Let’s talk about politics. No, not the name calling, whining, Democrats vs Republicans type of politics, but the nature of all political debates. The issues that we consider “politics” and how we fight over them not based on whether we think they are morally right or wrong but based on whether there is an “R” or a “D” next to the issue.
We treat these things like a game with winners and losers. But politics is more than a game, it is people’s lives. The “losers” in these situations will deal with more than their hurt pride, the laws and decisions made in politics change lives for better and for worse, this is something that should be taken seriously, not played with like a game.
I come from a long line of women who get the job done. No matter if it is making lunch for a haying crew of thirty hungry ranchers, or rallying resources in the last minutes before a Christmas morning gathering to make sure the late additions to our table would have gifts to open after dessert. We accomplish the task. My female friends are equally driven. I’ve been on a crew of five that made all the food for a wedding with over 300 guests. We stayed up all night peeling potatoes for salad and rolling up pieces of lunch meat for the buffet and got up the next morning in time to set it all up, dress the bride, get to the service, and smile in the photographs. My girlfriends and I have cut firewood, branded calves, painted, packed, and proved over and over that no matter the job, we can get it done.
And now many of those same women and I have joined the ranks of our sisters all over the globe to get other jobs done. Together we are marching for change, for peace, for climate, for the environment. I’ve joined sister-friends in democratic calls for action, given a thumbs up on every single photo another friend posts about wild spaces and our need to keep them. And I have sat in a classroom with the wonderful bloggers that I share this space with, and talked about the challenges and the rewards of being female and the best way to showcase those.
I have been struggling to figure out what to say about the election, and what kind of post I wanted to write for this week. There is so much hurt right now. I am one of the lucky ones, whose circumstances have put me in a place of relative privilege that allows me to search for and find love. So mostly I want to listen. For this post, I decided to share three of my poems; the first two are about the most important women in my life, and the last is a love poem. I am hoping that I am lucky enough to have this little bit of light, and to give it. Continue reading “3 Poems”→
Coalition work is never easy. It’s difficult and exhausting. This election season there have been many difficult conversations happening. Sexual assault has come to the forefront because our President-elect was accused of sexual assault by a handful of women. Conversations about race and institutional racism have also come to the forefront after incidents of racism have been circulated on social media. We’ve seen the Black Lives Matter movement publicly protesting police brutality and a recent resurgence of the KKK. LGBTQ rights with North Carolina’s HB2 bathroom law. Reproductive rights, the Supreme Court ruling that the TRAP laws in the south are an “undue burden” on a woman’s access to safe and legal abortions.
As a feminist, I have to talk to people about these issues. I have a moral responsibility to tell people the story of my parents immigrating to the United States and their struggles when someone believes an incorrect stereotype about Hispanic immigrants. I have a responsibility to inform the people around me about how dangerous laws like Texas’ HB2 are; not just for women, but for their families. I have a responsibility to remind people how important access to safe and legal abortions is. I have a responsibility to explain that my experience as a Mexican-American woman will never be the same as a white man’s.
The U.S. has a severe disparity of equal and diverse representation in our government. In 2016, women still only comprise 20% of the United States 114th congress. Women of color are even more underrepresented, making up only 6.2% of congress. We had yet to even have a woman win a major party bid for the presidency until Hillary Clinton did this year. This scarcity of women in our government has lead to an uphill battle for policies and laws that concern women’s issues, such as health care, the wage gap, abortion, and paid maternity leave. Now more than ever, it is important to understand the impact that representation has in our nation and take that knowledge to the polls for the upcoming elections. Continue reading “Underrepresentation Nation”→
Many Americans are fearful of the future, but this year their fears have escalated to a new level. Well, at least mine have. It’s orange, angry and has really bad hair. That’s right, today I am going to discuss Donald Trump.
Defining feminism can be tricky due to the broad perspectives and misconceptions people have about the word. Feminism is the belief that women are and should be treated on an even playing field when defining rights, opportunities and societal interests. This term is skewed out of proportion because; people narrowly define feminism as a one political party campaign. Feminism is a social advocacy campaign that is to promote women’s rights when regarding social and economic equality to men. Carly Fiorina one of the female republican president nominees wants to refine feminism and point out that republican woman also suffer from sexism and belittling talk in the media industry. Carly Fiorina wants women to decide who they are rather than having society tell them who they should be. “Feminism began as a rallying cry to empower women, but over the years, feminism has devolved into a left leaning political ideology where women are pitted against men and used as a political weapon to win election said Carly Fiorina (Berenson, Tessa. Here’s How Carly Fiorina Wants to Redefine Feminism.”). What Carly Fiorina means by this is, that both democrat women and, republican women are fighting when in all reality they should be working together. Since women are not working together due to differing ideologies the feminism movement has primary been seen as only a left-winged movement. However, the concept of Feminism is by nature much more inclusive, and needs to be treated as such in order to advocate and empower women across all social positions regardless of political ideology.
Two examples of powerful women figures are Carly Fiorina and Hilary Clinton. Both Carly Fionia and Hilary Clinton are going down their campaign trails while reporters and opposing male candidates negatively comment on their physical appearances .For an example, Donald Trump insulted Carly Fiorina in a Rolling stone article questioning her credibility because of her gender. “Look at that face! Would anyone vote for that? Can you image that, the face of our next president?”(Linskey, Annie. “Hillary Clinton Slams Donald Trump for Insulting Carly Fiorina’s Appearance). Words like this symbolize the tough environment women must endure if they are successful and society is biased against electing them due to sexism on the campaign trail. There has not been one female president and the majority of people choose to prefer white men over women because of the sexist views that women are too emotional to handle domestic affairs intelligently. You can see this gender bias as evident when reporters ask if she is running for vice president and commenting on her nail polish rather than on something important. Similarly Hilary Clinton is criticized by the Republican nominees in a similar fashion. Hilary has to endure personal style comments by Republican presidential contenders and integrity questions when regarding the email server. Hilary may be the ideal liberal feminist however, being trustworthy is important especially when she has so much power and influence. Hilary lives by the words of feminism she lets the public know she supports equal rights for women. “Women and girls are central to our foreign policy and that nations that support women are more stable and are less likely to breed extremism” (Megan Gibson “Hillary Clinton Wants You to Call Her a Feminist). I think the question society should ask if it is the right time for one of these female candidates to take over the oval office. People should vote for the right women that they think will do their job right and make the correct changes. Once one of these women is elected life would change for America. Women will gain credibility; respect and society will say they are tired of the sexist ideals that people assume that since society wants women to be home we should find ways to put down the women that want to become more than a housewife. If society elects a woman into office and, she is successful society will have to change their gender ideals .Men and society would have to admit they are wrong about their preconceived notions of the female gender. A female president would encourage a societal and cultural shift on the perspectives on women. Being president has nothing to do with your gender, it should be about leadership skills and the ability to adapt, listen to your people and using common sense. I believe women would fulfill the position of presidency well because they listen better, and, have the guts to say how they feel. Evidently both women running for office may be different politically and ideologically but, we must look deeper into women right issues past the titles of Democrat or Republican. Their political stances might seem important however, we must look into their values to see who would fit America in the right way to successful lead us out of debt and international troubles.