God's Politics

Since yesterday morning, I’ve been trying to figure out why I am so fascinated with Nancy Pelosi’s swearing in as the Speaker of the House. I have researched her biography and political positions online, watched archived clips of her speeches, and as much press coverage of her swearing in as possible. I am excited about the change in direction that her leadership symbolizes and the promised legislative agenda. But more than that, I can only attribute my preoccupation with Nancy Pelosi to pride.

Through their actions and political commitment, my parents taught me that there is little more important than service and civic-mindedness. And so, at the age of ten, I announced I wanted to be a congresswoman when I grew up. I made my intentions known, only to be told by a teacher that I couldn’t do that. I was a girl. Didn’t I want to be a wife and mother? Even as I child, I knew this man’s remarks were wrong, but I dropped my head and said nothing.

My story isn’t special, and unfortunately it’s not uncommon. I suppose in some way, Nancy Pelosi’s swearing in validates my fifth grade dream. It also proves that a woman can be a national, top ranking, political figure in our country. One glass ceiling has been broken, but there is another one untouched. When will the United States elect a woman to its highest political office?

A country on every inhabited continent has seen female heads of government – Chile, Finland, Mozambique, New Zealand, South Korea, and Canada, among others. But as a country that leads in so many other areas, the U.S. has greatly fallen short in women in political leadership positions. Nancy Pelosi is helping to change that.

While Speaker Pelosi’s ranking as our government’s #3 in power is a start, I hope this forward momentum continues. Whether it’s Nancy, Hillary Clinton, Condoleezza Rice, or someone else, I hope that the United States will soon be counted among the countries that have put faith in women’s leadership.

Jackie Spycher is the intern and volunteer coordinator for Sojourners/Call to Renewal.

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