I consider myself a progressive liberal mom. I have two sons, ages 8 and 6. Being a mother has made me a fierce advocate for education and nutrition. I'm a creative spirit with business sensibilities and have been accused of having a bleeding heart and an ideological sense of the world, but I'm okay with that. I am also a writer and marketer with my own consulting business. I share my musings and rants at Dirt & Noise.
I don’t think Mitt Romney thinks much of women. He has outdated views of our bodies, our minds, our capabilities, and our voices. His proposed policies will drive an even larger wedge between the haves and have-nots in our country, with an especially hard blow to mothers, who face unique dynamics as citizens who earn less than men, grapple with working outside the home versus staying home to raise children, living in poverty, and depending on assistance while struggling as working poor. It’s as if Mitt Romney wants to make Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale come to life. Haven’t read it? You will see it’s horrifyingly closer to home than the sci-fi dystopian novel it was set out to be when it was published in 1985. Mitt Romney has been tripping over his words for some time now. It’s not that he’s inarticulate; he’s woefully out of touch.
American values are difficult to define succinctly. There are the wild west boot straps ideals, the immigrant tenacity, and Mayflower archetypes. American values are a mosaic of cultures, religions, and stories. What brings us together and defines us as decidedly American is different person to person. We do not look alike or sound alike or worship alike. We do, however, share in some basic manifestations of our American privileges. We vote. We speak out. We worship freely. We pursue a happiness we define for ourselves.
The political conventions are over and but a blip on our collective memory at this point. News of other events have replaced convention coverage, 9/11 tributes have us reconsidering our priorities, and life has carried on. I watched parts of the Republican National Convention, the main events at least. I think it’s important to know what all sides are talking about so I can make decisions based on facts, my own experiences, and the paradigm I come from. I admittedly watched the RNC with skepticism and found myself yelling at the television a lot. My political counterparts would likely say the same thing. See, we do have things in common! I was fortunate to go to the Democratic National Convention, so my personal experience certainly skews my perspective on both affairs.
I had the privilege of seeing Joe Biden give his Democratic National Convention speech in person. I was just rows away from the stage and had a perfect view. I saw his facial expressions, hand gestures, and confident gait. His delivery, a blend of hushed tones that made us all lean in to listen and forceful conviction, was spot on. But more than than, his words, his message, moved me. I must admit, I was waiting for the typical "Jaux pas" and was both relieved and admittedly a tish disappointed that he was on his A game. However, a speech with no gaffes means that we can focus on the meat of his words.
You must read the book Half the Skyby Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn and consider the fate of women around the world. It's a hell we cannot imagine in this country. We don't really want that sort of second class citizenship here, do we? We live where we all have a voice and rights. Many in the GOP want to change that.
It's horrifying, and if you really believe there is no war on women, you must also believe there was no Holocaust. It's that extreme and real IMHO. The inimitable Eve Ensler captures it perfectly. Todd Akin is an offensive, ill-informed extremist. Few people on either side of the political aisle would disagree. Many of my conservative friends have decried his stance on rape and pregnancy. However, what many people don’t realize is that Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, though quick to write off Akin to separate themselves from his extremism, have an inextricable link to his ideologies.