What women's rights look like when the two sides come together as one.
What women's rights are when women are no longer manipulated by party rhetoric.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

More To Smile About

Cynthia Ruccia

I've been so completely FLUMMOXED at the goings on in our country that I just haven't felt like writing. It's like I've said it all before----why continue on with the same old same old. You know----all of the rank sexism everywhere you look. The beginnings of the same old attacks on Hillary should she decide to run----attacks I might add coming from both the left and the right. Ugh. It's just TOO MUCH!!!!

All of the same stuff about how and why women don't support each other. Actually I read a great piece by Phyllis Chesler on this subject, a piece prompted by the fact that the Democrats couldn't bring themselves to support their two wonderful, viable female candidates for mayors of Los Angeles and New York City. Read this terrific analysis here. You can still vote for an African-American simply because they are African-American to show solidarity and advance the prospects for all African Americans, but God forbid you vote for a woman because they are a woman. You then are labelled at best "vagina voter" and at worst "traitor to women." Go figure. The world is upside down.

Gotta love Hanna Rosin for showing how great things really are for women in a piece entitled "Men Dither While Women Lead In The World."  Read it and SMILE:

(CNN) -- This important leader handles the debt crisis with grace, navigating expertly between austerity and growth. The leader's opponents grumble, more out of jealousy than genuine opposition, and loyal supporters hail the leader as a hero. The leader's popularity soars; re-election is not in question. Meanwhile, unemployment is at an all-time low, and the leader's nation is looking like its own island of prosperity, a beacon to a suffering continent.
For President Barack Obama, this is a daydream. For German Chancellor Angela Merkel, this is life. Funny how the most admired leader of the Western world right now, the clearest example we have of consistent success during trying times, is a woman.
Hanna Rosin
Hanna Rosin
The pictures in the news, day after day, tell the story: House Speaker John Boehner looks like he hasn't slept in weeks. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell looks like he swallowed a lemon. Sen. Ted Cruz looks bizarrely smug while the world crumbles around him, and Obama can only shake his head and loosen his collar. The only Washington type who was smiling on the front page of the newspaper this week was Janet Yellen, newly nominated by Obama to be the chair of the Federal Reserve, and anointed by one observer as the most powerful woman in world history.
Oh, and there was one other person smiling in Washington: Christine Lagarde, chief of the International Monetary Fund, who was in the U.S. capital for the organization's annual meeting and who said just about the only sensible thing anyone in town has said all week on the debt ceiling crisis: "I hope that in a few weeks' time, we will look back and say, 'What a waste of time that was.' "
This has not been a shining week for the patriarchy. The men in suits dither, posture, plan negotiation sessions and then cancel them, and employ copious military metaphors -- "wage battle," "refuse to surrender" -- to no effect. Increasingly they become associated in the minds of the American people with verbs normally used to describe toddlers, such as "tantrum" or "throw a fit."
Malala on the Nobel Peace Prize
Janet Yellen: 'Small lady with large IQ'
Lagarde on European 'green shoots'
Competence, meanwhile belongs to the women, particularly in the usually macho world of global finance. Over in Europe, Merkel was re-elected on the basis of her deft handling of the eurozone crisis, and in the United States, monetary policy was entrusted to Yellen. Making the victory extra sweet for women, she was chosen instead of Lawrence Summers, who will forever be remembered for saying women aren't that good at math.
And this moment of female triumph extends beyond mere competence to unfathomable bravery. The hero of the moment -- the person who has been shot at, nearly killed and is still not afraid to talk -- is a heroine: 16-year-old Malala Yousafzai, who was nominated for a Nobel Prize and who told Jon Stewart this week that if she were faced with a Taliban gunman such as the one who shot her last year she would, once again, explain to him how important education is for girls. (In response Stewart asked if he could adopt her.)
Perhaps this will be remembered as the week when everything shifted, when we realized that leaving groups of men in charge of global decisions and of facing down terrorists is not a good idea, and we'd better calmly hand the reins over to the women.

Don't laugh. It happened in Iceland. Lagarde described the transfer of power recently on a panel at the Clinton Global Initiative. She explained how women brought Iceland out of its recession. After the economy crashed, "the banks, the funds, the government -- everything was taken over by women," she told The Wall Street Journal. "So when it's messy, you get the women in. But when the mess is sorted," she added, "keep the women."

