When the word politician comes to mind what do you envision? Since the beginning of time, men have predominately run governments across the globe. World-wide, women only account for 24% of government. It is easy to forget that feminism is a relatively new idea to impact our politics when you compare it to how long males have dominated politics across the world. And, of course, the meaning of feminism takes a different form in every country, changing how much women have been involved in government. Recently, women have begun to challenge the male-dominated positions. In Washington D.C., more females than ever are currently serving in Congress. But, it was a long line of women before them that helped pave a way to make it possible for them to hold such powerful positions, such that shape countries agendas, make or break economies, influence the public, create new policies, and so on.
Hello, my name is Kailen Skewis! I am a contributor to the Women’s Center’s blog this semester. I am a twenty-year-old, third year, English major with a creative writing (fiction) emphasis. I’m not exactly a stranger to writing, but this is my first time ever doing it for an organization. I’ve been writing, journaling and creating for as long as I can remember. I tend to stick to fiction, so writing for the blog will be a new challenge for me, but I think I am up for it. I am extremely excited to start writing about the topics that I am passionate about and to share my thoughts with you.
College so far has been an amazing experience for me, and I can’t believe that I am already near the end. I came to the University of Idaho as nearly a junior in credits as a transfer from North Idaho College and I immediately fell in love with the campus and the people here. I spent my first year in the dorms where I met a ton of new friends. One of these friends and I got very close, and now we share an apartment together off campus.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg, otherwise known as RBG, is the second woman ever to be appointed to the Supreme Court. She was appointed by Bill Clinton in 1993 and after the first woman to be appointed to the Supreme Court, Sandra Day O’Connor, retired, she was the only woman on the court for a while. In 1972, Ginsburg co-founded the Women’s Rights Project at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and, in 1973, she became the ACLU’s general counsel.
The Women’s Rights Project and related ACLU projects participated in over 300 gender discrimination cases by 1974. All the while, RBG was a wife and mother. Within the first few years of this project, Ginsburg fought six cases of discrimination before the Supreme Court, and won five. She chose to focus not just on problems faced by women, but demonstrated that gender inequality was detrimental for both men and women. She took part in expanding the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to include women. She also argued for a widower with children who, when his wife passed, was unable to collect any benefits to help him support his dependents. She’s part of the reason that jury duty became mandatory for women as citizens of this nation, and why women in Oklahoma could legally drink at the same age as men. Continue reading “Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the Real Big Deal”→
On Tuesday November 6th the nation held its midterm elections and the stakes, to some, have never been higher. And, in some places the results have never been better. A record number of women, people of color, and people from the LGBT+ community ran, and a record number of them won as well ushering in new faces to represent America.
Congress will have a record breaking 118 women, next year making up 22% of congress which is a significant jump from the 20% currently in office. Many of these women were inspired after the 2016 election, and many of them are democratic working towards women’s rights to birth control, safe abortion, and equal treatment in politics.
Two of these women, Sharice Davids and Deb Haaland, happen to be Native American both women are very involved in their tribes and interested in the rights of Native Women, who unknown to many have the highest missing and murdered percentages among any minority. Davids also identifies as a lesbian making her the first openly LGBT+ member of Congress from Kansas.
In this she is not alone either. Colorado Democratic Rep. Jared Polis, will be the first openly gay governor of Colorado. Chris Pappas will be New Hampshire’s first openly gay member of Congress. Lesbian Angie Craig defeats anti-LGBTQ congressman in Minnesota, will be first openly gay person elected to Congress from the state. Two transgender women, Gerri Cannon and Lisa Bunker, were elected to the New Hampshire House of Representatives. According to the Los Angeles Blade, Cannon and Bunker will join Virginia state Del. Danica Roem as the only openly trans members of any U.S. state legislature. Democrats Susan Ruiz and Brandon Woodard become the first LGBT+ members of Continue reading “Good News!”→
SheShouldRun, a national organization that aims to expand the number of women in office, wants us to ask ourselves that question. Sofia Pereira, Community Manager for SheShouldRun, said Women already contribute to our communities in so many ways–whether you’re a scientist, a stay at home mom, a non-profit leader or an entrepreneur. Yet, out of the over half a million elected offices that exist in America, women make up less than a third.
