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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Not news: Republicans could slide even further with women, Latinos

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gop disaster zone republicans

Women and Latinos do not trust Republicans. Oops, sorry, Captain Obvious got hold of my keyboard again. But he's right, which is also obvious:

obvious

And those are only two of the most recent headlines. The GOP's history of misogyny and racism is appalling, and their efforts to deny their fellow human beings equal rights is disgusting.

Republicans have sworntogod that they want to broaden their appeal. Oh really? Well, if their relentless assault on women's reproductive rights, gay rights, voting rights, and their treatment of undocumented (and documented!) immigrants (or anyone else, for that matter) who don't look or sound like them is the barometer, then they're in deep trouble.

They're still saying exactly the same old thing about the same old things. Reed Galen, a GOP strategist in Orange County who also worked for Bush said, "If we want that number to grow, we have to find ways to talk to Latinos about the issues we all care about." How many Republicans have made identical comments? And how many have actually followed through, or even done the opposite? Exactly.

Remember their post-2012 election "autopsy"? That reinvention they keep promising... not so much. How's that reachy-outy, makeovery thing workin' for ya, GOP?

The Los Angeles Times takes it from here:

Donnelly, the GOP front-runner according to public opinion polls, has stood by his 2006 speech, delivered when he was leader in the volunteer Minuteman border-patrol organization. In it, he said illegal immigration would lead to a fight comparable to the Civil War. [...]

"I am not backing away from the fact that we are in a war," Donnelly told reporters in Sacramento on Tuesday, after reports of the speech caused an outcry. He said he did not believe the remarks would hurt his prospects among Latino voters.

See how they've changed?

The Pelosi flap on the new Breitbart CA website prompted House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield to ask that his column be taken off the site.

Republican strategists said that while the imagery was "problematic," they viewed it as less significant than the immigration issue.

So the problems with their antiquated policies, views, and (mis)treatment of women are "less significant." Not right up there on their To Do list. Got it.

Keep up the good work, guys. If it weren't for dirty tricks and gerrymandering, they wouldn't stand a chance in 2014. And don't even get me started on the Supreme Court ruling that favors billionaires...

UPDATE: New Rule Prohibits Voters In Miami-Dade County From Using The Restroom, No Matter How Long The Line. 'Nuff said.

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Republicans block equal pay bill for third time

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women pay wage gap equal pay

Once again, Republicans block a Democratic bill, this time one that would help women by finally giving them equal pay and closing the wage gap. The Paycheck Fairness Act was filibustered (surprise!) by the GOP. Not that President Obama's passionate support had anything to do with it, right?

Way to expand on those outreach efforts, guys!

The Democrats will certainly use this to their advantage in the midterm elections. The Hill:

Democrats have benefited from a gender gap at the polls, and the party hopes that by emphasizing certain issues they’ll be positioned to take advantage in November.

Majority Leader Harry Reid had this to say: “Are Republicans in the Senate so repulsed by equal pay for hard-working American women that they can’t even stomach the thought of debating the issue?”

Not nearly as repulsed as women are by misogynistic Republicans in the Senate... and elsewhere.

Via Roll Call:

Sixty votes were needed to allow the bill to be debated on the Senate floor, but Republicans refused to allow the bill to come up for debate after complaining Democrats weren’t allowing votes on their amendments. Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, broke with his typical party leanings and voted with Republicans against cloture.  The vote was 53-44, with Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., joining Republicans as a “no” in order to preserve his right to reconsider the vote.

No Republican voted with the Democrats. Three Republicans did not vote: Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, John Cornyn of Texas and Ted Cruz of Texas.

strike three you're out

This is Strike Three for Republicans, who also blocked debate on equal pay back in 2010 and 2012.

Are you ready for a couple of the amendments that the GOP offered up? Grab some Tums and start chewing in 5...4...3...2...1...

Some other GOP amendments would have repealed parts of ObamaCare and forced the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline

What, no Benghazi!!!! ?
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Huckabee on how to treat women: "Place her in the center of the photograph."

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mike huckabee women birth control libido assholeImage via.

Dear Mike Huckabee,

I'm a sucker for good manners. Sadly, they're becoming less commonplace every day. However, old fashioned etiquette is one thing, exploitative showboating is something else entirely.

Yours very truly,

Laffy

The New Republic's interview with Huckabee about how he sees female political opponents went a little something like this:

“I’ve twice run against women opponents, and it’s a very different kind of approach,” he tells me. Different how? “For those of us who have some chivalry left, there’s a level of respect. ... You treat some things as a special treasure; you treat other things as common.” A male opponent is “common,” a woman requires “a sense of pedestal.”

What the hell is a "sense of pedestal"? Anyone?

bueller anyoneMaybe HuckaRelic will put it another way:

“I’ll put it this way,” Huckabee says. “I treat my wife very differently than I treat my chums and my pals. I wouldn’t worry about calling them on Valentine’s Day, opening the door for them, or making sure they were OK.”

Aww, how touching. How caring. How... anachronistic. Women are... special. Delicate. Needy. Require assistance. And clearly congregate in binders. Women shouldn't be treated like "chums and pals." Which means that hanging out at a ball game guzzling beer together (from what my Tee Vee Machine tells me, that's an ultra-chummy guy thing to do) or sharing a Hungry-Man Frozen Dinner is completely out of the question. And don't get me started on tête-à-têtes about Cialis.

(By the way, Huck, some men do call each other on Valentine's Day or check to make sure their significant male other is okay. But that's another post for another day.)

Apparently, HuckaFossil also doesn't feel that women can or want to open their own doors. Now don't get me wrong, I appreciate politeness like nobody's business, and there's a certain charm to conventional "treat her like a lady" behavior. But some of Huckabee's "protective" instincts telegraph less formality and thoughtfulness and more moth-eaten patronizing and moldy condescension.

It gets even worse via another tidbit from Salon:

I believe in equality [!!! huhwha? !!!], and I have a record of transforming that belief into action... However, equality doesn’t mean sameness... I still will invite a lady to go first, will open a door for her, and will place her in the center of the photograph. And yes, I would seek to treat a female opponent with the same respect I give to all women, even though we may disagree on the issues.”

Respect is one thing. Arrogance is quite another. So is hypocrisy. Remember this? "Uncle Sugar" Dems give birth control to women who can't "control their libido" quote?

If the Democrats want to insult women by making them believe that they are helpless without Uncle Sugar coming in and providing for them a prescription each month for birth control because they cannot control their libido or their reproductive system without the help of the government, then so be it. Let us take this discussion all across America because women are far more than the Democrats have played them to be. And women across America need to stand up and say ‘Enough of that nonsense."

That's about as respectful as an Ann Coulter CPAC speech.

Now if you'll excuse me, I simply must step down from my "sense of pedestal." It's cookie-baking time and I need a moment to remove my high heels and don my apron.

respect aretha

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