This post originally appeared on NBCLatino.
As of Sunday, July 1, 2012 Mexico has about 10 million cracks in the glass ceiling. The cracks that Mexican Presidential candidate, Josefina Vázquez Mota, got in were nowhere near Hillary Clinton’s 18 million, but the mere opportunity at having a whack at that ceiling is impressive. Women’s political rights in Mexico have risen meteorically if you consider that women in Mexico could not vote until 1953. However, like in the United States, the big prize, the ability to serve as president, or as la presidenta, is still elusive and will be until voters figure out what is they want from female executives.
In the 2008 primary election Hillary Clinton was viewed as too tough and played down the significance of being a woman. Clinton strived to show that she was no different than a man. Ironically, it was when she started to come to tears that she won the kindest words of the campaign. A glimpse at her emotional, or “female” side, triggered a cascade of commentary about how as the first major female presidential contender she should not run from one of the traits that makes her unique. Ultimately the emotional, touchy-feeliness went to the Obama camp. As soon as Clinton was able to compose herself after her tearful moment she continued with her tough-as-nails approach.
In the Mexican presidential race Josefina Vázquez Mota employed the opposite strategy as Clinton. Though Vázquez Mota, is an economist, a business woman, a politician, and gal who can hang with the machoist of Mexican men she chose to distance herself from the Clintonesque model and embrace her femininity. In one of her major campaign ad spots, “Ser mujer en Mexico” she not only highlighted her role as a woman but pledged to form a pact with other women—un pacto de mujer a mujer—that life in Mexico for women will be very different from the first moment she is president. This strategy did not catch fire. What did start a five-alarm campaign fire, however, where comments she made in jest at a campaign rally where she suggested that woman withhold cuchi-cuchi from their spouses if they did not vote in the election. (more…)