Archive for women’s equality

Four Star Female Admiral Michelle Howard: GO Navy!

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Four Star Admiral Michelle Howard. Image, Forbes.

Four Star Admiral Michelle Howard. Image, Forbes.

Admiral Michelle Howard was given the status of First Female Four Star Admiralty member this summer, a national first on two fronts: gender and ethnicity.

Those are some mightily impressive Firsts. The 239-year United States Navy had never before given four stars to a female. She is also the highest-ranking African-American woman in a male-dominated military that did not even allow the promotion of women to general or admiral (of any number of stars) until 1967.

Image, U.N.C. Greensboro Archives

Image, U.N.C. Greensboro Archives

As she told the New York Times, speaking of her early attendance of the newly-Co-Ed Naval Academy,

“There were angry men at Annapolis, but we got through it,” she said. “And there were issues on the first few ships because it was all brand new. Change is hard in society.”

femfist

Melissa Harris-Perry was among the first to congratulate the Admiral, on her weekend MSNBC program recently.

The New York Times ran an evocative piece on Admiral Howard's epic move, excerpted below.

WASHINGTON — Adm. Michelle J. Howard was looking for new insignia for her white Navy dress uniform when she ran into an unusual problem.

“I said, ‘I need to order a four-star women’s shoulder board,’ and there’s this silence,” Admiral Howard recalled. “Then the lady goes, ‘Um, I’m not seeing any in the system.’ And I said, ‘Yeah, I thought that might be the case.’

“I didn’t know it was possible to grow up to be anything more than a one-star,” Admiral Howard, 54, said in a recent interview, referring to the rank of rear admiral. She said today’s sailors “have never known a life when there hasn’t been a woman admiral, women three-stars, women in command of ships, women in command of destroyers.”

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Kate Kelly: She actually is history!

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kate kellyImage via

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When the June 2014 story broke of Kate Kelly, I immediately thought of Anne Hutchinson.  Kelly, is a long-time Morman and human rights lawyer.  She is fighting for equality in the Church (what a concept!) and the founder of Ordained Woman which is a group of gals who want to preach in their own (Mormon) church. Kelly was convicted of apostasy (the abandonment or renunciation of a religious or political belief), and ex-communicated.

anne hutchinson pic

Anne Hutchinson was convicted of heresy (an opinion or belief that contradicts established religious teachings) and sedition (actions or words intended to provoke or incite rebellion against government authority) and was banished!  And she, like Kate Kelly, was ex-communicated from her Church. But this was back in 1634.  HER crime?  Preaching to women and challenging "church doctrines".

Twilight Zone music here…

Ms. Hutchinson, nurse, bible teacher, midwife and all around multi-tasking Mama, was not your average, quiet, submissive housewife and mother of the Colonial period. No.  She was the Mother of The First Amendment.  Via Cornell:

The First Amendment guarantees freedoms concerning religion, expression, assembly, and the right to petition.  It forbids Congress from both promoting one religion over others and also restricting an individual’s religious practices.  It guarantees freedom of expression by prohibiting Congress from restricting the press or the rights of individuals to speak freely.  It also guarantees the right of citizens to assemble peaceably and to petition their government.  

Pregnant with her fifteenth child and forty-six years old, Anne Hutchinson STOOD before a panel of male judges who said to her:

"Mrs Hutchinson, you are called here as one of those that have troubled the peace of the commonwealth and the churches here; you are known to be a woman that hath had a great share in the promoting and divulging of those opinions that are the cause of this trouble."

Kate Kelly was told - also by a panel of male judges- the following (via NBC):

"The problem is that you have persisted in an aggressive effort to persuade other Church members to your point of view and that your course of action has threatened to erode the faith of others.  In order to be considered for readmission to the Church, you will need to demonstrate over a period of time that you have stopped teachings and actions that undermine the Church, its leaders, and the doctrine of the priesthood."

Kate Kelly heard this from her church the same week the Supreme Court struck down the McCullen v. Coakley law that created a buffer zone around abortion clinics. SCOTUS said the "pro-life" peeps' First Amendment rights were being violated. Free speech, right to protest, oy veh. I wonder if any of Supreme Court judges have seen the documentary "After Tiller".