By 2030, SheShouldRun aims to fulfill their goal of having 250 thousand women running for office. However, to accomplish that goal, as women we must be ambitious and act. This means we need to express our strength, determination, and passion to inspire women now and into the future. Inspiring others requires using our thoughts, ideas, and values to create a legacy of equal representation.
Bada** and disabled? Can those two words coincide? Oh, they most definitely can. Even though women with disabilities are typically portrayed negatively in the media, real life women are combating ableism (discriminating against persons with disabilities) and making history. Here are 7 women with disabilities whose names and stories you need to learn…
Melissa Stockwell is a Paralympic athlete who competes for the United States as a triathlete. She has won gold in multiple world championships. However, Stockwell was famous long before her athlete career. She was the first American female soldier to lose a limb in the Iraq war. Her left leg was amputated after a car bomb in 2004. She started competing in triathlons after having her leg amputated. Talk about bada**!
Next on the list of totally awesome disabled women is Judy Heumann. Heumann became the first teacher in New York City to teach in a wheelchair. She also played a critical role in the passing of Section 504, the first civil rights protection for people with disabilities. What Section 504 does is prohibit programs that receive federal funding to discriminate against people with disabilities. She currently works as a Special Advisor for International Disability Rights. Go Judy!
The beginning of a new year. A time of resolutions, the hopes of better weather, and award shows. After Oprah Winfrey’s phenomenal speech at the Golden Globes, “Oprah 2020” lit a spark throughout social media. I love Oprah as much as anyone. However, amongst this I must ask, “Would ‘Oprah 2020’ really be what our country needs?” Having our next president be an African American woman would help bring about the change we need, but is Oprah the right woman? Oprah is a celebrity with no political experience, and though vastly different than President Trump, she wouldn’t know how to properly run our government. She already has an established presence with her career, and continuously . She does all these things throughout the US, without a spot in the White House. But, fear not. This doesn’t mean you are stuck with another “white stiff in a suit.” Instead, here are a few women of color who have plenty of political experience and would be great candidates to break the glass ceiling. (Oprah would probably love these, too.) Continue reading “Oprah 2020?”→
As I write this article, I want to make it known that the sex industry is not always positive for women and girls. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, sex workers around the world have a 45 to 75 percent chance of experiencing violence during their careers.
When sex workers do experience violence, they are not protected by rape shield laws and are not eligible for compensation funds.
Many see sex workers as objects, non-human, and second-rate members of society. This makes sex workers even more prone to being victims of violence.
Women are forced into sex work without their consent, others are forced into sex work because of financial situations, and some choose sex work as their profession.
A previously posted open-sourced photograph of Lana Lokteff was removed because she did not consent to her image being published in association with this article.
By Rosemary Anderson
The American alt-right movement wants to strip women of the right to vote, allow men to use violent tactics to “keep women in line,” and force women back into the home–but alt-right men are not the only ones who support these statements. Women do too.
With the rise of the alt-right, increasingly more women have become involved in the movement.
Racism, sexism, transphobia, homophobia, anti-Semitism, antifeminism: all are words that can describe the alt-right. So how do people get involved in the first place? Specifically, how do women get involved?
The election of 2016 was an incredibly trying time for people of all political parties, friendships, and families. Although difficult for me as well, I was very vocal about my opinions especially through social media. Social media is one of the most prominent and available platforms to share information, current events, and even political discourse. During that time though many people avoided social media. The stress of the election was a great one to bear for sure. I did feel, however, that it was important for me to explain why this election was so important and why I feared the possible outcomes for the next four years.
Meanwhile, I had many people tell me that they unfollowed me or stayed off social media or refused to discuss opinions between people. Of course, I understand that some conversations will lead nowhere, but no conversation at all will also lead nowhere. There is a balance there that naturally comes with judgement. Even after the election is long past many people continue to stay silent on issues that are held very close to my heart as well as many others. While I understand wholly the seemingly unnecessary stress talking about politics may have on a relationship of any kind, I still find my heart dropping when people tell me they don’t talk about politics. This is because politics is a lot more than just that. “Politics” entail the livelihood and safety of ourselves and those around us, politics are healthcare and reproductive rights and environmental concerns and politics concern so many different life’s and families. If politics don’t affect you, they will affect someone you know and may care about.