Sunday, January 25, 2009

Maureen Dowd Doesn't Speak for All of Us!

Maureen Dowd's diatribe today against Kirsten Gillibrand was a bit much. She was grossed out that Gillibrand was introduced with Alphonse D'Amato standing near. D'Amato, for whom she interned once-upon-a-time, was a mentor. So was Andrew Cuomo, who failed to show up.

Why do we instantly have to be against Senator Gillibrand because she is a Blue Dog Democrat? She represented a conservative area, for goodness sake! All of us don't agree on everything, and women are no exception. I sometimes think that women are even more polarized than the general population.

I was not thrilled with the Kennedy fiasco, primarily because I did not think Caroline was entitled to the seat for the asking. But I did want a woman to replace Hillary Clinton. I have known Carolyn Maloney since she campaigned for her first term, and wondered why Patterson would pick such a new Congresswoman (other than she was not from Manhattan).

But I saw the press conference and have read some about Ms. Gillibrand -- and I like her. She really wants to be an ELECTED official, and she has fire in her belly for her constituents. She is one of only 27 members of Congress that supports Marriage Equality...She may well change her stand on guns, because she already understands that she now represents a whole state. Of course, she will be called a flip-flopper -- but only by those who don't get it, or want to get it.

And probably mostly by Liberal women who don't understand that we need critical mass in Congress and to find common ground. Like Maureen Dowd, they are in the pocket of the Liberal establishment which does not care about parity for women enough to widen their horizons. What happened already to "Change We Can Believe In?"

Friday, January 23, 2009

Whose Side Is Naomi Wolf On, Anyway?

Surfing cable news Friday, I heard someone on CNN say, "I personally feel strongly that it's more important to have the right policies than a certain number for gender" -- that in reference to the relative lack of women in President Obama's Cabinet with only 5 0f 20 spots. Was it Naomi Wolf?

Whoever it was, one must wonder whose side she's on -- along with all those who agree. (Ms. Magazine's cover picture of Obama with his Superman shirt makes us think that Ellie Smeal & Company belong to this not very helpful breed of feminists.)

Reminds me of the document Ann Lewis was distributing at the DNC's 2004 Platform Committee meeting at the Diplomat Hotel in Hallandale, FL -- where I failed in my efforts to get the election of more women mentioned. Because, I was told, what would other groups think! Other groups? Women are the majority in this country and are part of every demographic!

Lewis' cheat sheet cited every page of the Kerry platform that mentioned women's issues. Not to worry, Daddy will take care of you! This has been the Democratic Party approach whenever women seek parity, especially at high levels. Unfortunately, it is often women that are conned into being the messenger.

Let me say again:

"Both Barack Obama and Joe Biden have good records on women’s issues, and an agenda to match. But when will women have the opportunity to look out for themselves and lead the way to dealing successfully with those issues once-and-for-all?

"That can only happen when there is parity, or a reasonable facsimile, in the U.S. Congress where our laws are made…when women will have the critical mass to insure that “women’s issues” do not continue to languish as perpetual agenda items on the back burner. Until then, women will continue to be – despite our various, important individual achievements and oft-comfortable lifestyles – second-class citizens."

Same idea goes for Cabinet appointments. You mean there were no qualified women to fill 5 more of those positions? No one -- not even "feminist" men -- can speak for women and do what women would do, like women themselves. Do I hear an "Amen?"