Constitutional FAQ Answer #29 – The U.S. Constitution Online – USConstitution.net

Constitutional FAQ Answer #29

<<Previous Question |
Question Index |
Subject Index |
Constitutional Index |
Next Question>>

Q29. “I have heard somewhere that a women can’t
become President of USA. Please reply to me whether it is true or

A. The question arises because of the use of the masculine pronouns “he” and
“his” in, for example, Article 2, Section 1:
“He should hold his Office during the Term of four Years…”

It should come as no suprise to anyone even vaguely familiar with history
that the Framers never would have thought that a woman might one day be elected
President. They didn’t even think women needed to vote. The use of the
masculine pronouns, then, should also be no surprise. English, however, lacks a
gender-neutral pronoun, and this is fortunate for women and the Constitution.
It is fortunate for women because it means that there is little doubt they
could be President. It is fortunate for the Constitution, because it avoids
needing to be amended just to correct this problem.

In the end, the question has really alredy been answered for us. Article 1, Sections 2 and 3 refer to both Representatives and Senators with
the masculine pronoun, and there is no effort to keep women out of the Congress
because of this fact. The precedent is set, and women are free to run for, and
someday win, the Presidency.

Last Modified: 16 Aug 2010

Valid HTML 4.0