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In Favor of Feminism: Share Your Views

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  • typhoon
    typhoon Member Posts: 59
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    Illimae - I don't believe that gender by itself was the motivating factor for Biden's decision to focus on getting a female running mate. VPs have traditionally been selected for their potential to bring votes, additional to those the presidential candidate might count on receiving, to the ticket. In the past decade or so, women have proven to be a powerful demographic, almost a bloc, amongst voters. I think Biden's decision to limit his VP search to a woman, and then to select a woman of color, was fundamentally political: to get the votes of as many women as possible, and to raise enthusiasm and (importantly) turn out amongst women of color, especially in the southern states. It really isn't any different from Kennedy's choice of Johnson (to get southern votes), Carter's choice of Mondale (to get the traditional rust belt and northern votes), Reagan's choice of Bush (to get the Bush voting bloc), or Trump's choice of Pence (to get the hardline right-wing Christian and Evangelical voting bloc). The idea of diversifying the presidential ticket was probably personally important to Biden, but he wouldn't have chosen a woman of any race if he and his campaign weren't confident that she could deliver new and additional votes to the ticket - and ultimately, that ability is the primary qualification to be VP.

  • minustwo
    minustwo Member Posts: 13,128
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    Mae - so glad you posted to the wrong thread or I wouldn't have found this one.

    I may be the oldest person here and will enjoy reading - and posting in the future.

  • exbrnxgrl
    exbrnxgrl Member Posts: 4,854
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    “Given the millennia of patriarchy, it's too much to expect things to change in a generation or two. We are still in the shock and adjustment phase. I prefer gradual and lasting changes over radicalism, the latter never ends well.

    Erento,

    I am in total agreement with your statement. Yes, we all want change to happen quickly but with some exceptions, societal changes are gradual. This doesn’t mean we should try to stop promoting change but this is definitely a marathon, not a sprint.

    Khodafez (Farsi/Dari gap (kharf) mezonam),

    Caryn aka Karim

  • erento
    erento Member Posts: 187
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    Salam Caryn! Had to idea Caryn/Karen originated from the word karim, which has its roots in Arabic I believe.

  • moth
    moth Member Posts: 3,293
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    I wanted to recommend a recent book

    Invisible Women by Caroline Criado Perez.

    "Imagine a world where...

    · Your phone is too big for your hand

    · Your doctor prescribes a drug that is wrong for your body

    · In a car accident you are 47% more likely to be injured.

    If any of that sounds familiar, chances are you're a woman." more here https://www.penguin.co.uk/books/111/1113605/invisi...

    This book is not a radfem book; I think everyone would enjoy it - though it will leave you frustrated and possibly angry


    My other reading is more along Sheila Jeffreys books,. Beauty and Misogyny/: Harmful Cultural Practices in the West is a good start I think. https://www.amazon.com/dp/1848724489/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_RCG666MGGVQB1RBYFXGQ


    Andrea Dworkin was arguably the most distinctive voice of radical feminism. Any of her books will change your perspective but it's not for everyone. Well who is? I find Dworkin thought provoking but don't agree with her on many things. Here's a good article about Dworkin which I think gives a good idea of what she was about https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2019/apr/...


  • chicagoan
    chicagoan Member Posts: 976
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    Interesting to see the spectrum of feminism represented here. Prior to second wave feminism, there was great secrecy and shame attached to breast cancer. I'm glad to be living in this time.

  • olma61
    olma61 Member Posts: 1,025
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    I hesitate to call myself a feminist, particularly when I think about some of the positions that travel under that label currently.

    HOWEVER - I am old enough to remember when it was called “women’s liberation” and I certainly am grateful for many of the changes those women accomplished.

    Imagine not being able to do banking and establish credit in your own name? To be discouraged from pursuing certain careers? I can remember seeing “ Help wanted - MALE and Help Wanted - FEMALE “ in the classified ad section. Was not that long ago, although it was before some of today’s adults were even born.

