Thursday, August 28, 2008

Enough is Enough! – It’s Obama time!

Tonight marked a historic and proud day for America as Barack Obama, the first African American candidate to lead a major party ticket, accepted the Democratic Party’s nomination for president of the United States. As an ardent Hillary supporter who only recently (Tuesday night after Hillary’s speech to be exact) decided to fully support Obama, tonight was an important night and Obama did not disappoint. He proved he can lead this country in a new direction, one that will right the countless wrongs of the last 8 years with George W. Bush. He spoke eloquently and passionately and with power and grace. He didn’t fluff up his speech with his grandiose oratory flair. He clearly laid out a plan for a better future – a future that McCain cannot and will not provide for us. From the state of the economy, to the war in Iraq, social security, universal healthcare, gun control, abortion, gay rights, and equal pay for equal work Obama touched on every hot button topic of this election and then some. He showed voters that he has a clear vision for his presidency, one that will give us back the America we love and have missed.

‘Tonight, I say to the people of America, to Democrats and Republicans and independents across this great land -- enough! This moment -- this election -- is our chance to keep, in the 21st century, the American promise alive. Because next week, in Minnesota, the same party that brought you two terms of George Bush and Dick Cheney will ask this country for a third. And we are here because we love this country too much to let the next four years look just like the last eight. On November 4, we must stand up and say: "Eight is enough."’

I would be lying if I said I didn’t feel a hint of disappoint at not seeing Hillary on stage tonight, but I walked away from the TV set hopeful, enthused, and proud to be a Democrat.


No Way, No How, No McCain

I love Hillary Clinton. I love her values. I love her politics. I love her drive to push boundaries and chip away at the glass ceiling with a life-size hammer. That being said, what I like most about her is that she is, well, a woman. There I said it. Call me sexist if you like, but as a woman myself I was beyond thrilled that a woman was finally saying that she too deserved a chance to run for the highest position in the United States. It was about time!

I stood by Hillary’s side until the bitter end. My roommate’s mother actually asked me how I was doing after the news broke that Obama was going to get the nomination. I was devastated, I told her. I didn’t know how I was going to get on the Obama-train after he’d shattered my dreams (and that of countless others) of seeing the first woman in history head to the White House. I was angry, but instead of wallowing in despair I channeled my anger in the direction of a new dream – a Dream Ticket. If Hillary couldn’t be President, she’d be VP. Forget the naming calling and rivalry of the last few months. The past was history and it was time for the kind of change I could believe in – a power Democratic partnership of man and woman.

Turns out I was wrong. Hillary wouldn’t be President and she wouldn’t be Vice President. I was crushed. Now what? There was no way I would switch teams, but I couldn’t help feeling betrayed by Obama and his supporters. How could he not see that Hillary was the best choice? How could I abandon the first woman to go where no other woman had gone before? Well, after Hillary’s speech last night at the Democratic National Convention I realize that I have no choice but to support Obama just as she has so humbly done. A vote for the opposite would be a vote for four more years of more of the same abysmal Republican policies. As Hilary so eloquently and cleverly put it:

“John McCain says the economy is fundamentally sound. John McCain doesn’t think 47 million people without health insurance is a crisis. John McCain wants to privatize social security and in 2008 he still thinks its ok when women don’t earn equal pay for equal work. Now, with an agenda like that it makes perfect sense that George Bush and John McCain will be in together next week in the Twin Cities because these days they are awfully hard to tell apart.”

To quote Hillary again, “No Way. No How. No McCain.”

Hillary may no longer be in the running but her politics and values remain. I will make certain that my vote in November ensures a Democratic victory and the election of the United State’s first Black President (another remarkable milestone). And why not make history two terms in a row? Next election, thanks to Hillary, the possibility of a Madam President is not nearly as foreign as it once was and if we’re lucky we may just get a Hillary comeback.


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Is this equality?

Today, Tuesday August 26th marks Women’s Equality Day. It frustrates me that we recognize and celebrate a day for equality that is far from reality. Yes, women have made many strides over the years, but if you take a look at the world around us it is clear that despite these triumphs, women in the U.S. (and around the world) are still treated as second-class citizens:

-Women only make $.77 to a man’s dollar ($.71 for African American women; $.58 for Latinas).
- Women only make up 16% of our representatives in Congress.
- Every day 4 women die in this country as a result of domestic violence.
- One out of every six American women have been the victims of an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime.
- Women are 10 times more likely than men to be victimized by intimates.
- More than 130 million girls and women around the world have undergone female genital mutilation.
- Nearly 75% of the nation’s elderly poor are women.
- Women are only half as likely as men to receive a pension, and those who do, receive only half as much.
- Women are still being told what they can and cannot do with their own bodies, as access to birth control and abortions is more of a threat today than ever before.
- Women athletes continue to get fewer teams, fewer scholarships, and lower budgets than their male counterparts.
- Female caregivers may spend as much as 50% more time providing care than male caregivers.
- Americans still do not feel confidant in electing a woman to the White House.

And that’s not all. Tell me is this equality? What if the genders were versed and these statistics were true not for women, but men? How can we celebrate an equality that obviously does not exist? We must persist in the fight for women’s rights to make certain that one day these unjust statistics are not true and we can truly celebrate.

“If you want to taste freedom, keep going.”


A Blog of MY Own

Hello fellow bloggers! I cannot tell you all how excited I am to get this blog up and running. I’m a firm believer in the power of the written word and women, so this is my space to write about everything and anything about the world around me, a world where women are constantly fighting to be seen as equals. Needless to say, I’m a feminist. Always have been. Always will be. To be honest, I don’t understand why or how someone could not be a feminist, but I think that is where this blog comes in – to open the eyes and rattle the brains of the unbelievers and join together with those who stand by my side.

Please share your thoughts and comments with me so together we can share our stories and find a way to create a new story for ourselves and for the women who are to follow us.