Media Blackout – Woman Beheaded in New York State

National Organization for Women-NYS Questions Media Blackout

Press Release
February 16th, 2009
Contact: Marcia Pappas, 518-452-3944

 

Woman Beheaded in New York State

National Organization for Women-NYS Questions Media Blackout

ALBANY, NY (02/16/2009; 1237)(readMedia)– On February 12, 2009, in Orchard Park, Buffalo, NY, forty-four year-old Muzzamil Hassan, a prominent Muslim businessman, was arrested for having allegedly beheaded his wife, thirty-seven year-old Aasiya Z. Hassan. What was Aasiya’s crime? Why, Aasiya was having Muzzamil served with divorce papers. And apparently, on February 6, Aasiya obtained an order of protection which had forced her violent husband out of their home.

NOW New York State is horrified that Erie County DA, Frank A. SeditaII, has referred to this ghastly crime as “the worst form of domestic violence possible.” The ridiculous juxtaposition of “domestic” and “beheading” in the same journalistic breath points up the inherent weakness of the whole “domestic violence” lexicon.

What is “domestic” about this violence? NOW NYS President Marcia Pappas says “it is high time we stop regarding assaults and murders as a lover’s quarrels gone bad. We further demand of lawmakers that punishments fit crimes. We of NOW decry the selective enforcement of assault laws and call for judicial enforcement of our mandatory arrest policy, even when the axe-wielder is known by his victim.”

And why is this horrendous story not all over the news? Is a Muslim woman’s life not worth a five-minute report? This was, apparently, a terroristic version of “honor killing,” a murder rooted in cultural notions about women’s subordination to men. Are we now so respectful of the Muslim’s religion that we soft-peddle atrocities committed in it’s name? Millions of women in this country are maimed and killed by their husbands or partners. Had this awful murder been perpetrated by a African American, a Latino, a Jew, or a Catholic, the story would be flooding the airwaves. What is this deafening silence?

And exactly what do orders of protection do? Was Aasiya desperately waving the order of protection in Muzzamil’s face when he slashed at her throat? Was it still clutched in her hand as her head hit the floor?

You of the press, please shine a light on this most dreadful of murders. In a bizarre twist of fate it comes out that Muzzamil Hassan is founder of a television network called Bridges TV, whose purpose it was to portray Muslims in a positive light. This a huge story. Please tell it!

-end-

Marcia A. Pappas, President
National Organization for Women-NYS
Phone: 518-452-3944
Presidents Email: NewYorkStateNOW@aol.com

Has the New Agenda Lost Its Way? Part 3

A six part series by:
BettyJean Kling WWW.Free-US-Now.com
PG of http://bertrandrussell.blogspot.com

In Part 1 - Accentuating the negative, we pointed out that our experience has been that Amy Siskind, far from encouraging a grassroots organization, is running The New Agenda in a hierarchical and elitist “top-down” manner. Rather than appealing to the intelligence of American women, she expects people to accept her agenda without doing any thinking for themselves. We also introduced a NOW 50 state membership drive for March.

 In Part 2 – Lack of focus, we note The New Agenda seems to get some CNN interviews and quotes in local papers, but question the actual national membership and get-out-the-vote ability. We also pointed out inconsistency regarding sexism and misogyny which may not be attributed to partisan favoritism but to the same media pressure which Amy Siskind enjoys the light of so long as she obeys their rules.

3) Failure to make the most of members’ expertise and capabilities.

Members should be recruited to write about topics such as legislation or the media based on having some background on these topics.  Instead, posts seem to be written regardless of whether the blogger can provide the necessary depth of knowledge to complex matters.  For example, several posts on the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and the still-just-a-bill Paycheck Fairness legislation stated that the Fair Pay Act was not enough and that the Paycheck Fairness Act also was necessary – but didn’t explain why.  This left several people who were not familiar with the laws confused about what the Ledbetter Act did and what the Paycheck Fairness Act was proposed to do.

TNA member Prof. Ann Bartow could have done a great job writing about what the Fair Pay Act just passed, and the Paycheck Fairness Act still waiting to be passed, actually mean in practical impact, but obviously she has her own blog to maintain in addition to her career as a law professor, and cannot carry the burden of posting regularly at TNA as well.  Therefore TNA ought to be recruiting people who do have the appropriate background (or willingness to do research) to be a solid, reliable source of useful information.  This has become especially important now that The New Agenda has created a 501(c)(3) (i.e. charitable donations are tax-deductible) foundation that cannot have a political purpose and therefore must stick to educational activities.

