Date of Award

Spring 6-4-2016

Document Type

Honors Project

University Scholars Director

Dr. Jeff Keuss

First Advisor/Committee Member

Dr. Michael Hamilton

Second Advisor/Committee Member

Dr. Caleb Henry


American History, Feminism, Presidential History, Gender Studies, Women's Studies, Women's History


While there has never been a female president or vice president of the United States, a comparison of First Ladies offers a good case study on how far women have progressed in American politics. Through a comparison of Edith Wilson and Hillary Rodham Clinton, this study seeks to compare the gender-based obstacles for a First Lady at the beginning of the twentieth century and the end of the twentieth century. The analysis of this study shows that despite the progression of feminism over the past one hundred years, it remains just as difficult to be a woman in politics due to decreased privacy, increased media attention, and the continued expectation to fulfill feminine gender roles. As the 2016 general election approaches with a female presumptive nominee for the Democratic Party, this study provides insight into the rationale and negative implications for continued low female representation in American politics.


A project submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the University Scholars Program


Copyright Status

Additional Rights Information
Copyright held by author.