Women in the US are mad as hell, but what are we doing about it?
- This week, Rush Limbaugh’s slur about a female Georgetown University law student, Sandra Fluke, calling her a slut and a prostitute, resulted in women everywhere revolting. He has since then apologized.
- Last month, the Susan G. Komen Foundation’s denial of funds to Planned Parenthood resulted in such an outcry that it took less than a week for the organization to reverse its decision.
- Last week, the Commonwealth of Virginia legislature recently passed a watered-down version of a law requiring women seeking abortions to get an ultrasound, even in cases of incest and rape.
- A recent Washington Post editorial from February 24 discusses how the Catholic Church, the staunchest supporters of no birth control, almost voted in favor of allowing it in the late 1960s.
I don’t care which political party you belong to. Nor, do I care what your stance is on abortion and birth control. I do care that women are still not represented in places of power. This is not a world I want to leave to my daughter.
The 2010 Census shows that half of the USA’s population are women. We’ve had the right to vote since the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution was approved in 1920 — almost 100 years ago. Yet, according to the WCF Foundation, women only hold 17% of the seats in Congress. Only 22% of state elected executive offices have a woman at the helm. Only 6 out of 50 states have a female governor. These numbers do not represent 50%. Hell, they don’t even represent 25% of our country’s population.
If we do not like what legislatures, organizations and churches are doing that impact us, what are we doing about it? If we want a seat at the table, we have to push for it. The men aren’t going to simply hand it over. Why are women reactive instead of proactive? When did we give up on allowing our male-dominated culture, legislation, business, and yes, even our churches, determine what is best for us? Is this what you want your daughter or granddaughters to live with? I don’t.
All of the women I know have the skill set to hold public office. They work inside and outside the home and are incredibly professional. They volunteer in their children’s schools. They are well informed about issues affecting their families. The juggle multiple commitments and rely on their network when necessary. And, they do all of this within a budget. Yet, no one I personally know except one woman, has stepped up to run for public office at a local level. Local political office is a stepping stone to state and national office. In all of these places, women can affect change.
As I watch the slate for Republican presidential candidates continue to try to earn a top spot for nominee, they all have something in common. You’re smart. What do you see? Three white men. I’ve got nothing against white men. Five men in my life happen to be white and I love them. There have been white men, but only one African American man, in my life who have helped me professionally. What has been lacking is a more diverse pallet. How can we manage better diversity when those in charge aren’t diverse?
There’s no diversity in our pool of power. When President Obama was running the Democratic nominee for president in 2008, there was only one female candidate: Hillary Clinton. So, I ask again: Why are we not involved more in politics? Why are we letting men determine what is best of us? How can we make our voice heard more?
To quote a favorite bummer sticker of mine: stop bitching and start a revolution. We have the skills. We have the rights. Let’s do something about it.