NOW has been active in lobbying for legislation that helps women, which rebuts some of Siskind’s claims about how NOW is just indifferent and moribund. NOW has room for improvement, but it is getting some stuff right and is structured such that there’s transparency about the membership and control, and members can take control if they’re unhappy with the folks at the top.

NOW has issued multiple statements explaining the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and the Paycheck Fairness Act (PFA). For example, this action alert (http://www.now.org/lists/now-action-list/msg00368.html) asks voters to call their House Representative to support the PFA, and it explains, “Among the bill’s many important provisions that would advance fair pay for women are ones that close loopholes in the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and prevent retaliation against workers who disclose the amount of their wages.” NOW doesn’t just issue marching orders to the dumb masses, but expects to have to explain and persuade women before asking them to take action.  For an even more extensive discussion of the Paycheck Fairness Act, see the statement Gandy issued when the House first passed the Paycheck Fairness Act (it later was stopped from coming to a vote in the Senate): http://www.now.org/press/08-08/08-01.html.

Lack of disclosure also is a problem in the shortage of information about The New Agenda’s goals.  For example, one goal is “Implementing Code of Conduct/FCC Modifications,” but what does that entail?  Will someone at the FCC be in charge of deciding what is sexist, just as there’s someone now deciding what is obscene?  Obscenity at least has a fairly clear meaning in American culture: George Carlin’s 7 Words and nudity.  People can disagree about whether those things ought to be punished and whether punishing them infringes the First Amendment, but almost everyone agrees that “c*nt” is an obscene word that doesn’t belong on Sesame Street.  On the other hand, punishing sexist speech will be much more controversial and will almost certainly involve a lot of First Amendment litigation.  The Supreme Court already has ruled that “hate speech” is protected speech.  It is very unlikely to approve the government’s regulating what speech is too sexist to be allowed on the airwaves.  (Rush “Feminazi” Limbaugh certainly won’t be able to broadcast in such a world.)

Has the New Agenda Lost Its Way? Part 2

A six part series by:
BettyJean Kling WWW.Free-US-Now.com
PG of http://bertrandrussell.blogspot.com

In Part 1 - Accentuating the negative, we pointed out that our experience has been that Amy Siskind, far from encouraging a grassroots organization, is running The New Agenda in a hierarchical and elitist “top-down” manner. Rather than appealing to the intelligence of American women, she expects people to accept her agenda without doing any thinking for themselves. We also introduced a NOW 50 state membership drive for March.
Please consider this — we are talking about $40.00! We do not have another turn-key 50 state organization, built for this type of bottom-up membership, just sitting there begging for the masses to walk in and be heard. Please read the six-part series and understand that we already have an organization with a *democratic* foundation. Time is of the essence. Join NOW March 1st.

Instead of fighting over NOW as it was, NOW as it should and could be is up to us. If you are waiting for someone to hand you your every wish without contributing some hard work then you will probably always settle for what you get, like it or not. I propose something quite different: a mass membership so big and so strong that either the existing leadership will have to reflect the membership needs, or we vote out that leadership and replace it with management that reflects the wishes of the majority of the new membership.

Please consider this — we are talking about $40.00! We do not have another turn-key 50 state organization, built for this type of bottom-up membership, just sitting there begging for the masses to walk in and be heard. Please read the six-part series and understand that we already have an organization with a *democratic* foundation. Time is of the essence. Join NOW March 1st.

Part 2) Lack of focus.

Again, TNA began last year with a great strategy: untie women from the Democratic Party and instead shop around a list of priorities that either party can promise to take on and thus gain TNA’s support. Unfortunately, TNA doesn’t seem to be following through. Look at The New Agenda from the perspective of, say, the Delaware Republican Party looking for an edge in the run for Biden’s Delaware Senate seat (reputedly being kept warm for Beau Biden on his return from Iraq). If the Republicans are trying to figure out whether it’s worthwhile to court The New Agenda, they’ll want to know two things: what do we have to give, and what do we get? Neither is very clear at TNA. For example, if the Delaware GOP does not have a female candidate appropriate for the position who wants to run in 2010, should they not bother trying to get TNA’s endorsement? Which of the goals listed on the website are the most important, and does a politician needs to support certain of them, or even any of them, to gain The New Agenda’s endorsement? For example, would someone holding Gov. Palin’s political positions — nearly all of which diverge from TNA’s stated goals — be eligible for TNA endorsement nonetheless? What is the policy on endorsements anyway?

