Friday, January 06, 2017

Will US Women Ever Be Equal?

(Courtesy of equalrepresentation.org)     Subscribe in a reader

Has anyone noticed that women made NO PROGRESS towards parity in the US Congress in November, an ongoing mega-disgrace for our country no matter who is elected president?

The USA is tied with Kyrgyzstan for #100 in the world for electing women (or #116 if you count all the ties) w/19.4% seats in the 115th Congress, 241 years after independence from the British Empire. Women picked up one more Senate seat (21 total), but one LESS seat in the House (83 total). In the past 14 years (7 election cycles), women have only increased their totals by 3.9%. Should I mention that 13 "Taxation Without Representation States" (26%) send not one woman to Washington! Women are the majority, not a minority -- yet we have little voice where so many critical decisions are made.

Does it matter? Breaking news is that pro-Choice GOP Senators Susan Collins ME and Lisa Murkowski AK will not commit to voting for a bill that aims to dismantle Obamacare if it contains the language to defund Planned Parenthood.

The established benchmark for parity progress is 30%, and so far 51 countries have exceeded that mark -- with 12 in the 40+ range. Some have made the progress because of legal/voluntary quotas, like Rwanda (63.8%) and Bolivia (53.1%). But Iceland at 48% is the most equal country in the world without the benefit of government electoral programs. We in the USA don't believe in quotas, we are told... or even support an "Every Open Seat a Woman's Seat"* strategy, lip service notwithstanding.

Why aren't more women elected? Is it really just because women face double standards and voters who won't elect women, or don't have as many connections as men? Aren't we sick of those tired excuses doled out year-after-year by the political experts? Clearly a number of women have overcome the obvious liabilities -- but not enough have been able to crack the male dominance of the Democratic and Republican parties, which have NEVER embarked on real campaigns to promote/fund/elect more women to Congress towards parity and where men clearly control who will be promoted into open seats. Yet, women continue to kowtow to party bosses and write big checks to them no matter what!

And what exactly do women who are elected by women's votes do to help after they are elected and advance up the ladder, besides disparage women of the opposite party every chance they get? Shouldn't our women political leaders also be held accountable? Women are repeatedly our own worst enemies -- just ask Hillary Clinton, whose election to the presidency would have been transformative for women of all ages and political beliefs.

But even electing a woman president isn't enough. We need equal representation in Congress to finally ensure equality for women. We are all in this together...and liberal women suddenly find themselves depending on 2 GOP woman senators to save the day. Think about it.

*If women had been positioned by either party with adequate financial backing in all 50 OPEN seat races and only half (25) had won instead of 8, there would be 100 women in the House or 23%!

-- then click HERE to access "SMOKE & MIRRORS: The Truth About the Political Status of U.S. Women" on smashwords.com..

Monday, November 10, 2014

It's 2014 and it happened again!!

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In 2014, 101 women (81+20) were elected to the 114th Congress so far (3 races TCTC), or 18.9 % overall -- a measly .4% increase! And as we speak there are still 13 states (26%/3 never have!) that do not send any women to either house of Congress...There were 47 OPEN seats in the House, and after the primaries there were only 18 women running for them in 15 of the districts (32%). Only one (1) woman beat an incumbent, while 10 women (6D, 4R) won OPEN seats. If women had been purposely positioned by either party with adequate financial backing in all 47 OPEN seat races and had won just half (24) instead of 10, there would be 95 women in the House or 22%!...What have our political parties done SPECIFICALLY to end the gross under-representation on women in Congress? Bottom line is that each cycle there is NO significant increase for women (3.8% since 2004/7 cycles), and the U.S is currently tied (with San Marino) for 85th in the world for electing women, or 100th if you count the ties. If you still do not understand why this keeps on happening or the importance of OPEN seats as a way to parity in Congress (and what other countries have done along these lines), please click HERE to access "SMOKE & MIRRORS: The Truth About the Political Status of U.S. Women" on smashwords.com. Onward & upward!

Monday, December 03, 2012

No-Frills Women's 2012 Congressional Election Summary

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Sincerest congratulations to those women who won their hard-fought races! Each and every one had to run under circumstances not faced by their male counterparts...

