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.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Michele Bachmann Kicks Ass!!!!

Cynthia Ruccia

I am jumping up and down unable to contain the glee in my heart tonight having just learned that Michele Bachmann won the Iowa straw poll. And I noticed that not everyone is jumping up and down with me. "What are you thinking?" some of you are saying to me with a look of total disbelief on your faces. "Michele Bachmann?------C'mon Cynthia----have you lost your friggin' mind?"

Noooooooooooo, I have not lost my mind. I am absolutely thrilled that Bachmann won tonight, and you should be too. Now I'm asking those of you who don't understand my point of view to please give me the courtesy of hearing me out. If you can't hear me out then you must be happy that the United States ranks #70 in the world in female representation in government. You must also be thrilled that we women hold 2.7% of the CEO positions in the Fortune 1000. You are definitely bursting with pride that we hold 24% of state legislative seats and only 6 governorships, that we hold 20% of senior management positions and that there are more companies than ever that have no women in senior management positions. If those statistics make you happy, knock yourself out celebrating them.

But I know that whatever your political persuasion, women can't be happy about the current state of affairs. And yes we've come a long way since the 1950's, but we've not come nearly far enough judging from the above irrefutable facts. And let's face it, 1950 was 61 years ago-----it's not a fair comparison to say we should be happy that we're not where we were. We're not where we should be either!!!!

But let's get back to Michele Bachmann. there are those who say that she can't be supported because she's anti-woman. I disagree with that. She doesn't support the platform of the Democratic Party, but that doesn't make her anti-woman. The Democrats do NOT own women's politics in this country. In fact, the feminist platform of the Democratic Party has completely stalled out. In my piece Women's Rights Are Held Hostage To Party Rhetoric, I discuss how neither party can claim women's rights cred. While the left is saying that it is the fault of the right that their agenda hasn't progressed, that isn't entirely true. The women's agenda of the left hasn't passed because the men on the left who hold most of the power have hemmed and hawed with the agenda. They haven't made it a priority to really take the agenda up, and to take themselves off the hook, they blame it on the other side. Politics 101 my friends. As long as there aren't more women in power----on BOTH sides of the aisle---women's politics will continue to stall. Let's be clear---the Lily Ledbetter Bill that is always thrown in my face as proof of the ownership by the left of the women's agenda only passed because the Republican women in the Senate crossed over and voted for it.

There are those who like to quote Gloria Steinem who said there will always be women like Bachmann and Palin who sell out the women's movement.  I have tons of respect for Gloria Steinem. I appreciate her trailblazing in the 70's that broke through tons of barriers for women. Heck, she even held a fundraiser for me in New York City at Tavern on the Green during my 1996 run for Congress. But I also think that her rhetoric is outdated and that while her tactics were great in the 70's, those same tactics have become the reason why women's progress has stalled out. I mean, why would you keep talking on a phone attached to the wall when you can use a cell phone and talk wherever and whenever you want?

My real point here is that when women win these elections, we ALL win. The more women win and assume power, the more people get used to seeing women in power and the more routine it will become. And the more routine it becomes, the more women will win----women of all ideologies. The more women win, the more truthfully we can tell our daughters that they can be anything they want to be because they will see it for themselves. It won't be just a phantom dream and fable we pass on to them as it is now.

And women of differing ideologies will learn to work together. Here in Ohio the female justices on our supreme court from opposing sides are finding out how when they work together they agree more than they thought they would. Why couldn't this become a parable for how it will be when women hold 50% of elected positions?

So why should we be happy about Michele Bachmann's kickass victory in Iowa tonight? It's not about her positions on the issues. It's because she won!! It's because we get to see a female victorious where none have been before. Dance and rejoice!! And if you don't like her positions, fine!! Work to get more women elected who represent your views. Or better yet, run yourself. But when women win, we all win!!!!


  1. Such exciting news about Bachmann!! Thanks for writing Cynthia because I've been afraid to tell people that I'm happy about Bachmann winning because they're going to ridicule me as an idiot. But I think that they're the idiots!

  2. Vote for people based upon whether they support the kind of society you want, not what sex organs they have (sex organs that Ms. Bachmann would like the state to control, btw.) We women deserve women who will truly represent their interests.

  3. anonymous---I want a society where 50% of the power positions are held by women. I don't know where you get your ridiculous notion that Bachmann wants the state to control sex organs. Some people like to throw that idea around to stop discussions. They also throw it around to prevent women from being elected. Getting women into power positions DOES represent all of our interests----wome from all points of view. Your notion is just so old fashioned---like from the dark ages!!

  4. We need more articles like this one that aren't afraid to state the truth. We DO need more women in power positions and the left isn't getting that done are they? Women of any ideology will work together better than men will. It's our nature to solve problems, not exalt our own egos. For a reminder of how the liberal powers-that-be treat women, go back to the 2008 democratic primary. Nuff said.