Those are just the question on the “what do we have to give?” side from a Republican politico’s perspective. Then there’s the “get”: The New Agenda seems to get some CNN interviews and quotes in local papers, but does it have a national mailing list of members that would be worthwhile for the Delaware GOP to obtain for fundraising and get-out-the-vote? How big *is* the membership? (Big enough to be worth taking a position, for example in favor of increased funding to Biden’s signature Violence Against Women Act, that may lose some conservative votes?)

There also isn’t a clear line drawn about what The New Agenda is willing to tolerate in terms of misogyny or sexism by men in politics. The New Agenda was widely perceived as giving Senator McCain a “pass” on his past errors like publicly joking about rape (http://news.aol.com/political-machine/2008/07/17/mccain-in-bad-shape-over-ape-rape-jape/) and making fun of an teenage Chelsea Clinton, as well as Hillary Clinton and Janet Reno (http://news.aol.com/political-machine/2008/02/19/mccain-why-is-chelsea-clinton-so-ugly/). Yet The New Agenda was very angry about Jon Favreau’s being photographed rubbing the breast of a cardboard figure of Clinton and called for Favreau to be fired from Obama’s staff – even though Favreau, like McCain, apologized and admitted that he was wrong. Then after a humiliating media dressing down from CNN, (http://freemenow.wordpress.com/2008/12/10/whose-agenda-is-this-anyway/) , Amy Siskind, did yet another turn-around without consulting any of the other executive members leading to an exodus of at least 8 original founders and the banning of many original members.

To mark today’s International Human Rights Day – a day designated to affirm the rights of all people, The New Agenda called on White House speechwriter Jon Favreau to turn his bad behavior and poor judgment into a global good by volunteering at a battered women’s shelter

“Instead of a summary dismissal of Favreau, we believe more good could be gained by opening a national dialogue on domestic violence,” said Amy Siskind, co-founder of The New Agenda. “If Favreau were to mark today by making a public apology and volunteering at a battered women’s shelter it would show authentic contrition and channel the deluge of negative public attention he continues to receive toward a productive end.”

It is important for an organization that seeks influence to be unmistakable in what kind of behavior will require just an apology, and what kind must be answered with loss of office. Otherwise, like NOW and other women’s groups during President Clinton’s sexual harassment and sex scandals, TNA will get dragged down by claims of inconsistency, partisan favoritism and worse.

How The New Agenda Lost Its Way! Part 1

A six part series by:
BettyJean Kling  WWW.Free-US-Now.com
PG of
http://bertrandrussell.blogspot.com

In honor of Women’s History Month and in advance of my ambitious March Membership Drive on behalf of your local NOWnow chapters,  I bring you the following 6 part series as I ask you to join your local NOW organization beginning March 1. By joining NOW in massive numbers we can shape the agenda of an already existing 50 state organization that has been working for women’s equality and advancement for over 40 years. NOW isn’t perfect, but it is structured so that we can work from within it to make it ours and it better.

Part 1 Accentuating the negative 

The following series of posts is intended to provide constructive criticism of The New Agenda. TNA still has a chance to become a significant national organization, but the longer it remains a “top-down” entity run on the whims of a single person, the less chance it has to make an impact. In particular, its campaign of denigration against Kim Gandy and the National Organization for Women — spreading false rumors about Gandy’s having been unwilling to endorse Sen. Clinton the Democratic primaries, and about NOW’s having failed to protest the treatment of Clinton and Gov. Palin by the media — threatens to divide politically active American women into opposing camps based on a conflict of personalities. This is completely the wrong direction for TNA to take. Now is the time to use the energy and enthusiasm generated by the 2008 election to elect more women to local, state and national office; get more women appointed to executive and judicial positions; ensure that women are not left out of massive federal programs to encourage lending, entrepreneurship and employment; and drive for legislation to protect women’s rights at the workplace, their safety in the home and streets, and their health, reproductive choices and otherwise.

