I'm not. I believe it's important for women to participate in politics and to be members of the senate and house of reps. I believe it's time for a woman president. I just don't want any of those responsibilities.
Today, the NY Times showed an article titled, "A Gillibrand Campaign: More Women in Politics." For those who are not aware, Kirsten E. Gillibrand is a U.S. senator for N.Y., filling the seat left by Hillary Rodham Clinton when she became secretary of state for President Obama.
The story is inspirational. Ms. Gillibrand's grandmother was a secretary in the NY State legislature, the story says, who organized many women of her day into a political club in Albany. "...when election season rolled around" the article says, this no-nonsense woman ralled her club to stuff envelopes, work phone banks, slap bumper stickers on cars and hand out fliers. They also went door to door. Shades of Susan B. Anthony!
Being underrepresented in business is bad enough, but in politics, it's a huge issue, I think. It's an important issue. Because we are not at the table, our needs and concerns are often ignored or down-played because...after all...we're just women. No, no one has the nerve to say that out loud "just women" but that's the internal thinking from the other side of the table (the men...let's be clear here - many of the men in power in America still think like those good old boys of days gone by). I'm always struck by the way men in office (and some women, too) say things like, "We MUST cut the budget - here, here, and here." And the heres are areas that impact women, children, and the needy. All of which they are not.
An article in Bloomberg at the end of June notes that the Paul Ryan budget wanted to cut funding in some serious areas that impact mostly women. They write, "The budget called for reductions in food stamps, two-thirds of whose adult recipients are women; Pell grants, about two- thirds of which go to female college students; Medicaid, about 70 percent of whose beneficiaries are female, and child care. This month, House Republicans voted to cut nutritional aid to low-income pregnant women by about 12 percent."
So, back to the NY Times article and Gillibrands solution to this problem. She has started Off the Sidelines to ...get women off the sidelines. Her about page notes, "Women have the power to shape the future, it's just a matter of getting off the sidelines and getting involved." Hurrah! Well said.
I think it's a great way for women to get involved, even if, like me, you don't want to run for office. We can support other women who DO want to run for office. We can encourage our daughters to participate in more than furthering their careers or being better Moms, which are two great activities to support and which need the extra voices women in politics can provide.
Here's a short video from Gillibrand about her Off the Sidelines - it's powerful. Let's all get off the sidelines and find ways to bring women's voices to the political tables across the U.S. Not to overtake or overpower anyone or anything. Just to be heard.