Lots has been written about the 2012 General Election results for women. Some reports have referred to the "record number" of women who will be in the 113th Congress. That would be 78 women in the House (17.9%), just 5 more than the previous 2008 record. Along with a record number in the Senate -- 20 with 4 OPEN SEAT pick-ups, from 17% to 20% remarkably -- the total women in Congress amounts to 18.3%, or 1.7% more than the backsliding 2010 results. While women picked up more OPEN SEATS in the House than last time (15 vs. 5, significantly), only 4 women beat incumbents and only 167 women made it through primaries to the General Election for the 435 (x 2 candidates) seats. Indeed, there are still 16 "Taxation without Representation" states that send NO women to Washington; and that's taking into consideration 3 states (AK, LA & NE) that have a woman Senator, but no women in the House. Moreover, the number of women who will head major House Committees in 2013 will apparently be one (1), and that only under duress. No reasons to rejoice, or to rush more checks to the organizations/parties that claim all the victories without openly recognizing all the facts/underlying causes of questionable gains.

A lot of effort was made and money spent during this election cycle. Yet the U.S. is 82nd in the world (tied with Morocco and Venezuela) for electing women, or #96 if you count the ties. Is it time yet to take a real-world, non-partisan look at why that is, how women have progressed in so many other countries, and who or what has made those gains possible?

If you still do not believe that the disgraceful political status of women in the U.S. is systemic, you might want to finally read my book "Smoke & Mirrors" for more insight. And you might pay attention to the Women's Campaign Fund and "Straight Up & Unfiltered" confab tomorrow evening in Washington, DC. CEO Siobhan Bennett has gone on record re the need for political parties to guarantee that women will make up no less than 30 percent of their political tickets: “We must have a common purpose, a rising national consciousness that having women elected to office is essential,” she said, “but that national will is completely and totally lacking here.” Amen, Sister!

On November 7th, the Center for American Women in Politics (CAWP) wrote a press release stating that "Women’s votes were decisive in Barack Obama’s victory" -- with a gender gap of about 10 percent, larger than in any year except 1996 when it was 11 percent. 55 percent of women, but only 45 percent of men, voted for President Obama. Perhaps now our president will finally double down on his rhetoric re the importance of women in our society -- with bold initiatives for a real, appropriately-targeted/funded plan from his Democratic Party to elect many MORE women to Congress. Barack Obama can either lead on this critical issue, or end up on the growing list of presidents that have done next to nothing for equal representation in the United States Congress.

-- then click HERE to access "SMOKE & MIRRORS: The Truth About the Political Status of U.S. Women" on smashwords.com..

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

2012 electoral gains by women nice, but simply not good enough!

Sitting in Greece reading an excellent summary of electoral gains by women ("Women take stock after historic vote" by Luisita Lopez Torregrosa) in the Herald Tribune.

If 81 women are indeed seated in the House, that will make 18.6 percent, about a 2-point rise -- better than the last 4 cycles, but still pretty lame with all the seats that were in play. This is in a redistricting year, and I will be interested in finding out how many open seats were won -- out of all open seats, not just the ones women ran in the General Election. Pickings will be much slimmer in 2014!

Siobhan Bennett of the non-partisan Women's Campaign Fund is calling for the political parties to guarantee "that women will make up no less than 30 percent of their political tickets." At last someone gets it and is willing to double down to make something happen by engaging men as well as women with concrete goals: "If we make it just for women, like women's organizations, it's not going to happen" -- referring to getting over the 30 percent benchmark hump. Amen sister!

Will EMILY's List, for example -- a veritable Democratic Party appendage -- be a team player in putting pressure on the political parties (meaning also it's de facto head Barack Obama) to fashion a quantifiable campaign for parity in the U.S. Congress? Or will they continue to hog the playing field and contributions with their polarizing rhetoric and tangential programs to elect Democrats men and women?

Let's stay tuned...and not resting on the laurels of what happened last week. Congratulations to the women who won hard-fought campaigns (not totally attributable to help from women's groups BTW) -- but the overall electoral gains for women were simply not good enough.



Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Women in Congress

Bravi to those women elected to the Senate - but what about the House? CAWP is reporting a "record number" 78 (last highest was 74 four years ago!), while not mentioning the measly 17.7 percent total House membership. That's a one percent increase in spite of so many efforts -- and that's because the reason is systemic! Concrete measures must be taken by our President and the political parties for any serious gains - take that to the bank!
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Friday, November 02, 2012

How long are Greeks expected to take bad medicine?

