Consider this your Women’s History Month bonus post. In the heated contemporary debate about whether Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s exhortation to women to Lean In will help women in less elevated positions, Ruth Nemzoff, Resident Scholar at Brandeis Women’s Studies Research Center and author of Don’t Roll Your Eyes: Making In-Laws Into Family reminds us that this dispute is hardly new. You could substitute “Sandberg” for “Friedan” in most of Nemzoff’s article. And the takeaway lessons for women remain the same too.
Today’s U.S. Congress is made up of less than 20% of female members—18% to be exact—a far cry from the parity we strive toward. Any conversation about Women’s History Month must include the rather dismal representation of women in American politics across the board.
The Congressional delegation from New Hampshire are the exception to that 20% barrier. Last November, two women won Congressional seats, joining the two women who already held New Hampshire’s two Senate seats. To top it all off, the state’s governor, speaker of the State House, and chief justice of the State Supreme Court are all women as well.
These women have made history by making New Hampshire the first state with an all-female Congressional delegation.
While this should be celebrated as a historic win for women and women’s rights, the beliefs of these women are diverse, to say the least. On one hand, there’s Carol Shea-Porter, who stands with EMILY’s List and the National Women’s Political Caucus, among other feminist organizations. And then there’s Kelly Ayotte,
Look who picked me up. Come join us and tweet your opinions at the #InterGenFem tweet chat 1/31 at 2pm eastern. Read the details below:
Does it exist? Can we do a better job?
Why does working together across differences (generation is just one of many, including race, class, gender, sexuality, ability) matter for the cultural and political goals feminists are looking to achieve?
These conversations keep happening, and the idea for this TweetChat grew out of a great conversation that happened spontaneously on Twitter between @AndreaPlaid, @erintothemax, @ShelbyKnox, @StephHerold, @veronicaeye and @WentRogue. Along the way we picked up @GloriaFeldt and now we’re hoping to pick up YOU (yes, YOU are enthusiastically invited!) to join us for a broader conversation that is intended to be productive, solutions-oriented and totally helpful to your personal and professional endeavors to realize justice in this lifetime.
Some of the themes to discuss:
1. “Young feminism” – what does it mean?
2. Organizational feminism – what is and isn’t connecting with different age groups?
3. How does race and racial privilege intersect with intergenerational issues in the movement?
4. What is the unfinished business of feminism?
5. What does sharing power look like?
6. What can we all do to better support each other?
Is there more that needs to be discussed? Good. That’s another reason for you to join, so you can bring it up.
TweetChat is Thursday, Jan. 31. Use the hashtag #InterGenFem.
I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.
Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.
But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. So we have come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.
In a sense we have come to our nation’s capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
My definition of leadership is someone who gets something done. Read on for the inspiring story of Ashley Riley who saw something that needed to get done and did it in her Silicon Valley community. And watch, I think Fit Kids will be coming to a schoolyard near you soon-maybe because you’ll be the leader to make it happen.
As we all prepare to overeat those Thanksgiving goodies, what better time to promote kids’ fitness?
With Thanksgiving just around the corner, I thought it would be appropriate to pay homage and give thanks to Ashley Riley, one woman, a busy mom of four children under 11(!), who is “doing it” – that is, creating a movement to bring health and fitness through active play to all kids.
I met Ashley in late August of this year. It was kismet – my good fortune. I had decided to look for part-time “community organizer” work, and she was looking for someone to help with her 5th child, her precious baby, Fit Kids.
Ashley founded Fit Kids in January of 2011 based on a simple premise that healthy activity and food should not just be for the affluent kids on the west side of the Peninsula but a right of all kids – regardless of ethnicity and socioeconomic or immigration status.
“Why?” Ashley pondered, “should a child born on this side of Highway 101 have different access to healthy activity and nutrition than their brothers and sisters in East Palo Alto and East Menlo Park (aka Belle Haven)?
Raise your hand if you were a Girl Scout. Give the Girl Scout Sign if you ever sold Girl Scout cookies. Say “Yum!” if you have ever eaten a Girl Scout cookie.
Many of us have fond memories of Scouting, and I recall the year my father chaired the local cookie drive and stuffed our freezer with twelve dozen boxes. But I’ll bet every one of you said “Yum!” And you have your favorite. I love to curl up with a box of shortbreads, a cup of tea, and a good book.
But who knew these delicious morsels carried within them an unexpected ingredient: death to one of the most adorable animals on Earth, orangutans? Until these two courageous young women, Rhiannon Tomtishen and Madison Vorva, took the issue of unsustainably harvested palm oil head on. Read their inspiring story:
Gloria Feldt: When did you know you had the power to_____? Describe the moment or series of events that let you know you had the power to_____. What did it feel like?
Madison: I knew that I had the power to change Girl Scouts USA’s palm oil policy as soon as I made the connection that unsustainable palm oil which results in deforestation, the endangerment of thousands of species and human rights abuses was an ingredient in the Girl Scout cookies I had sold since childhood. At eleven years old, I didn’t know how I would accomplish this goal, but my passion and conviction led to unrelenting action.
I get the power of golf. That’s why I took it as my physical education in college. And I garnered the only “C” in my life. I’d have failed had it not been for the written final exam that brought my dismal playing score up from the tank.
So I chuckled when I received this e-mail from Joan Cavanaugh, former Dominican nun, creator of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s recorded tours, teacher, entrepreneur, and the founder of the Boardroom Golf Institute:
“I listened to you on the Takeaway and thought this is a woman who should and would enjoy the benefits of the golf game…I would really like you to join me next Thursday at the business golf workshop. Golf is a great strategy for making new business relationships with men as well as women. It will be a fun packed day and you will go away educated about the game, elevate and empowered to play the game.”
Oh, if she only knew, I thought. I politely declined and thought that would be that.
Instead, she wrote back, and I discovered one of the most fascinating women around.
Her second epistle began cheerily, “I just opened a fortune cookie at lunch and I think the message has always been my mantra. ‘Enthusiasm is the greatest asset in the world. It beats money, power, and influence.’”
This is a guest post by a courageous leader for women globally. Jane Roberts saw an injustice and took action to set things right. On this July 11, World Population Day, join me in support of her efforts to raise awareness and money to ensure that women around the world can have healthy pregnancies when they choose and access to preventive family planning services to plan and space their childbearing.
Also on 11 July, the UK Government and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, with UNFPA and other partners, will host the London Summit on Family Planning, a groundbreaking convocation on family planning. The aim of the summit it to mobilize global policy, financing, commodity, political will, and service delivery commitments to support the rights of an additional 120 million women and girls in the world’s poorest countries to use contraceptive information, services and supplies, without coercion or discrimination, by 2020.
You met Lily Womble in last week’s She’s Doing It and learned that she attended the AWID (Association for Women’s Rights in Development) international forum in Istanbul.
There, she recorded video interviews with a number of women from around the globe. Besides the two in this post (watch them to learn what the post title means), you can see more on Lily’s YouTube channel.
“I am a college woman living in the worst state for women: Mississippi (as determined by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research), and I am passionate about empowering our women and girls!”
So began the e-mail that made my day, March 29 to be exact. It was from Lily Womble, whom I’d never met but immediately knew was a force to be reckoned with. In a very good way.
Lily told me about her blog, Smart Girls Out Loud and her plans to attend the AWID (Association of Women’s Rights in Development) conference in Istanbul April 19—22.
There is no way I could tell you this whole story in one post. So this is part one of a two-part series. Here I’ll introduce you to this very out-loud and proudly feminist young woman whose declared intention