Until TNA shapes itself into a viable national organization, NOW remains the best conduit for women’s activism on these issues, and should be supported. You can join today at the national (https://www.now.org/member.html?srce=wbsppg) or local (http://www.now.org/chapters/) level, take action on legislation (http://www.now.org/actions/) and work with NOW PACs to empower women in politics (http://www.nowpacs.org/).

The New Agenda, which began with a list of very specific “asks” and the promise of support for whichever party would deal favorably with those requests (http://news.aol.com/political-machine/2008/08/21/obama-camp-warm-to-the-new-agenda/), has begun to decline in its ability to be relevant for a broad spectrum of American women. An underlying lack of transparency, accountability and access has manifested itself recently in several ways.

Accentuating the negative. TNA has been criticized by several feminist blogs lately for declaring Kim Gandy, president of NOW, to be an unacceptable choice to lead the Women’s Bureau of the Department of Labor. TNA’s statement on the matter contained no specific explanation about why Gandy would be wrong for the job; it simply insulted her (http://thenewagenda.net/2009/02/08/no-way-no-how-to-kim-gandy-for-director-of-womens-bureau/):

The New Agenda believes that while serving as President of the National Organization for Women, Ms. Gandy did not represent the women whom she was elected to represent. The New Agenda believes that Ms. Gandy used her role primarily to advance her own career interests.

The New Agenda would endorse the following candidates for Director of the Women’s Bureau:

  1. Anita Perez Ferguson, Former President Natl. Women’s Political Caucus
  2. Mary Beth Maxwell, Founding executive director of American Rights at Work
  3. Ellen Bravo, Former National Director of 9to5
  4. Robin Leeds, Winning Strategies

These candidates have represented and worked for women’s rights as opposed to their own self-interest.

While all four of these other women also are accomplished and talented, at least one of the candidates (Anita Perez Ferguson) has no experience whatsoever in labor issues, yet is deemed superior to Gandy, who

  • used her law degree to litigate sex discrimination employment cases;
  • served on the drafting committees the Civil Rights Act of 1991, which gave women the right to a jury trial and monetary damages in cases of sex discrimination and sexual harassment;
  • testified before Congress about the problems facing undocumented workers who are women;
  • lobbied to make Wal-Mart a more women-friendly workplace;
  • literally stood with Hilda Solis, the nominee for Secretary of Labor, in testifying and rallying for more ownership by women of media outlets.
Amy Siskind, happy with her own agenda

Amy Siskind Miscalculates the intelligence of American Women. She appears to be an elitist with an agenda which expects people to accept her say-so without doing any thinking for themselves.

The New Agenda thus far has not stated why Ms. Gandy is unacceptable. When a commenter on The New Agenda’s blog asked for the rationale behind TNA’s animus toward the president of NOW, TNA president Amy Siskind replied, “[W]e very purposely chose to not list line items as to why we do not endorse Gandy. But suffice it to say that it was unanimous (less one) amongst our Founders group who are prominent women from around the country and perhaps, through our connections, we know more information than you know. Could that be?”

The elitism typified by Ms. Siskind’s response to a reasonable question – a juvenile sort of “nyah nyah, *I* know but I’m not going to tell *you*” – seems far better calculated to drive potential TNA allies away than to attract them into becoming part of the community. Ms. Siskind did not even give a courteous reply such as, “I’m afraid our decision was based partly on confidential information that we are not free to publicize at this point, but I will follow up with publicly-available information that also weighed in our decision, so that you can judge for yourself and hopefully come to the same conclusion that we did.” Instead, Ms. Siskind expects people to accept her say-so without doing any thinking for themselves.

Indeed, an elitism at odds with a true grassroots attitude has become Ms. Siskind’s trademark at The New Agenda. An entire section of The New Agenda website is devoted to the gender balance of the Obama Cabinet – an important issue, but the 21 seats available in that Cabinet are not available to 99.99% of all Americans, regardless of sex. That 99.99% instead is concerned about keeping their jobs or finding new ones, making their rent/ mortgage, caring for sick family members and otherwise living real life outside Capitol Hill and Wall Street. Their lives are affected by the people in government, but having women as the Secretaries of Defense, Energy, Interior, etc. will not make a crucial difference in whether the average American makes it through this recession with life, health and dignity intact.

