spicy woman on top

yet another extremely inspiring presidential victory in latin america made me weep: three cheers for the election of michelle bachelet in chile yesterday. not only is she chile's first female president, she is the first woman elected to such a position in south america who isn't connected to a former beloved male leader. the victory for women in politics is one thing (she has pledged to implement gender parity in her cabinet), but what gets me, though, is what she represents: a bio fit for a screenplay, featuring family tragedy linked to the pinochet era, triumph, and conviction. that chileans understand class (they chose bachelet over a billionaire) moves me, deeply. it also makes me want to move, but that's a whole 'nother matter.

women (socialist ones, even) on top... how novel. geena davis is doing her best to promote the radical notion of a woman as leader of the free world. a zillion groups are trying to change attitudes AND results. the 4 women mps of the ndp are doing their wee part. but still.

i don't know what it means that the industrialized world now more than ever needs to take a cue from the so-called developing world on gender equality, at least in terms of women's ascension in politics. but i dig it. maybe it has to do with our utter complacency about democracy, as if we've even had it for that long, that makes us lethargic about politics, let alone the composition of our elected bodies. we don't thirst or clamor for a way in. we come to accept it as the norm that mostly white middle aged business-minded men bother to show up for a shot.

also, what we lack up here is the vibrancy of an active social consciousness which in the south is what allows the ideas of gender equality and anti-classism to exist not as fringe ideology, but as credible contenders for domination. that consciousness is what keeps me up at night, wondering if, collectively, we ever had it, and if so, if we'll ever get it back. i think it's the best we could hope for to seriously topple the neo-con agendae, not just poke at it from the sidelines.


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