How to succeed without really trying

By M.P. circa 1789. If it’s not in the public domain after 200 years, that’s just not cool.  Much like this cast(e).

So it looks like legislation changing the British rules of succession is going to pass.  The new status quo would have a first-born daughter in direct line to succeed as monarch, ahead of any brothers born down the line.  All it needs is the approval of the queen herself.  On the one hand, this almost-legislation is certainly a tiny bit closer to fairness.  On the other hand, it’s a shining example of one step forward, two steps back.  ‘Cause fairness and any notion of inherent nobility  . . . yeah.    

Now, I know.  When I first heard the news, I was all, well, it’s not more bad news, too.  Time to do a celebratory lap outside!  Woo hoo!  But, for some strange reason, the high-fives did not come.  This was something that needed sorting out.  I mean, could another country’s royalty being a tad less exclusive really not affect people who’ve been generally disregarded elsewhere?  Maybe it’s just the folks around me.  Of course there’s some people in Britain who are over the moon about this.  But there’s also places where one of the few available sources of pride left is a colonial legacy, wherein I can imagine some women high-fiving in a properly restrained British style (um, the high-fives never make contact, you see).  Kind of high-fives, even though their daughters could never be queen.  I guess that’s living vicariously, for ya.           

It’s not like it doesn’t mean anything at all; it’s just that ‘a bit more fair’ in the context of royalty is a strange proposition.  If anything, the royal element of this takes away from what should be an obvious truth: that women are as up to the task of leading people as men are.  One of my favorite examples: Shirley Chisholm, the great congresswoman (and the first African-American one period) who sought the Democratic Party’s nomination for the 1972 presidential race.  She didn’t get it, but knew that was the likelihood.

According to her Wikipedia page : “Chisholm said she ran for the office ‘in spite of hopeless odds… to demonstrate the sheer will and refusal to accept the status quo.'”

The only reason I don’t include a picture of her in this post is because, with the way that WordPress’ reader works, “How to succeed without really trying” would appear with that picture sans context.  Chisholm was the antithesis of that idea–a real champion.

Oh.  If you were here because you really wanted to know how to succeed without really trying, it’s simple.  Be the descendant of people who obtained power an awfully long time ago — and it’ll probably trickle down.  Some wealth, other people looking at your with stars in their eyes, and all the bread you can eat at really fancy restaurants (I hear).     

Related post:

 Dames, Ladies, and Sirs

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