Adventure Ahead…

Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year!  I got an early Christmas present in the form of a job last Tuesday.  I am thrilled as I will be working in policy AND in my field of interest.

I will also be moving to Austin, TX sometime in January.

2011 should be fairly interesting.

An overdue update

I didn’t realize my last post was on the Primary Election victory. Interesting because this post is to update that we lost the General Election.

Much has happened in the world in the 3 and a half months since the Aug. 2 Primary to now, most of all an exhausting general election where distortions of truth took center stage.  But the campaign is over and time to move forward.

 

Not to get on a pedestal, however, as this is my blog I have the liberty to write what I want so I will go ahead and hop on up on one.

I believe in the greatness of America.  I believe that our citizens can do whatever we put our minds to, and are given the freedom to do.  We are a nation of innovators, of entrepreneurs, a people and a citizenry that have opportunities for success because of the freedoms and liberties that people have died to protect.

On that note a very grateful thanks to all our veterans out there.

I also believe that moderation and compromise has allowed this nation to succeed.  That deliberation in state assemblies and United States Congress has prevented more catastrophes then it has promoted.  Have these bodies made poor choices?  Yes.  Have the people encouraged it?  Yes.  But the system is tempered, it is deliberative and the system assists in moving forward as One Nation, Indivisible.

That being said, I am concerned about the polarization that we have seen in the last decade.  I am concerned about the fever pitch that has risen and the rhetoric that has been put forth.  Instead of working together for all of America, the finger pointing continues to the “Red States” and “Blue States” my hope is that our leaders do not forget that in the end they are working for what is best for the United States.

We are at a turning point in our history — and it will be very interesting to see what is accomplished, or what is deadlocked in the coming months.

Until then try and tune out the punditry as they speculate for the 2012 Election, before the new Congress is even in session.

Victory

For those of you who still may read this…the candidate I am working for won the primary!

I have been swamped since Aug. 10 working, thus the lack of blogging.

All is well, just busy and we are moving about 190 miles an hour to the General Election Nov. 2.

And the Award

For most ridiculous item of the day goes to Forever 21 for 1) deciding that a line of maternity clothes, in a shop branded and marketed towards teenagers and adolescents, is a good idea. And 2) deciding that the appropriate place to put said line of clothing would be in the states with the highest teen pregnancy rates.

For more information please read this article.

750,000 teenagers became pregnant last year, and the rate of teen mothers has risen over the last year after a drop.  Similarly as I raised concerns for the Candies brand sending mixed messages to teenagers by having Bristol Palin as their spokesperson for addressing teen pregnancy rates, while at the same time having Britney Spears as their spokes model talking about her “hot bottoms.”

What is responsible marketing towards teenage parents?  Is it responsible to market a brand towards teenage mothers?  Like MTV’s program Teen Mom, introducing teenage pregnancy into the realm of pop culture, does it make it more acceptable?  Is that an acceptable path for society to go down?

Who is a feminist?

An iconic image

Hello from a bit of an absence.  I’ve been busy!  The campaign has really kicked up in the last two weeks and we are in full swing.  And things are going well for the candidate I am working for, everyone on staff is working hard with the Aug. 10 Primary coming up.  And the majority of counties have decided to conduct mail-in ballot elections for the Primary, so that means that voter contact is in full swing before the ballots are mailed out July 19.

What has been interesting to observe in this cycle are 2 discussions that have occurred regularly.  Discussions about the affects the  TEA Party and 9/12 groups will have on the elections and conservative women who are running for office, and who have won their primaries.  Although the first topic interests me as much as the second, it is the latter discussion I have been mulling over and would like to blog about this morning.

What makes a feminist?   Can you be a feminist and oppose abortion?  Or by opposing abortion are you setting a movement back 50 years?  I have never really understood why abortion takes center stage in issues of feminism.  To me, women’s rights came from the desire to be afforded the same access to opportunity as men.  That means breaking the glass ceiling, allowing for equal pay for equal work and not to be discriminated against in hiring practices–that an applicant should be hired based on merit and qualifications, not to fill a quota.  As I have gotten older I have realized why the abortion debate has take center stage when discussing issues of feminism.  And the point is not so much, from my perspective, that you have the right to do away with the consequence of a bad decision, but rather having control over your reproductive health.  This ability has certainly not always been the case, I also do not limit this to abortion exclusively, this is a broader range of topics that include methods of birth control available for women.  Giving women the power over their bodies– and in turn empowering them to make informed decisions when it comes to their bodies– and a choice is an argument to be had.

So then can you be a feminist and be pro-life?  Does there have to be a dividing line amongst the feminists and anti-feminists on this one issue?  I would argue no.  That you can argue in favor of life, and still believe in women’s rights.

What then is feminism?  Is it about women empowerment? Equality in the work force or a narrowly focused debate over reproductive health and control over one’s body?

What about the idea that as a woman, in a democratic, free society, who has the power of the ballot box in her favor to elect officials who will care about addressing issues that effect women: domestic violence, the subjection of women — in addition to the issues listed above?  Is it not the duty of freedom loving women in the West to elect officials who will put pressure on nations who oppress women? Is it to stop practices such as topics discussed in my previous blog about female circumsition and the practice being accepted in the United States. Is it the duty of women of the West to encourage leaders of economic roundtables to employ women and allow their participation in the workforce?  Women hold up half the sky as a chinese proverb and recent publication by Nicolas Kristof contend.  The power of women when fully employed in the economy has certainly had beneficial results for this nation.  This current economic recession the US is in has positively benefitted women as industries that women hold the majority of jobs in have thrived.

It is an interesting conversation that is occurring.  And one that I am at a loss presently to answer.

This does not even begin to cover the issue–I am reading Naomi Wolf’s The Beauty Myth and it has opened my eyes to an entirely new set of issues.

There will be more to come on the topic.

Update

Here is an article by Mark Steyn regarding the woman who wrote on the topic from the post below.

Relative Standards?

I read an article in The Daily Beast this morning about how the American Academy of Pediatrics is suggesting changing laws in the United States regarding female genital mutilation (FGM).  What they are suggestion is allowing the practice of nicks, which allows doctors to nick a girls clitoris to allow for ritual bleeding.  The more brutal version of this ritual is done by cutting off the clitoris and sewing closed the opening of the vagina, so that the girl remains chaste, pure, the result of such a procedure means that sexual intercourse is brutally painful.

The argument of the American Academy of Pediatrics is that families who’s cultural backgrounds have practiced FGM will go abroad to have the procedure done.  By changing the laws the girls could be in a safer environment to have the procedure done. Currently the practice is outlawed in the United States.  I believe that it should remain outlawed.  The practice is brutal and serves no medical purpose.

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