Archive for the ‘NOT a women’s issue’ Category

Hillary Clinton with her daughter Chelsea in 1984.Mike Stewart — Sygma via Getty Images

We’ve made progress, but have a ways to go.

When I was pregnant with my daughter Chelsea, I asked about the maternity leave policy at the law firm where I worked. I was surprised to find out that we didn’t have one. I soon learned why: No woman who worked in our office had ever come back to work full-time after having a baby.

Well, I wanted to come back. I loved what I did. And it was important to me to contribute to my family’s finances, especially now that we were having a baby.

Finally, as my due date approached, I decided to take matters into my own hands. When Chelsea was born, my employer agreed to grant me four months off to be home with her. I’d still earn an income, though it would be smaller; part of my income was determined by the fees I generated for the firm, which would fall to zero while I was on leave. That made sense to me. And it meant a lot that I could have that time with my new daughter, knowing that my job would be waiting for me when I came back.

These kinds of situations are commonplace today, with more women entering the workforce than ever before. Today, nearly half of all full-time employees are women. Through our contributions, talent, insights, and very presence, we’ve changed the workplace forever. There’s no going back to the days when women were fired for getting married or pregnant, or were excluded from entire professions. Thank goodness.

Bill and Hillary with their daughter Chelsea in 1980.Courtesy of Hillary for America

But let’s be real. We still have a long way to go. Our policies just haven’t kept up with the challenges women and families face today.

Too many women still aren’t paid fairly. On average, women earn 20% less than men do for full-time, year-round work. Women of color earn even less. And when a working mom or grandmother earns less than she deserves, she’s not the only one who pays the price. Her children or grandchildren — whoever’s counting on her salary — do, too.

Women also make up the majority of minimum-wage workers, which means they make as little as $14,500 a year for full-time work. That’s below the national poverty line. Many of those women are raising kids on that income. Raising the federal minimum wage would do a lot for those families.

Meanwhile, even though the number of women running companies, labs, universities, and philanthropies is growing, it’s still too small. So is the number of women serving in elected office. That means women aren’t always included in decision-making, and their needs and concerns aren’t always reflected in government policy or workplace norms.

And we’re making it too hard to balance work and family. That’s true for all parents, but especially mothers. Women are breadwinners in more households than ever, yet they still do the lion’s share of childcare.

Many are feeling the squeeze. I’ve had moms break down in tears as they describe the heartbreak of returning to work just a few days after delivering their baby, because they don’t have paid leave at their jobs. Staying with their child for a few months would mean losing too many paychecks, maybe even their job.

In April, I met a mom in Newton, Iowa, who held her four-and-a-half-month-old in her arms. She said to me, “I’m counting on you to know what it’s like to be a working mother. Please help us working mothers and fathers have more time with our babies.”

I’m not going to let her down.

One thing we can do is invest in affordable childcare. Right now, childcare is more expensive than college tuition in many states. Let’s make sure no family has to spend more than 10% of their income on childcare by making historic investments in childcare assistance and providing tax relief to working families.

Let’s finally join every other advanced economy in the world and guarantee paid leave. I’m proposing 12 weeks of paid medical leave to recover from a serious illness, and 12 weeks of paid family leave to care for a new child or a sick relative. After all, moms and dads both deserve to spend time with their babies.

Let’s encourage employers to adopt family-friendly work policies, like flexible and fair scheduling and tele-work, so parents can both work and be there for their families.

Let’s raise the minimum wage. No one who works full-time should be forced to raise their kids in poverty.

And at long last, let’s finally ensure equal pay for women. It’s time for Congress to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act — which I cosponsored when I was in the Senate — to give women the tools they need to fight discrimination in the workforce. We also need to promote pay transparency so that women have the information they need to negotiate fairly for their wages.

These aren’t just women’s issues. They’re economic issues and family issues. And they need to be a top priority for our next president. If we’re going to build a globally competitive workforce, we can’t afford to leave any talent on the sidelines. We can’t keep short-changing working families.