Because of that, The New Agenda’s call for President Obama to dismiss Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner for his tax problems (http://thenewagenda.net/media/press-releases/obama-gets-do-over-and-a-new-chance-for-women/ ) – after those problems had been fully disclosed and Geithner nonetheless confirmed by the Senate – verged on irresponsible. Geithner’s work as Sec. Treasurer has not been impressive thus far (one cannot resist comparing it to Secretary Hillary Clinton, who appears to have revitalized the State Department simply by walking in the door (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xaLH2HvP0qk)), but calls for his departure, based on an issue that already has been thoroughly dissected and debated, do no service to women or to America generally. Geithner should be out at Treasury if he fails at his job, but he shouldn’t be pushed out prematurely just to have a woman considered as his replacement, particularly when done without suggesting someone who would do the job (restoring faith in the markets) more effectively. Urging that type of reckless destabilization in a time of financial crisis is not an action that would be taken by an organization that feels a serious sense of duty toward American women.

Rihanna Assault Calls Attention to Violence Against Women

Cross Posted from NOW- Kim Gandy-
Illustrated by Bettyjean Kling

“Whether you are rich or poor, famous or not, young or old–domestic violence does not discriminate,” says NOW President Kim Gandy.

The recent arrest of R&B star Chris Brown, who reportedly assaulted and threatened singer Rihanna, preventing her participation in the Grammys, has brought the ever-present issue of violence against women into the public spotlight once again.

“Everyone is talking about this case because it involves two popular recording artists, but the sad reality is that domestic violence and dating violence happen every day, even among young teens, and the impact is both far-reaching and under-reported,” said Gandy.

According to the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) approximately 1,200 women a year – three every day – die in the United States as a result of domestic violence. NNEDV says one-quarter of high school girls have been the victims of physical abuse, and approximately 15.5 million children are exposed to domestic violence every year. According to experts, young children who have witnessed violence, or been victims of violent acts, are at even greater risk of committing violence in their own relationships.

Louisa's A Survivor

Louisa Richardson- Rodas A survivor, still battling for her life. Almost deaf and found alone caring for her sister Denise who herself is battling for her own life from late stage Ovarian cancer, Louisa was shot in the head. She never heard him enter the house. Help us fight FOR Louisa's Law so that violence against women is treated as it should be ' A Hate Crime" There is nothing domestic about the treatment women get from so-called loved ones and or their own family members.

 But sadly, our national conscience is tapped by the media mostly when high profile people are involved or the details of the crime are particularly horrific. Our collective dialogue, showcased by the media, needs to include the insights of advocates, doctors, lawyers, nurses, police officers, judges, social workers, and most importantly survivors. Until we focus on ending all forms of violence in a concerted effort, informed by accurate media coverage, we do a disservice to all of the women and girls who suffer and to those who survive.

“When it involves public figures, domestic violence gets attention – but what about the rest of us? We just watched the Senate attempt to cut the very modest Violence Against Women Act funding from the economic recovery package, in order to attract Republican support,” said Gandy. “The Senate negotiators eventually rejected those cuts, but only after massive outcry by the anti- violence community. This attempt to defund VAWA programs failed to recognize that family and acquaintance violence increases when individuals and families are under stress. In this economy, abuse victims will need support and services more than ever. Even better, let’s make sure there is added funding for prevention as well.”

The National Organization for Women has fought for more than four decades to combat all forms of violence against women. NOW will be working to strengthen and increase the funding of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), to further prevent and address violence.

Action Call for Missouri ERA

Contributed by JoJo

Help Jolie Justus mobilize support for the ERA resolution hearing in the Missouri Senate. The initial meeting was held yesterday, but there still may be some time to have an impact by contacting members of the Rules, Joint Rules, Resolutions and Ethics Committee.

The members are:

 

Contact information for State Senator Jolie Justus, Democrat,

District 10: http://www.senate.mo.gov/07info/members/mem10.htm

State Capitol Building

Room 328

Jefferson City, Missouri 65101

(573) 751-2788

FAX: (573) 751-9776

U.S. Department of Labor — Women’s Bureau: Kim Gandy is no Mary Anderson

Another cross post re:  Kim Gandy – http://heidilipotpourri.com/

I have been given to understand that a) Kim Gandy, currently President of N.O.W. (National Organization for Women) wants to become head of the Women’s Bureau at the Department of Labor and that b) today, February 8, 2009, a number of bloggers will be discussing whether appointing her to the job is a good idea. That Ms. Gandy wants the job is a total rumor to me; if she does, I can’t say that the choice thrills me.

