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Archive for the ‘Women’s Issues’ Category

Hillary Clinton made a major policy speech yesterday.  She’s running for president of the United States.  Every time she opens her mouth – and she has a pretty mouth that says smart things that some people sometimes dislike – somebody has something to say about how she sounds.  Seems it is never “just right.”

This popped up in my newsfeed which pretty concisely packages the issue.

03/23/2016 06:09 pm ET

I don’t know.  What does Hillary Clinton have to do to get it “just right?”  To  get anything just right? Personally, I was worried about how her poor voice would hold up, it had suffered such abuse these past weeks on the campaign trail.  It held up fine, and for my money her tenor was fine.  When Hillary gives policy speeches, she generally is calm and deliberate.  I have watched many over the past eight years since I began keeping track of her secretary of state tenure. That is her policy speech style.  I don’t even want to go into that.  Paige Lavender did the topic justice.  But what does Hillary have to do to get things “just right?”  More to the point, why does she have to?

Everybody has something to say about what she wears, how she sounds, how she looks.  Wear that yellow for the speech.  No!  Oh!  Not that awful yellow!  Be forceful!  Oh no!  Don’t yell.  Smile more!

Why can’t Hillary just be Hillary?  Why can’t the most qualified person ever to run in my life (Harry Truman began as a haberdasher – youngsters, just go google it –  I’m too tired – he was the first to run in my life) have a fair chance to spell out her plans without everybody talking about her tone, facial expression, and whatever other third element hits the windshield of the armchair quarterbacks.

When Hillary and I were in college, Marshall McLuhan (go look him up – I am tired of spoonfeeding voting age people) said the “medium is the message.”  He meant medium as print v. video.  So video is the message today, even though I still like to get my hands on transcripts and lift the passages I think are important. Video – and audio – are the whole show.

I know I am biased.  But WTF??????? What is so offensive about Hillary that Bernie’s foghorn and gesticulating, Ted’s cartoon voice, John’s bedtime story voice, and Trump’s bellowing (“Get ‘im out!”) fail to surpass in offensiveness, condescension, plain old annoyance?

Why is her wardrobe an issue?  They all look like a suit rack at the cleaners.  Why, when she puts forward the only sane. thought-out, and comprehensive plan to combat terrorism is anything other than her words and her plan an issue?

It really never entered my mind that we would have a woman president. I loved Shirley Chisholm.  She sat them all down like she was the detention teacher in the halls of Congress. Pat Schroeder gave it her best, and Gerri Ferraro made me proud coming within a margin of being a heartbeat away.  But this was never a goal.

It’s just that right now we have the best candidate I have ever seen.  She happens to be a woman with a message, a set of plans, and a way of explaining things. She’s not hard to look at, not hard to listen to, and, when you bother to listen, not hard to understand –  she explains well.

Why can’t Hillary get it just right?  Or is it that the chairs keep getting moved around while the music blares?

02-13-14-Y-02Why don’t the guys have to be pitch perfect?  Why don’t they even have to pitch it over home base, actually, as long as they throw?

Thank you Hillary Clinton for running for president when you didn’t have to.  Thank you for your plans, your brilliance, and for always being right on target while looking pretty and being your spunky and empathetic self. Your Homegirls love you!

 

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Maybe we do actually need to talk about this.

The Year of the Toilet

Credit Hartmut Loebermann/Westend61/Corbis

THERE was, of course, the terrorism, and talk of immigration, and guns. But 2015 has emerged as the Year of the Toilet, when private business became part of a public debate about acceptance, inclusion, double standards and equality.

It began when transgender men and women stepped into the spotlight, and some conservatives tried to whip up potty panic, claiming, without a shred of evidence, that allowing transitioning men into the ladies’ room was an invitation to trouble. In the spring, the Department of Labor issued guidelines saying that employers should allow transgender employees to use the restroom of their choosing. But in November, Houston voters rejected an anti-discrimination ordinance that would have protected trans people’s right to make that choice.

Our nation’s toilet moment crested on Saturday at the latest Democratic debate when Hillary Clinton showed up late from a bathroom break. Turns out the ladies’ room was a minute-and-45-second walk from the podium, which leaves very little time to take care of business during a brief commercial break. Thus, for one awkward instance, the woman striving to lead the free world was merely a woman trying to find a free stall.

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We have all heard stories of women working production lines not being allowed to leave the floor to answer the call of nature.  The ladies’ room is the great equalizer.  Needing to use it may be the last bastion of sexist attitudes that we really cannot qualify for leadership positions for anatomical, physical, and dispositional reasons.