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Something Happy for a Change......

Cynthia Ruccia


Although I'm not in that photo above, some of you might know, I started a mid-life "career" in my 50's as a jock. I was a couch potato for 50 years until a life crisis got me up off the sofa and out in the streets walking to ease my misery. I walked and walked and walked and walked, day in and day out. It was fun walking. I got to know alot of my neighbors and learned alot about the life of my suburb. I remember going out one day, and one of the regular runners shouted out to me "you know Cynthia, you'll get there much faster if you run!!"

HA I thought----me run? I couldn't see that ever happening!! Well, soon enough, I got my first breast cancer diagnosis, and as a result, I got a downsizing of that part of my body, and the idea of running took on a new possibility. People in my life were also razzing me that I was spending too much time walking and that it was unhealthy (????) and I should become more moderate in my habits. Well, that really pissed me off, so I decided to tell everyone I was training for a triathlon to get them off my case, and off  I went. I bought a competition bike, got myself a trainer, and started swimming, biking, and running, and I fell in love with the sport of triathlon.

So I've done my fair share of races in these past 8 or 9 years. I've done a bunch of triathlons both of the sprint distance and the olympic distance. I've done three half marathons.  I've done a bunch of those 5-K races for charity. I even raced during my second bout of breast cancer, removing my wig when it got too hot and running bald. I even placed #6 in the nation at the 2007 National Senior Olympics in Louisville, KY. Often I place first in my age group, but honestly, I'm often the ONLY one in my age group---LOL!!!!!!

My second bout of breast cancer a few years ago was serious, but it was a completely different breast cancer than the first one, and it was of the slow growing variety. My doctors threw everything they had at it and as a result of all of that, my prognosis is excellent. I also managed to work out throughout my course of 32 chemo treatments. On  my bucket list was finishing first in the National Senior Olympics in triathlon in Cleveland, OH this summer. I had to qualify for the finals last summer, and although I had finished my chemo, my hair hadn't grown back and I hadn't regained all of my strength, I managed to qualify finishing in the last possible position to still qualify. That part I got to check off the list.

I'd been training hard and feeling like my old self again when lo and behold, I developed a little bit of a problem in my right hip. I went to lots of physical therapy, but when it came down to it, I had to decide to either race and possibly mess up my hip for good, or forgo the race so I could continue running well into the future. I was really mad at that----after all, I'll be 61 on my next birthday in 6 weeks, and at this age, who knows what the future holds? I mean, friends start to retire, the aging process picks up speed, and some of your friends start to slow down and even die. And I've outlived both my parents by alot of years.

Well, I made the decision to fully heal and try again in 2015 in Minneapolis. And I still have that "impossible dream" goal of doing a half-Ironman. But I read an amazing article about the women competing in the 2013 National Senior Games and it is worth  reading. What a triumph!! These are the women who were denied the opportunity to compete in athletics in high school and college and beyond who are making up for lost time in their 50's, 60's, and 70's and beyond. I am woman hear me roar!!!! Here's that piece-----enjoy!!!!!


Friday, July 26, 2013

Let No Opportunity For Hypocrisy Go To Waste

Cynthia Ruccia

It's been a busy summer so far, and it's going to get even busier. Every time I think I'm going to write a piece something comes along and prevents me from doing it. I suppose that in some ways that is a blessing. However, today, I just can't contain myself, so the lawn will just have to go unmowed until I vent my spleen a little.

I had to go to Sacramento, CA on a business trip this week. Of course, since I live in Columbus, OH, there aren't any direct flights to such places, so I had to take 2 three-hour flights each way. I decided to fire up my kindle with "This Town: Two Parties and a Funeral--Plus Plenty of Valet Parking!--In America's Gilded Capital" by Mark Leibovich to keep myself from dying of boredom as the airplanes droned on.

This book was an amazing navel gazing exercise in the overwhelming narcissism that has taken over D.C. these days. I have become cynical over the years about government. I've gone from being a 60's--70's wild eyed hippie idealist to a hard-nosed realist after running for Congress in the 90's after seeing first hand the power of money in politics. I say realist because I accepted that part of the game and became quite good at it----good enough to have raised millions, written a fundraising how-to book, and criss-crossed the country having been hired by state parties from all over the place to teach their folks how to bring in the green. It just seemed practical, that's all. Money makes things happen, so there needed to be plenty of it to achieve the things that I thought were important. It's just business, you know?