The choice of Gandy does not thrill me because she holds great power at N.O.W. (from the N.O.W. site: “Gandy also is president of the NOW Foundation, chair of NOW’s Political Action Committees, and serves as the principal spokesperson for all three entities”; and I think she used that power to have N.O.W. sell women down the river when N.O.W. broke with its usual practice and made a general election presidential endorsement, picking Barack Obama, somebody who used and tolerated sexism and misogyny to gain the Democratic Party’s nomination. I use the expression “sold women down the river” with all its metaphorical baggage: the image of humans being treated like chattel sold down to the Delta to be auctioned off. I think N.O.W. had very little evidence of Barack Obama’s commitment to women’s empowerment, little evidence of even his commitment to women’s reproductive rights (the usual excuse used by mainstream women’s groups to go out of their way to support his candidacy). And still, under the leadership of Gandy, N.O.W. went out of its way to auction off women’s votes, encouraging them to turn out and make sure this man, who never once denounced the nutcrackers and the media comments and the misogynistic rappers singing him into office, became President of the United States of America.

On the other side of the ledger, Kim Gandy has clearly spent the better part of her life working on issues important to women; she’s probably quite knowledgeable about working conditions for women and in a position to hire high quality staff. So Gandy is not a bad person and she’s not anti-woman. But she made a Faustian bargain at high profile moment. The dynamics of the general election were such that women’s votes really mattered. And lots of women were and still are furious at the Democratic Party for depriving Hillary Rodham Clinton of an equal opportunity to win the nomination at the Denver Convention by abiding by the Party’s own rules and traditions. Under these circumstances, N.O.W. should have remained agnostic. As an organization that does not usually trade in presidential endorsements, refraining from making one would not have made news. Going out of its way to endorse Obama is what made news, and Gandy made that decision. In a year when every poll showed any generic Democrat beating John McCain and almost every poll consistently predicted Obama beating McCain, there really was no reason – even for those who believed that McCain would be a worse president for women than Obama – for women’s organizations to line up behind Obama. The only reason to do so would be fear of reprisal if they did not; or if their leaders hoped for a seat within the administration after the election. N.O.W. and, if rumor is correct, Ms. Gandy acted for the latter reasons.

I believe that once a person shows a capacity for major betrayal – in public or private life – that person cannot be safely relied upon to act in a reasonably trustworthy way again. So I was not surprised that it turned out that Bill Richardson had apparently not been totally forthcoming with the Obama administration about the corruption charges against him back in New Mexico. If Richardson would deceive the Clintons to further his aims, why would he not do the same to Obama?

If Kim Gandy was willing to sell out women who expected really very little of her – just that she stick with usual practice and show organizational restraint in an election that was wracking many women with distress – I can easily predict that she will sell out women who expect harder things of her, such as real fighting for women’s interests in an economy that is bad for everybody but worst for women.

That said, making a deal with the devil does not make Kim Gandy the devil. Of course neither does it make her another Mary Anderson, the first director of the Women’s Bureau of the Department of Labor.

Mary Anderson (served 1920 – 1944)

Ander2

The first “up from the ranks” labor woman to head an executive department of the Federal Government, Mary Anderson directed the Women’s Bureau for nearly 25 years, leading efforts to win better wages, hours and working condition for women. She served for five presidents and, during her tenure, saw the ranks of women workers more than double.

- Women’s Bureau, Director’s Gallery

“As the world evolves, so too does the growing role of women who are proving their infinite capabilities in today’s complex workplace, and exhibiting a new usefulness now and for the future.”

Mary Anderson Signaturefrom the Labor Hall of Fame citation inducting Mary Anderson

Also from that citation:

 

From a domestic worker to factory employee to trade union leader, Swedish-born Mary Anderson was a tireless champion of women in the workplace. Director of the Women’s Bureau for a quarter century, she was the most influential of all women in Federal service. Her leadership in fact-finding and standards-setting established her as the Nation’s foremost authority in the struggle for women’s rights and the improvement of their lives and working conditions.

