The Downsides of Having a Female President

The XX Factor
What Women Really Think
Feb. 27 2014 6:26 PM

The Downsides of Having a Female President

Wednesday night on the O’Reilly Factor, the eponymous host invited two female guests to weigh in on a pressing question. “There has got to be some downside to having a woman president, right?” O'Reilly queried USA Today columnist Kristen Powers and Republican strategist Kate Obenshaim. When they responded with blank looks, O'Reilly started spitballing: “When you’re president of the United States, you have to deal with people like Putin; you have got to deal with the real ornery mullahs in Iran," he said. "Look, the mullahs in Iran, they think women are, like, subspecies.”

His guests weren’t sold, though. Powers did finally admit that it's possible a female executive might feel pressure to appear tough. (The suggestion inspired a brief digression where everyone nodded importantly while pointing to Hillary Clinton's voting record on Iraq.)

It turns out the "downsides of a female president" question has haunted O’Reilly since at least 2008, when he posed it to author Marc Rudov as part of a “He Said, She Said” segment that did not actually involve any women talking. “You mean besides the PMS and the mood swings?” Rudov replied. He then clarified that he was joking.

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Ha, ha. But seriously, America: Here's a list of the real problems we'll bring upon ourselves once we elect a female president:

  • Glass ceiling shatters and now there’s glass everywhere
  • A lot of pressure on the first gentleman to tone down his arms
  • SOTU speech gets lost in depths of president's enormous purse
  • Interminable line for Oval Office bathroom
  • The matriarchy
  • Rather than pardoning the turkey, president executes it, Game of Thrones–style, to show strength
  • Hair in the presidential shower drain
  • Basketball court replaced with Zumba room
  • President will try to negotiate a raise after a year
  • All-juice state dinners
  • Everyone in the White House will roast because the president is always cold
  • President can’t decide what text from Putin really means

Amanda Hess is a Slate staff writer. 

Katy Waldman is Slate’s words correspondent. 

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