Elaine Meckler: Preferential treatment for women? No way! | TheUnion.com

Elaine Meckler: Preferential treatment for women? No way!

Women should not expect preferential treatment. We are equal to every other human being on the planet. We shouldn’t be treated differently.

This applies to all aspects of our lives. We should not give someone job preference just because we are women. We should not give someone an easier path to education just because we are women. We should not vote to elect a candidate just because she is a woman.

A person should stand on their own merits, on their own accomplishments. Gender should not matter. If you are applying for that perfect job or running for office, being a woman should not enter into it. I want someone who believes in the same things I believe in. I want someone with high morals, someone who is ethical, someone who has character and integrity. I don’t think that is setting the bar too high. There are many women in our country who meet these criteria. As for the presidential election, I plan to vote for the person I think is the most qualified, the least corrupt and who shows the strength and character to bring our country back to what our forefathers originally created.

March was Women’s History Month. It was the month to celebrate some of the most renowned women in history.

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Margaret Thatcher was the first female prime minister of Britain (1979 to 1990). Her nickname was the “Iron Lady.” She once said, “Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren’t”.

Coco Chanel revolutionized women’s fashion in the early 20th century by introducing a looser, more comfortable silhouette that freed women from the corsets and frills that then dominated the apparel industry.

Julia Child honed her culinary skills at Le Cordon Bleu while she and her husband lived in Paris. She broke down the barrier that up until then had reserved gourmet kitchens for male chefs.

Marie Curie was a two-time Nobel laureate who discovered polonium and radium, founded the concept of radiology and, above all, made the possibility of a scientific career seem within reach for countless girls and women around the world. She was the first woman to receive the Nobel Prize and the first female Professor of General Physics in the Faculty of Sciences at the Sorbonne in Paris.

Aretha Franklin, Queen of Soul, was best known for demanding R-E-S-P-E-C-T, and is still, at 68, a powerhouse vocalist, pianist and songwriter. Aretha Franklin was the first woman to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, in 1987.

Indira Gandhi was brought up under the close watch of both her father Jawaharlal Nehru, who became India’s first Prime Minister following decades of British rule, and her country. When Indira Gandhi was elected Prime Minister in 1966, a TIME cover line read, “Troubled India in a Woman’s Hands.”

Golda Meir, once called “the only man in the Cabinet,” was a formidable figure in Israeli politics. After an illustrious political career, including service as Israel’s Labor Minister and Foreign Minister, she took the country’s reins as Prime Minister in 1969, when Israel was prosperous and still euphoric over its victory in the Six-Day War against Egypt, Jordan and Syria.

Sandra Day O’Connor was the first woman cloaked in the black robe of the United States’ highest court. Ronald Reagan fulfilled a campaign promise to break the gender barrier and nominated her in 1981. The former Republican Arizona state senator was unanimously confirmed by Congress, ending 191 years of the court as an exclusively male institution. She served for 24 years.

Eleanor Roosevelt was the wife of the 32nd President, Franklin D. Roosevelt. She challenged and transformed the historically ceremonial, behind-the-scenes First Lady role. She increased her public presence by participating in radio broadcasts, authoring a daily syndicated column, “My Day,” and holding weekly, women-only press conferences to discuss women’s issues.

These women, just to name a few, prevailed because of who they were. Not because they were women but because they were strong and believed in themselves and what they stood for. Never let gender or race be a contributing factor for getting in or getting ahead in this world.

We have local, state and federal elections coming up. Take the time to learn what these candidates, running for these important offices, stand for. Only then can you vote for the person you deem most honest, trustworthy and qualified.

Elaine Meckler lives in Grass Valley.

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