A List of Female Dictators

By: inoljt, http://mypolitikal.com/

One of the phenomenons of the twentieth century has been the rise of the dictator. Dictators rule countries undemocratically and usually until death, crushing the opposition. Unlike the kings or emperors of old, these men generally don’t have any family linkage with previous rulers.

Notice the gender-specific word “men.” All dictators have been male, without exception. A woman has never ordered the army to crush nascent protests against her authoritarianism. Nor has a woman ever led a coup to overthrow a democratically elected government, replacing its rule by her own.

As the above examples indicate, dictators are generally strongly linked with the army. They generally rise through the army and enjoy its support. There is no institution more heavily dominated by males in society than the army; indeed, until recently the very concept of a female soldier was unthinkable (and still is in many countries). Thus the lack of female dictators.

There are, however, a number of women who have come pretty close to being dictators. Here’s a list, and it’s quite interesting:

Indira Gandhi

Indira Gandhi (no relation to the most famous Gandhi) ruled as Prime Minister of India during prolonged periods from the 1960s to the 1980s. She came to power as the daughter of Jawaharlal Nehru. Nehru, an independence hero, governed India as the head of the Indian National Congress during his lifetime. Congress was and still is the dominant political party in India. It had and still has a nasty habit of nepotism. Since Indira was the daughter of Nehru, leadership of the party fell to her.

As leader of India, Indira Gandhi did many good things and many bad things. Economically speaking, she seemed to be more in the business of giving poor people fish than teaching them how to fish.

But Indira Gandhi is most famous for her State of Emergency. In 1975 Indira declared a state of emergency, giving her dictatorial powers. Civil liberties and democracy was suspended during The Emergency. Opposition leaders were arrested. A controversial family planning program was put in place, which led to many Indians being unwillingly sterilized.

In this sense Indira Gandhi, although elected democratically, was dictator of India for two years.

Fortunately for India, Indira Gandhi ended The Emergency in 1977. She proceeded to hold elections, lost them, and to her credit stepped down. Indira Gandhi would later return to office. She was assassinated by Sikh bodyguards after taking controversial military action against Sikh militants.

Jiang Qing

Jiang Qing was a dominant figure in Chinese politics during the Cultural Revolution and immediately after Mao Zedong’s death. She was the fourth wife of Mao Zedong, and the only one who played a political role.

At first Mao promised that Jiang Qing wouldn’t be involved in politics, and for a while he kept that promise. During the Cultural Revolution, however, Qing rose to power. She generally took a hard-line stance on policy, opposing for instance economic reforms and determinedly prosecuting her political opponents. She was widely disliked.

Shortly after Mao’s death in 1976, Qing lost power. In 1981 she was prosecuted as part of the “Gang of Four,” scapegoats for the excesses of the Cultural Revolution, and spent most of the rest of her life in prison.

Elena Ceaușescu

Elena Ceaușescu was the wife of Romanian Communist dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu, who ruled Romania during the latter period of the Cold War. Like Jiang Qing, Elena Ceaușescu gained political power and political positions during this period. However, she had far less influence; unlike Qing, Elena Ceaușescu never directed attacks against political opponents.

The Romanian population widely hated her. In the 1989 revolution, Elena Ceaușescu attempted to flee the country with her husband. She was caught, subject to a show trial, and shot.

Imelda Marcos

Like the two individuals above, Imelda Marcos gained her power through being the wife of a military dictator. Imelda Marcos was the wife of Ferdinand Marcos, who ruled over the Philippines from the 1960s to the 1980s. Like Elena Ceaușescu, Imelda Marcos used her position to gain power and political positions. She was quite infamous for her collection of shoes and for the fortune she gained during the dictatorship.

However, Imelda Marcos wasn’t as disliked by Filipinos as the two previous individuals listed. After the fall of the dictatorship in 1986, Imelda Marcos went into exile. She returned in 1991 and started a political career. Today Imelda Marcos is a congresswoman in the Philippines House of Representatives, where she last won 80% of the vote. It’s doubtful that Jiang Qing or Elena Ceaușescu could have won an election anywhere in their respective countries.

