Archive for August, 2011

Response to Cory Booker’s ” A Dream Anew” on Huffington Post 8/24/11

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/cory-booker/a-dream-anew_b_934969.html

Mayor Booker: I saw you on Sixty Minutes and was most impressed with your commitment to lift all people. I’m wondering why you seem to have overlooked the enslavement of ALL women that still exists in America today? Poverty is not exclusive to black Americans. It strikes ALL Americans. Continuing to draw boundary lines on race, we remain a country decaying and divided.
I’m a native Washingtonian and a double minority – white and female. I marvel at how America’s leaders are so quick to admonish the racism that exists among whites while ignoring the bigotry that exists among blacks. Truly, we can’t know one another’s experience not having lived it, can we? Empathy and cooperation is a two-way street.
DC’s current mayor, Vincent Gray, ran on a promise of building “One City” while attacking his opponent for catering to whites. One City to him sounded more like a One-Way street to me. Come see for yourself. Power and control rests with the black male majority. Different race wins here. Gender finishes last. If you truly want equality in America, are you willing to roll up your sleeves as a black man and show the white boys how it’s done? Because you have more freedom than any woman of any race or socioeconomic status today and it’s time we discuss this too.
Do you truly believe the current state of black America is all because of racism? Men cannot continue to ignore 52% of the population and expect that society – (black, white, red, yellow or brown) will ever reach Dr. King’s Promised Land. The oppression of women has lasted 2,000 years and continues.
White men honor their military past. Black men honor their civil rights past. And America falls further and further behind the global economy. What is it going to take for you to GROW UP, Fellas? Women know that neither of you have a clue as to how to get us out of this mess you’ve created, but you refuse to stop and ask us for directions or help. Let’s be honest. Men haven’t relinquished any seats at the table. Where is the gender balance in America’s recovery efforts? Women are not your evil enemy, your June Cleaver or your Playboy Bunny. We are human beings that share this planet. You cannot succeed without us. And tokenism is not equality.
Mayor Booker, if you’re coming to DC this week for MLK’s celebration – I’m up for a bridge-building walk anytime you are. Join us on Facebook at United for Equality Until then… Peace.

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Can Women Commit to Equality?

I read an article today called, The Power of Commitment. I was most inspired being at a crossroads myself as to how to engage more citizens to achieve the final victory lap for the Equal Rights Amendment. We definitely need feminist fellas to stand with us, but if the majority of women – do not yet understand or believe in ERA’s value – we have a bridge to cross first. Sisters across America of every age, shape, ability, orientation, party, ethnicity, color, class and experience – what in life doesn’t require a dreamer to get behind it first? Good thing to know is that there were a lot of dreamers before me that believed in this notion of equality among the sexes. But they gave up against the well-funded and organized opposition to equal rights for women due to an arbitrary time limit Congress imposed on our amendment to the Constitution. The problems for women didn’t disappear and so other causes took priority. Ever wondered why laws have failed to protect women from unfair wage discrimination, career derailment, sexual and street harassment, rape and incest, bullying, intimate partner violence, stalking, poverty, violence in the media and video games, sex slavery, and more? Laws could be useful if built on a strong foundation. But our constitution excludes women as equal citizens under law and so there is no foundation for equality among the sexes. In fact, we only have our right to vote protected from being taken away. When the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments were passed in the 1800s, Americans should have said, “Stop! Rather than amend a flawed document created to protect wealthy interests of a few men at the expense of the majority- let’s rewrite the entire thing and provide a level playing field in which all members of our society are given equal opportunity to thrive! Imagine how different our lives would be….Well, that didn’t happen because women weren’t at the decision making table again. So the Constitution continues to exclude women as inferior beings requiring all rights to be subject to predominantly men to decide.

I have a problem with this. Do you?

If you want things to change, ladies, it’s going to take suspending your skepticism, fear, and patriarchal perspective which we all suffer from and believe that you count.

Do you know how many women have told me, “It’s great you are doing this Carolyn – good luck to you.” Sometimes they thank me. Other times they think I’m crazy.

Why would any single woman with no husband or partner risk her life savings, her career prospects, health insurance, social life and friendships for a cause so vast, so old and culturally unpopular that it has virtually disappeared from collective consciousness? Beats me. But I have been driven by this sense of justice for women for 3 years and counting. I can’t think of anything else more rewarding in life than honoring our foremothers’ legacy and sacrifice to allow them to rest in peace.
For those wedded to news sources – mainstream media doesn’t cover equality for women/politicians don’t discuss ERA, so you assume it must not be important or newsworthy. Lift the curtain and question where ERA would leave sexist and misogynistic advertisers or video game creators, or political pundits, or pornographers or media moguls or corporations if the playing field was finally leveled for women? If uttering the “B word” against women was as abhorrent to utter as the “N word” against African Americans? I am sick to death of the June Cleaver meets Playboy Bunny sexist trash that sells products, services and news to men ages 18 – 24. It’s as if we still don’t exist Ladies in the marketplace- two + centuries later. The definition of INSANITY is that women who make up 85% of consumer purchases continue to support companies who don’t value us as their customers!

