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.


Monday, March 5, 2012

When Will Women Rise Up?

Cynthia Ruccia





I am so heartened with the continuing proliferation of major articles talking about what WE have been saying since 2008 when Hillary Clinton ran for president: that we need to wake up to that fact that women run virtually NOTHING in the "enlightened" United States of America. I awoke this morning to this  Leslie Bennetts article in The Daily Beast and Newsweek  that stated our case better than I have ever seen it stated. She adds many more statistics to the ones we are always trotting out with terrific graphics:



Women in Politics






For those who continue to read this and other blogs like it, we have continually said that we must keep repeating our message over and over and over and over ad nauseum because it will trickle up and into the culture. That idea has been proven with the continuing drumbeat of discussion over these points. We have been so busy fighting the abortion/reproductive battles that we have forgotten the economic/power battles where we have virtually no representation at the top and thus no decision-making power over our well being in economic areas. Whenever "female well-being" is discussed, it is ALWAYS in the context of reproduction and not in the economic/power spheres. And woe be it to people who try to steer the conversation to economics----------woe be it. Those of us in the past 4 years who have decided to focus on this part of the women's empowerment issues have run into a brick wall of sexism from the left and from the right.

It is such a joy to read these terrific articles that have been bubbling up lately. In addition to this Leslie Bennetts article, there is this fine piece by Harvard Law Professor Nancy Gertner arguing many of the same points. People are FINALLY awakening to this weakness in the feminist argument of women's empowerment, the economic piece of it and how we have fallen dramatically behind. Both of these articles end the same way however, with the same summation. Bennetts says:
"Since women have cast between four and seven million more votes in recent elections than men have, female voters clearly possess the power to overturn the status quo—if they decide to use it. But in recent years, the majority of women have accepted significant inequities with passive acquiescence rather than challenging them with an active commitment to change. In an era when health insurance plans reimburse men for Viagra while denying women coverage for birth control, it’s anyone’s guess when women will finally decide to mobilize their numbers and their networks to demand an equal voice, instead of continuing to tolerate their relative disenfranchisement."

and Gertner puts it this way:
"But all this is not enough. “The most important thing is: We have to be unsatisfied,” Gertner told her largely female, professional audience. “We have to not believe that this was the accomplishment of the women’s movement — that I’m here and that you’re here is somehow all we can achieve."

So there is growing evidence that our message is becoming more mainstream, and this is great news indeed. We need to continue to talk about what we've been talking about----over and over and over again. Yes it is tiresome. Yes it is so obvious to us. So obvious. Yes we will still run into pockets of resistance of unlikely folks who just don't want to hear it. Change comes really hard to lots of people no matter what they say. KEEP TALKING!!

BUT, the missing piece needs to be discussed. And that is at what point will women (and men) have had enough and when will they demand change? As I see it, it won't be government solutions that will cause these changes to happen. I see that if we put our progress into the hands of government, our cause will die a dusty death on someone's desk. Why? Because today's political realities aren't tailored for what we need to correct the gross inequities women face. What we need is a complete cultural shift where the changes will be organically made. Those of us over a certain age have seen this kind of shift before. It happened because as a culture we reached a critical mass of dissatisfaction with the status quo. It needs to happen again. It will require two things:

  1. Continuing conversation and education as to what the realities are for women, the fact that women still don't run anything, and we still make 77 cents on the man's dollar, etc. and so on. People are just now starting to wake up to the truth. That drumbeat needs to continue.
  2. We need a new model of action to compel the culture to change.
I am not sure what that new model will entail. We have seen citizen uprisings all over the world recently, and we have seen them here at home. The Tea Party and the Occupy protests come to mind. We have also seen these movements disappear before our eyes. I am not one to not try something just because it might fail. That kind of thinking would be really wishy washy and defeatist before we even begin. I still envision that if enough people realize how badly our American ideals have served women in terms of empowerment, people will vote women in, people will appoint more women to corporate boards, people will feel compelled to let all manner of glass ceilings shatter. However, if we continue to speak of the problem without some kind of action plan, it is all just talk.

So we will continue to talk, and as the logic of the message settles into the culture and the unassailable facts of our inequality cannot be swept under the rug, let's decide on what to do and add that on to the message. When will women (and the men who support our equality) rise up? When we have created enough dissatisfaction for them to do so and give them a track to run on. Ideas anyone?

28 comments:

  1. maybe the action step one is to reach out to wider groups of people in our talking

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  2. All leftist women want is the right to kill. That is the problem. Can't get a long with murderers and don't want to be associated with them. I certainly don't want to pay for ANYTHING for them. Sorry, I don't want anyone making decisions for me who thinks it is OK to kill the unborn.