Conclusions

There’s a pretty obvious pattern here: all the female “dictators” listed above gained power through family connections. This is a common pattern; throughout history, many of the powerful female political leaders have gained power as wives, daughters, and sisters of male political leaders.

Interestingly, this list is dominated by the Asian continent. One would expect more African and South American countries to be represented. This might be a pattern, or it might just be chance.

Of all these people, Indira Gandhi comes closest to being a dictator. Unlike the others, Indira Gandhi was legitimately the most powerful person in the country. She was the one in control of the army, and she could and did use it to commit multiple human rights violations.

One wonders who will be the next Indira Gandhi.

 

There's more...

Political Party and the Demographics of America’s Governors

The previous post examined “the demographics of America’s governors and compare[d] them to the demographics of America itself.”

(Note: I strongly encourage you to click the image links on this post when reading; they're essential to understanding what I'm saying.)

It resulted in the following map:

This post will examine the party break-down of this.

Party

Currently twenty out of the fifty states have Democratic governors, twenty-nine out of the fifty states have Republican governors, and one state has an Independent governor:

Let’s first look at gender. Out of the twenty Democratic governors, eighteen are male and two are female. These are Governor Beverly Purdue of North Carolina and Governor Christine Gregoire of Washington.

Out of the twenty-nine Republican governors, twenty-five are male and four are female. These are Governor Jan Brewer of Arizona, Governor Susana Martinez of New Mexico, Governor Mary Fallin of Oklahoma, and Governor Nikki Haley of South Carolina.

10% of Democratic governors are female while 13.8% of Republican governors are female.

Now let’s move to race. Out of the twenty Democratic governors, nineteen are white and one is black. This is Governor Deval Patrick of Massachusetts.

Out of the twenty-nine Republican governors, twenty-five are white, two are Hispanic, and two are South Asian. These are Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, Governor Brian Sandavol of Nevada, Governor Susana Martinez of New Mexico, Governor Mary Fallin of Oklahoma, and Governor Nikki Haley of South Carolina.

5% of Democratic governors are minorities while 13.8% of Republican governors are minorities.

Conclusions

A Republican governor is marginally more likely to be a woman, and about 2.8 times more likely to be a minority, than a Democratic governor.

A lot of flak gets thrown at the Republican Party for being less friendly to women and minorities. Some of the criticism is valid and some is not. A Democrat might volunteer that their party is more friendly to woman and minorities by pointing to the higher number of Democratic woman and minority officeholders in the House of Representatives, state legislative offices, and the presidency.

Nevertheless, it appears that the Republican Party does a better job at promoting minorities and woman at the governor’s level, as of October 2011, than the Democratic Party.

--inoljt, http://mypolitikal.com/

 

The Demographics of America’s Governors

This post will look at the demographics of America’s governors and compare them to the demographics of America itself. It will specifically examine gender and race, which are easy to determine. I would add other factors, such as income, age, or area of birth – but these factors are a lot harder to find and work with.

A future post will examine how political party plays into this.

(Note: I strongly encourage you to click the image links on this post when reading; they're essential to understanding what I'm saying.)

Gender

About half of Americans are male, and about half of Americans are female.

Most of America's governors, on the other hand, are male.

Out of the fifty governors in the United States, 44 are male and 6 are female as of October 8th, 2011. In other words, 88% of governors (about every nine out of ten) in the United States are currently males.

Race

Race is a bit more complicated than gender. According to the 2010 Census, 63.7% of Americans are white – which means that 36.3% of Americans are not white.

The majority of America is white, and similarly the majority of America's governors are white.

Out of the fifty governors in the United States, 45 are white and 5 are minorities as of October 8th, 2011. Exactly nine out of ten governors in America is white.

Gender and Race

We can combine these two sets of data to get a map of America's governors by both gender and race.

Out of the fifty governors in the United States, 41 are white males, 4 are white females, 3 are none-white males, and 2 are non-white females as of October 8th, 2011. White males overachieve quite splendidly; despite being less than one-third of the overall population, they compose more than four out of five of America’s governors. 82% of America’s governors are white males.

