It's 2015; Where Is our Female U.S. President?
In my opinion, a woman never serving as commander-in-chief has, as Andy suggested, little, if nothing, to do with a lack of ambition and everything to do with societal expectations of women. For example, 13-year-old Hillary Clinton wrote an enthused letter to NASA, describing her desire to become an astronaut, and they went as far as to write back, informing her that they were "not interested in women astronauts."
Similarly, Carly Fiorina faced struggles climbing up the corporate ladder in the male-dominated tech industry, even once attending a work meeting in a strip club. As Margaret Thatcher rose in the ranks of British Parliament (before being elected the United Kingdom's first female prime minister in 1979), her male colleagues would chant "Ditch the B**ch!" whenever she entered the House of Commons. I think it's safe to say that other presidents and world leaders, such as Presidents George W. Bush and John F. Kennedy or Sir Winston Churchill, were rarely dismissed or undermined by the people around them (whether parents, bosses or colleagues), and were encouraged and even pushed to succeed.
Facebook executive Sheryl Sandberg writes in her must-read Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead, "Professional ambition is expected of men but is optional - or worse, sometimes even a negative - for women. 'She is very ambitious' is not a compliment in our culture." Sheryl even cites a study which found that, while men become more liked as they become more successful, women become liked less.
Margaret's growing power in the British government illustrates this idea perfectly. "Is there any truth in the rumor that Mrs. Thatcher is a woman?" A man once joked within earshot of her, to uproarious laughter from his coworkers. Margaret was seen as abnormal due to her tenacity and determination, which shows that these characteristics, oftentimes present in successful leaders, were not expected of women, and at the very least, unwelcome.
During the most recent Republican debate, Donald Trump was confronted with his Rolling Stone quote about Carly, which many took to believe, attacked her physical appearance. Donald's means of apologizing was assuring Carly that she is in fact very beautiful. Of course, this response missed the point of everyone's outrage entirely, that Donald thinks criticisms about a woman's appearance are valid ammunition in a fight for the Republican nomination. This clearly shows that among Donald's limited expectations of women, they must look good and act complacent (see his scuffle with Fox News' Megyn Kelly if you aren't convinced).
While, thankfully, Donald does not represent the attitude of all Americans, this interaction symbolizes the struggle female leaders face to be taken seriously. While the public's outrage towards Donald for his behavior assures me that we are headed in the right direction, it's still an uphill battle for even the most ambitious women among us.