I’ll never forget what it was like to be a mom at work. It wasn’t easy. And I was lucky: I had financial security, a supportive employer, and affordable childcare. Too many families don’t. I’ve met so many parents stuck in impossible situations, at their wits’ ends trying to make it all work. It just shouldn’t be this hard to work and have a family.

As president, it’ll be my mission to bring our economy and workplaces into the 21st century, so all of our contributions are respected — both women’s and men’s — and families can thrive.

Hillary Clinton is the Democratic nominee for president and a former secretary of state.

Respond to Hillary here >>>>


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Read Hillary’s response to Donald Trump’s outrageous comments this week.  Many people are writing and reporting on this story, but these are Hillary’s own words.  Media source can spin stories.  This is directly from Hillary Clinton – unspun!

Donald Trump’s comments are horrific — and telling.

All of the Republican frontrunners for president want to make abortion illegal. Now Donald Trump has said how he’d enforce that prohibition: punishing women and doctors.

Donald Trump can try to distance himself from his comments all he wants. But we all heard what he said. As Maya Angelou said, “When people show you who they are, believe them.”

Donald Trump keeps showing us who he is. We should believe him.

But it’s important to remember that he’s not alone. Donald Trump is just saying what Republican politicians across the country believe — everyone who has signed and voted for laws to defund Planned Parenthood, force women to undergo invasive and medically unnecessary procedures before ending a pregnancy, mandate that doctors recite misleading information to patients, and shutter every abortion provider for miles. These are laws that are meant to shame women and block their access to health care. That’s their purpose.

We don’t need to imagine the consequences of these laws. It’s unfolding right before our eyes.


Whenever politicians become involved in deciding whether, when, and how a woman becomes a mother, it’s not just degrading — it’s dangerous. Few decisions are more sacred or intensely personal, and women deserve to make them for ourselves.

Here’s the good news: While Donald Trump is a bully, voters will have our say at the ballot box. So if you disagree with his comments, you’ve got to vote. Vote like your health and rights depend on it. Because they do.





phone calls

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This must read  is addressed to her Wellesley sisters by a Wellesley grad, but I see it as having a broader scope. Here is why.

Although I appreciated all of the work that my predecessors had done for me and my generation of women, I did not fully comprehend the extent of what they had gone through in order to lift me up onto their shoulders so that I might see further and reach higher than they were ever permitted. I also did not appreciate how incredibly dangerous it is for women to live in a world where sexism is alive and well, but people believe it to be dead. When people believe sexism to be dead, they become less vigilant about losing all of the gains we have made towards equality. When people believe sexism to be dead, women who are victims are made out to be liars. When people believe sexism to be dead just because it has become more subtle, women, like myself in those taxi rides, become silenced.

Esther Jang has authored a persuasive essay that Hillary supporters may find useful in speaking to women of any age, but especially the young,  who are either Bernie supporters or are fence sitters  – the “I-don’t-know girls.”  No matter who we are or how old, we all stand on shoulders of giants.

For women in particular, as we are about to embark on Women’s History Month, a visit to the struggles of the past is more than useful and instructive.  It is essential.  As Esther Jang points out, there is deadly danger in the assumption that the work is  complete.

One issue, recently, that highlights the urgency of a Hillary vote: Zika.  When the Pope says OK to birth control, you have to know that we are dealing with a crisis of potentially monumental proportions.

In case you missed it last night, this.

Add Zika to the equation.  News flash to young women:  It is not your moms, aunts, and grandmas whose future is threatened by this crisis.  It is yours.

One candidate has fought all of her adult life for women’s rights.  One candidate is experienced, qualified, and equipped to deal with this crisis as it grows.

Nothing is a done deal. The struggle remains.  Esther Jang provides reasons to be on the right side – no matter whether or where you studied, hope to study, or what you do or plan to do.  Please read this and share it widely – broadly, even!