Conclusions

America is a very diverse place.

Its governors, on the other hand…not so much.

--inoljt

 

 

Young Black Males In Crisis ..Calling Mr. Swann

There was a recent story in the Philadelphia Inquirer about the poor performance of inner city schools that broke my heart. I knew the statistics were daunting, but reading this report from the Philadelphia Inquirer brought it home. Black males in Philadelphia make up 14% of the population, yet 50% of them between the ages of 15-29 were the victims of violence in Philadelphia this past year. Only 9% of black eight graders scored at grade level or better reading, compared to 33% of white boys.

Here in Philadelphia, the city has already recorded over 223 homicides; most of them young black males. This is an alarming rate even for a large urban area like Philadelphia. And as is always, the usual suspects are being blamed. The schools, the criminal justice apparatus, the "man", a lack of funding for social programs, blah,blah,blah.

Here is the deal; as black folks we have no one to blame but ourselves. This is a largely self created crises, that can only be solved when we start taking responsibility for our own actions. Brothers, start spending time with your children, go back home to your families, and start raising these children that are being raised by the streets. If you have multiple families, make more time to spend with your offspring, and take less time to hang on the corner and play basketball with your boys. I am sick of seeing these young men being raised by one generation of females after another with no positive role models in their homes.

Many of you-I am still talking to black folks-are will be in church this Sunday morning. You will be singing, clapping, and giving praise for all that you have been blessed with. Nothing wrong with wanting to be saved. A little insurance policy for when you check out from this life and go to another one can't hurt. But we also have to make sure that our present life right here and now on earth, is right too. It's nice to invest in your local church financially and emotionally. Lord knows that the Pastor could always use more members and a new church. But how about investing some of that emotional and financial capital into your communities and homes? Believe me, you will be just as good a Christian for it. I challenge some of these Pastors -who preach a good game, to be more proactive in their communities with their time and resources. Start walking the walk to go along with that nice talk that you give every Sunday morning when you want us to throw something in the offering plate. Or when you want us to support your political benefactor.

And speaking of poIitics, I see where Mr. Steeler, and Governor wanna  be, Lynn Swann, took a bus tour of barber shops in Philly. He was supposedly trying to talk to the people and learn what ails the communities in which they live. Well, nice try Lynn, but most black people see your little bus tour for what it was; just another campaign ploy to drum up some black support. It aint gonna happen, so you could have saved some gas for your busses, and some time for yourself. Now if you can promise to talk to the legislators in the Western part of the state to try to do something about the ridiculous gun laws in Pennsylvania, well, then, we might be on to something. But I doubt if you will, because you need that Western Pennsylvania vote, just as much as you need the black votes in Philly. And I don't think that you, or any other Governor of this state will lift a finger to work on the educational crisis, or, the out of control crime rate that's plaguing these mean streets. That would cause you too much political capitol, and cause you to lose...Gasp! The white vote.

So this is why I am talking directly to black folks. Mr. Swann might look like you, but trust me, he isn't here to help you. The only one that can help you is looking at you in the mirror every day. So let's stop all the talking, praying, and marching. And let's start acting, organizing, and working. Before it's too late for all of us. Even the smooth talking Mr. Swann.

There's more...

A List of Female Dictators

 

 

By: inoljt, http://mypolitikal.com/

One of the phenomenons of the twentieth century has been the rise of the dictator. Dictators rule countries undemocratically and usually until death, crushing the opposition. Unlike the kings or emperors of old, these men generally don’t have any family linkage with previous rulers.

 

Notice the gender-specific word “men.” All dictators have been male, without exception. A woman has never ordered the army to crush nascent protests against her authoritarianism. Nor has a woman ever led a coup to overthrow a democratically elected government, replacing its rule by her own.

 

As the above examples indicate, dictators are generally strongly linked with the army. They generally rise through the army and enjoy its support. There is no institution more heavily dominated by males in society than the army; indeed, until recently the very concept of a female soldier was unthinkable (and still is in many countries). Thus the lack of female dictators.