Age-old claims that women cannot lead because they “become hormonal” were rampant as recently as our 2008 primary season although I have not heard that one  – yet – this cycle.  (Pardon the pun.)  Never mind that the people who seem to throw the worst, bouncing-off-the-walls, red-faced, screaming tantrums are men.  I have been around this type in almost every aspect of my life all my life.  From boyfriends, to husbands, to bosses, to colleagues, to employees, to male relatives – they surround us, judge us, make unreasonable demands, and they yell – a lot.  Male explosive devices.  M-E-Ds. (AKA bullies.) For some women, they actually become deadly.  I am not exaggerating, as most women know.

I once held a position that involved several days every four weeks of crazy busy, nonstop, multi-tasking, intense work.  There were no breaks in a 14 to 16 hour day.  When I needed – badly – to get to the ladies’ room for a quick change with a tampon hidden in the pocket of my black slacks, my boss stopped me. Physically.  Grabbed my arm and demanded that I immediately come to his office to meet a visiting dignitary.  It had been a long, busy morning, and I knew I could not wait. I said, “I will be there in two minutes.”  His face flushed the color of burgundy and he yelled, “NOW!” We were surrounded by my staff and students, maybe about 40 people.  I apologized and said I was sorry, and I would be there right away. He bellowed some more,  treating me like a naughty child trying to duck out of a responsibility. I turned my back and walked away.  I had to. It was going to be a disaster had I not.  I could not have sat down on a chair in his office without one of those “worst accidents” happening.  I know I am not the only one.  I know countless women have had experiences like this.  We never talk about it.  No one wants to hear it.

The Donald Trumps in this world will tell you that this is exactly the kind of “disgusting” situation women engender.  Remember Megyn Kelly? You can’t even talk about it.  You can’t explain.  If you do, you are proving why women should just shut up and stay home because men do not want to hear about it or deal with it – even if it just means you need two minutes to make a quick change. Silencio.  They don’t want to hear.  They don’t want to know.

Jennifer Weiner quotes Muriel Ruykeyser:

“What would happen if a woman told the truth about her life?” the poet and activist Muriel Rukeyser once asked. “The world would crack open.”

Maybe we do need to talk about this.  Or perhaps it all remains taboo because it just too disgusting.

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Daily, it is as if someone has asked him if he possibly could be a little more repellent and disgusting.

Poll: Trump presidency would embarrass half of Americans

Lisa Hagen 

While half of all polled would be embarrassed to have Trump as president, the majority of that sentiment comes from Democrats and independents.

For Republicans, 44 percent would be proud to have Trump in the White House, twice as much as GOP voters who would be embarrassed.

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The “proud” ones do not understand how offensive that word was.  He hit a new, nauseating low on the sleaze-o-meter. Revolting!

Ralphy Christmas story soap
Cross-posted at still4hill.com.

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Just in case you were under the impression that we were doing, pretty well, this is worth a read.

3 Foreign Women Visited The U.S. To Assess Gender Equality. They Were Horrified.

The Huffington Post

The Huffington Post

Laura Bassett 8 hrs ago

Eleonora Zielinska, left, Alda Facio and Frances Raday. Lt. Gov Kay Ivey/Guillermo Padres Elias/Flickr

© Lt. Gov Kay Ivey/Guillermo Padres Elias/Flickr Eleonora Zielinska, left, Alda Facio and Frances Raday. Lt. Gov Kay Ivey/Guillermo Padres Elias/Flickr

A delegation of human rights experts from Poland, the United Kingdom and Costa Rica spent 10 days this month touring the United States so they can prepare a report on the nation’s overall treatment of women. The three women, who lead a United Nations working group on discrimination against women, visited Alabama, Texas and Oregon to evaluate a wide range of U.S. policies and attitudes, as well as school, health and prison systems.The delegates were appalled by the lack of gender equality in America. They found the U.S. to be lagging far behind international human rights standards in a number of areas, including its 23 percent gender pay gap, maternity leave, affordable child care and the treatment of female migrants in detention centers.

SNIP

The women discovered during their visit that women in the United States have “missing rights” compared to the rest of the world. For instance, the U.S. is one of three countries in the world that does not guarantee women paid maternity leave. The U.N. suggests that countries guarantee at least 14 weeks of paid parental leave. Some countries go further — Iceland requires five months paid leave for each parent, and an additional two months to be shared between them.

SNIP

While the delegates were shocked by many things they saw in the U.S., perhaps the biggest surprise of their trip, they said, was learning that women in the country don’t seem to know what they’re missing.

“So many people really believe that U.S. women are way better off with respect to rights than any woman in the world,” Raday said. “They would say, ‘Prove it! What do you mean other people have paid maternity leave?'”