    I took several women’s studies classes in college (not my major, electives) some valuable take aways were -

    — learning to be assertive, a big issue that I think many if not most women still struggle with. I could write a whole post just on this. The feminist movement has helped women tremendously to be their own advocates and to not put up passively with abuse, harassment, being assigned the grunt work in the office, etc, etc

    — understanding and appreciating my own reproductive anatomy and sexual function.

    — that women could organize to bring about needed reforms in law and society. As Chicagoan mentioned, elimination of the shame and stigma around breast cancer, and advocating for better screening, research and treatment is in a large part due to the second wave feminist movement. Today, we feel we have too much “awareness” and yes, it seems to have turned into an industry. But back then, “awareness” and talking openly was a needed step toward improving outcomes.

    — eliminating rigid gender roles. A woman who enjoys putting furniture together and doing auto repair and maintenance can also enjoy wearing makeup and high heels...OR NOT! All those things are “woman things” if a woman does them. Boys can play with dolls, girls can play with trucks, etc etc. Funnily enough, I had an aunt who was the “do renovations, fix the car, then get dolled up and go dancing” prototype. I doubt she had any more than a superficial awareness of “women’s lib”. That was just her natural state.

    So, I’m not sure that I’m a feminist but I am an independent woman who wants and grants to others the freedom to be who they are. I appreciate many of the accomplishments of those women who came before us.

    And briefly, I’ll say that in the political arena and other positions of power - I agree with those who said they prefer candidates being picked for their qualifications rather than gender or other identity markers. I’d prefer a man who is really brilliant, with positions I agree with,over a mediocre woman who is chosen just to score points or fill a quota.

  • flashlight
    flashlight Member Posts: 311
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    MaineJen, " And the ways many people talk on tv and in social media and just out there about our VP, it's all so grotesquely racist and misogynist" So if she was a man it would be okay to say he wasn't doing a great job? I think people are just really disappointed in this huge opportunity she has been given and she isn't doing a great job. That doesn't make me a racist or a woman hater. It is only an opinion.

    I agree with ErenTo and basically it is what Illimae was saying. Yes, typhoon you are right! Unfortunately.

  • edj3
    edj3 Member Posts: 1,579
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    Moth, the more I read your posts the more I admire you. Full stop.

  • moth
    moth Member Posts: 3,293
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    edj3 - awww, thank you! fist bump & hugs at you!

  • trishyla
    trishyla Member Posts: 698
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    I'm kind of confused here. Many of you are deriding Kamala Harris for being chosen strictly because she is a woman, then also chiding her for squandering the "opportunity she's been given".

    First off, let me remind everyone that Kamala Harris is doing the job she was elected to do. Which is to do whatever her boss, the President of the United States, wants her to do. That has been the basic job description for the Vice Presidency for as long as the position has existed, regardless of the gender of the officeholder. Why is she singled out for not meeting expectations? Because she's the first she's held to a higher standard? Talk about sexist.

    Secondly I'd like to point out that we're in the middle of the largest global health crisis in over a century. That has understandably kinda taken up a lot of the oxygen of the first six months of the Biden presidency.

    That's right, it's been SIX MONTHS since they took over a country in deep crisis and they're being pounded for not fixing the mess that Trump and his minions took four years to create. It really ticks me off.

    Talk to me in three years about how they're doing. And no double standards. As John Garner Nance famously said: "The vice presidency isn't worth a warm bucket of piss ". If Kamala manages to accomplish even one positive thing in four years that will be more than many of her male predecessors.

    Rant off.

    Trish

  • exbrnxgrl
    exbrnxgrl Member Posts: 4,854
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    trishyla,

    Not only have you taken the words right out of my mouth, but you’ve improved upon them! I am not sure what others have expected Ms. Harris to do as VP in the first 6 months but she seems to be fulfilling her role. I live in the part of CA where she served both the city of San Francisco and Oakland before going on to state offices. Like anyone in public office she had bother her supporters and detractors but on balance she was well regarded by CA voters.

  • typhoon
    typhoon Member Posts: 59
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    Thank you, Trishyla - I was trying to write the same thing, but with much less clarity than your post. Kamala Harris was picked because she brought the most value (i.e. votes and voters) to the ticket. We are six months in, and in the past couple of months she's been given a whole host of enormous challenges to tackle. I'm glad she's now got the opportunity to accomplish some really important things, but let's give her a chance to get going before we decide that she's failed.