Well, just like many of you, I really got my belief system destroyed in 2008 after the whole Hillary/Sarah/sexism fest/debacle. That whole thing went against everything I believed in and I along with 4 million others made an exit from the Democrats. Others have written much more eloquently about it than I, and all of us have had to muddle through a re-set in our views.

I thought I had reached a place that I could live with politically, proud Independent and all, but nothing prepared me for what was in this book------one  I couldn't take my nose out of for the entire 12 hours I was stuck in those planes. This book revolted me, but I couldn't put it down. After reading it, I am so disgusted with politicians and the media (and truth be told, the highly entertaining but narcissistic author----must take one to know one or something like that). I thought I understood the nature of the swamp in D.C., but I knew nothing. It was many degrees worse than I could ever imagine, and I'm feeling like a big rube for ever putting any credibility in any of the players there. I am disgusted with all of them and even more, I am disgusted with myself for my naivete and my stupidity in ever believing in anything.

HOWEVER, I still want to see women reach the highest rungs in numbers proportionally proper (say 50% or so). So it is with this backdrop that I am following the carnival around Anthony Weiner and Huma Abedin. I'm not going to offer up any commentary on their hypocrisy. You can read all about it from every conceivable angle by using your search engines.  You can read all sides about whether Huma should leave that weasel, about whether she was complicit and so power hungry herself that she really doesn't care, what kind of disgraceful human beings they both are, blah blah blah. You can read all about all of the major players trying to convince him to drop out, all of the latest polling of New Yorkers that reveals that although his numbers have slipped, there is still support for him, all of it. You can also listen to the poor thing who thought she was having a relationship with Weiner via texting, etc. You can even read about some sleazy sexual details that we really didn't need to know but can't stop reading about . I plead guilty to my own sick voyeurism in all of it.

HOWEVER, what has really blown my gasket is this article which says that Anthony Weiner should stay in the race and let New Yorkers decide whether they want him as their mayor. Actually, I agree with that position. HOWEVER, it is a hard position to square with Obama supporters who screamed bloody murder for Hillary to get out of the race but now can feel comfortable taking the position that Weiner has every right to stay in the race, a position that this article encourages. WTF!!!!!!!!!!

This whole thing is just giving me a high blood pressure headache. After reading what I thought was the ultimate form of cynicism about our national leadership both political and media-wise, I though maybe I was going to be inoculated----finally-----from the venal hypocrisies we are faced with from these hacks every day. But no------begging Hillary to get out of the race because she cannot win but telling folks to let democracy take its course in the case of dick-challenged Anthony Weiner is simply too much. Like I said in the title------no opportunity for hypocrisy must go to waste. Need I say more?

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Finally---Republican Women Take The Reins

Cynthia Ruccia

It's called "Women on the Right Unite," and it's an initiative coming from all of the major segments of the Republican Party from the Republican National Committee to the Republican Senate and Congressional Committees on down to College Republicans . The goal is to get more women elected on the Republican side in the 2014 election cycle and beyond. The activities will include candidate recruitment, funding, and more.

I have been waiting, and not so patiently, for the Republicans to wake up to the fact that their female elected officials are fantastic (the #1 Republican in the House Rep.Cathy McMorris Rodgers to start off the list with....), and that the time has arrived for them to leverage these women with more women. I say this as a former Democrat, now proud Independent. It is critical to elect more women on both sides of the aisle, and the Republicans have been lagging behind. This "lagging" hurts not only the Republican brand, it hurts all women and all women's politics.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Nutroots Nation (h/t myiq)

Cynthia Ruccia

I know that the subject of Hillary Clinton is a difficult one for the regular readers of this blog. It's a real irony since it was her presidential candidacy of 2008 and her subsequent sexist skewering that brought us all together. The misogyny emanating from our former home, the Democrats, caused an estimated 4 million of us to leave the Democratic Party. I might also add that the vote rigging during the rules and bylaws committee meeting in 2008 added significantly to the ugly stench of hypocrisy.

