With Hillary Clinton gaining traction, the possibility of our first female president is on the horizon. But we wanted to know what other women deserve to be the leader of the U.S. We asked our favorite feminists to weigh in.
If you could pick the perfect female president… who would it be?
“There can be no perfect female president. But there are so many women, right now, who could do a hell of a job. There is no need to wait. This is what equality means to me: giving women every chance to do the same fantastic, sometimes slightly flawed, job as we have always given men. Hell, women deserve the opportunity to be shitty presidents as often as men have! Because if we had waited for a perfect man to come along before we had elected him president, we’d never have had one single man elected to our highest office ever. Not a one.” — Caissie St. Onge
“Dream world president, you ask? Well, I nominate Rinku Sen, the President and Executive Director of Race Forward: The Center for Racial Justice Innovation and publisher of Colorlines. And I’d install Kimberle Crenshaw, the scholar, professor and activist who coined the term ‘Intersectionality,’ as VP. While we’re at it, let’s appoint Marlene Gerber Fried of the Civil Liberties and Public Policy Center at Hampshire College as the head of the Department of Health and Human Services. Ellen Bravo could lead the Treasury Dept. This is all off the top of my head. Can I keep going? A whole cabinet?” — Jennifer Pozner
“My perfect female president would be Oprah. Nobody calls her a socialist when she helps people, and we haven’t elected an unmarried president since Grover Cleveland was a thing.” — Jessica Sutherland
“As long as we’re dream casting for president, I might as well go all out and pretend there’s a hope of anyone who comes even close to being as lefty as I am becoming president. My dream president would be a radical woman of color. Toshi Reagon? CeCe McDonald?
In terms of realistic candidates, um… I don’t have one? Yes, even with the extremely low bar of realism that allows Trump as a serious politician. I think the last 6+ years in the U.S. (my particular context) have shown that having a marginalized identity doesn’t mean a politician will work for the best interests of the larger community of people who share that identity. Not taking anything away from President Obama’s very real accomplishments, but the American presidency is an inherently violent, racist, sexist, imperialist [insert other -isms here] institution by design. The office itself is corrupt. So for me trying to imagine a perfect American president is trying to imagine something that can’t possibly exist. Your dose of depressing and slightly cynical opinionating for the day.” — Tope Fadiran
“My vote goes to Commander Kathryn Janeway of the USS Voyager. Her cool head and leadership skills during conflict situations is a given (Hello, Borg?), and she’s also proven herself an excellent coalition builder, so important given our current polarized political system. If she was able to integrate those badass Maquis rebels into her crew, it should be a snap to get the Republicans in line. Also, she’s no stranger to breaking gender barriers, since the Star Trek Commander universe has eerily mirrored our own presidential history: Lots of white dudes, then a black dude and then (finally) a woman. Suggested campaign slogan: ‘Captain Janeway is tired of your shit‘” — Therese Shechter
“Not to sound too boring or steeped in pragmatism or the capacity to dream… but for 2016 I actually feel my very perfect-est choice is Hillary. I am ready for her, ready with her and I feel like she totally earned it and then some. May her victory pave the way for women not to have to be so overqualified for the job. And then, you know, I might have enough space to dream in a different way about my fantasy lady prez.” — Sarah Buttenwieser
“LAVERNE COX FOR PRESIDENT! Laverne Cox is not only talented and unbelievably gorgeous, she runs her life with a grace and obvious kindness that is essential to (and lacking from) our current foreign policy. Cox demands respect for herself and all people, regardless of socioeconomic status, and we deserve a person running our country to be powerful AND compassionate. Plus her campaign slogan? ‘America Needs Cox.’ Perfection.” — Alex Blank Millard
“The perfect woman president would be a member of a political party and movement that challenges capitalism, austerity and war.” — Margaret Corvid
“I would like Elizabeth Warren as president and Nicki Minaj as vice president. That way we would get all the sound policy and good governance that makes us love Warren along with all the straight talk and badassery that makes us love Nikki. Plus I think the combo of those two women would be a powerhouse of epic proportions that would make the extreme right collectively crumble to their knees.” — Seraphina Ferraro
“If I could pick a female president I would first hazard that representation without substance is not representation at all. With that said I would back bell hooks for president or the Notorious Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Both are working from a framework I can get behind and have been in spaces that are male dominated while persevering.” — Nashwa Khan
“Leslie Knope. I know she’s fictional, but I think her combination of smarts, tenacity (and no-bullshit-taking), staunch feminism and unbridled optimism is exactly what we need in the White House. (And Ben Wyatt would definitely make an excellent First Gentleman!)” — Amy Plitt