Wednesday, November 7, 2012

A Good Day to be a Girl

Last night, I allowed my teenage daughter to stay up late with me as we watched the 2012 election returns. I think it is so important that we demonstrate and instill in our children a respect for this country's political process and a responsibility to participate in it.

At fifteen, my daughter is too young to vote. But, she has some fairly strong opinions, and I encourage them.

Nevertheless, to paraphrase Scarlet O'Hara, "Tomorrow was another school day." Despite our best intentions (and genuine concerns about the outcome), we gave up and went to bed, crossing our multigenerational fingers that our candidates would win.

Here is what we woke up to:

Another term for President Barack Obama. You may not agree with Obamacare. You may be disheartened by his progress towards a stronger economy. But, Republican or Democrat, you have to admit that he is a feminist with a capital F. He is two for two with Supreme Court Justices (Sonia Sotomayor and, my former Hunter Elementary classmate, Elena Kagan). He is pro-choice and supports Planned Parenthood. He signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act on his very first day in office. 

In the recent conversation — and controversy — over the definition of "rape," Obama stated the obvious:

     "Rape is rape. And the idea that we should be parsing and qualifying and slicing what types of rape we are talking about doesn’t make sense to the American people and certainly doesn’t make sense to me.
     So what I think these comments do underscore is why we shouldn’t have a bunch of politicians, a majority of whom are men, making health care decisions on behalf of women."

Go, O!

As women, my daughter and I were happy to see President Obama re-elected for a second term. But, as women, there was so much other good news:

The state of New Hampshire (right next door to us) is now the first state with an all-female slate. Governor? Check. Senators? Check. Congressmen ... er, women? Check.

The United States Senate will now have 19 women — the most in its history. Although we are not at parity yet, this is a significant increase since 1992, the so-called "Year of the Woman," when that number was just five.

The first openly lesbian senator has been elected in  Wisconsin (which shows that feminism and gay rights aren't  just coastal state fads).

And, in our own state of Massachusetts, Elizabeth Warren beat incumbent Scott Brown in a hotly contested race.

Wow! So much for their "war on women." Thank you, sisters!

In my next post, I promise to abandon all things political and go back to discussing typical teen issues: cell phones, boys, schoolwork, hormones. But, for now, I'm going to sit back and enjoy being a girl.

Last night, we proved that, as the once and future President said: "Women are not an interest group. You are half of this country." 


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