At this current point in American history where the nation, for the first time ever, has a female speaker of the house and will probable witness Hilary Rodham Clinton as a serious contender for the 2008 Democratic Party's presidential nomination, the status of women in politics needs to be examined more closely. Engaging in precisely such an examination, Robin Toner suggests that, insofar as public political life is concerned, femininity is both an advantage and a disadvantage; an advantage because of its appeal to a wider political base and a disadvantage because of the persistency of gender stereotypes.
Within the context of political life, women are advantaged by their gender. As Toner (2007) asserts, many female politicians promote a tough image even as they project a maternal one. The implication here is that they are capable of being as strong and as tough on the issues as are the male politicians but, have a better understanding of familial and societal values. Accordingly, they have it within them to both protect the country and look towards the future of its children.