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  3. Another thing, I resent the implication that Viagra and birth control are the same thing...they aren't. To equate the two is a leftist talking point.Viagra is a treatment for a specific medical condition, like loss of hearing. Why don't we all get free hearing aids?

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    1. tinkerthinker-----we're not about reproductive status or rights or whatever you want to call it at Women Win Too. Our issue is solely economic parity. We feel strongly that by concentrating on the reproductive realm, because the issue is so divisive, women have been a house divided and as a result we can't come together to break any of the glass ceilings because we are so divided. I understand how you feel tinkerthinker, but we just don't really deal with the issues you've brought up here.

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    2. Abortion divides us. There is no getting around that.

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    3. 100% agree with you on that!!!

      But it doesn't have to divide us on whether women should be president, representatives, run corporations, be on more corporate boards, be half of the journalists, be half of the governors, make less money, etc.

      We can disagree on abortion, and I for one have alot of respect for your position. But we can agree on alot of other things.

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  4. Cynthia, can we jump into the energy stirred up by the recent Limbaugh flap? I know there are statewide marches planned sometime in April. Right now it is all about the REPUBLICAN War on Women...but there are a lot of young women finally starting to pay attention. I'm not great on the computer, but I noticed the War on Women page in Oklahoma was hopping..Maybe if this message could find its way into each of those State websites, it might broaden their focus for the march and open their eyes to the larger problem of BOTH parties toward women.

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    1. I'm only worried that the energy stirred up by this flap is more of the same divisive and manipulative tactics used to corral women's energy to prevent us from coming together. Remember----it is not defined as necessarily a war on women. It is defined as a REPUBLICAN War on Women and it suits the parties to keep this thing going during an election year. Perhaps at these gatherings we can get a hearing for our issues, but I don't expect we'll get much more. It is another case of reproductive issues being front and center and no room for anything else.....sad indeed.

      We should also be outing the lefty men for their outrageous sexism.......

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  5. Tinkerthinker, but..we are STILL making 77 cents per man's dollar! Leaders in both parties count on us to vote one way or another based on this one issue to remain a 2nd class citizen, with NO power. I used to do the same thing on the other side...they NEVER had to work for my vote. We women must take back our power and broaden the conversation...otherwise we are doomed...and our daughters will have less rights than we do..and their daughters will have less than they do...until well.

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    1. You do not understand why.. you only see the outcome. How can anyone really deep down respect women when all they want is the right to kill their unborn babies?

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  6. These two article are great - thank you for bringing them to our attention. But indeed, how does one fix this? SO many women totally don't see the problem. So women's awareness now is the biggest obstacle in my opinion. it is not the fault of either party really - but the fault of women in both parties. Obviously, if Democrat women who wanted to vote for Obama, for example, told him they would only do so if he had a female VP, he would have one - in a day. But they won't do that. I do not know why.
    Some other solutions?
    (1) Women who have made it to the top have to use their power to make institutional changes so other women can rise too.
    (2) Ambitious women have to be sure to marry men who want to be equal (or more than 50% supportive) in the home, or remain single. This is probably already true?
    (30 We have to keep talking and talking and talking. Getting mad at other women or telling them to vote against their belief systems isn't going to win them over. Only knowledge. Many women (most?) know nothing about th history of women's rights and how htey were won.

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    1. I will write a letter to the White House stating that Pres. Obama has my vote ONLY if he has a female VP.

      LOVE IT! I hope others will follow.

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  7. Did you see this great article by Kirsten Powers? Lots of good stuff there I think. Plus her courage and integrity deserve some attention IMO. Just a thought.

    Rush Limbaugh Isn’t the Only Media Misogynist
    by Kirsten Powers
    link: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/03/04/rush-limbaugh-s-apology-liberal-men-need-to-follow-suit.html

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    1. Limbaugh is an asshat. Always has been and always will be. However he is NOT the Republican Party. Why should the Republican Party have to apologize for him when the Democrats make no such apologies for the things that Bill Maher says. Far worse things! When women on the left are as upset about the misogyny coming from the left as they are about jackasses like Limbaugh I'll think they care about "women" in general not just the Democratic Party.


      I was a Democrat for many years and in my new incarnation as an Independent I see a whole lot of things about both parties that I loathe. I see, "Two Parties Against The People."

      I will not, ever, no matter whom he chooses for his VP vote for Obama. If others have forgotten the misogynistic and racist campaign he ran, I have not.

      I find the whole hullabaloo tiresome. Ms. Fluke has had her 15 minutes +. She flits from one television show to another as if she had something profound to say. She doesn’t.