At the start of the 20th century the Women’s Bureau was lead by a woman whose commitment to women’s equal opportunity in the workplace transcended party politics, Why should we expect anything less from the Director appointed at the start of the 21st century?

Kim Gandy, President of NOW, Cashes In Her Chips

Cross posted from Madamab http://madamab.wordpress.com

kg1Remember how shocking it was when the allegedly non-partisan National Organization for Women endorsed the all-male ticket of Obama and Biden in the general election? They could have endorsed the all-female ticket of McKinney-Clemente. They could have endorsed the half-female ticket of McCain-Palin. In fact, never in their history had NOW endorsed a Presidential ticket without a woman on it.

Then, of course, there was the bizarre defense of Larry “Wimmins Can’t Do Teh Maths” Summers by Ms. Gandy in the International Herald Tribune.

 

Yet Kim Gandy, president of the National Organization for Women, said her group’s research actually produced material that recommended him. “One good thing about Larry Summers,” she said, “is that he has written and spoken fairly extensively on the issue of women’s wage inequality and the impact that has on the country.”

Gosh, wouldn’t you think that having more women in math and science would have a positive impact on the country?

Well, now we see what Ms. Gandy expects in return. Word is out on the street, fellow feminists, that Ms. Gandy has her eye on the Directorship of the Women’s Bureau in the U.S. Department of Labor. The mission of the Director of the Womens’ Bureau is described as follows:

    Mission Statement

    To improve the status of wage-earning women, improve their working conditions, increase their efficiency, and advance their opportunities for profitable employment.

That is, unless they want to be President or Vice-President and they aren’t registered with the “approved” political party! No Greens, Republicans or Independents need apply!

Does it seem right to you that a woman who threw her support behind misogynists like Barack Obama and Larry Summers should have this position? Do you trust the woman who refused to endorse any of the women running for President or Vice President this year with the fate of the female workers of America?

I don’t think this is right, or fair. This is Chicago Pay-to-Play, backroom dealing at its finest. And it’s not what we deserve.

So today at 12 noon, I and my feminist colleagues are protesting Ms. Gandy’s bid throughout the blogosphere.

 In the immortal words of Hillary Clinton, whom the President of NOW supported in the primaries: No way, no how, no Kim Gandy.

Women  do not all have to agree on every isssue but we do have to agree on one!
All women deserve Equal Rights under The Constitution of the United States

Note from BJ* Isn’t there is a special place in hell reserved for women who do not support each other? Weren’t those the words of our last madam Sect?

ARKANSAS – ERA Actions Need for 2/10/09

Contributed by: Carolyn Cook

On February 10th at 10AM ERA supporters will meet in Room 207 which is left of the old Supreme Court Room in the Capitol. We will pick up materials, get info and then go personally lobby senators and representatives for the ERA. Please pass the word to your friends who support and come to help us lobby.

The American Association of University Women is having Lobby Day that date and will have lunch in a room in the capitol cafeteria. Lunch cost $10. All are invited to join them for lunch with legislators. We must make reservations so please email me by 9AM this Thursday, Feb.5 if you would like lunch.
Keep up the emails and calls to all members of the State Agencies Committees and your area senators and representatives.
See you February 10!

Berta Seitz, ERA State Director
berta.seitz@att.net

Even if you are unable to join us in Little Rock–

TAKE ACTION!
Contact the Senate and House State Agencies Committee and ask them to support the Equal Rights Amendment.

Arkansas State Agencies Committee
Senate
Steve Faris – sfaris@arkleg.state.ar.us
Gilbert Baker – bakerg@arkleg.state.ar.us
Ed Wilkinson – ewilkinson@farmersbankandtrust.cox
Steve Bryles – bryless@arkleg.state.ar.us
Kim Hendren –hendrenk@arkleg.state.ar.us
Randy Laverty – none given phone 870-446-5005
Bobby Glover – cnhc@juno.com
Bill Pritchard – pritchardb@arkleg.state.ar.us