  • divinemrsm
    divinemrsm Member Posts: 6,089
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    SummerAngel, your daughter's perception that feminists think they're better than men is one shared by many, unfortunately. Hopefully as you continue to be an example to her through lifestyle and action, she may come to a clearer understanding. I agree with you about younger men seemingly being better (in general) with equality. My son is in his 20s and it seems he and his friends are more open-minded than say, my husband. I will add that dh has come a long way, having been subtly but consistently influenced by my son and I over the years.

    flashlight, I love that you saw Gloria Steinem back in the day!

    Betrayal, I, too, don't shop Hobby Lobby for the same reason as you. It's very impressive that you threw your dd's bf out when he harassed her about getting a college education. I'm glad things worked out for her in the relationship department! Hey, sometimes Mom knows best!

    trinigirl50, you raise a good point about many rivers to cross before women gain true equality in just the developed countries alone. I read Melinda Gates' book "The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World" (highly recommend it) and while quite inspiring, some of the stories about women in other countries were heartbreaking.

    illimae, Trishyla, exbrnxgrl and others who are discussing Kamala Harris: I have no problem with her. Frankly, I wanted whoever the hell was going to help put Biden in office. Our country needed saved! Once he said he would select a woman of color, I felt sure Kamala would be the one but will share my reasons for thinking that another time. One thing I'll say is if to those clicking on computer links to stories about how bad a job Harris is doing, you're just going to be fed more stories like that. Isn't that how algorithms work? I don't really follow Harris much but I am very appreciative we have a woman VP.

    typhoon, thanks for the history lesson on VPs and what they brought to the table in terms of votes.

  • divinemrsm
    divinemrsm Member Posts: 6,089
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    MaineJen, I loved your post and the story about the high school teacher's class on women's studies! I hope you do choose to participate in this thread as you have very interesting things to say!

    Years before social media, I belonged to an online forum centered around the small city I live in (population 5,000). It was a great way to cut my teeth on dealing with interaction on the internet and was very insightful seeing the way people act online vs in person. People had screen names but you could figure out who they were and draw comparisons. Great way to keep up on town gossip, too, lol! I got myself into an intense debate more than once, but the site had a terrific moderator, and I tell you, the debates brought about positive changes to the city which makes me proud that I contributed to making people think and take action and not simply accept the status quo which they like to do in this sleepy town.

    ErenTo, you put it very beautifully: "I prefer gradual change and lasting changes over radicalism, the latter never ends well." I agree! As the saying goes, "Change is incremental." We must keep chipping away at the patriarchy and hope for watershed moments to turn the tide in the direction of equality for all.

    MinusTwo and Chicagoan, great to see you here and look forward to reading your views.

    Moth and MaineJen, the books you mention are on my library's website and I cannot wait to read them! MaineJen, I've literally read over two hundred biographies/autobiographies, many of them best sellers, but somehow "The Undying" flew under my radar. I can't believe I missed it, so thanks for the recommendation. I am currently reading Brandi Carlile's memoir, "Broken Horses" and it's just so. damn. good.

    Olma, tho I was young at the time, I remember everything you mentioned about the "good old days of women's liberation". You're right, it truly wasn't long ago. I think it was 1975 when my sister co-signed for a car I was buying and at the time, she told me to get a credit card, so I did, no problem. Only in recent years did I learn that prior to about 1974, women had to have a father or husband's signature to get one. I mean, women were often just shit out of luck back then. Horrible.

    wrenn, ramble on! I feel you have more to say, and we're listening!

  • betrayal
    betrayal Member Posts: 2,216
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    Thanks, Trishyla for defending both Biden and Kamala's efforts in the 6 months they have been in office and for voicing my sentiments. They have a massive job ahead of them and I applaud their efforts in spite of the adversity they encounter each day. They seem to be doing the 10 steps forward, 12 backwards dance that equality has had to deal with over the years.

