December 3, 2013 by State Rep. Stacey Newman
Last year 57% of women favor Democrats. Want to know why?
As a Missouri state legislator, I’ve seen who works the hardest, stays in their offices until midnight or later and who is more vocal in taking on the GOP.
Women electeds – from Hillary Clinton to those in the Senate, House and legislators throughout the country are THE LEADERS. It didn’t happen without tons of work but now voters are seeing the results.
I warn us all not to get lazy and sit on the sidelines. Attacks on women, families & you-name-it will continue as many states along with Congress go back into session in January. Besides policy to fight AND advocate for, we’ve got elections staring at us in less than 11 months.
But isn’t it exciting to see the fruits of our long hard labor? Isn’t it exciting to see Women at the Top where they deserve to be?
Let’s finish the job and break the ceilings. White House, Governorships, here we come.
By Juan Williams - 12/02/13
As the 2014 midterm election season begins, the Democratic Party is in full bloom as the political home of the modern American woman.
For the last half-century, women were swing voters between the parties. A gender gap emerged in the 1980s with single women leaning toward the Democrats on issues from abortion rights to national defense.
Over the last decade, Democrats have tried to widen the gap by charging the GOP with conducting a “War on Women.” There are several fronts in that war, Democrats say: Republicans oppose easy access to contraception, oppose abortion rights and oppose expansion of entitlements to help the poor (who are disproportionately women and children).
A 2012 Pew survey found that 57 percent of women favor Democrats. Young, single, gay, minority and pro-abortion-rights women have been with the party for a while. Older, white, married women lean to the GOP. But now married, churchgoing women living in cities are also voting for Democrats.
That explains why an October ABC/Fusion poll found 60 percent of Democrats want more women elected to Congress. Republicans do not see the need. Only 26 percent of conservatives and 23 percent of Republicans want more women in Congress.
The two politicians who produce the most passionate response among Democrats, according to a recent Quinnipiac poll, are former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.). They stirred the Democratic base more than President Obama or Vice President Biden. Women are the future of the party.
Consider the following examples:
Hillary Clinton is the party’s clear choice to be their 2016 nominee for president. The battle for second place is between Vice President Biden and Warren, whose profile as a populist warrior for the middle class keeps rising. The power of a Clinton-Warren ticket is beyond question.
Sen. Patty Murray (Wash.) is the party’s lead negotiator on any budget deal.
Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.) and Claire McCaskill (Mo.) are the two leading voices in dealing with the military sexual abuse scandal.
The same female dynamic is evident in the House.
Democrats are led by Rep. Nancy Pelosi (Calif.), now the minority leader but also the first female Speaker in the nation’s history. The overwhelming majority of the record 78 women in the House are Democrats — 59 members.
A quarter of women now in Congress are freshmen elected in a 2012 wave that featured 20 female Democrats and only 4 Republicans.
The rise of Democratic women is tied to the rising power of female voters in the party’s base.
In the 2012 presidential election, 53 percent of the voters were female, and those women gave 55 percent of their votes to the Democrat, President Obama.
The extent of the female flavor of Democratic politics is currently on display in the Senate Armed Services Committee.
There, Gillibrand is leading the fight to take military commanders out of the decision about whether to prosecute any military person accused of sexual assault. The New York senator’s approach is to create an independent commission on military sexual assaults.
Her proposal has won the support of more than 50 senators, including Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) as well as the Tea Party’s leading voice in the Senate, Texas Republican Ted Cruz.
The opposition is coming from McCaskill. The Midwestern Democrat wants to keep the overwhelmingly male commanders in charge of deciding whether a sexual assault case goes to criminal proceedings but to deny commanders the right to dismiss a conviction. McCaskill’s proposal also makes it a crime to retaliate against anyone who reports a sexual assault.
McCaskill’s approach has the support of Pentagon leadership. She argues her approach prevents military leaders from being able to “wash their hands of any responsibility” and would result in more prosecutions for sexual abuse.
At the moment, Gillibrand has captured the spirit of underdog women fighting back against abuse in a male-dominated military. The Pentagon reported that, last year alone, there were 26,000 cases of unwanted sexual contact and assault, and only 3,000 of those cases were reported.
The divide between the two powerful female Democrats is edgy because McCaskill won reelection last year by defeating GOP Rep. Todd Akin, who damaged his candidacy with talk of “legitimate rape” and near-total opposition to abortion.
So it is ironic that McCaskill is now the target of women’s rights groups. An advertisement in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch in July said her proposal allows attackers to “continue to go free.” McCaskill recently told reporters that her critics are buying an “emotionally powerful” line “that to be against Gillibrand is to be against victims — and frankly, at times, it’s personally painful for me.”
The political lesson from this dispute is that on any issue relating to women, it is Democrats, and increasingly powerful female Democrats, who speak for America’s increasingly powerful women voters — now the controlling heart of today’s Democratic party. ORIGINAL POST HERE.
Juan Williams is an author and political analyst for Fox News Channel.
