As we all listen to all the pundits discuss a potential run for President by Hillary Clinton, I am reminded of how many women have been elected to the highest position in their countries other than America. Angela Merkel, Golda Meir, Maggie Thatcher, and Indira Gandhi are some of the names that immediately come to mind. Why has America not elected a woman? Why has James Bond been played by six actors and spanned sixty years but there has never been a serious female version?
Don’t misunderstand me. I am not a supporter of Hillary Clinton or anyone else that is “not yet running” for President in 2016. I am, however, obviously a supporter of an American female version of James Bond. (Alex Garfield in case some of you don’t know.) I just wonder what is it that has prevented either of those things happening. If the United Kingdom could elect a woman as Prime Minister in 1979, why have we not produced a female President? And why, with all the great female characters in Bond films, have none been spun off into a series starring a woman? And why did they have to kill off Judy Densch? She was an amazing “M” – and a great role model for women in any field.
Women have been spies for centuries. Everyone knows the name Mata Hari, but few know of Arkady Nikolayevich Shevchenko, a Soviet spy who defected to the United States in 1978. Mata Hari was not very successful in the long run – she was executed in France for being a German spy at the age of 41. Shevchenko defected and then lived in Bethesda Maryland happily drinking vodka. He died of cirrhosis of the liver at 67. It makes me wonder why. Perhaps it is because most of the world lists the traits that make a good spy as female traits – manipulation, lying, and conniving to name a few that many men enumerate. Of course, then women are also supposed to be maternal, caring, and gentle. I must admit from the biographies that I have read, none of the latter traits was very obvious in Maggie Thatcher or Golda Meir.
I still have not figured out why Americans have not elected a female President or why a movie producer has not been breaking down my door pleading with me to sell the rights for Alex Garfield movies. It seems that, so far, a male spy can kill with his bare hands, sleep with hundreds of women, drink enough alcoholic drinks in a two-hour time frame to kill most humans from alcohol poisoning, and drive amazing cars, but an American female version isn’t wanted yet. And just as we’ve considered our male presidents to be both sensitive and tough (Ronald Reagan for instance), and rich yet caring for the poor (FDR as an example), we are still having problems with a female candidate being able to be both if one listens to the talking heads on television.
For my movie hopes, I am keeping fingers crossed that the American public can comprehend that every female can have as many good or bad traits as a male. (I think some might list drinking giant martinis as a bad trait, but I certainly do not personally think so.) For my television viewer’s hours of watching news, I hope that we can get beyond amazement that a female candidate is running for President and start focusing on an individual’s views, history of accomplishments or failures. We have more than two years before a presidential election and I am already tired of it!