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Worldwide Women March, the Beginning

Here’s a message I just received on facebook. Name not important. I don’t know why she sent this to me, I don’t know her. And she clearly, clearly does not know me.

To Me: 

I am not a “disgrace to women” because I don’t support the women’s march. I do not feel I am a “second class citizen” because I am a woman. I do not feel my voice is “not heard” because I am a woman. I do not feel I am not provided opportunities in this life or in America because I am a woman. I do not feel that I “don’t have control of my body or choices” because I am a woman. I do not feel like I am ” not respected or undermined” because I am a woman. I AM a woman. I can make my own choices. I can speak and be heard. I can VOTE. I can work if I want. I control my body. I can defend myself. I can defend my family. There is nothing stopping me to do anything in this world but MYSELF. I do not blame my circumstances or problems on anything other than my own choices or even that sometimes in life, we don’t always get what we want. I take responsibility for myself. I am a mother, a daughter, a wife, a sister, a friend. I am not held back in life but only by the walls I choose to not go over which is a personal choice. Quit blaming. Take responsibility. If you want to speak, do so. But do not expect for me, a woman, to take you seriously wearing a pink va-jay-jay hat on your head and screaming profanities and bashing men. If you have beliefs, and speak to me in a kind matter, I will listen. But do not expect for me to change my beliefs to suit yours. Respect goes both ways. If you want to impress me, especially in regards to women, then speak on the real injustices and tragedies that affect women in foreign countries that do not that the opportunity or means to have their voices heard. Saudi Arabia, women can’t drive, no rights and must always be covered. China and India, infantcide of baby girls. Afghanistan, unequal education rights. Democratic Republic of Congo, where rapes are brutal and women are left to die, or HIV infected and left to care for children alone. Mali, where women can not escape the torture of genital mutilation. Pakistan, in tribal areas where women are gang raped to pay for men’s crime. Guatemala, the impoverished female underclass of Guatemala faces domestic violence, rape and the second-highest rate of HIV/AIDS after sub-Saharan Africa. An epidemic of gruesome unsolved murders has left hundreds of women dead, some of their bodies left with hate messages. And that’s just a few examples. So when women get together in AMERICA and whine they don’t have equal rights and march in their clean clothes, after eating a hearty breakfast, and it’s like a vacation away that they have paid for to get there… This WOMAN does not support it.”

My Answer:

Wow, I never use this term because I rarely encounter it, but finally, a dictionary definition of “White Privilege”. Here, it’s actually “Rich White Privilege”. How wonderful you are so secure standing in your own Bruno Maglis that you cannot even see past to women who aren’t you. My friends and I indeed remember the coat hanger desperate abortions of the ’60’s and ’70’s, the horrible conditions for poor women seeking medical help without much money even after Roe V Wade became law. We remember there were no such things as “rape kits”, and the first questions asked by police if you were brave enough to try to report rape was, “What were you wearing? What were you doing there? Are you sure this wasn’t just a fight with your boyfriend?” If you got as far as a courtroom and on the stand, the other side could reduce you to a sexually promiscuous whore who was asking for it. These things changed because women fought and marched.

Even though Roe v Wade is still the law of the land, over 30 states now make abortion impossible, so again you need to be rich to travel, wait out the waiting periods (though not for a gun), and hope your husband (or your stepfather who impregnated you, or your mother’s boyfriend who impregnated you) doesn’t try to stop you. In many states, you will need their written permission to terminate. Good luck getting that, as it would then implicate them in your molestation. Some states have “paternal rights” laws, meaning your rapist has visitation rights to your child for eighteen years, if you carry the rapists’ child to term and keep it. By the way, public taxpayer money has never been used for abortions, and so-called “Christian” companies like Hobby Lobby can refuse to pay for birth control in their employees’ health care plans. Yet all cover the cost of Viagra. Planned Parenthood is the primary care center for millions of women in America. They use no taxpayer money for abortions. Nevertheless, your new vice president, Mike Pence, cut their funding in 2011, causing the worst HIV outbreak in Indiana state history.  It also caused breast cancer rates to skyrocket as women lost their affordable access to cancer screening. His number one goal in office now is to completely shut them down, as he has tried with six previous bills.

