'I Am Woman,' hear them roar

I was sitting in my writing room on Thanksgiving morning listening to the clatter from the kitchen and thinking how happy I was not to have to fix dinner for 18 people later in the day. Neither would I have to clean up after dinner except to help by placing a single greasy fork or a used plate into the dishwasher.

Thumbnail image for al-martinez-photo.jpgIt further occurred to me that I never really had anything truly useful to do around the house except write. My wife, the windstorm of activity I call Cinelli, does it all. She cooks, cleans, shops, gardens, volunteers, paints, takes classes, joins clubs, scratches my back, monitors our finances, replaces my ragged underwear, picks my clothes up off the floor and, well, everything else.

As I thought about it, I came to the realization that a lot of women do all of that in addition, to quote from a Peggy Lee song, giving us guys "shivering fits" when they ramp up the glow of their sexuality---a glance, a wink, a come-hither smile, a whisper. The lyrics promise in a beguiling undertone, "I can make a dress out of a feed bag and I can make a man out of you." The very idea makes me sweat.

I pondered that song and lyrics from a Helen Reddy tune that once rocked the country with, "I am woman hear me roar..." And then I had an epiphany: If they are that strong and can do all of that while running a household why not allow them to run the country?

I know what you're thinking. A president must be able to do more than cook a turkey or wash underwear. It requires a serene disposition to cope with the challenges that America faces today, but if you feel that bearing and raising children is easy, think again. And a little honest emotion in the White House wouldn't hurt. Even family fights make a point. Cinelli and I---an Italian and a Basque--can get into battle royals but we always kiss and make up without vaporizing anything with nuclear weapons.

While I like Obama and his ability to remain calm even as the current coordinated Republican assault washes over him like dog piss, I think it's time for Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, Wendy Davis or even (I tilt to the right) Condoleezza Rice to try running a country out of control. Sarah Palin? Better Minnie Mouse or Miss Piggy.

I am back in my writing room sniffing the aroma of turkey and pumpkin pies, feeling good about the idea of a woman in the White House, thankful that at last it has become possible. I'm not the first to buy that notion and I won't be the last. Look around. Perhaps you haven't noticed but the upraised fist of a political revolution is wearing nail polish.

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