Can we be persuasive enough to impact profits? You betcha if we stick our collective muscle behind it and begin to values spend. Live your values, honor yourself and don’t compromise.

Without equality enshrined in our social contract, there is no foundation for harmony or a better quality of life between men and women. Sexism and misogyny is learned behavior over centuries and constantly reinforced daily by the government, media, sports, education and religious institutions, history, etc….

I resent the fact that I couldn’t host a Women’s Equality Day celebration in front of the White House this year due to MLK memorial being dedicated all week. Couldn’t they have picked a different day to celebrate one civil rights hero for civil rights heroines?

Must girls be subjected to grow up with the same sick culture that thrives on women’s inferiority? Will parents continue to remain complacent about the bullying and media manipulation happening to their daughters daily? Guide her to turn off the TV, stop reading the magazines, start talking to her, getting her to critically think about the images she sees about what is appropriate and inappropriate for women and teach her to stop shopping her way into oblivion which only feeds the beast temporarily until the next mealtime. Tell her to eat a healthier diet rather than starve herself spiritually.

Enlightened Feminist Folks, I would appreciate your advice on how to reach women in a more meaningful way – at an emotional level – to commit to ourselves for the betterment of our existence and social progress. It seems an impossible task to engage citizens who distrust government already and feel they have no where to turn.

Can Women Connect to Ourselves? Sure. I did. I lost my job in 2007. I volunteered with Hillary for one year. At her concession speech, I vowed to do something productive to stop the misogyny I witnessed throughout her campaign and Sarah Palin’s. I reasoned if it could happen to women running for the highest offices, what did it mean for women coming up beneath them? Public policy is the only REAL solution. Imagine our world without the protection of the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments. The social revolution may not have happened over night but in 100 years public opinion had evolved, behaviors improved and our world is better for it. There can be no doubt of the immeasurable impact that ERA will provide 52% of society and the men, women and boys who share their lives.

Progress has been slow, but I am not deterred. I am hoping over time and circumstance you will join me in seeing the value in women’s rights in America to invest some time money and effort to see ERA thru to fruition.

A wise relationship counselor that I just discovered today, Sarah Anma @ http://www.artofrelationship.net, wrote in her The Power of Commitment blogpost, “Freedom lies in making a decision to take one path instead of standing at a crossroads wondering which way to go. The power of choice is huge, but can be debilitating, especially if we are off-centered or uncertain in ourselves in any way…” ” When we can get quiet, get real, and make a commitment to our highest potential, we have infinite possibilities to co-create lives of purpose, meaning, and service to others.”

Ladies, open the universe of possibilities to yourself and future generations of women by speaking about the ERA to become the 28th Amendment as a priority for America’s full recovery and future prosperity. Join U4E today. In Sisterhood, Carolyn

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Carolyn Cook – Equal Rights Advocate 08/16 by Herb Blake | Blog Talk Radio

Carolyn Cook – Equal Rights Advocate 08/16 by Herb Blake | Blog Talk Radio.

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One Woman Debt Commission – No More

Why we need the ERA.

Case in point: the debt commission’s all-important job of choosing between which social programs get cut (under mandatory cuts) and whether or not corporations will have to pay into the system at all.  It’s not much of a compromise when cuts are mandatory and revenue is arbitrary.  I resent my social security referred to as an entitlement. Most of us pay taxes on our social security benefits over our lifetimes while others like my mom should have earned social security credits for managing the household.  Both roles contribute to our economy.

Entitlements are given to the big corporations referred to as ‘small businesses’  who are rewarded with tax loopholes as they send our jobs overseas.   Women don’t operate from this point of view.  But when they are token, it’s like spitting in the wind to get your point across.

But I’ve grown used to the Deciders selecting a token woman to co-chair the committee.  Just as they selected Hillary for Secretary of State instead of President.  My heart goes out to Senator Murray. I can only imagine the BS she’ll hear as the Lone RangeHER and the heat she’ll take in the press for standing up for social welfare.  (Yeah, those dames are too soft to play in the big leagues…)

This is sex discrimination at its finest when women are 51% of the population and typically the caregivers of children, those in need and the elderly.  Do you think that with all those guys that the suffering today without a safety net and no job opportunities will trump those corporate campaign contributions for 2012? We shall see.

I would have been more hopeful if the committee were 6 women and 6 men.  Well, maybe 8 women/4 men.

