Foundation Research Memo. So, women can't just be savvy politicians in order to be president. They have to be likable, and savvy, and be able to prove both.

For most women, we don't just balance our families with our work. For 1 in 3 of us we will also navigate workplace sexual harassment. If not that, then unequal pay, or lack of top-level representation. This week, a major Christian publication, the Gospel Coalition, argued that the female monthly cycle of PMS is actually a battle with sin. So sorry if sometimes it's hard to also make sure that we come across "likable".

As voting begins in earnest on Super Tuesday, Senator Warren is trailing her male progressive counterpart, Senator Bernie Sanders. Klobuchar dropped out and endorsed her moderate male peer—former vice president Joe Biden. And that is okay—as long as the barriers created by gender aren't the main reasons for both women falling behind.

Is America ready for a female president? Today's vote is your single most important opportunity to say if anything has changed since November 2016.

Dr. Heather Thompson Day is Communication Professor at Colorado Christian University, and a contributor to the Barna Group, an evangelical research institution. She can be found blogging on I'm That Wife.

The views expressed in this article are the author's own.