      I found her tiresome and less than credible the first time. Now? Seriously is she anything other than just another activist trying to divide women further? Are Republican women not worthy of the same outrage when some misogynistic pig attacks them? If not then spare me the fauxrage over what one jackass on the right said about a 30 year old woman who was clearly, and very successfully getting her message across.

      Somehow it doesn't seem right to me that those of us who cannot afford to go to, or send our offspring to prestigious universities like Georgetown should pay for contraceptives for these entitled young women.

      I have nothing against sex or contraception. I just don't think I should have to pay for others who choose to have one and use the other.

      We seem to have "come a long way baby", from I am woman - hear me roar to I am woman - hear me whine. From equal pay to some perceived right to have our life choices subsidized by someone else.

      We are better than this. We are stronger than this. The politicians and the media have used "sex" to keep us down for generations. We are smarter than this. Or maybe not.

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    2. You are the voice in my head. I love this line and couldn't agree more!
      We seem to have "come a long way baby", from I am woman - hear me roar to I am woman - hear me whine. From equal pay to some perceived right to have our life choices subsidized by someone else.

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    3. Thanks Thia, it's always nice to know you are not alone.

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  8. I saw that article by Kirsten Powers, KenoshaMarge. It was spot on. Maybe all people marching in the April protest, should wear Burkas. They shouldn't be hard to construct..even for people like me who made my first "C" in the forced (for all girls) home ec. class I had to take in 7th grade. A couple of black or blue sheets with some slits for eyes should do the trick.

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  9. I think people should XEROX this article and post it in public places, pass on to friends/neighbors, etc.

    Make POSTERS with the stats on women on VOTING DAY.
    Get students on CAMPUS to WALK with the signs prior to VOTING DAY. Help Women get into office.

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  10. Unfortunately, women rising up equals voting democrat.

    The conundrum being that what happened to Hillary Clinton in 2008 at the hands of democratic higher ups and the media should have meant that the democrats lost the presidency to the republicans, either in 2008, or certainly now.

    Yet the republicans are too tardish to embrace women into their party.

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    1. Don't know whether you are a man or woman, but your remark is all I need to rest my case. The division is too great.

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    2. So what are female Republicans, an anomoly? Yours is exactly the kind of voice that divides us.

      I have risen up as an equal in every way that I can my whole life. That means I have to vote Democrat? Hogwash!

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  11. www.superchooseday.com Hillary Clinton is the only name that ANY and ALL polls show that she would win in the 2012 Presidential election. She is a moderate who has proven in every job she has taken that she knows how to get things done. She knows the meaning of words like: hard work, public service, strong middle class means strong USA economic health, leadership. You put Hillary Clinton and Olympia Snowe or Susan Collins on as a Presidential ticket and you will have your first non-party President! You will forever break the strangle hold of the elitist partist posing as a two party system. Never again just Democrats or Republican sameness! www.AmericanElect.org

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  12. AWESOME! We are not just talking about a change in the White House but a whole new way to get election reform that by passes the do nothings in Washington! They can't or won't fix it we will! www.AmericanElect.org Go become A Hillary Clinton, Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins supporting delegate!

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  13. The latest Obama ploy to pander to women. Are we this dim? I read that the Democratic Party believes that women voters are "feelers" not "thinkers." I "think" this is a monumental pander and it really pi$$es me off. But then I wasn't going to vote for the misogynist in chief anyway, so never mind.

    Hollywood star announced as one Obama campaign national co-chair
    Link: http://whitehouse.blogs.cnn.com/2012/02/22/hollywood-star-announced-as-one-obama-campaign-national-co-chair/


    I watched "Desperate Housewives" once and never watched again. I found it tacky and demeaning to women. As I do all the "Real" Housewives of wherever.Now all us "girls" are evidently supposed to go all weak in the knees and support Obama because some Follywood Star is in his corner. Not me. Fraid not!

    Showcasing women as being nothing more than horny nitwits or horny nasty nitwits is not my idea of having come a "long way baby." It's my idea of achieving parity with scumbag men.

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    1. Hey KenoshaMarge----what do you make of Maher telling the lefties to shut up and accept Rush Limbaugh's apology?

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    2. I think Goshwoggled and Flabbergasted about covers it. But even a blind pig, and I do mean pig, finds an acorn now and then.

      Read somewhere this morning that Axlerod is going on Maher's show. Tells me, and should tell ALL women, exactly what the Obama Administration thinks of women.

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  14. Hey KenoshaMarge---glad you got blogger under control!!!!

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    1. That I did Cynthia. Sometimes it takes me several tries to post a comment. If it's worth posting I keep trying. Often on second thought, it really wasn't worth saying in the first place. It makes me edit me. Not a bad thing. ;)

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