(H/T myiq2xu at The Crawdad Hole for the photo)
This piece has been banging around in my head for awhile. I've not written much lately because frankly, everything has seemed stale. It might just be post election letdown or something. But it seems more like stasis-----nothing changing, the same old same old volleys back and forth with nothing of importance to me being addressed.
I read this piece yesterday in The New York Times about the fact that gender equality has stalled, and I wasn't sure what to expect. Was it going to be a rehash of the ubiquitous "war on women?" (more on that "war" later)? Or maybe someone with a bigger megaphone than I was actually going to address the real fact that women have stalled, are holding little power anywhere, and what we can do about it. The piece was given top billing in the opinion section, so I thought that we might be off to a good start on this topic. It was well written with lots of examples, anecdotal, historical, and research results, of how women have stalled. Ultimately, Stephanie Coontz, the author, came to the conclusion that the stalling out was because our workplace is so unfriendly to women and families. Point well taken and so true. She also hinted that what will change it wasn't going to be government intervention but a groundswell of support toward better conditions. I also agree. But I was quite disappointed that there was no mention of the fact that women still run maybe 3.6% of companies, and until there are more women at the top, these issues stand little chance of being resolved. Why? Because only people who have the actual power to change things can make these changes. Perhaps there is a little of the chicken and egg effect here as well. But it was refreshing to see that at least the author didn't drone on and on about getting some kind of bill passed to remedy things. That solution is DOA.
So back to my premise, what is it I've grown to believe politically? I've had almost 5 years now where my relationship with a political party has been severed, and I've had all of this time to deprogram myself and really observe what the two parties are up to. Unlike some, I actually read daily both the left and the right wing press. I watch both of their stations and listen to both on the radio and internet, although sometimes it is hard to do. I think that people who don't pay attention to both sides risk having their minds taken over by storylines, memes, and such and can easily slide into becoming automatons of one side so that they won't have to think for themselves. It is a lazy way to be IMHO. And it is dangerous IMHO. We humans are wont to fall into that pattern and historically it never comes to a good end.
So first of all, I REFUSE to demonize either side because of what they are. I strive to accept that we are all Americans who love our country and want a great America. Yes I am a bit of a Pollyanna, but I have grown over the 60 years of my life so far to realize that most people are good. Yes there are the glaring exceptions, and they are out there daily, but they are definitely in the minority. I believe that we should strive to treat people like the best of people and not the worst of people.
Secondly, when it comes to all things fiscal, I am right of center. I have always been a fiscal right of center person. Heck---I even voted for Ross Perot when he ran. I don't believe in heavy deficit spending over a long period of time. Both parties are guilty as charged on this one. One talks the talk but doesn't walk the walk. The other party, IMHO is swimming in dangerous waters right now denying that our fiscal house is in perilous shape. Professionally, I am a businesswoman who has run her own business most of my life. My first businesses I had I started in 10th grade, and although there have been a few instances of my working for someone else (I sold advertising for our local newspaper between my senior year of high school and freshman year of college), I always ran a business of my own on the side at those times. I know what it is to be the boss, meet a payroll, and create work for myself and others. IMHO you can spin theories about numbers any way you want but it doesn't change the immutable facts of profits, losses, and making money and making money work for you. One party thinks I'm a doofus for thinking such things and the other party tries to gain my loyalty by saying it is for people like me, but I get the distinct impression that much of that is just boilerplate to win my vote and not necessarily for real.
When it comes to the social issues of the day, I veer to the left of center, but not too far to the left. While I support abortion rights and gay rights, they aren't my major issues. It doesn't mean that I don't support them, it just means I have bigger fish to fry at this time. When it comes to the environment, I am completely flummoxed!!!!! I am dead center on this one. While like every denizen of this planet I want clean air and water (DUH!!!!), it needs to be accomplished IMHO by working WITH business to achieve these ends, not against business. I get sick and tired of the environmentalists demonizing business all of the time. And while business can be greedy and shortsighted, they are not all that way. The two groups need to work together and not at cross purposes. There is a fine line in this argument, and the tipping point is reached all too soon with the current mindset.
But in the end, neither party is addressing what is important to me. I want to see women take their rightful place at the table running 50% of everything. One party talks the talk but does little, and the other party is seriously screwed up, IMHO when it comes to their women, but not in the way that the other side uses to demonize them. The biggest enemy of women today is the Democratic Party storyline of the "war on women." The second biggest enemy of women today is the failure of the Republican Party to take advantage of the fabulous women on their side who have been successful in a major way.
Let's start with the Democratic "war on women" line. It is an almost complete crock of bull. It is a piece of propoganda that is being used on women WITH THEIR OWN COMPLIANCE to keep them successfully corralled in the Democratic camp. I have written about this time and time again. Feel free to go into this blog's archives if you haven't read any of these pieces. This "war on women" is being used to keep women compliant without anything to show for it. It is being used as a tool to keep people feeling that they are on the "cool" side. It is dangerous because that party is doing NOTHING to help women achieve their place at the table. The Democrats have a sorry recent history of using sexism to win and they have gotten away with it because of the ridiculous scare tactics they have used to keep women on the reservation and not thinking for themselves. It is disgusting.
The Republican problem is no less exasperating. I can't for the life of me figure out why the R's aren't using some of their most potent weapons, their fabulous women, to counter the "war on women" theme. NO ONE speaks more eloquently about why the Republican Party is good for women than the Republican Conference Chair Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, the highest ranking Republican woman in the U.S. House. No one touches people's hearts with this message more than Mayor Mia Love and New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez and South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley. Of the two people at the top of a recent poll of who we want to see as our future president, one of them is Secretary of State Condi Rice. Where is she? We hardly hear enough from her as well. All we are seeing from the Republicans at the moment is trying to fix things with Hispanics by putting Senator Marco Rubio front and center. Now don't get me wrong---I really like Rubio. He always inspires me. I even bought a Rubio water bottle recently!! hahahahahahahaha. HOWEVER, where are the women? The Republicans lost the women vote and they IMHO should have done much better and could have done so had they done a better job of highlighting their women. But they aren't doing it. My friend tells me that it is because they are still in shock over the beating they took over Sarah Palin. If that is the case, shame on them. They've had men lose too, but that doesn't stop them from nominating and highlighting other men. I mean really-----it's just pathetic. If the Republicans refuse to use what great resources they have in the female department, they deserve to lose women's votes.
So the graphic above pretty much sums it up for me. I am very happy to be an observer of the follies on both sides. And I will continue to fight for women getting to the top whenever I can. I will vote for women of either party whenever I can. But I'm not going to be the slave of either party. Nor will I demonize one party at the total expense of the other. Those days are finished for me. I'm happier being a proud Independent and just do the thinking for myself. Order me up one from column A and one from column B.......