 

There are, however, a number of women who have come pretty close to being dictators. Here’s a list, and it’s quite interesting:

 

Indira Gandhi

 

 

Indira Gandhi (no relation to the most famous Gandhi) ruled as Prime Minister of India during prolonged periods from the 1960s to the 1980s. She came to power as the daughter of Jawaharlal Nehru. Nehru, an independence hero, governed India as the head of the Indian National Congress during his lifetime. Congress was and still is the dominant political party in India. It had and still has a nasty habit of nepotism. Since Indira was the daughter of Nehru, leadership of the party fell to her.

 

As leader of India, Indira Gandhi did many good things and many bad things. Economically speaking, she seemed to be more in the business of giving poor people fish than teaching them how to fish.

 

But Indira Gandhi is most famous for her State of Emergency. In 1975 Indira declared a state of emergency, giving her dictatorial powers. Civil liberties and democracy was suspended during The Emergency. Opposition leaders were arrested. A controversial family planning program was put in place, which led to many Indians being unwillingly sterilized.

 

In this sense Indira Gandhi, although elected democratically, was dictator of India for two years.

 

Fortunately for India, Indira Gandhi ended The Emergency in 1977. She proceeded to hold elections, lost them, and to her credit stepped down. Indira Gandhi would later return to office. She was assassinated by Sikh bodyguards after taking controversial military action against Sikh militants.

 

Jiang Qing

 

 

Jiang Qing was a dominant figure in Chinese politics during the Cultural Revolution and immediately after Mao Zedong’s death. She was the fourth wife of Mao Zedong, and the only one who played a political role.

 

At first Mao promised that Jiang Qing wouldn’t be involved in politics, and for a while he kept that promise. During the Cultural Revolution, however, Qing rose to power. She generally took a hard-line stance on policy, opposing for instance economic reforms and determinedly prosecuting her political opponents. She was widely disliked.

 

Shortly after Mao’s death in 1976, Qing lost power. In 1981 she was prosecuted as part of the “Gang of Four,” scapegoats for the excesses of the Cultural Revolution, and spent most of the rest of her life in prison.

 

Elena Ceaușescu

 

 

Elena Ceaușescu was the wife of Romanian Communist dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu, who ruled Romania during the latter period of the Cold War. Like Jiang Qing, Elena Ceaușescu gained political power and political positions during this period. However, she had far less influence; unlike Qing, Elena Ceaușescu never directed attacks against political opponents.

 

The Romanian population widely hated her. In the 1989 revolution, Elena Ceaușescu attempted to flee the country with her husband. She was caught, subject to a show trial, and shot.

 

Imelda Marcos

 

Like the two individuals above, Imelda Marcos gained her power through being the wife of a military dictator. Imelda Marcos was the wife of Ferdinand Marcos, who ruled over the Philippines from the 1960s to the 1980s. Like Elena Ceaușescu, Imelda Marcos used her position to gain power and political positions. She was quite infamous for her collection of shoes and for the fortune she gained during the dictatorship.

 

However, Imelda Marcos wasn’t as disliked by Filipinos as the two previous individuals listed. After the fall of the dictatorship in 1986, Imelda Marcos went into exile. She returned in 1991 and started a political career. Today Imelda Marcos is a congresswoman in the Philippines House of Representatives, where she last won 80% of the vote. It’s doubtful that Jiang Qing or Elena Ceaușescu could have won an election anywhere in their respective countries.

 

Conclusions

 

There’s a pretty obvious pattern here: all the female “dictators” listed above gained power through family connections. This is a common pattern; throughout history, many of the powerful female political leaders have gained power as wives, daughters, and sisters of male political leaders.

 

Interestingly, this list is dominated by the Asian continent. One would expect more African and South American countries to be represented. This might be a pattern, or it might just be chance.

 

Of all these people, Indira Gandhi comes closest to being a dictator. Unlike the others, Indira Gandhi was legitimately the most powerful person in the country. She was the one in control of the army, and she could and did use it to commit multiple human rights violations.

 

One wonders who will be the next Indira Gandhi.

 

 

 

There's more...

Diaries

Advertise Blogads