Thursday, October 7, 2004

Make Candidates Run in Women's Shoes

Could George Bush and John Kerry function in panty hose and heels?

Before we vote, women have a right to find out. The battle for presidency should include more than just debates. It's much too difficult to determine the winner of such events. Let's get back to the basics of competition we learned in elementary school and so many reality shows. Candidates for president should be required to run an obstacle course; one that confirms our leader could manage life like half the country's population-women.

The presidential obstacle course will last a week and consist of tasks many women perform daily. John Kerry will get a head start. (It's only fair. George's best friend Hal E. Burton has the exclusive contract to build the course in the first place.)The only money allowed will be wages earned working for a moderately flirty, mega-ego boss. They will each receive a four-year-old child, a pair of panty hose, and a tube of mascara.

An average day of competition will include, waking at 6am to feed and dress their four year old, putting on panty hose with a jagged fingernail, cleaning up the Fruit Loops spilled by the four year old, taking the kid to daycare and starting work at 8am (where they have to smile sweetly no less than 1,000 times.) The candidates will get off work at 6:30. (George will not be allowed to collect overtime pay since he's trying to take it away from everyone else.)

After work, they must pick up the child at a daycare across town, go to the grocery store, the post office, the dry cleaners, an aerobics class, drop off the electric bill, jump through a flaming hoop and have dinner on the table by 7:30. To make sure the course is not too easy (this is after all a race for the presidency), at a random point during the week the candidates will be given a baby. (I know what they'll be thinking: What? A Baby? I can't do all this with a baby! )

At this point, they have two options.
1. They could choose to continue the race without the baby. This means they must find the nearest clinic (which could be three counties away), make an appointment within the week (fat chance), plead with the jerk boss to get an unpaid day off, hop on one leg through a gauntlet of screaming people and pay a $500 fine.
2. Keep the baby. In this option the candidate has to pump breast milk on his lunch hour, hook and unhook the baby from the car seat every time he runs an errand, change a diaper in a public restroom, pretend to like Teletubbies and smile politely as people tell him how he should be raising his child. (Actually, according to the rulebook where it says, "Candidates will have a taste of their own medicine," George will be allowed to choose only this option)

The first candidate to successfully complete all tasks, with panty hose intact and no running mascara, will be the winner. However, in the probable event that neither candidate can finish the race and ends up passed out on the kitchen floor with a bag of Cheerios in one hand and a burning casserole in the oven, the first woman to arrive on the scene to clean up the mess he made will be appointed president of the United States.

On second thought, I'd rather not have another president we didn't vote for. Getting to the polls can feel like an obstacle course, but please vote in this very important election. We women have the power and opportunity to turn this country around. Early voting starts October 18 at the Supervisor of Elections office. To help get more women out to vote, contact Gainesville Area National Organization for Women by visiting http://www.gainesvillenow.org/.