December 2, 2013 by Emily Spangler
Happy Monday, everyone! ProgressWomen took a break last week to celebrate the holiday, but we’re back. We’re back with stories we didn’t get to cover over the holiday, so we’ll cover them now, including the controversy over Hobby Lobby and birth control, and why the GOP’s late-term abortion bans aren’t really working the way they planned. Check out the four stories below to see what you may have missed over the holiday break!
Hobby Lobby and Their Birth Control Problem
Last week, NY Magazine announced, “ The Supreme Court agreed today to hear the case involving the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that large enough employers must cover birth-control and other reproductive-health costs for their employees. Hobby Lobby — in addition to about 100 plaintiffs in similar lawsuits — claims its ‘religious liberty’ is being impeded upon. At its core, the issue is whether or not the First Amendment applies to corporations as well as people.” Basically, Hobby Lobby feels that they can deny their female employers birth control and other reproductive-health costs for religious reasons, something that has been up for discussion since the ACA (Obamacare) passed. First states are trying to restrict contraceptives, now corporations?
26 Women Share Their Abortion Stories to NY Magazine
This story has gotten some coverage, but not enough W. Last month, 26 women shared their abortion stories to NY Magazine. From heartbreaking stories to why the pro-choice movement is essential to have, these 26 brave women shared their stories for the whole world to read. ProgessWomen is right behind these ladies and their choices!
READ THEIR STORIES: http://nymag.com/news/features/abortion-stories-2013-11/
“Young Lakota” is an amazing documentary that focuses on reproductive justice on the Pine Ridge Reservation, which is home to n estimated 30,000 Oglala Lakota. In Pine Ridge, South Dakota, voters took to the polls in 2006 to decide on a ballot measure aimed to ban any and all abortions, including terminations for pregnancies that were the result of rape or incest. In response to the measure, Oglala Lakota President Cecilia Fire Thunder suggested that her nation would open a women’s clinic on Pine Ridge. Throughout the documentary, young people are featured in the story, especially 21-year-old Sunny Clifford, who is inspired by Fire Thunder’s actions. Clifford chooses to be on Fire Thunder’s side, which captures Clifford’s political awakening.
READ MORE ABOUT THE DOCUMENTARY: http://www.thenation.com/blog/177410/young-lakota-reproductive-justice-and-coming-age-rez#
“YOUNG LAKOTA” ON PBS: http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/young-lakota/
GOP’s Late-Term Abortion Ban Isn’t Working… Surpising?
Is it shocking that nationwide late-term abortion bans put into place by Republican lawmakers throughout various states isn’t working as they planned? According to new research from medical-school based scholars, when abortion bans, and even restrictions on abortion clinics, are put into place, women are more likely to seek late-term abortion, which is exactly opposite of the GOP’s strategy. The GOP tends to target young, low-income women, but these women are most likely to seek an abortion at or after 20 weeks. It looks like Republicans are going to need a new strategy in 2014!
November 25, 2013 by Emily Spangler
Happy Monday! Let’s start off this week with a simple question: why are YOU pro-choice?
Good question, isn’t it? Sometimes it is an overlooked question and we just say we are pro-choice. End of story. Simple as that.
We know that as Democrats, feminists, and women (or very, very supportive men), we believe that women have the right to make choices about their own reproductive health, and nothing should get in the way of that choice—including proposals, laws, and men. But, why exactly do we believe that women have the right to choose?
Have you made your decision because of a personal reason or story? Do you know someone who has had an abortion, or have you had an abortion? Do you simply believe women have the right to make this choice?
ProgressWomen came across whyimprochoice.wordpress.com where your can share your story story of why you are pro-choice. Click here to share your story.
ProgressWomen looks forward to having you all contribute!
November 22, 2013 by Emily Spangler
Via MsRepresentation this week with a few extra comments by ProgressWomen – you know we have a hard time being quiet…
Get Up, Stand Up
Tired of the lack of women in office? Need a cure for your political hangover? Join me tomorrow morning at the 3rd annual She Should Run National Conversation: Wake Up Call! It’s just like brunch…ya know, if you brunch with senators and political experts on the reg. Get your ticket and let’s get talking about how we’re gonna get a woman in the White House ASAP.
Albuquerque voters have spoken, and they don’t want the 20-week abortion ban in their city. The local-level ballot measure was defeated yesterday with 55% of voters voting against it. This is another example of how powerful pro-choice, feminist grassroot efforts are effective. Woot woot!
Say Yes to the (Repeat) Dress
Fed chair nominee Janet Yellen wore the same outfit twice this past month, to the dismay of absolutely nobody except this one sexist dude. Not like she has anything better to do thanbecome The Most Important Person On Earth, ya know?
Secret Agent Woman
Breaking into the old boys’ club? Mission accomplished, thanks to the superspy women over at the CIA. Women now make up almost half of the CIA, and even hold five of its eight top positions. With badass ladies like these among its ranks, I can’t say I’m surprised.