When standing on shoulders of giants, please consider…

Dear Wellesley sisters,

A few weeks ago, I got into a taxi and started chatting with my driver about politics. He asked me who I would be voting for, and when I replied, “Hillary,” his immediate reaction was, “Is it just because she’s a woman?” I wanted to say to him, “Are you supporting ____ just because you both have dicks?” but I refrained and continued my ride in silence.

A few weeks before that, I got into a taxi and my driver asked me what I did. When I told him that I worked for Venmo, his immediate reaction was, “You do UX or Design, right?” I wanted to say to him, “No. Also, our Head of Engineering is a woman,” but again, I refrained and continued my ride in silence.

Now that I have lived a handful of years outside of Wellesley, I find myself being silenced by the sheer exhaustion of having to deal with this type of subtle sexism every day.

Read more >>>>


Saying “some woman some day”  is a cop out.  There has never in our history been a candidate like this one.  This woman. NOW!

Parenthetically: (Let’s dispense with the notion that propaganda is, by definition, false and/or negative. There are many models of propaganda and a long history. The epistemic model assigns no positive/negative valences.  This post, by the epistemic definition, is propaganda.  It is intended to persuade.)



Please join Hillary in helping the Flint Child Health & Development Fund if you can >>>>

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Jan 6, 2016 by Emmy Bengtson


The only thing standing between Republicans, the Affordable Care Act, and Planned Parenthood

Today’s vote in the House is a jarring reminder of the stakes in 2016.

Continue reading



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Today at her Women For Hillary grassroots organizing event, Hillary said,

… there is one particular candidate who delights in insulting women every chance he gets.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks at a 'Women for Hillary' grassroots organizing meeting, Thursday, Sept. 10, 2015, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks at a ‘Women for Hillary’ grassroots organizing meeting, Thursday, Sept. 10, 2015, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)

It is a practice not reserved for Donald Trump.  It comes from every side.  Perhaps it is embedded in the male psyche.  I don’t think men even know they are doing it.  It seems to come from a deep-seated concept that whatever men devise, develop, or craft is inherently of greater value than what women devise, develop, or craft.  Whatever you offer, then, is immediately and routinely rejected in favor of their product which clearly is of much higher value because it is theirs.  That should be obvious to you.  Why would you even question it?

I am not saying all men do this.  Many do not.  But women run into it in the normal course of a day or a week, and it is not restricted to a political party.  Men who call themselves Hillary supporters have “improved” statements I have taken directly from Hillary.

Remember this?

Hillary Clinton: Economy + Women + Families = NOT a Women’s Issue

I made a hashtag of it that I sometimes use on Twitter.  A male Hillary supporter corrected me to “Not just a women’s issue. ”  I pointed out that the words were Hillary’s.  Discussion ensued because it should have been obvious to me that the revised version improved on Hillary’s original. They even correct Hillary.

When I write an original post like this,  an opinion or a defense, I put time, thought, and reflection into the process. The longer ones might take hours.  I will write, walk away, take care of other chores, take a shower under the shower head, come back, read, and revise.  The finished product never reaches my ideal  but is always an improvement on the first draft.

Sometimes there will be a speech.  I will take notes and screen shots, fashion the notes into a narrative, maybe grab the C-SPAN link to the video which will not be embeddable here, and post it all.

Then I will share the link on Facebook.  Suddenly a page that had been dormant for hours will come alive as some fellow’s meme with a Hillary quote from 2008 or the link to the speech on C-SPAN supplants what I posted.   Sure it can be a coincidence once in awhile.  When it happens every time,  how would I not receive the subliminal message?

The art of the insult to women is alive and well in all quarters.  We all know it.

I have seen male Hillary supporters post blonde jokes.  Hillary supporters!  When I have called them on it I have been told I have no sense of humor.  Actually I do.

I cannot quite wrap my mind around it.  Is it that Hillary is somehow a separate entity despite talking about her hair color and all that women know goes into looking as smashing as she did today?  But no, since men also have ideas on how she can better handle whatever the latest attack –  right now her emails and server.  Then I wonder, is she the one they really want?  Or do they want this Hillary to act like a man?  Or have they bought into the Hillary Superwoman concept?

