Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Equal Executive Amendment

In honor of the 100th anniversary today of International Women's Day, I'd like to present an idea I've had for many years, but have never before published: an amendment to the US Constitution that seeks to bring balance to executive branch deliberations, by requiring that the offices of president and vice president be filled by opposite genders. So here's the draft:

Equal Executive Amendment
Whenever the President of the United States is male, the Vice President shall be female. Whenever the President is female, the Vice President shall be male.

An amendment like this probably has less chance of enactment than the ill-fated Equal Rights Amendment did forty years ago. But decades after even a Muslim nation like Pakistan has had a woman prime minister, and women have led nations all over the world, it's a little embarrassing that (fifty years after "women's liberation") the US has still had neither a female president nor vice president.

I think it's an issue that should at the very least be a matter of public discussion. And the plain fact of the matter is, sometimes legislation (or the pursuit of legislation) does lead the way to social change.

--Michael Hasty

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