I’m betting they’d have had those corporations ponying up their fair share, the defense budget would have gone on a diet and our welfare would have ended endless warfare.

Perhaps the biggest downside of all was the discussion last night on the PBS (slightly to the right) Newshour with Margaret Warner interviewing Andrea Seabrook and Norm Ornstein.  I sat there hoping one of the two women would mention the gender imbalance…  Surprisingly, neither did.  When Ornstein finally pointed it out, he looked a bit sheepish and would you believe that neither woman acknowledged his observation!

Women are discouraged from pointing out inequality when they see it.  I believe it stems from an important aspect in the male superior/female inferior dynamic.

Bullying.

It’s nothing new for women who have endured bullying every day for centuries.  After all, Eve seeking eternal truth was blamed for the fall of man.  And here we are – paying for her “sins” ever since.

Oh and another thing that gets my goat.  I marvel at the audacity of our leaders in politics, Hollywood and sports who have only recently jumped on the bullying bandwagon as if it is a new phenomenon that must be addressed now!

It’s an insult to every woman who has silently endured a system of exclusion.

So, when did you first know you were different from the prescribed role of male vs. female?  And when it was pointed out by your peers that you were different, was it in the form of bullying?

I recall in third, fourth and fifth grades being teased for being “too strong for a girl” because I could beat the boys at arm wrestling. I was ridiculed for being “too fast for a girl” because I could beat the boys at running. Of course I was also “too tall for a girl” because girls developed faster (and I always ate my vegetables -thanks, Mom). I was graced with needing the first bra in class, so I was constantly snapped from behind.

I felt like a misfit and for the first time it didn’t pay to be a girl.  It was a sea change in my perspective from before.  Finally, I transferred to an all girls school to escape the boys. Amazing what respect and dignity does for a girl’s self-worth. But why should she have to escape to find it?

Well, I outgrew jump ropes and jeers, and made my way back to a co-ed high school.  Guys hadn’t changed. Now I heard how I “didn’t dress sexy enough for a girl”.  That I “should show off a great body and make all the other guys jealous”.  Well, I never did. Fortunately, I realized it was never about me and all about them.  Their insecurities, their inadequacies and their need for control.  At my expense.  I wasn’t buying it.

Maybe that’s why I am single today.  I want the freedom to say and do what I want.  Lots of women I know in relationships with men don’t have equality.  It makes me sick and sad for them.  But then again, I become more resolute to the cause of establishing equality between men and women because I want to leave the world a better place for girls than I found it.

As I’m slowly learn to accept myself day by day for who I am, what I think, and the experiences that have shaped my feminist perspective, I’m beginning to like who I see in the mirror.  I have a growing sense of woman pride as I discover more about women’s untold history.  How these fearless women challenged our system of exclusion until it gave way.  For them, it wasn’t about pleasing others at the expense of one’s calling.  You have to be true to yourself and trust that your fight is right.

And here I am intent on ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment to guarantee equality under the law for women.  No more token debt commissions.

By the way, anyone know when the government plans to pay back the money they borrowed out of OUR social security trust fund?  With interest.

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2 – 4 – 6 – 8 – Who Do We Appreciate?

Man is NOT god. Yet women submit to his game. Play by his rules. In the uniform that he designed for her. She wears a mini-skirt while he wears shorts. The male referees call the shots. And the male coach decides the plays on a playing field that is not level.

In this game, we call “Life” it’s a perpetual snow job… At times it’s a blizzard. Women don’t see what is happening right there in front of her. She may trip over her team-mate on the way to scoring a goal.  He tells her, “Keep you eyes on the prize. Let nothing stand in your way.” And so she fails to offer her sister a hand and presses onward.  Whoa, now, don’t play too hard. Because real women doesn’t sweat.  They perspire.

And when she reaches her goal and scores… she turns around to find.  That no one is there.  No one on her team even cares.  She’s all alone to celebrate her victory.

No worries!  When the going gets tough, she can always sit this one out. Spectator is a fine sport… For a woman. Go ahead, sit back, smile sweetly for the camera, Don’t YELL. It’s NOT ladylike. Look pretty.

When she gets tired of sitting too long – heck, she’s got options! Remember, she’s come a long way, Baby. In fact, men have created a special role made just for her. CHEERleader! But she better look and act the part – or else she can turn right around and sit back down again…. Remember “No Fat Chicks Allowed.”

Women have got 2 pay 2 play. 

Root for the winning team because no one likes to lose… to a girl.  Ladies, don’t bite the hand that feeds you even when it’s only popcorn crumbs.

All the fans in the bleachers root for men. The media covering the game are men.  What will the legends say?

It’s called Home Team Advantage, Ladies. 

And so it goes in our land of the free and the home of the brave.

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