***Last UPDATE ***
She dropped the challenge.
**Update** According to Reuters, Tymoshenko very much intends to contest this election result. Ukraine’s Tymoshenko girds to contest result. Meanwhile, VOA News reports New Ukrainian Leader Faces Weak Public Support. You have to wonder how fair this election was. How can he have been elected with “weak public support?” So the Homegirls say, “Go Yulyia! Go after him!”
Yuliya Tymoshenko is hanging tough in the Ukrainian election even while Foreign Policy Morning Brief hands off the victory to her opponent Viktor Yanukovych.
Nonetheless, while this may mean a loss of a woman leader on the global stage, the victory of Laura Chinchilla, elected the first woman president of Costa Rica, replacing Oscar Arias, serves to boost, perhaps, the spirits of those dismayed by Tymoshenko’s probable defeat.
I am not really one for keeping score cards. I do not find that there is necessarily justice in who gets to wear the title first. The first woman president was Isabel Peron in Argentina who acceded to the presidency from her office of Vice President upon the death of her husband, President Juan Peron. Isabel, in fact, was a devoted follower of Peron’s second wife, Evita, and was conscious that the title she held as Vice President was one Evita wanted and should have had, and that if anyone should have been the first woman president of Argentina, it should have been Evita.
So the international drama of women rising to national office in various countries continues even while Sarah Palin teases the Tea Partiers about maybe running in 2012 unless Barack Obama “plays the war card” as she put it, and goes to war against Iran, which would, in her opinion, salvage his approval ratings. Excuse me? WHAT is she saying? That declaring war is a political move? Taken to garner votes?
Well, I know that Hillary was hawkish on Iran during the 2008 campaign, and I cannot really say that her statements were not for political advantage, but saying what YOU would do, given the authority, in a hypothetical situation differs from labeling a hypothetical future move on the part of someone else. Palin has NOT said what SHE would do. She is predicting what Obama MIGHT do which is very different from Hillary Clinton’s 2007-2008 statements. If I remember correctly, Hillary refused to predict what others might do stating that she could only answer for what SHE would try to do.
So why am I here today in the wake of two elections on two different sides of the globe and a splash by Palin that some have dubbed “spectacular?” Well, as we enter the second week of Black History Month and are reminded of Martin Luther King’s admonition to judge men not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character, and in the run-up to Women’s History Month, for which this blog has received year-long traffic at this post from last March about the Mirabal sisters of the Dominican Republic, I guess I am here to remind myself of King’s teaching. Neither should we judge a woman by her sexuality alone.
While I believe it is good that women are rising to these positions world-wide – good for humanity, I am reminded from Hillary Clinton’s celebratory remarks on Friday about another victory toward devolution of justice in Northern Ireland, an objective she has long worked toward, that another woman, Maggie Thatcher, did nothing reach out to the hunger strikers in Long Kesh Prison in 1981. Content of character – very important.
I know some of my friends and readers wish Hillary would espouse these principles more universally, and I see their point, but in contrast to what I have seen from Thatcher and expect from Palin (neither of whose images I will insert here), my faith is in my Homegirl. We can ALL do better, and that includes Hillary (and me and probably you, too), but we could also be doing so much worse! Glass half full. No score card.
(Congratulations to Saints fans and to the city of New Orleans and the State of Louisiana! You SO deserve this! Party on!)