    Can anyone here name one valuable contribution Pence made in his 4 years other than to be a toady for the former president? I'm straining my brain, and nope, can't find a thing.

  • trishyla
    trishyla Member Posts: 698
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    Actually Betrayal, there are three things Mike Pence managed to do in his four years in office.

    First, he single handedly made millions of Americans learn how to spell the word obsequious, without ever having to consult spell check.

    Second he perfected the white hair/brown nose look in a way no one has ever managed to do in the past. (Hope it's a fashion trend that doesn't last.)

    Finally, and most importantly, he realized that not certifying the results of a free and fair election was a bridge too far, even for him. He found his spine for a brief and shining moment. Misplaced it again in the aftermath of January 6th, but I will give credit where credit is due.

    But other than that, he was (and is) an example of what a Vice President should not be.

    Trish


  • divinemrsm
    divinemrsm Member Posts: 6,089
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    image




  • illimae
    illimae Member Posts: 5,608
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    On he Kamala topic, my issue is the inequality of the VP selection process and it not being quite the victory many imagined. In terms of how she is doing, I honestly feel like it’s too soon to tell and the world is so much more complicated at the moment, the whole government is struggling, at all levels.

    Before cancer, I had applied for and got my former bosses job (which I had been doing a lot of for a couple years) and the rumors that I got it because I was white or friends with one of those who interviewed me pissed me off as much as the one who said it was time for a man to get that job. Qualifications are first and foremost to me.

  • trishyla
    trishyla Member Posts: 698
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    I think you're missing the point, illamae. As with all Vice Presidents, her main qualification was to be the one they deemed most likely to bring in new votes. Period.

    Just like Pence was selected because he brought in Evangelicals. And because he was a white male. Just like Biden was selected by Obama because he was most likely to appeal to blue collar whites. Plus he was a white male. Were the appeals of those two white men to specific voting blocks less egregious than Harris's appeal to women? Or people of color? Why?

    If it's wrong to select her on the basis of the voters she appeals to then the criteria used to select every single Vice President in my lifetime has been equally wrong. No double standards.

    Don't ever doubt that if the Biden campaign had determined that a white man would bring in more votes, they would have selected a white man. They wanted to win, so they appealed to a voting block that comprises 51% of the voting public. We, the voters, decided it was time for a female Vice President. They just honored our wishes.

    Trish

  • exbrnxgrl
    exbrnxgrl Member Posts: 4,854
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    Trishyla,

    Your strong pragmatic streak parallels mine. While I wish we had a perfect world, it is abundantly clear that we don’t. Biden’s campaign advisors were in it to win it and I’m sure their research was deep and thorough with respect to which VP candidate would likely pull in the most votes. Do I agree with that? In principle, no but that is reality. Now, how to change that reality is a whole different matter

  • alicebastable
    alicebastable Member Posts: 1,945
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    I wasn't going to participate here because I usually save this kind of topic for FB, but I just got thrown in FB jail (again!) in the last hour, so here I am.

    I graduated from high school in the late 1960s and attended college for a year, a state university branch that had been opened in my hometown just a few years before. I dropped out after a year because the tuition doubled but student workers not only didn't get raises, but some of us were laid off. I wasn't interested enough to try other money sources because I absolutely did not want to teach, and it was one of the few professions the inadequate high school counsellor told female students about. Jobs for the untrained were also not what I wanted, so I enlisted in the Air Force. At that time, we were WAF, in the Air Force but separate (and limited) in some ways. But in spite of the overt patriarchal structure, it was much more equal than most civilian jobs for someone in my situation. My aptitude scores got me sent to tech school for computer programming, and the instructor taught ALL enlisted people in that field, and I think many of the junior officers. That instructor was a civilian, middle-aged WOMAN, and she'd been programming before most people my age had heard of computers. After I got assigned to a permanent base, the programmers there (about 85% male) spoke of her in awestruck tones, like she was a goddess. It may have been a quirk of computer people, but the WAF were treated as equal co-workers by the men, both enlisted and officers. At one point, I worked for a WAF captain who was one of the most remarkably self-sufficient and talented people I'd ever met, and a great role model. I hadn't planned to stay in as a career, so after my four year enlistment was up, I was a civilian again, and what a shock! I couldn't get considered for even low-level computer or computer-adjacent work, and the two jobs I had over the next decade were the worst of every stereotype of what women employees endured. And in the 70s and early 80s, there wasn't a way to fight back against any of it, from discrimination to humiliation to worse. And then I was let go when I was pregnant, "for my own good." What bullshit. But by that time, I was relieved to get by on my husband's meager pay and do the stay-at-home Mom thing. When I re-entered the job market after my son started school, I had the privilege of being a little reckless in the jobs I applied for - so I put on my one decent-looking dress and caught a bus to downtown for interviews. Thanks to good timing and accidentally knowing a few "right" people, I landed a better job than I'd dreamt I could get, at a not-for-profit cultural institution, so I guess I finally landed on my feet - after about 15 years.