Charlotte Explains It All
Charlotte Golar Richie’s historic run for mayor of Boston opened huge doors for women of color seeking office. But Golar Richie also faced sexism along the way – and I’m glad to see she’s calling it out.
Did you know that ALL women regret their abortions?! And if you don’t go through with your abortion, you won’t have to pay for college? No? Good, because neither of these things are true. But that doesn’t stop crisis pregnancy centers from telling lies like these to their clients.
Sympathy for the Dudebro
The world’s tiniest violin ain’t tiny enough for all of the men who feel oppressed by feminism. *insert sarcasm* Poor, poor things. We can’t imagine what they’re feeling… you know, being oppressed by a group of people who just want to be treated equal in society.
Google Plus Feminism
Remember that brilliant UN Women ad campaign exposing popular sexist Google search results? Check out how different the campaign could be if feminists were really respected for the work they do.
Reason #49502702 why Leslie Knope is the greatest TV character of all time: In last week’s Parks and Rec, the City Councilwoman filibustered à la Wendy Davis, but ON FREAKIN’ ROLLERSKATES. Sigh, I so wish I could “Vote Knope”.
November 20, 2013 by admin
If you are not familiar with Madison Kimrey, you are already behind the times.
She is a young but outspoken activist who took on North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory this past summer/fall over his voter suppression efforts (Huffington Post story HERE). MSNBC even gave her their “#Disrupter of the Week” award recently.
See her in action HERE as she speaks out at the North Carolina State Capitol.
She can’t vote yet why should that stop her? We’re thrilled and proud to feature her this week as she tells her own story exclusive for ProgressWomen!
by Madison Kimrey of Burlington, North Carolina, guest editor & 12 year old activist
I never thought when I started out by standing up to the way North Carolina’s Governor reacted to the concerns of ordinary citizens that I would get national attention.
I was just a girl at a protest, standing up for women’s rights and voting rights.
It just so happened I was standing on the sidewalk at a protest when the Governor’s staff decided to bring out some cake to joke around with us. That’s when people started paying a little more attention to me and I decided that if people were going to pay attention, I was going to try to do some good for the young people of my state and now, the young people of our nation.
Everything I’m doing keeps me busy, but I’m careful to stay in control of my life. I have school, my friends, and many other interests outside of activism, and all these things have to be balanced. A lot of people want to talk to me. I’ve gotten many offers to do interviews, speak, write, and help various people and organizations. It’s very hard to say no to people, but sometimes it has to be done.
I think it’s important for young people and adults to remember that in order to change things, you don’t have to do everything; you just have to do something.
Of course, being 12 years old, there are a lot of ignorant comments made about me.
I find it sad that there are adults who think teenagers are not capable of understanding the world around them and can’t have talents to share to make the world a better place. I often wonder if I were a boy if some of these people would be saying the same these things about me.
I don’t take hateful comments personally or let them get me down. I figure if there are people out there who want young people, the future of our country, to be quiet just because they don’t agree with the views of those young people, that’s a good reason to work harder.
I also get a lot of messages of support and a lot of people have said they are impressed because I’m so young. I hope these people know I’m not alone. There are a lot of young people who have abilities far more impressive than my own.
If I can do this, anybody can. Everybody has talents and abilities they can use to be the change they want to see in the world.
I chose to speak out on the issue of pre-registration because it’s an issue that affects my friends and will soon affect me. I’ll be 16 in a little less than four years and I think that’s a pretty reasonable amount of time to have to work to get this opportunity for myself and other young people.
Really, I’m learning as I go here. I have no grand plan for exactly how this is going to go. I have a lot of ideas, but sometimes the best way to get to your destination is to follow the path.
That’s what I’m doing, following the path.
November 20, 2013 by Emily Spangler
WIN: New Mexico’s 20-week abortion ban is defeated!
We did it! Last night, a measure that, if passed, would ban abortions after 20-weeks in Albuquerque, New Mexico. This was the first time abortion access was trying to be limited at a local level. Around 9 pm MT, it was declared that the proposal was going to be defeated. The proposal was rejected 55 percent to 45 percent by voters. Last night’s victory is an example of voter’s ready to move forward, not backwards, with women’s health and women making their own choices with their bodies. ProgressWomen live tweeted the results last night on Twitter and we were thrilled to see the proposal defeated!
LOSE: SCOTUS refuses to block Texas abortion law that restricts abortion access
Sigh. Yesterday afternoon, the Supreme Court 5-4 in favor of a provision requiring doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. The anti-abortion legislation has impacted a third of Texas abortion clinics, which has forced many clinics to stop providing the procedure. Among other restrictions, the law also limits the use of abortion-inducing drugs, bans abortions at the 20th week of pregnancy, and requires doctors to perform abortions at special surgical facilities. This restriction on women’s health is dangerous. Although we did not come out with the best outcome, this is a reminder of why us pro-choice women do what we do, and why we fight for the right to choose.
STORY CREDIT: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-25012823