As I said, it is not all men who do this, thank goodness, but I have encountered my share of it, and I bet you have too.  It was heartening today to see Hillary launch Women for Hillary and speak out on insults to women.  It was a comfort to feel close to the sisterhood even though it was only virtually close.  It would be even nicer to see our Hillary campaign brothers support our efforts and defend us against the insults rather than engage in the subtle deployment of them. It could begin with actually reading this post rather than flushing it down the Facebook page with a link to the NYT video on top.



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Hillary Clinton will sit down with veteran NBC News correspondent Andrea Mitchell on Friday for the third national interview of her presidential campaign.

The exclusive interview, which will first air on Mitchell’s 12 p.m. MSNBC program, comes one day ahead of the 20th anniversary of Clinton’s Beijing speech on women’s rights, which Mitchell covered for the network in 1995.

“Mitchell will ask the former Secretary of State about her presidential campaign, the GOP field, her email controversy” as well as the Beijing speech, NBC News said in a press release.



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Prior to last night’s failed GOP effort to defund Planned Parenthood,  Hillary posted this video.

Powerful legislators are focused on one aspect of Planned Parenthood‘s services, abortion, but that is only one of many services the organization provides as a quick look at their website makes clear.

We provide up-to-date, clear, medically accurate information that helps you better understand your sexual health.


Abortion is a safe and legal way to end a pregnancy. Learning more about abortion methods and options can help you decide if abortion is the right choice for you.

Birth Control

There are many ways to prevent pregnancy. Learn more about birth control, and find the method that’s best for you.

Body Image

We all have ideas and feelings about how we look. Learning more about body image can help you stay healthy — mentally and physically.

General Health Care

Are you looking for general health care services? Many of Planned Parenthood’s health centers around the country offer the health care services you need.

Men’s Sexual Health

Up-to-date, clear information from Planned Parenthood that helps men better understand their sexual and reproductive health.


It’s normal to have many questions about pregnancy. Planned Parenthood will help you get all the pregnancy information you need.


Romantic or sexual relationships are one way to connect and share with other people. Planned Parenthood answers your questions about relationships.

Sex & Sexuality

Do you want to better understand sex and sexuality? Planned Parenthood answers the most common questions about important sexual health topics.

Sexual Orientation & Gender

Sexual orientation and gender identity are fundamental parts of who we are. Planned Parenthood answers your questions about these important topics.


Infections can be passed between people during sexual contact. Learn more about STD symptoms, testing, treatment, and how to reduce your risk.

Women’s Health

Up-to-date, clear information from Planned Parenthood that helps women better understand their sexual and reproductive health.

– See more >>>>

There is no sign on the door saying “women only.”  Men, too, benefit from the organization’s services.  What part of the word “parent” excludes men?  We are long past the days when all aspects of child rearing fell to women.

One battle may have been won, but those who oppose the organization have promised to continue the struggle to end funding to the community and family services they provide.

Over the weekend,  after my fill of Sunday morning political football,  I stumbled on this cute little movie.

PG-13  |  92 min  |  Comedy, Drama  |  11 June 2004 (USA)

When a girl attending a Christian high school becomes pregnant, she finds herself ostracized and demonized, as all of her former friends turn on her.

There is never a question as to whether or not she will have the baby. She intends to and she does.  There is a happy, hopeful ending.  An added attraction is a nice cover of Brian Wilson’s “God Only Knows” sung by Mandy Moore who is featured in the movie. If I had been less curious about who was singing, I might have missed,  in the final credits,  who helped bring the movie to the big screen.

Here, under Company Credits, look who shows up!  The emphasis is mine.

Other Companies

Yup!  A movie about a pregnant high school girl having and keeping her baby and Planned Parenthood is listed in the credits.  I do not know of Planned Parenthood having a hand in the production of any feature films about abortion.

