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The “Strict” 30% Solution?

Discussin

Discussing

There was a very interesting discussion on The Confluence last night about the 30% Solution. Some concerns were being raised about always voting for a woman, no matter what. People were calling such an approach the “strict” 30% Solution. As the coiner of this term, I had never heard this variant, and I’d like to address it in this post.

First of all, the 30% Solution is not just about voting. It is important to vote for women in order to achieve it, but in countries where the critical mass has been reached and surpassed, voting was not the only method of putting more women into national office. Some used quota systems, some revised their election procedures – some enshrined the percentage into their Constitution. In other words, the change occurred both at a grassroots level and at a governmental level. Thus, the entire responsibility for the success of this effort does not rest solely on your vote.

In fact, one of my ideas for reaching critical mass earlier is to use our many, many PUMA voices to reach out to the RNC and the DNC, and demand that in 2010, the next slate of new candidates for national office will include at least 30% women.

As many may be aware, John McCain promised gender equity in his Cabinet and a significant increase in the number of women in power by the end of his first term. This makes me think that the Republican Party may be open to my idea, in order to appeal to what could become the largest voting bloc in America – women and men who support them! And if the Republican Party does it, the Democratic Party might feel inspired to do the same.

I am hoping to start some discussion on this idea by posting it here. What do you think?

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Thank You, Sisters; and Wake Up, Sisters!

I have been wanting to write this post for a while. Since we are taking a breath to regroup and determine our goals for the PUMA movement going forward, I think it’s finally time to say:

Hillary Clinton
Hillary Clinton

Thank you.

Thank you to all the women who braved the buzzsaw of sexism in order to run for President and Vice President. Since 1884, you have been trying to break that highest, hardest glass ceiling, and this year, Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin came the closest anyone has come in 24 years. Because of their work, and all the sisters who have come before, American women are one step closer to having a sister in the White House for the very first time. Your courage and strength is mindboggling, and if we keep working to push women forward in all levels of government, one day we, too, will be saying, “Yes We Did!” on Election Night.

Sarah Palin

Sarah Palin

But our work is not done. I shudder to read the mindless, uninformed drivel that comes out of the mouths of high-profile women these days. Melissa Etheridge, a gay woman who supported Barack Obama, was devastated when Proposition 8 passed in California. But she soon found comfort in her new Messiah of Unity and Rainbows:

…I tell myself to take a breath, okay take another one… Obama has been elected president. This crazy fearful insanity will end soon. This great state and this great country of ours will finally come to the understanding that there is no “them”. We are one. We are united. What you do to someone else you do to yourself. That “judge not, lest ye yourself be judged” are truthful words and not Christian rhetoric.

Melissa. Honey. Without the overwhelming support of Barack Obama’s oh-so-Christian, non-judgmental voters in California, Proposition 8 would never have passed. Moreover, your beloved Precious is on record saying he does not think you have the right to marry the woman you love, and his voice was used in robocalls on Election Day, saying that very thing, to encourage his supporters to vote for this “crazy fearful insanity.”

So, wake up, sister. The election of Barack Obama has actually made your rosy little scenario LESS LIKELY.

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Life vs. Life: Why The Abortion Issue Rules Us All

A Potential Life at Two Days Old

A Potential Life at Two Days Old

In this charged election year, no matter who claims the White House in 2009, we will be electing at least one person with restrictive views on abortion to the White House.

John McCain proclaims that he is “proudly pro-life” (although in the 2000 election, he stated just the opposite). His running mate, Sarah Palin, is far more credible and consistent in her stance against abortion, and even belongs to a group called “Feminists for Life.” As for Barack Obama, he has veered away from the traditional Democratic framing of “safe, legal and rare,” and has been talking about how women shouldn’t get third-trimester abortions just because we’re feeling blue; indeed, we gals are such frivolous creatures that we, as a matter of course, must consult a committee before making such a momentous decision. At least Joe Biden, Barack Obama’s running mate, is unwavering in his pro-choice stance, and drafted the Violence Against Women Act in 1994; however, many of us will never forget his role in casting doubt upon Anita Hill’s story, which helped confirm the arch-conservative Clarence Thomas – another anti-choice Justice – to the Supreme Court.

35 years after Roe v. Wade legalized abortion in America, why is that decision such a controversial and emotional one in our political and personal lives? I believe it is because the choice to terminate a pregnancy is perceived as a choice of one life over another. And how can one make such a choice without agony and conflict? How can a just and lawful nation allow the murder of a child by its mother?

Except that’s not really what happens, is it? What happens in an abortion is that a mother trades a potential life for an actual life. But that simple idea has become lost in a fog of pseudo-science, emotional manipulation by both parties, religious interference and deep-seated societal misogyny.

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