I understand that some of us are tremendously troubled about the path that Hillary has taken starting by "laying down with the dogs" as some would put it by joining the Obama administration all the way to the current and troubling unfolding of the events surrounding the September 11 deaths in Benghazi. I get it. I'd like to go on record to say that although I can sympathize with the people who hold these views, my sentiments fall differently. I am still a Hillary Clinton supporter. I'd still love to see her become the first female president of the U.S. I too am unhappy about some of the same things, but not enough to change my stance. In my opinion, Hillary Clinton would make a fine president, warts and all. Why should she pay a heavier price for her flaws than a man would? Most men who have run for and won the presidency have carried a far bigger load of actual mistakes, misjudgments, and the like and haven't had to suffer the opprobrium being thrown at HRC.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

I Interrupt My Vacation For A Word About Sarah Palin

Cynthia Ruccia

I am in sunny southern Italy for a family wedding. I've been really enjoying the food, the gorgeous weather, swimming in the Adriatic, being with my husband's wonderful family who all live here and whom we see too little of, and just getting away from it all. Sort of. Even here, you can't really unplug yourself. One would have to go to the moon for that these days. Or beyond.

So I was catching up on the news from home when this odious piece landed in my inbox, and until I comment I won't be able to eat another lucious scamorza fresca, a fioroni fig, or anything else until I get this off my chest. My niece's wedding is in about 8 hours, and even on this special day, I'm thinking about the state of women and sexism back in the United States.

Joan Walsh needs to resign her position at Salon-----or they need to fire her. Seriously. I'm a little late to the party about her (my friend K is constantly surprised that I give this woman any credibility), but I thought that at least for a woman to have ascended to the helm of one of the most successful internet magazines, she must have SOMETHING going for her. Lately, she has become SHRILL-------------hahahahahahahaha. Sorry, I just couldn't help myself. I know it is horrible to call a member of the sisterhood shrill. But it is meant as a deep insult. Sorry again.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Special Place in Hell.....

Cynthia Ruccia


There's a quote by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright that goes:

I'd like to take that one step further------that there's a special place in hell for women who advance at the expense of other women. And that's putting it politely.

At any rate, that quote and its derivative have taken up residence in my brain after watching Susan Rice and Samantha Power each take one more step up their professional ladder today. On the surface I should be happy. After all, the president took the opportunity to add another woman to his team instead of a man (that being Power----Rice was already on board).

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

A Few Comments On Michele Bachmann

Cynthia Ruccia

I want to get this out of the way upfront. Many people like to ridicule me whenever I say anything nice about Michele Bachmann. Bring it on!!!! As people make fun of me for my positive comments about the now-departing Congresswoman, they really prove the points I'm about to make.

My main premise today is that the historic vitriol against Michele Bachmann is a combination of dislike of her positions, mockery of her sometimes nutty views, attempts to marginalize an opponent, but most of all illustrating the HUGE dollop of sexism rolled into the brew.

As you all know by now, Bachmann is retiring from the House after this term. I'm actually sad to see her go. I agreed with little that she espoused and found some of her comments nutty (but really-----ALL politicians make nutty comments). But I truly admired her spirit and parts of her style. In a world that treats women pretty badly, and treated her worse than most, she stood up to it with glee and courage and stood by her convictions. I would venture to say that most women would have easily wilted after the first few volleys of what Bachmann was put through, but not Michele. All of us can learn a thing or two from her about what true courage is----especially women.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Nancy Pelosi Praying For Hillary Clinton To Run?

Cynthia Ruccia

So Nancy Pelosi is praying for Hillary to run for president? Please excuse me while I remove myself to go and upchuck my breakfast!!!

I know I haven't written for awhile. I just haven't had much to say that would add anything new to this conversation of the past 5 years. I've even considered closing down my blog activities. However, I know that that is just empty talk because the future most certainly holds fodder for me and you!!

I am soooooo very sorry that I feel miserable about the first female ever to be Speaker of the U.S.
House. In the beginning I was really proud of her and excited what her new position meant for women. However, when the events of the 2008 Democratic Presidential primary elections erupted, everything changed in that regard for many of us.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Get Ready For The Sexism Fest

Cynthia Ruccia

Well like the title says, gird yourself and get ready for the sexism fest to pick up where it left off if Hillary Clinton decides to run for president again. I am under no illusions that anything has changed. If anything, our culture has become so crude that no boundary to sexism expressed exists anymore. If 2008 proved anything, it was that there is no shame in expressing sexism ------no shame in any way. And an HRC candidacy in 2016 will only illustrate that point once again. If anything, I expect that the sexism will be even WORSE this time around.