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They could not drive themselves to the polls, and the women who were running were not allowed to campaign by speaking directly to men, yet voting and running in their first election ever, Saudi women scored wins.  Women candidates circumvented strict rules preventing all-in campaign rallies by tapping social media to get their platforms noticed.  Women voters, not permitted to drive, took advantage of Uber to get to the polls.

As Sir Paul says, it’s getting better.

 

Middle East

In Milestone, Saudis Elect First Women to Councils

By BEN HUBBARD DEC. 13, 2015

Saudi women cast their votes at a polling station in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in municipal elections on Saturday. Credit Ahmed Yosri/European Pressphoto Agency

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — In elections that allowed Saudi women to vote and run for office for the first time, more than a dozen women won seats on local councils in different parts of the country, officials said on Sunday.While the move was hailed by some as a new step into the public sphere by women in this religious and conservative monarchy, the local councils have limited powers and the new female members will make up less than 1 percent of the elected council members nationwide.

The participation of women in the vote was a milestone in a very gradual social shift for a country that deprives women of many basic rights, barring them from driving and from making many important decisions without the approval of a male relative.

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At least 20 Saudi women emerged victorious in Saturday’s historic local elections in which females in this religiously conservative kingdom were allowed to cast votes and run for office for the first time.

With seats on 284 municipal councils up for grabs and about 1,000 women and 7,000 men competing, females won only a small fraction of the races, according to early results. Still, local and international rights activists praised the tally as a victory for women in a fundamentalist Muslim country where they face many restrictions.

Voter turnout among women was exceptionally high.

Nearly 81% of 130,000 female registered voters cast ballots, said General Election Commission spokesman Hamad Al-Omar.

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First Female Politicians Elected In Saudi Arabia

Women candidates won in both big cities and small villages.

12/13/2015 10:04 am ET |

FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP/Getty Images

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Saudi voters elected 20 women for local government seats, according to results released to The Associated Press on Sunday, a day after women voted and ran in elections for the first time in the country’s history.

The women who won hail from vastly different parts of the country, ranging from Saudi Arabia’s largest city to a small village near Islam’s holiest site.

The 20 female candidates represent just one percent of the roughly 2,100 municipal council seats up for grabs, but even limited gains are seen as a step forward for women who had previously been completely shut out of elections. Women are still not allowed to drive and are governed by guardianship laws that give men final say over aspects of their lives like marriage, travel and higher education.

 

AMER HILABI/AFP/Getty Images
Lama Suleiman, pictured with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in 2010, won a seat in Saudi Arabia’s second largest city.

Though there are no quotas for female council members, an additional 1,050 seats are appointed with approval by the king who could use his powers to ensure more women are represented.

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Women’s Suffrage

When and Where >>>>

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It has now been a year.  It is a sad anniversary.  Sadder still that so little has been done to retrieve these young women from captivity.  Those who have returned have escaped on their own.

Kidnapped Nigerian Schoolgirls: #BringBackOurGirls @BringGirlsBack

It has been two weeks since the invasion of a girls’ dormitory in Nigeria and the kidapping of well more than 200 young girls  (accounts differ).

This Twitter account has been set up to publicize this case and any progress made in locating the missing girls.

 

BringBackOurGirls

@BringGirlsBack

234 school girls abducted: we’re getting organized and coordinated to make an actual difference. and

You can join the discussion here:

Hundreds of kidnapped Nigerian school girls reportedly sold as brides to militants for $12, relatives say

An unidentified mother cries out during a demonstration with others who have daughters among the kidnapped school girls of government secondary school Chibok, Tuesday April 29, 2014, in Abuja, Nigeria.  Two weeks after Islamic extremists stormed a remote boarding school in northeast Nigeria, more than 200 girls and young women remain missing despite a “hot pursuit” by security forces and desperate parents heading into a dangerous forest in search of their daughters. Some dozens have managed to escape their captors, jumping from the back of an open truck or escaping into the bush from a forest hideout, although the exact number of escapees is unclear. (AP Photo/ Gbemiga Olamikan)

Samson Dawah was nervous. For two weeks, he had waited for any bit of information regarding his niece, who was among the 234 Nigerian school girls likely kidnapped by the terrorist group Boko Haram. This week, he gathered his extended family. He had news but also an unusual request. He asked that the elderly not attend. He wasn’t sure they could bear what he had to say.

“We have heard from members of the forest community where they took the girls,” he told them. ”They said there had been mass marriages and the girls are being shared out as wives among the Boko Haram militants.”

