“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal…”—The Declaration of Independence (emphasis added)
Women are amazing, dynamic, enigmatic, beings. We raise children (sometimes on our own), are supportive partners, often go above and beyond to maintain our physical desirability, and work late into the night as our children sleep next to us (like me right now). Seemingly, we can do anything, and we tell our daughters this is true, but no matter how phenomenal we continue to prove ourselves to be, we still are often victims of oppression (some of us more than others).
To find the cause of this imbalance, we need only to look at who’s running the ship. In New York State, supposedly one of the union’s most progressive states, there is one (1!) female statewide elected official—technically two, Barbara Underwood was appointed as interim Attorney General, but she was appointed, not elected, and, in any case, that’s not much better—and women only account for 27.7% of our state legislature. Locally, no women hold any elected countywide positions in Erie County, and the City of Buffalo’s Common Council, one of the most powerful local government bodies in the area, is 100% male.
I could go on pointing to statistics on women CEO’s, etc. However, more telling is national leaders characterizing a presidential candidate’s flippant comments about non-consensual sexual contact (i.e. sexual assault) as “locker room talk,” or Justice Kavanaugh being offered condolences, while the 34 year-old trauma of his intelligent, accomplished accuser is discredited and swept aside.
I’ll be blunt. There is much talk of a blue wave, but I’m here to tell you that a red tide has been steadily eroding our protections for the past few decades. With each judicial appointment, subversive (but subtle) regulation, and/or policy-making decision, our rights that were fought and died for are waning.
We must take a stand, which is why I’m happy to see so many female candidates running this year. However, we can’t stop there. We must also band together; protest; and pay attention to the policies affecting women locally, nationally, and across the globe. I see the last of these elements as critical to our progress, which is why it is this blog’s focus.
In short, “power is never given.” Therefore, in order to more fully secure our “unalienable right” to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, we must demand it.