This is Tsai Ing-wen, the newly elected president of Taiwan.
Next toHolly Holm, Tsai might be the most badass woman on the planet right now.
1. She’s the first of her kind.
This might come as a shock to you, but Taiwan hasneverelected a woman to presidential office before. In fact, youd have to travel back to the end of the Qing Dynasty to find the last woman who held powerduring anera there:Empress Dowager Longyu, who abdicated the throne back in 1912. While Taiwans status as a country might be asource of great contentionit operates completely independent of China but is recognized as a sovereign state by many Tsais win makes her one of around two dozen or sofemale world leaderscurrently holdingoffice.
Out of nearly 200countries.
2. No, seriously, shes the first.
Aside from being Taiwans first ever female president, Tsai is also the first unmarried president to hold office in the countrys historyas well as the first person to receive the title without previously having held an elected post of any kind. I cant even begin to convey how unprecedented that is:Its like if a former real estate mogul-turned-reality-show-star ran for president in America and actually won!
3. She is a completely self-made woman.
Unlike South Korea’s current president, Park Guen Hye, whose father was president of the country from 1962 until his assassination in 1979, Tsaihad no familial ties to any of Taiwans political parties before deciding to run for president. She had no mans footsteps to follow in, which makes her ascension to the highest office all the more incredible.
Instead, shes the daughter of an automobile repairman and the last of his four wives. Tsai was, in fact, discouraged from pursuing her political aspirations early and often throughout her childhood.
4. She aint no slouch, either, though.
A brief list ofTsai’s credentials:
- Master of laws recipient, Cornell University Law School
- Doctoratein law, London School of Economics
- Former professor, School of Law at Soochow University and the National Chengchi University
- Former chairperson, Fair Trade Commission
- Former consultant, Mainland Affairs Council and National Security Council
A brief list of my credentials:
- Voted “Most Talkative” in high school
- Once hit a hole-in-one
- Likes pizza
5. Also, she cleaned up a corrupt political party.
As if Tsai wasnt facing enough obstacles on her road to the presidency, she also happened to be aligned with the Democratic Progressive Party, which was entrenched in scandal.
Interestingly, Tsai became the trustworthy voice that the DPP needed in turbulent times, calling for the party to focus on its goal of defending Taiwans sovereignty as a nation while maintaining a peaceful relationship with mainland China. She was elected as the DPPs chairperson in 2008and vowed to rebuild the partys confidence and defend social justice while continuing to push for Taiwans sovereignty.
6. She also bounced back from defeat.
In 2010, Tsai ran for mayor of New Taipei city in her native Taipei and was defeated by Eric Chu. Just two years later, Tsai became the first female presidential candidate, running against incumbent president Ma Ying-jeou.
How did Tsai react to her defeats, you ask? Oh, only by writing a memoir, creating a bilingual website devoted to Taiwan affairs, and founding theThinking Taiwan Foundationan organization aimed at acting as a catalyst for social action through participation while patiently waiting until the dayshe could announce her candidacy four years later.
Again, for the sake of comparison, I went to the grocery store and the bank yesterday and needed a nap.
7. She won the presidency by a landslide.
With 99% of Taiwans voters reporting, Tsai defeated Eric Chu yes, the very same Eric Chu in an absolute sweep, securing 56% of the vote to Chus 31% and nearly twice as many total votes (6,894,744 to 3,813,365, respectively) in the process. Not since Kelly Clarkson defeated Justin Guarini to win the first “American Idol” has the democratic world seen such a one-sided butt-kicking.
8. Shes a fierce negotiator.
At 59 years of age and with a reputation among her colleagues as naturally shy, Tsaiisnt exactly the most intimidating figure in politics at a first glance. She is, however, a force of nature at the negotiation table, having been compared to everyone from “The Iron Lady”Margaret Thatcher to current German president Angela Merkel.
Before you attack or criticize her, she will have an answer ready before you even fire a bullet, said Lin Chong-pin, a retired strategic studies professor and Tsai’s first deputy.
9. Shes an LGBTQ rights activist.
In addition to Tsais promises to restore Taiwans struggling economy, shes also a staunch activist for marriage equality, regularly posting videos of same-sex marriages to her social media accounts. Before her election, Tsai took to social media to voice her support for the gay pride festivities happening at the time.
“In the face of love, everyone is equal. Let everyone have the freedom to love and to pursue their happiness. I am Tsai Ing-wen, and I support marriage equality,” she said in avideo posted on her Facebook page.
So not only is she attempting to broker a peace between her native sovereignty and China, but shes also helping promote a greater global health through social policy as well? Bad. Ass.
10. Shes a wine-drinking cat lady like the rest of us.
As if you needed another reason to like her.
While owning a cat is not intrinsically badass, Tsais badassness has long been established, so by the transitive property of mathematics, her two cats, Tsai Hsiang Hsiang and Ah Tsai, are therefore the most badass cats on the planet. According toThe Guardian, Tsai “very much enjoys sitting down with a glass of red wine, reading a book, and spending quality time”with those very cats.
Did you hear that? That was the sound of Taylor Swift announcing her run for president of the Unites States in 2020.
So, to recap: TsaiIng-wen is a trailblazing, self-made, tenacious-negotiating cat lady who promotes peace and supports everyones basic right to love freely.
Sounds like a leader we could all get behind, does it not?