November 12, 2008

I stole this quote months ago from Moe Tkacik (formerly of Jezebel/Gawker) because it’s probably one of the most profound contemplations of feminism I’ve ever read:

“We are 3.6 billion of us, trapped in a weird new paradigm in which we are trying to figure out what the hell our role in the modern universe is. We’re disdainful of other women who feel differently about the question than we do. We’re disdainful of other women who don’t give it enough thought. Either that, or we try not to give it thought, because all the disdain flies in the face of what I think may be an innate predisposition towards harmony and calm and understanding that you can’t ever really know what’s going on with someone else; that the only good option is to try and treat people how you think they want to be treated. There are gonads and biological imperatives and hormones to be dealt with here. Otherwise, would anyone ever feel comfortable drawing the generalizations about race that they do about gender? Blacks are better at sales and marketing; or Jews are great at strategy; they’re just not intuitive enough sometimes.

Shit, of course, for all I know, men talk like this — I mean, Nixon did, right? — they just wouldn’t talk like this to me because I would freak the fuck out and call the Bonerkiller Squad. Still, unlike the cultures and races, breeding a little compassion — Obama has a racist white grandma! Just like Us! — isn’t going to work. We’ve been breeding since time immemorial. We’ve been studying one another for millennia upon millennia! And we still don’t fucking get one another. I mean, unless I do get them, and then…even more fucking hopeless.”  

Moe Tkacik


Jeannette Rankin

November 11, 2008

Jeannette Rankin was not the first woman to run for Congress. That was Elizabeth Cady Stanton in 1868 in New York. The rumor is that Stanton got 13 votes, all from people directly related to her. 

Luckily in 1916 Jeannette Rankin was much more successful. Rankin was a lifelong pacifist, a social worker, and a suffragette, who went to college at the turn of the century (she graduated from University of Montana in 1902) and lived to protest the Vietnam War. She is the only member of Congress who voted against World Wars 1 and 2, the former a vote taken within the first week of her term. 

Jeanette Rankin was elected after being instrumental in winning women the right to vote in Montana. She ran for Congress shortly after allowing that her gender could vote. After losing reelection in 1918 she took 20 years off to move to D.C. and become a lobbyist, and then she ran for Congress again, and won.

Rankin should be a role model to women in politics, and women in any field. She shattered the political glass ceiling with gusto, and fought for causes she believed in until she was nearly 100 years old.