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How long are Greeks expected to take bad medicine? (My latest blogpost on filmannex.com) Too many Greeks, especially women and children, are suffering greatly and we must pay attention!

-- then click HERE to access "SMOKE & MIRRORS: The Truth About the Political Status of U.S. Women" on smashwords.com..

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

I miss my dear Tootie2 terribly!

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Politics are important in our society, but family is more important -- including pets! I just lost my cat Tootie2, and I miss her terribly...so time out to reflect!

-- then click HERE to access "SMOKE & MIRRORS: The Truth About the Political Status of U.S. Women" on smashwords.com..

Thursday, August 02, 2012

God Save the Queen!

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Read my shout-out to Queen Elizabeth II on my Filmannex.com blog by clicking HERE - she is a woman to be admired on many levels!

-- then click HERE to access "SMOKE & MIRRORS: The Truth About the Political Status of U.S. Women" on smashwords.com..

Monday, June 25, 2012

Barbara Hendricks: Ambassador par excellence!

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You can read about world-renown soprano Barbara Hendricks' commitment to refugees worldwide by clicking HERE.

-- then click HERE to access "SMOKE & MIRRORS: The Truth About the Political Status of U.S. Women" on smashwords.com..

Monday, May 14, 2012

Barack Obama: Empowerer or Protector of Women?

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It's always amazing to hear elected officials reference their daughters with glowing pride, and then do nothing much to actually empower women. President Obama clarified his views on gay marriage by referencing Sasha and Malia's influence on his perspective and subsequent affirmation to do what's right. Having mentioned his daughters, it would have been easy for him to also mention equality for women in terms of righting all outstanding civil right wrongs. What exactly has the president really done for women's rights since his election?

Everybody is talking about marriage equality; hardly anyone is talking about equal rights for women, approximately 51% of the population. One might argue that it's easier to get people's attention via hot-button issues, or that most people are unaware of the lack of basic equal rights for women. But neither is an excuse for no equality under the U.S Constitution or 17% women in Congress or ridiculously unequal pay. Aren't women tired of excuses for ongoing discrimination and half-baked efforts on our behalves? And don't tell me no rocking the boat because President Obama's re-election is the most important thing. His statements on behalf of gay marriage have given new meaning to rocking the boat!

This past week's hoopla validated my long-held belief that basic LGBT rights may well come into fruition faster that women's rights. There are currently no cohesive, effective women's equal rights campaigns that can hold a candle to those for marriage equality. Some days we even have a "war amongst women" to go along with the "war on women." Of course, it doesn't hurt that the more visible and more powerful gay rights leaders are men with money -- many of which will be attending tonight's fundraiser for the president featuring Ricky Martin in New York City.

Earlier today at Barnard College, President Obama gave a stirring commencement address talking about the preponderance/importance of women, past/current women political figures, and, yes, how much better it would be with more women in Congress. He then implored the new graduates to be involved, set good examples, and persevere -- that he would be with them every step of the way. His words may have inspired those young, adoring women, but the future was essentially left up to their own efforts. Barack Obama did not say anything about what he was going to do in the meantime to help level the playing field.

And The New York Times reported on efforts afoot in both presidential campaigns to court the votes of women. The focus was on the renewal of the Violence Against Women Act, "as an important tool in protecting women." VAWA is indeed crucial to reducing violence against women, but I'd rather women be in a position to pass those kinds of laws themselves rather than continue to be dependent on "Daddy."

If President Obama wants to do what's right for women, he must to do much more than preach to the converted and espouse protective policies. It's time for him to tell the nation more than occasionally that he fully supports equal rights for women -- and to specifically support the current Congressional bills (H.J.Res. 47, S.J.Res. 39) that will erase the time limit for ratification of the ERA. Passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act must be a super-top priority. His Democratic Party must do something concrete towards achievement of gender-balance in Congress. It's time for Barack Obama to use some of his political capital on behalf of all those women he is assiduously courting for votes.

If President Obama wants a better future for his daughters, he must stand up and do something concrete to empower women -- so that some day those two girls won't have to know more, do more and work harder than men for unequal pay. So that they will have the power to protect themselves, instead of looking back on an eloquent Daddy that didn't do enough when he had the chance.

-- then click HERE to access "SMOKE & MIRRORS: The Truth About the Political Status of U.S. Women" on smashwords.com..