The girl’s father fainted, the Guardian reported, and has since been hospitalized. But the news got worse. Village elder Pogo Bitrus told Agence France Presse locals had consulted with “various sources” in the nation’s forested northeast. “From the information we received yesterday from Cameroonian border towns our abducted girls were taken… into Chad and Cameroon,” he said, adding that each girl was sold as a bride to Islamist militants for 2,000 naira — $12.

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Kidnapped Nigerian Schoolgirls Forced To Marry Extremists: Reports

Posted: 04/30/20

LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) — Scores of girls and young women kidnapped from a school in Nigeria are being forced to marry their Islamic extremist abductors, a civic organization reported Wednesday.

At the same time, the Boko Haram terrorist network is negotiating over the students’ fate and is demanding an unspecified ransom for their release, a Borno state community leader told The Associated Press.

He said the Wednesday night message from the abductors also claimed that two of the girls have died from snake bites.

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Kenya protest over miniskirt attack

Monday 17th November , 2014

Both men and women showed solidarity with the woman who was attacked
Both men and women showed solidarity with the woman who was attacked

At least 200 people have protested in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, after a group of men tore off a woman’s clothes for wearing a miniskirt.

The protesters chanted “Shame on you” and handed out flowers at a bus rank where the attack took place, the BBC’s Anne Soy reports from the scene.

At a rival demonstration, about 20 men chanted “Dress up. We don’t want this.”

Kenya is a conservative society, where activists complain that women’s rights are often violated, our reporter says.

A mother’s group, Kilimani Mums, organised the protest after a video of the attack went viral on social media last week.

Protest in Nairobi, Kenya, over a woman being stripped for wearing a miniskirt (17 November 2014)
Activists say the government has not done enough to protect the rights of women
Protest in Nairobi, Kenya, over a woman being stripped for wearing a miniskirt (17 November 2014)
Both Christians and Muslims took part in the protest

It sparked outrage among Kenyans, with the hashtags#MydressMychoice and #strippingshame trending on Twitter on Saturday and Sunday, the local Daily Nation newspaper reports.

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There were many ways this might or might not have ended.  Who expected this?  Of course, until the girls actually are physically home nothing is sure.

 

Nigeria: Deal Agreed To Return Kidnapped Girls

Nigeria’s presidency says it has agreed a ceasefire with militants Boko Haram which would see the return of 219 kidnapped girls.

Air Marshal Alex Badeh, chief of defence staff, said: “A ceasefire agreement has been concluded between the Federal Government of Nigeria and the Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda’awati wal Jihad (Boko Haram).

“I have accordingly directed the service chiefs to ensure immediate compliance with this development in the field.”

The president’s principal secretary Hassan Tukur told the AFP news agency that an agreement to end hostilities had been reached after talks with the Islamist group.

He said: “Boko Haram issued the ceasefire as a result of the discussions we have been having with them.

“That have agreed to release the Chibok girls.”

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At the we say, “We’re all in this together.” Read Charles Blow’s NYT column this morning.

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You have to ask yourself why God would have instituted love at all and incorporated it in the human makeup (and possibly – probably –  also that of other animals).  We could have been created devoid any emotions at all.  Why give us love?  Why did God do that to us?

Since we have it, why does man do this,  especially to a family member, a daughter,  who should be loved instead of being seen as chattel?  Why to an unborn, innocent, loved and wanted child?

There is a human right to love.  God gave us the capacity.  It was intentional and is a mystery.  That right to love, whomever, must be respected and protected.  No one and no government or religion should ever stand against anyone’s God-given right to love.

Pregnant Pakistani woman stoned to death by family

Associated Press

LAHORE, Pakistan (AP) — A pregnant woman was stoned to death Tuesday by her own family outside a courthouse in the Pakistani city of Lahore for marrying the man she loved.

The woman was killed while on her way to court to contest an abduction case her family had filed against her husband. Her father was promptly arrested on murder charges, police investigator Rana Mujahid said, adding that police were working to apprehend all those who participated in this “heinous crime.”

Arranged marriages are the norm among conservative Pakistanis, and hundreds of women are murdered every year in so-called honor killings carried out by husbands or relatives as a punishment for alleged adultery or other illicit sexual behavior.

Read more >>>>>   There is also a video.  Be warned.

There is also this case about which Hillary Clinton tweeted.

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Meriam Yahya Ibrahim’s death sentence is abhorrent. Sudan should stop threatening religious freedom and fundamental human rights.

Related headlines

…and just when you thought it could not get worse.

UPDATE:

 

Apostasy woman in Sudan sentenced to death forced to give birth ‘with her legs chained’

Meriam Ibrahim was shackled while she gave birth to a baby girl in the Omdurman Women’s Prison on Tuesday.

Read more  >>>>

 

 

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