Posts Tagged ‘Katha Pollitt’

Exclusive: Obama’s Epic #FAIL on Plan B

Please read this article, and just as the steam is coming out of your ears, go sign the petition and leave your comment for the president. It’s up to us to hold him, and all politicians, accountable.

Beyond-CrankyOut of patience with Obama Administration betrayals on health issues, a coalition has launched a petition demanding an agenda that is fair to women.

It wasn’t the first time that President Barack Obama played to a right-wing constituency at the expense of women’s interests, but the reversal last week of an expected decision on emergency birth control provoked perhaps the most critical reaction so far toward the administration by women’s health advocates and feminists across the nation…

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Video: Women, Power, Media, Politics Panel Leaves Questions Unanswered

Yesterday the New York Times reported that women constitute a mere 13% of Wikipedia editors. This is a completely self-selected effort. No closed doors, no glass ceilings.

What’s the problem? There are no excuses, though many reasons remain for this disparity–not unlike the behaviors of women in politics (or not), in business, and women in top media positions.

I had the opportunity to moderate (if one can call it that) a panel of fabulous women at the 92Y Sunday 1/23. It was icy outside but The Nation columnist Katha Pollitt, Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-NY 18), and Rebecca Traister, author of the Big Girls Don’t Cry, warmed things up quickly inside.

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How Can Women Reach Political Parity in a Chaotic Time?

You know I believe chaos is opportunity. But are women carpe-ing the chaos? With all those groups helping women run for office, why aren’t we moving the dial toward political parity faster? At the rate we’re going, it’ll take us 70 years to get there. And even if we do, will it be a plus or a cruel joke if, say, Michelle Bachmann becomes the first woman president? Isn’t it time for progressive women to come out of the closet and acknowledge that a women’s agenda is more important than her gender?

I’m excited to have a chance to ask questions like these about women, power, media, and politics of three of the most politically savvy women I know at the 92Y in New York this coming Sunday night 1/23, at 7:30 pm. You are most cordially invited.

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How Did Women Advance in the Oughties?

Katha Pollitt, The Nation columnist and author of a new book of poetry, The Mind Body Problem asked a great question today on a media listserv we’re both on. She wanted to know what we thought were the places where women and/or feminism made advances, went backward, or were treading water.

How do you think women advanced during the last decade? (We can deal with the backward steps in another post…at the beginning of a new year and new decade, let’s start with a nod to the advances.)

Here are my two top-of-mind, unfiltered answers that I sent to Katha, mostly to the positive.

1. The rise of social media has given women the opportunity for a much bigger voice individually and collectively. The asynchronous, information-rich technology and the ability to create “rooms of one’s own” appeal to women who have for so long been overtalked by louder male voices. As a result women are over 50% of bloggers and 57% of the people on Facebook and Twitter. Social media offer a way to connect, share, find support systems, and organize. Women tend to isolate and think they have to solve their problems–often problems caused by systemic barriers–alone. But with social media, they can find answers to their questions and if they choose they can organize to solve problems whether in the private sector or politically. Having been recognized by advertisers as the purchasers of over 80% of all consumer goods, women could also use their online and social media presence to reshape the consumer economy.

The bad news is that this power remains largely in the potential category because women have not used it strategically to mass their voices. Power unused is power useless. This is the name of a chapter in the book I’m writing now and I am sad to say I have all too many examples.

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