    My Air Force experience really screwed up my expectations. It led me to believe people could be treated equally and respectfully. The next decade taught me that I'd been living in a dream world, and reality was worse than a nightmare. My years in the not-for-profit world taught me that behind a civilized and inclusive facade, there is so much subtle-to-blatant sexism, racism, and classism that it would gag a maggot. We may have come a long way, baby, but that journey has all too frequently left behind the economically and educationally disadvantaged, from lower middle class down, and way too many women of color. There's a lot of work to do to raise all of us up. And I think that is more important than any nit-picking over how to define feminism.

  • betrayal
    betrayal Member Posts: 2,216
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    Alice: Not on FB and have no desire to go there but how does one get thrown into FB jail? Was it something you said or did? I do find this humorous but then I have had the moderators on here ask me to remove an entry and yet others can say pretty much the same thing and nothing happens.

    Trishyla: I do stand corrected on Pence's meager contributions but would like to add that he is the first human flytrap I have ever seen and I wonder if it was stuck on his hair product? He is a candidate for surgery though. It would be to extract his nose from the former president's ass since he still insists on putting it there. He definitely should not serve as a role model for this position no matter the gender.

  • alicebastable
    alicebastable Member Posts: 1,945
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    Betrayal, I've been in FB jail three times before. First for a day, then 3, then a week. They said it would be a month next time but this one was for a week so it must have been a misdemeanor 😄. Then I checked back later tonight and it was down to 3 days, which I celebrated with a brownie because it was my first successful appeal. My previous stints were for gently suggesting that racist posts were, in fact, racist. So the turds can make racist statements, but oh my, don't point it out or their sensitive widdle asses will hit the report button. And to keep this oh-so-slightly on topic, it's always been men who report me. This time it was some guy going off on a random rant about people who use plants or animals for their profile pictures and how he'd never respond to anyone using that. My current profile pic is Queen Anne's Lace, which I love, so I suggested he change his picture to something like that because it would be a vast improvement over showing his face. He reported me for harassment, which I find hilarious.

    Right after fly-gate, I posted this picture on FB as a challenge to my friends (who are all real-life friends and family, not the imaginary FB ones some people have) to out-do Pious Pence's little buddy.

    image

  • divinemrsm
    divinemrsm Member Posts: 6,089
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    Trish, you have a great grasp on the world of U. S. VPs.

    References to Pence's brown nose are so true.

    Alice, I'm kinda glad that FB jail sent you our way; I love your insights and hope you'll continue to contribute.

    Speaking of using plants and animals as profile pictures: I'm sure most of us have heard how differently people respond online to comments made from women as opposed to those made by men. My FB profile is a photo of me, and my cover photo is the same "Women Hold Up Half the Sky" photo I posted in the OP above. But I've considered trying an experiment by changing my profile picture to a sports car, making the cover photo some open coastal highway lined with evergreens and shortening my name, Camille, to Cam, all to sort of disguise that I'm female and make people who don't know me think perhaps my comments are coming from a male perspective. Then I'd observe what kinds of reactions I got to my posts on public news stories. I know there'd be a difference from the ones where it's clear I'm a woman. However, this year, I am very much feeling "women hold up half the sky", so I'm sticking with that for now. But I flirt with the blurred lines idea from time to time.