  5. I'm thrilled! She's doing a great job and soooo much better than all the doom and gloomers predicted. Go Bachmann go!

    @Anonymous - Bachmann does represent my interests. I don't agree with her on 100% of the issues but neither do I agree 100% with any of the men running. Someone from the Republican party WILL be running. Why not at least root for the woman? If you don't feel she represents YOUR interests, whatever those are, then don't vote for her in the general. But I'm a woman and I do feel she well represents MINE. Who gets to decide what women represent "women's interests" if not the individual interested women themselves?

  6. We have a two party system, - there are 535 seats and they are usually a slight majority of one or the other. Sometimes we get a Conservative POTUS, or Senate, House or some combination thereof sometimes a Liberal but always the SUPER majority is men.

    Can you honestly say that you rather have Conservative men than Conservative women making your decisions or representing you when the Republicans are voted in? I don't want any men making my decisions for me from either side- I want equal represention and that means 50% of each side ought to be women!

    Essentially, am I hearing about a debate about a race between 11 persons whose ideology is the same and one which women don't agree with in the first place? So let me get this right - out of a a field of 10 men and 1 woman in a Conservative race some women can't be happy for another woman winning against any man men who has the exact same ideological views?

    Gimme a break- all things being equal in the political arena - this is a conservative race to begin with ladies - wake up- so when Michelle Bachman wins - we need to be jumping for joy!

    Moreover, we need to vote for every woman that runs and we need to support every woman who runs everytime she does.

    Instead some women start yelling that she is against their rights to their own bodies etc. Or the conservatives start yelling she is too Liberal yet never questioning the broken promises and lies of those men running along side her.

    Alice Paul wrote the ERA at the same time she vote voter's rights. They gave us the VOTE and half of us still vote the way the church or our husbands or fathers tell us too the other half vote the way our party tells us too.

    When do we vote the way WOMEN should? Of the women, by the women for the women!

    Men are not and have not and never will vote for our best interests they haven't for nearly 200 years and unless we make them they are not going to start now.

    We need female representation in Congress and we damned well need a female President.

  7. My spell checker needs a spell checker - sorry ladies!

  8. Bachman's political positions fright. And I find it frightening that she could win any poll. I don't care about her gender. She's a dangerous person.

  9. Madeleine Begun Kane, How is she more dangerous than any of the men she is running with/against? Her positions are just as conservative as the guys. In fact Santorum thinks she is not Conservative enough, Ron Paul thinks its OK for Iran to have Nukes, and Newt apparently thinks women shouldn't run for anything. Aside from that the obvious issue you refer to is Pro-Life and on that all conservatives agree - so what is it that she should not beat the men she is up against about?.

  10. MBK---it's possible to disagree with someone and still be happy that a glass ceiling was broken. Let's face it----someone was going to win the Iowa straw poll and that someone was going to be a pro-life conservative whose views would be to the right, and if someone of that ilk won, I'm glad it was a woman. As was noted in the piece, Lily Ledbetter passed because the pro-life Republican women, some with "dangerous" views on other matters, voted with the other women.I'm assuming your views are to the left if you feel "fright." I don't know you or where you're from, but I live in Florida, one of the biggest swing states in the country. I live among alot of folks whose views are quite different than mine (I'm a pro-choice social liberal, fiscal moderate) who you might characterize as frightful and dangerous. These people are my neighbors, coworkers, and our children go to school together. These people are good Americans who think differently than I do on a few things, who are not dangerous or scary. Bachmann doesn't seem much different than these people who I live side by side with. She (and they) may hold some different views, which is fine. We disagree. But I don't have the element of fear about them just because we aren't on the same page politically.They are still law abiding, productive members of our country. Disagreeing politically is, as they say, as American as apple pie. So why fear that?

  11. Madeline----nice to see you here!! Would love for you to comment on Trouble in the Sisterhood:


    I understand that from where you sit, Bachmann's views might seem scary. I don't agree with some of her views myself beginning with her pro-life position. However, I'm still of the opinion that there are many glass ceilings to be shattered, even in places where I'm not comfortable.

    I'm sure you'd agree that women still have a long way to go in the glass ceiling department. It just seems to me that we will need a critical mass of shattered glass in order to get the 50% of power positions we should be holding. So I'm just celebrating one more step toward getting there. That's different than agreeing with Bachmann. Like Kate just said, whoever was going to win in Iowa wasn't going to be a pro-choice liberal!! Might as well be a woman....

  12. Thanks to Kate for all that you said. I've never thought of myself as a fright before but I guess according to Madeleine I would be darn terrifying! ;)

    I can't help but wonder though whether Madeleine actually knows any of those scary Conservative people. It sounds to me like she's scared of the media and politician created boogie man (woman) in the dark of the closet that she's never actually seen. Disagree with us - fine. This is still America after all. But buying into the IMO sexist labeling of Bachmann as "dangerous"? Really?

  13. Bachmann is an idiot who will never win the presidency, let alone the primary. Palin is an idiot who will never win the presidency, let alone the primary. Women who support these two morons, simply because they are women, only accomplish one thing; making women look even more stupid for supporting them, thus reversing our hard-earned progression and credibility. Women should vote for the BEST person who will represent the country, with the hope that that person will be a brilliant woman (there are many out there, but certainly not Bachmann or Palin). Come on ladies, show some damn self-respect and vote for someone who makes us look like we belong in charge. Supporting some idiot just because she's another woman makes us look VERY bad, and VERY desperate.