How could SCOTUS mistake free speech for harassment?  And of course, THEY are enjoying THEIR buffer zone around THEIR building. Via the NY Times:

“Many women have abortions because they feel they have no other option or because they are pressured by a boyfriend or parent,” said Eleanor McCullen, a plaintiff in the case, McCullen v. Coakley, No. 12-1168. “Today’s ruling means I can offer loving help to a woman who wants it, and neither of us will go to jail for the discussion.”

LOVING HELP! DISCUSSION?

So Kate Kelly was ex-communicated for basically "trying to persuade other church members..."  and Anne Hutchinson was banished for having a "belief different from the establishment" but the "pro-lifers" are allowed to"persuade - HARASS -  women who have a belief DIFFERENT than theirs??

As  Radio Or Not's Nicole Sandler says all too regularly: "It's Opposite World".

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Sen. Begich Debuts Outline For Democrats To Retain Senate

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women work and vote

It's not all that complicated for Democrats to hold the Senate. It really isn't. And from the largest state in the union, Alaska, comes the way to do it.

Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska) released a new statewide radio ad Monday in which he hits his Republican opponents for their records on abortion, contraceptive coverage, equal pay and the minimum wage.

President Obama asked the most salient question of Republicans regarding Obamacare and they still haven't answered -- Why is the GOP so determined to keep millions of Americans off of affordable health care?

Begich points out Democrats have to ask their opponents why they feel women are second class citizens, incapable of taking care of themselves. Why are they letting old white men tell them what they can and cannot do with their bodies? Why shouldn't women get the same pay for the same job as a man? Why not raise the minimum wage? The last vote on minimum wage was 2007. Isn't it time we bump it up to a livable wage? And though this is not an gender issue per se:

Center For American Progress Action Fund:

In 2011 more than 62 percent of minimum-wage workers were women compared to just 38 percent of male minimum-wage workers. Slightly more than 2.5 million women earn the minimum wage or less, while approximately 1.5 million men do. This imbalance is even more drastic once you consider that women were just 46.9 percent of all employed workers in 2011.

If Democrats run on these issues, as well as immigration reform, they're going to hold the Senate. The House Dems need to take on and point out the same forceful issues, plus tabbing the $26 Billion cost of the Republican-led government shutdown and million more on 50+ votes against Obamacare to their campaigns. The refusal to vote on the unemployment extension will also take its toll on the Republicans. They're not looking as rosy red as they might try to make us believe. They are truly vulnerable despite gerrymandering and voter repression.  Reclaiming the House altogether isn't totally outside of reality, though it's going to take huge get-out-the-vote organization.

This isn't rocket science.  It's common sense.

WaPo:

Republicans have watched with rising alarm as female voters, especially younger and unmarried ones, have moved toward ­Democratic hopefuls. Democrats have exploited inarticulate or sexist remarks by some Republicans and harsh antiabortion measures passed in GOP-led legislatures or sponsored by party candidates.

So let's keep reminding the populace of the Republican "Hos and Bitches" way of addressing women and their issues. The lawless Republican Party of Cliven Bundy supporters is making noise. But with common sense and our votes, we can defeat them.

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GOP Senators Vote Against US Pledge of Allegiance

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GOP

I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all...

That's how the original Pledge of Allegiance goes. But the U.S. Senate, under the leadership of the Republican party, has undertaken to amend the age-old pledge. They're adding "except for minorities, the poor, and women."

It seems the GOP has determined there's a new meaning to phrases or words like "one Nation," "indivisible" and "liberty and Justice for ALL". It used to be that "All" means everyone. "Liberty and Justice" means freedom and fairness. Finally, "one nation" means united, as in the United States. Evidently, gone are the days...

Sadly yesterday the Senate Republicans, voted to trample their pledge. They voted down, as a unit, the Paycheck Fairness Act. Its purpose was to fix a wrong in our nation. It was to close the gap between wages of men and women doing the same job. And this bill would not cost anything. Here's what the proposed law would do, according to THE HILL:

The legislation punishes employers for retaliating against workers who share wage information, and puts the justification burden on employers as to why someone is paid less and allows workers to sue for punitive damages of wage discrimination.

So let's hear it for the patriotic Senate hypocrites from the GOP who swear by their patriotism yet feel it's important to trample on the very tenets of our Pledge of Allegiance. 

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