The Internet Stans Vern, a Man Who Said a Woman Could Be President in 1963 (Kind of)
Vern Hause told a local reporter a woman "couldn't do any worse" than some male presidents. Feminist hero?
Today, the internet honors Vern. In Vern we trust. May this, the 12th day of November, henceforth be known as Vern’s Day.
Who is Vern, you might ask? Vern, last name Hause, is a late, great feminist thinker of the 20th century who, like many geniuses, lived and thought before his time, dying in obscurity only for his great contributions to the feminist movement to be rediscovered and properly honored decades after his death.
Just kidding. Vern Hause was a resident of Stevens Point, Wisconsin who, in 1963, told the Minneapolis Tribune he thought a woman could be president — sort of. To be more specific, what Vern actually said was that a female president “couldn’t do any worse than some we’ve had,” but apparently that’s close enough for the Vern stans who have praised the man’s not overtly misogynistic cynicism since the newspaper clip went viral on Twitter earlier this week.
The tweet featuring the unearthed clipping has garnered more than 20,000 likes since it was posted Wednesday by @natepentz, attracting the attention of public figures like political scientist Yascha Mounk and comedian Sarah Silverman. As one twitter user noted, Vern has also received a number of “virtual flowers” on his grave from newfound fans apparently touched by the interviewee’s bare-minimum feminism.
“Vern Hause died in 1975. And simply because he chose not to voice the misogyny that was socially expected of him when asked about a woman president in 1963, five people have left flowers on his virtual grave today—45 years after his death,” tweeted @ashtonpittman, including a link to Vern’s gravesite.
Indeed, while Vern’s response may not exactly be a daring statement of what the New York Post has deemed “blunt feminism,” it is, sadly, the only response from the clipping that even approaches an affirmative answer to the question, “Would a woman be a good president?” Other respondents, both male and female, unequivocally shot down the idea that a woman could make a capable president, most citing arguments that still ring all too familiar today.
“No. Today their mind is one way and the next day, it changes,” said one Frank Kampa, while a Tom Romanowski unapologetically admitted, “I don’t have that much faith in women to let them run the country.”
Meanwhile, a Mrs. Tom Romanowski, with no first name of her own to report, expressed similar misgivings: “A woman is too likely to give in. They might not stand their ground when they should.”
So, unfortunately, that leaves Vern our unsung feminist hero — a man who dared to defy convention, bravely voicing the belief that women are equals capable of screwing up the country just as badly as men.
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