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“The Presidency” and the First Ladies

The White House page devoted to the first ladies throughout the history of the United States. provides its readers with the information on their biography. Moreover, one may learn about the projects carried out throughout the presidency of their husbands. This data seems quite relevant, considering the poor representation of the female population in American political life even today. A first lady post is a unique tool of the female agenda promotion in the U.S.

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To begin with, it is vital to explain why one would choose this topic to analyze. Women make up 51% of the American population, but they occupy about a quarter of the seats in the Senate or the House of Representatives (Represent Women 19). This tendency occurs even though studies show that women in power serve as role models for the female population (Liu and Banaszak 133). It increases their conventional political participation like party membership, voting, engagement in peaceful demonstrations, and petition signing, for instance (Liu and Banaszak 134). Nevertheless, while women continue to fight for fair representation in the political institutes, they have traditionally occupied one position in power – being the first lady. Though it may seem to be inappropriate replacement of the presidency itself, one may not deny that the first ladies contribute to the public diplomatic success of the country to say nothing about the resolution of specific issues (Wang 128). While the role of the first lady may be underestimated, those women have played a significant role in the political life of the U.S., and, hence, their contribution must be explored.

Speaking of the way this topic relates to the chapter on the presidency in the U.S., one may point out the fact that in many ways relies on the figure of the president. For instance, the credentials of the first ladies coincide with the terms of the presidency. First ladies’ actions rarely contradict presidents’ policies. Nevertheless, they seem to be quite independent in the projects they launch. In other words, the first lady position is directly related to the presidency.

Finally, it seems essential to assess the way the site “First Ladies” may expand one’s knowledge of American politics (White House). One could learn about the projects and the fields of work of the first ladies. For instance, Michelle Obama addressed the issue of childhood obesity, veterans and their family’s support, and the promotion of higher education and schooling for girls around the world (White House). This partially explains why Michelle Obama ended up as one of the greatest role models for African American girls all over the States (Haynes and Block 369). However, for obvious reasons, this platform does not cover the sensitive or awkward aspects of these women’s biographies. Moreover, if one seeks information on the interpersonal relations between presidents and their first ladies, it does not appear to be the source for this objective. Hence, this site is an excellent source of knowledge on what has been achieved by the first ladies. Nevertheless, it is not comprehensive, and one should not base their assumptions on the issue based exclusively on this source of information.

To conclude, the first ladies have played a unique role in American political history. While even in 2020, women are disproportionally represented in the political institutes of the U.S., the first lady position becomes a significant source of power for women. This role is far from what women deserve as well as men – any political position; however, it has proved to be an essential tool for influencing the White House’s directions of work. First women have contributed to public diplomacy, national image building, support of family institutes, promotion of education, and increasing the well-being of the nation. However, the source under discussion does not provide comprehensive information on these figures and the different aspects of their lives.

Works Cited

Haynes, Christiana, and Ray Block. “Role-Model-In-Chief: Understanding a Michelle Obama Effect”. Politics & Gender, vol. 15, 2019, pp. 365 – 402.

Liu, Shan-Jan Sarah, and Lee Ann Banaszak. “Do Government Positions Held by Women Matter? A Cross-National Examination of Female Ministers’ Impacts on Women’s Political Participation”. Politics and Gender, vol.13, 2017, pp. 132 – 162.

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Represent Women. “Gender Parity Index 2019 Report”. FairVote: Web.

Wang, Ning. ““First Lady Diplomacy” and the Construction of National Image”. Place Branding and Public Diplomacy, vol. 14, 2018, pp. 125 – 136.

White House. “First Ladies”. White House. 2020. Web.

White House. “Michelle Obama”. White House: 2020. Web.

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