  • flashlight
    flashlight Member Posts: 311
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    As Olma61 said "I agree with those who said they prefer candidates being picked for their qualifications rather than gender or other identity markers. I'd prefer a man who is really brilliant, with positions I agree with, over a mediocre woman who is chosen just to score points or fill a quota." I happen to agree with Olma whether or not she likes the VP. I happen to think she wasn't the best choice. Can we agree not to argue anymore about a difference of opinion? Politics brings out the worse in people. Let's move on. Great picture Alice! I was a, WAF too I remember standing in line during basic training to get my air gun vaccines. The guys were on one side and we were on the other. If you didn't hold still the vaccine gun would tear up your arm. The guys were dropping like flies. We were told that no woman would faint in this line! My group made it through!

  • betrayal
    betrayal Member Posts: 2,216
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    If a VP is picked solely for what they can bring to winning an election, I find that the use of "mediocre" would apply to many of those males and not just a "mediocre woman". This to me is gender bashing since all of them were chosen to score points or fill a quota and not because they were qualified. You are entitled to your opinion that perhaps she is not the best choice but those of us who feel she was have the right to state this as well. She's been in the job for only 6 months, cut her a break. I am off my soapbox for the moment.

    Alice: Love the photo and love to read your postings. Most provide a laugh and we so need those now. Too much negativity in the world and tough to sometimes find those pleasurable moments. Does FB put bars over your postings so people know you are in jail? Do you have to wear an orange jumpsuit? LOL

  • erento
    erento Member Posts: 187
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    My issue is not that a VP pick was strategically-motivated, I get that. But to ooh and ahh that it's so great to have a female VP and what a great accomplishment it is, just leaves me cold. The selection wasn't necessarily merit-based, and it was explicitly stated and targeted to win the election. Nothing wrong with that, but let's just move on. Accept the result and get on with the actual job that she was selected to do (which I have no opinion of as how she's doing!).

    I really do think that we need to highlight and talk about women's achievements, but by focusing too much on the woman part rather the achievement, I'm not sure if we set a good example of feminism for the younger generation. The woman part is obvious, now let's talk of her accomplishments.

  • divinemrsm
    divinemrsm Member Posts: 6,089
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    Can the argument be made that if qualifications mattered to everyone, Hillary would have been president? And did we scrutinize Pence this much or any other vp during their first six months. Most vps we don't even remember.

    i don't mind the ongoing discussion here about Harris and the different points everyone makes. We are just getting started on this thread, like, two seconds out of the starting gate. We will cover so many topics, Harris is only the beginning.

  • moth
    moth Member Posts: 3,293
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    Until women are at least 50% of the governments, the boards of directors, the courts.. we're not done.

    Until female fetuses aren't preferentially aborted - 23 million girls and women are missing - we're not done

    Until girls aren't subjected to FGM (including here in the West, either done locally or sending the girls 'home' for the procedure) - we're not done

    Until women aren't battered & murdered by their spouses and families - we're not done

    Until women aren't scared to walk alone - we're not done

    Until young girls aren't married to much older men ( Globally 12 million girls <18 are married. 2 million girls <15 get pregnant. & this isn't just an 'OVER THERE' problem - "20 U.S. states do not require any minimum age for marriage, with a parental or judicial waiver. Approximately 248,000 children were married in the U.S. between 2000 and 2010. The vast majority were girls wed to adult men, many much older. https://www.equalitynow.org/learn_more_child_marri... ) - we're not done

    Until women aren't killed by monsters who claim "it was a sex game gone wrong" (& many do not get convicted) - we're not done

    Until girls have access to education - 130 million girls around the world are not attending primary or secondary school - we're not done


    I know some people think I'm an angry feminist. I am. I'm super angry. Yes women lift up half the sky but godess, are we ever hampered, having the legs knocked out from under us, having our teeth knocked out, being killed, being shoved to the back, being told again and again to prove our worth, to prove our merit, to be found wanting over and over again not because we're not good enough, but because we're female.