You’ve clearly never tried to make your way up the ladder of what was thought to be only a “man’s profession”. Even now, our female athletes, even when better than our men’s soccer team, are woefully behind in salary and winning purses. Women, not for lack of trying, hard work and competency, are in very few boardrooms of major companies. Women in the US still make less than men for the same work, a travesty when you consider how many women are the breadwinners for their families. White women make 80 cents to the dollar earned by white males.  African-American women are paid 60 cents for every dollar white men earn, while Hispanic women make only 55 cents. Title IX, signed into law in 1972 to give female students access to sports and equal opportunity in schools, barely survived the GOP grand effort to repeal it under President Obama. Without it, there would have been no Olympic Gold in 2016 for Women’s Gymnastics; no Simone Biles, Laurie Hernandez, Aly Raisman. It survived because women rallied and actively held our representatives to task.

So we march. We march because the republicans now rule the house, senate and executive branch. We march to let them know we are here, we are watching, we are not going backwards and we are active. We will drown you in phone calls, emails, articles, petitions and most importantly, WE WILL VOTE YOU OUT. You work for us. You do not rule us. You will not set us back to when we had to “let boys win”. You have won your last, we are here now and we are watching you. We are committed and we are angry. A sexual predator, who bragged about it, is the president of the United States, not Saudi Arabia and not Guatemala. He, and his supporters, are creating a very dangerous climate for women. This comes at a time when our rights to control our own bodies are one vote away from being overturned. When health insurance for women and families is being overturned and will leave us out in the cold. We have a vice president who actually coined the term “forcible rape”. “Forcible” rape. As opposed to.. the 1950’s courtroom version? While you whined about a fake war on Christmas we suffered under an actual War on Women. And we know what’s coming, from the tiny- minded, petty, self-serving, ignorant, narcissistic, archaic, hubristic, hateful, homophobic, mysogynistic boys club up on lobbyists hill. We know and we are ready. Be afraid, be very afraid.

Now let me ask you a question, dear letter writer: (and when you say you “can vote”, you know it’s because women marched, were beaten, arrested, taunted, jailed, for DECADES, to get you that right, right?) You mention your concern for women brutalized, and more deserving of a march, in countries like Mali, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, China, Afghanistan, Africa. In how many of those countries in which you voiced extreme concern for women have you marched, advocated, helped, supported, or done anything for women or people in need? The new republican playbook is “false equivalency”, trying to throw the spotlight off the real issues affecting us by pointing out something shiny!!! elsewhere!!! Look!!! They treat women badly ten thousand miles away, so why are you protesting in America??!! That game doesn’t work here. It’s a specious argument at best and an ignorant one at worst. “Hey, people in South Africa don’t have clean water, so why are you protesting about Flint, huh?? Huh??” The Huckabee talking points are wearing thin, thin enough to be totally transparent.

Women yesterday weren’t “blaming” or “whining”. We were marching. Marching IS taking responsibility. We are responsible for our freedoms and our rights, and we are going to make sure we keep them. I am happy you have a wonderful life. I am happy my generation’s marching and fighting gave you the right to be anything you wanted, even oblivious if that’s your choice. If everyone else who had a wonderful life didn’t care about anybody else’s life, we’d never have gotten the vote. Continued carefree success to you.

 

 

Dear Bernie Supporters

Dear Bernie Supporters,

It is inspirational to see so much passion and idealism in politics again. Many of us remember feeling that exhilarating hope and joyous promise when Bill Clinton took office, and Hillary Clinton renewed the standard for how inspiring a role model a First Lady of the United States could be. I remember watching in awe in 1993 as Mrs. Clinton spoke to congress, without notes, for over two hours, outlining the new president’s health care proposal. She was smart, beautiful, classy, involved; the promise of how far women could now aspire to go.