House of Representatives
Rick Saunders – saundersr@arkleg.state.ar.us
Lindsley Smith – smithl@arkleg.state.ar.us
Steve Harrelson – steve@steveharrelson.com
Eddie Cheatham – cheathame@arkleg.state.ar.us
Gene Shelby – shelbyg@arkleg.state.ar.us
Ed Garner – garnere@arkleg.state.ar.us
Clark Hall – hallc@arkleg.state.ar.us
Donna Hutchinson – hutchinsond@arkleg.state.ar.us
Larry Cowling – cowling@arkleg.state.ar.us
Dan Greenberg – Rep.greenberg@gmail.com
Duncan Baird – bairdd@arkleg.state.ar.us
Andrea Lea – lea@arkleg.state.ar.us
Jonathan Dismang – dismang49@hotmail.com
Butch Wilkens – blwilkins46@hotmail.com
Uvalde Lindsey –ULindsey@aol.com
Linda Tyler – tylerl@arkleg.state.ar.us
Karen Hopper – hopperk@arkleg.state.ar.us
Davy Carter – davy.carter@gmail.com
Tiffany Rogers – rogerst@arkleg.state.ar.us
Mary Slinkard – no email given

New Women Senator- a Republican

Submitted by: Je’Amour who says “OK we are moving in the right direction. The Senate moved from 17% women to 18%…”

“NH Governor names Bonnie Newman to take Senator Judd Gregg seat” bonnienewman
Republican takes Gregg’s Senate seat

Norma Love and Holly Ramer ASSOCIATED PRESS Wednesday, February 4, 2009

 

President Obama and Vice President Biden welcomed their Commerce Sec. nominee Sen. Judd Gregg, R-NH, to the White House in a presentation in the Grand Foyer. Tuesday, February 3, 2009 (Mary F. Calvert / The Washington Times)

UPDATED:

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) Democratic Gov. John Lynch on Tuesday named Republican Bonnie Newman as his pick for the U.S. Senate, a selection that allows departing GOP Sen. Judd Gregg to become U.S. commerce secretary without handing his old Democratic colleagues a filibuster-proof majority.

The New Hampshire governor’s announcement Tuesday that the businesswoman and former government official would become senator came hours after President Barack Obama nominated Gregg to the commerce post.

“I must admit in my wildest, wildest dreams I never thought we would be standing here today,” Newman said at a news conference. She has held prominent leadership positions in government, higher education and the private sector but has never held elective office.

Lynch said Newman has agreed to serve only the remaining two years of Gregg’s six-year Senate term. Gregg’s departure is expected to make the seat more competitive next year for Democrats.

Democrats and independents who caucus with them will hold 59 Senate seats if a court case over a race in Minnesota falls their way, and with 60 they would have enough votes to fend off Republican efforts to block legislation. Gregg, however, had indicated he would take the Cabinet job only if the balance of power in the Senate didn’t change.

Newman pledged to put the well-being of New Hampshire and the country above partisan politics.

“I am a proud and independent-minded Republican. This assignment is not about politics and business as usual. It is about governing,” she said.

Lynch, who said he has known Newman for 40 years, said her party affiliation didn’t drive his choice.

“Bonnie is someone I would have considered regardless of party,” he said.

The appointment will not become official until Gregg is confirmed for the commerce job.

Newman, 63, was Gregg’s chief of staff in the 1980s, oversaw administrative operations for the White House under President George H.W. Bush, and has served as interim president of the University of New Hampshire and executive dean at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. Despite being a Republican, she was an early and strong backer of Lynch’s campaigns.

Gregg said Newman has excelled over the years at the challenges she’s undertaken. “I am confident as a U.S. senator, Bonnie will again excel and provide people in New Hampshire with thoughtful leadership and a strong voice in Washington,” he said.

Newman would become New Hampshire’s second female senator in a matter of months. Democrat Jeanne Shaheen beat Republican incumbent John E. Sununu in November to become the first woman from the state to hold a Senate seat.

Newman, who lives in North Hampton, grew up in Lawrence, Mass., and has an undergraduate degree in sociology and a master’s in education in higher education adminstration. In the private sector, she founded a radio station, was executive vice president at Exeter Trust and was president of the New England Council, a regional business association.

Newman said she will resign as lead director on the FairPoint Communications board and from several other boards if Gregg is confirmed.

New Hampshire House Speaker Terie Norelli, a Democrat, praised the choice and said Newman is careful, thoughtful and considerate in her approach.

“It’s been my experience that’s how she approaches problems,” she said.

Norelli said she has no concerns about Newman’s party affiliation.

“President Obama ran on change,” she said. “This is change.”

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