  14. anonymous----Every single argument you have used against this argument can be used against your argument. Why must every woman be perfect? It is THAT reasoning that has made sure that women hold 20% instead of 50% of the offices in this country.It is your argument that results in the U.S. placing #70 in the world for female representation in government. It is YOUR argument that is responsible for the income discrepancy. It is YOUR argument that is old, dated, and ineffective. I never have understood people who put forth your argument saying that women will just get there someday. You clearly don't know how power works in this country and are living in some kind of fairy tale. Men aren't going to just cede power to women----we're going to have to grab it. And it won't be because we're better than they or perfect. It will be when we're smart enough for women to grab it. And your argument makes it so easy for power to be grabbed from us and keep us in our place. Wake up anonymous-----your is a recipe for more of the same!!!! I never understand why people put forth critical opinions and don't have the courage to put their own name on their opinions. But anonymous, you don't win arguments by hiding, and you don't advance an anything by throwing bombs.

  15. @ Anonymous

    Since you have so clearly indicated the level of intelligent conversation you are willing/able to have, I will simply add...

    I know you are but what am I?

  16. Did Anonymous fight for Hillary? Furthermore, Anonymous needs to look at Palin's record in Alaska before Anonymous calls her an "idiot." I am so tired of educating people on facts when all they have to show is insults.

  17. Anonymous: For whom did you vote? Pres. Puttz on the Golf Course? He sure has a great track record of supporting women, and now only approval from 43% of women. I'm a voter, and we are in charge of putting someone in charge who looks in charge, act in charge. The reply you have made is moronic.

  18. So let me get this straight: You're trying to promote what you might consider "common sense feminism" whereas you are constantly criticizing 1970's feminists for being outdated, yet you support Ms. Bachmann, a pro-lifer, constantly voting down pro-women legislation, votes with her predominately sexist male party 90% of the time, all because she is female? Do you not see the hypocrisy in all this? Is this not just sexism in reverse? How can you possibly believe voting in a woman like Bachmann is good for all of us? Do you really think simply putting more vaginas in seats of power is the only part of the equation necessary for us to break the glass ceiling?
    I was ready to get behind your new feminist movement. Now I cannot even take you seriously.

  19. Christie----You clearly don't understand where this article is coming from. Did you read anything? And if you did, you must have poor understanding skills.

    First of all, the idea is that women don't run anything. We aren't even considered for positions you don't agree with. Where does it help any of us to vote in women who only agree with a narrow point of view that you purport is the only feminist point of view around? Your reasoning is why the United States ranks #70 in the world for female representation in government and all of the other statistics that Cynthia put forth that you apparently didn't read.

    I am tired of the view that people must vote with their wombs. What good has that point of view done for women in the past 30 years? We still only make 75% of what men make, etc. And furthermore, if you must talk about vaginas, an extremely sexist POV, let me say this: we've been voting limp dicks into office for 250 years-------------and that's not sexist? Let's give more vaginas a try. You are being extremely close-minded and that close mindedness has done women more damage than anything as we strive for economic parity. I appreciate your "candor," but it doesn't help our cause to break the remaining glass ceilings for women to be squabbling among themselves. You have become a tool of your political party.

  20. Wow. The ignorance here is palpable. You preach unity among women, but the first words in response to me are insults to my intelligence. Very demeaning, to say the least. I never once insulted any of you, not even Ms. Bachmann. I only called her and this blogger on her bulls--t. I kind of consider that my duty as not only a voter, but a strong and independent-minded woman with critical-thinking skills. That duty knows no gender. You will never convince me otherwise, and I will not support someone who is bad for women simply because she was born female. It doesn't mean she is looking out for the best interests of other women, and especially not that she has what it takes to break the glass ceiling. Sorry, I'm a firm believer that civil rights always come first, and quality will always trump quantity.
    Now, you accuse me of being sexist when your comments are some of the most sexist I've ever seen! Women don't run anything? I think you're marginalizing the things we have accomplished in the past with that demoralizing statement. Pretty sexist. There are plenty of women in positions of power and/or authority. Yes, in comparison to men, it can look miniscule, but one shouldn't write off ALL feminist accomplishments because of statistics. So spout all the numbers you want, they mean nothing to someone who is actually interested in making a REAL difference. Quality of women will always, always trump the quantity of women. They don't have to be perfect, but at least favor womens' rights issues! Man-hating is NOT the way to get people to listen to and respect us, either. It only perpetuates the stereotype that the feminist movement is only made up of man-hating, bitter old lesbians. [Not my words, it's just what I always hear people saying about it.]
    You call me sexist for using the phrase "vaginas in positions of power," then talk about voting with our wombs, voting-in "limp-dicks," and then giving vaginas a try. Uhh ... hypocrisy much?
    If you all were real women with critical-thinking skills, willing to recognize that we need to take responsibility for our own fight instead of blaming men for everything, not brainwashed by the women-favoring rhetoric, you would all realize how hypocritical you're all being. Sorry, but I want EQUAL rights, not favorable treatment. Bravo in undermining your message.