I worked for Bill Clinton’s election, and then Al Gore’s, and I know your pain is as great as what we all felt when in 2000, the Supreme Court, to the great detriment of our constitution, threw the presidential election to George W. Bush.

When Al Gore said it was time to come together and support our new president (Bush), we were outraged, depressed, sick to our stomachs, and having none of it. NEVER! I cried. A lot. I’m sure my head would have exploded if the election had been ongoing, and Al Gore had asked us to actually VOTE FOR George W. Bush. I know I wouldn’t have.

But here is the difference in what we went through then and what is at stake today. George W. Bush was the political opposite of Al Gore. George W. Bush opposed every good policy and plan for America’s future that Al Gore embraced. George W. Bush was unqualified to be the president of the United States; intellectually, temperamentally, and in his lack of experience and vision. George W. Bush’s vice president, Dick Cheney, was/is a war profiteer and an architect of murder and destruction. I will never understand why Al Gore didn’t keep fighting.
Today: Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton have voted together ninety three percent of the time. Think about that. Bernie and Hillary have worked together to support the issues and legislation that matter to all of us, ninety three percent of the time. Hillary’s vice presidential pick, Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia, received a ninety percent positive rating in the liberal Americans for Democratic Action rating of 2014 Senate votes.

I love Bernie Sanders. I am so grateful that the Bernie Revolution forced the Democratic party’s platform even further to the left than it was, and it was already progressive (LGBTQ rights, choice for women, civil rights, minimum wage hikes, fixing the social safety net, education, financial regulation, supporting science and the environment, etc. etc.) You did that. That is what I call a successful revolution, and yes, of course it must continue. I understand the impulse to throw it all away in anger and frustration. I beg you not to. I am respectfully asking you to look at Hillary’s lifetime, true, successful record in fighting for all of us; all the people Bernie fights for. The right has so brainwashed the willing into seeing Hillary Clinton as the devil, it is shameful that we need to point out the incredible work for America this woman has devoted her life to for decades. I am not going to go down the list of what she has been subjected to by a partisan congress and partisan news outlets. Suffice to say, she has shown up every time, publicly put it all on the line, done her best, taken the heat, answered and answered and answered, without rancor or complaint. Donald Trump won’t even release his tax returns. (The first presidential candidate in fifty years, by the way, to hide his tax returns. Where is the press and congress now?)

I know. You are so angry you’d rather see Donald Trump elected, just for spite. I get it. I am the best grudge holder in the history of my family; Jews with 25 Olympic Gold Medals in Grudge Holding and Cutting Off Our Noses to Spite Our Faces. But listen, after you get past that natural instinct of rebellion, you must see what is at stake for the future survival, yes survival, of life as we know it. Donald Trump is the least qualified person to ever run for the highest office in the land. He makes George W. Bush look like Carl Sagan. Make no mistake, Trump is a danger to America, the world, and the future of both. I have nothing against him personally, he simply has zero qualifications for this job. Hillary Clinton is not “the lesser of two evils”. Hillary Clinton is one of the most qualified people to ever run for president of the United States. In forty years of public service, there are going to be some corners cut, some deals made, some less than idealistically perfect votes, some political manipulation. That’s politics, that’s life. That’s how things get done at all in the real world. Joan Rivers would say, “Oh, grow up”. I’m not minimizing actions of Hillary’s that offend you, I’m not dismissing your feelings. But nobody’s perfect. Life isn’t perfect. Politics is the least perfect place of all.

Bernie hasn’t given up. He knows the only way he can continue his revolution and have a powerful voice in our government is in a Clinton administration. You love him, you trust him, you support him. Then trust he is asking you to do the right thing for the right reason when he asks you to vote for Hillary. For our country. For the revolution.

Hillary Clinton – America Catches Up to the World

It boggles my mind how long this took; a female candidate, Hillary Clinton, for president of the United States. Yes, we made history in America today, but it was only American history.
While we’re deciding if we want to have a beer with the candidate, the rest of the world is waayy ahead of us.

