Monday, September 29, 2008

The Wrong Woman for the Ticket

I've always stood up for women's rights, always been strong and independent, and always supported myself and worked hard for a living. For a candidate to just throw a woman on the ticket purely because she is a woman - who is clearly not qualified, nor bright - is insulting to women.

Sarah Palin is clearly not a good choice for the position of vice president. Her sarcastic attitude and boasts about being a hockey mom is all fine and good for a PTA position - but for the Vice President of the United States? Are you kidding me? Especially at a time when our country is in such a mess - with two never ending wars, with the financial crisis...after dealing with the worst president we have ever had?

With her extreme ideas and failure to stand up for important issues that women face, Sarah Palin takes women back 100 years. I look at the other vice presidential candidate standing with Barack Obama, Joe Biden, and see a man who is more for women's rights than the woman standing next to John McCain.

Sarah Palin is a sensationalistic pick at best. I would still be proud as a woman, however, if the choice was an intelligent, well-educated pick who represents women in a positive way. I do not see this with Sarah Palin. What I see is a former beauty queen who is an extremist and cares nothing about women's rights. And I see someone with little experience and too much arrogance to see that she doesn't get it.

On August 29, 2008 a press release by the
Feminist Majority Political Action Committee commented on the selection of Sarah Palin as the Republican Vice Presidential Candidate:
You can’t attract Hillary voters and women voters with a woman opposed to what Hillary stands for. Sarah Palin strongly opposes women’s abortion and family planning rights. She is a proponent of teaching creationism in schools; a global warming skeptic, and an opponent on key environmental issues, such as protecting the polar bear in Alaska and is for oil and natural gas drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). Sarah Palin stands with John McCain, who is opposed to affirmative action for women in public employment, public education and public contracting, is opposed to legislation fighting wage discrimination for women (the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act), is opposed to the Violence Against Women Act, authored by Senator Joe Biden, and has a zero rating with women’s rights groups.
This doesn't even mention the appalling practice of charging rape victims for rape kits - a cost of up to $1,200 - while she was the mayor of Wasilla. How can a woman have so little compassion for other women going through something so horrible?

Palin is no Hillary Clinton - not even close. And it is downright scary to think of her one step away from the most powerful position in the country at a time when our country needs strong leadership.

Monday, September 22, 2008

On Women Voting

Everyone has the right to have their voice heard - and everyone should speak their mind. Until 1920, women did not have the right to do this when it came to voting. It is a right we did not always have and it should not be taken lightly. Even with all the excitement regarding the elections this year, I hear women state that they are not going to vote because it just isn't worth it and why should they bother...

Why should they bother?

Because voting is a right that we didn’t always have in the United States…and many women in other countries still have little rights at all. This true story explains what women went through to be able to vote prior to 1920:

The Night of Terror, 1917

"Forty prison guards wielding clubs and their warden's blessing went on a rampage against 33 women wrongly convicted of 'obstructing sidewalk traffic.' They beat Lucy Burn, chained her hands to the cell bars above her head and left her hanging for the night, bleeding and gasping for air. They hurled Dora Lewis into a dark cell, smashed her head against an iron bed and knocked her out cold. Her cellmate, Alice Cosu, thought Lewis was dead and suffered a heart attack. Additional affidavits describe the guards grabbing, dragging, beating, choking, slamming, pinching, twisting and kicking the women.

The warden at the Occoquan Workhouse in Virginia ordered his guards to teach a lesson to the suffragists imprisoned there because they dared to picket Woodrow Wilson's White House for the right to vote.

For weeks, the women's only water came from an open pail. Their food - all of it colorless slop - was infested with worms. When one of the leaders, Alice Paul, embarked on a hunger strike, they tied her to a chair, forced a tube down her throat and poured liquid into her until she vomited. She was tortured like this for weeks until word was smuggled out to the press.

It is jarring to watch Woodrow Wilson and his cronies try to persuade a psychiatrist to declare Alice Paul insane so that she could be permanently institutionalized. And it is inspiring to watch the doctor refuse. Alice Paul was strong, he said, and brave. That didn't make her crazy. The doctor admonished the men: 'Courage in women is often mistaken for insanity.' We need to get out and vote and use this right that was fought so hard for by these very courageous women." - Author Unknown
Source material

Study the issues, vote for what you believe in, and stand up for your rights. These brave women fought hard for something we take for granted. If you really want to see change, you have to do your part - and honor the struggle that women in our country's past went through just to go to the polls and have their voices heard.