Seventy six years ago in 1940, Khertek Anchimaa-Toka was the Head of State of Tannu Tuva, which then joined the Soviet Union in 1944. She continued in various government positions until 1972. No word on how many people wanted to have a vodka with her.

In 2007, a record 13 countries had elected female Presidents or Prime Ministers; Ireland, New Zealand, Latvia, Finland, The Philippines, Bangladesh, Mozambique, Iberia, Chile, Jamaica, South Korea, Switzerland, and a Chancellor in Germany. None have ever asked neighboring countries if their maps make them look fat. All play some kick-ass soccer.

In 2002, the list was also at a record 13, with Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Panama, Senegal, and Sao Tome and Principe replacing some of the above, with only one of them being flooded by God.

Add to those, these countries, which elected female Presidents as far back as 1980; Iceland, Malta, Nicaragua, and Guyana. American tv shows debuting in 1980 included “Bosom Buddies”, where two men played women, “bosom”, get it? And “It’s a Living”, about spunky waitresses with a surprising amount of cleavage for a non-Hooters hotel dining room.

Countries with female Prime Ministers, some as far back as 1960, included; Sri Lanka, India, Israel, Central African Republic, United Kingdom, Dominica, Norway, Yugoslavia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Poland, and Turkey. The only power available to American women in the 1960s was Flower Power.

Countries with interim female Presidents as far back as 1953 include; Bolivia, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, East Germany, Liberia, Ecuador, Georgia, and Mongolia (Chairman). In America in 1953, some of the top movies were; “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes”, “How to Marry a Millionaire”, and “The Farmer Takes a Wife”.

 

Many of these women were also re-elected, for example in Norway, where the female Prime Minister served from 1981-86, 1989, and 1990-96. For three years running, the United Nations has ranked Norway the number one place in the world to live (based on standard of living, life expectancy, education, democracy, public health). Norway’s economy is based on oil and gas, mining, shipbuilding, fishing, paper products. No men were forced to sell Mary Kay Cosmetics.

In Pakistan, Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was the first woman to head the government of an Islamic state. She served from 1988-90, and 1993-96. Before being elected, she spent almost six years in prison or under detention for her political activism. She was ousted twice in corruption scandals, which may or may not have been political witch-hunts, but hey, that’s as good as the men. Too bad Muslims don’t drink, I’d have liked to have an Arak with her.

These countries have had acting or interim female Prime Ministers as far back as 1979; Portugal, Lithuania, France, Burundi, Canada, Rwanda, Bulgaria, Guyana, Mongolia, Finland, Peru, Macedonia, and Ukraine. In America in 1979, Bo Derek was elected the country’s number one sex symbol for her role in the movie “Ten”.

As to those polls claiming Hillary Clinton is “unlikable”, I can only marvel. I believe if most of the people who call her “unlikable” had her money and position, they wouldn’t give a damn about your college debt or your health care, or whether you had a job or your kid got a head start in education or a hot breakfast. They’d be living at a resort in the Caribbean, having daiquiris at the swim up bar and most probably under-tipping the over-worked waitstaff. Everything about her is likable to me, from the fact that she can take it, that she doesn’t give up, that she really wants to do good in the world, that she actually cares way beyond personal gain, that she’s so strong, that she isn’t a saint but rather knows how it works and can make it work to the good of all. I like her laugh and her flat no-nonsense midwestern tone. And oh yes, she’s a genius. The absolutely smartest person in the room, with the demeanor to reason, to command respect, and to lead. Did I mention she’s brilliant? We need someone to stand up against the obstructionist, misogynistic, myopic members of congress stuck in the 1950’s and trying to keep the country, women, immigrants, people of color, and anyone not exactly like them, back there. There is no denying George W. Bush was very, very likable, and the death toll in his misguided wake will reach into the millions, with the destruction of entire regions of the world. We need someone who understands the world. I think the world will see her coming and say, “The Americans finally grew up”.