Painting any individual or organization with a broad brush is never a good idea.  To portray Planned Parenthood as an abortion mill is more than deceptive and destructive – it is dangerous.

The war against Planned Parenthood and their family services is far from over.  This movie can serve as a little ammo against unwarranted attacks.  It certainly carries a few strong, worthy messages. So, I recommend it for your next “movie night.”



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U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton vows to "keep fighting for equal pay for equal work" for women. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton vows to “keep fighting for equal pay for equal work” for women. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

This really matters to me

When Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott, Frederick Douglass, and 97 other brave women and men signed their names to the Declaration of Sentiments in Seneca Falls 167 years ago today, they sparked a movement that altered the course of history.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident,” they wrote, “that all men and women are created equal.” All men and women — incredible how just two words could change millions of lives.

We cannot forget the heroes who went to jail and even died to give women the right to vote, earn and keep wages, own property, serve in the military, and hold elected office. We owe it to our daughters and granddaughters to continue the march of progress in America and around the world.

I’ve been fighting for these ideals for my entire career — and I want to take that fight all the way to the White House. Will you stand with me?

We must keep fighting for equal pay, especially for women of color, who often lose out the most. We must fight for equal access to good jobs, good health care, and good child care, for the rights of women to make our own reproductive health decisions, and to make sure that every little girl in America can be anything she wants when she grows up — even President of the United States.

The full participation of women and girls in our society is more than an issue of fairness; it’s also a smart way to grow our economy. When women aren’t paid fairly, families lose out on thousands of dollars every year that could go toward paying for groceries or rent, saving for retirement, or sending a child to college. When we fight for equality, we fight for a better future for all of our children.

Sign your name to declare your support for equality and pledge to redouble our efforts to finish the work that began in Seneca Falls:


Thank you,



167 years ago, pioneers in Seneca Falls began the fight for women’s equality. Add your name:

Embedded image permalink

167 years ago: The Seneca Falls Convention paved the way for women’s equality. It’s up to us to make it a reality for all. -H


The journey toward women’s equality began 167 years ago in Seneca Falls, NY. Today, we must write its future.

Hillary is fighting right beside us. Give her the ammo she needs in the battle. Please donate as you can. Thank you.



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Here is a great example of how Hillary Clinton innovates, teaches, and generates change.  A little while ago, her Twitter account tweeted this quote from her speech at Day in Blue today.

Hillary on equal pay: “This is not a women’s issue. This is a family issue. This is an American economic issue.”

For seven years I have posted remarks Hillary has made here in the U.S. and all over the world on issues that I have automatically tagged “women’s issues.”  You can search that category here and come up with pages and pages of posts with that tag.

But the truth about these issues is what Hillary said today, and I shall have to create a new, and more powerful tag:  NOT a women’s issue. 

For many years, George Lakoff, linguist and political commentator,  has been busting his suspenders over the way Democrats have allowed Republicans to control framing.  Here is a sample.  There are many.

George Lakoff: Progressives Need to Use Language That Reflects Moral Values

Tuesday, 30 October 2012 10:00 By Mark Karlin, Truthout | Interview

OK, so he doesn’t wear suspenders.  He just looks like the kind of guy who would.  The point is that for decades Democrats have allowed Republicans to control the language of policy-making and legislation.

In Hillary Clinton,  Democrats may have the candidate who can change all of that,  Hillary is inventive where language is concerned, so much so that when her 2008 campaign site urged us to follow her on Twitter I thought she invented brand-name.  It sounded like something she would make up, and I asked her that on Twitter after I joined.  Who had ever heard of a “townterview” before Hillary became Secretary of State?

She may not have laid out a platform yet, but Hillary has, since she began her public speaking tour in 2013, been drawing the blueprint, and it involves changing points of view by changing the way we talk about things.  Framing, in the end, is really all about how often people encounter issues ensconced in specific terms.  We can help change the frequency and the terms.

Today she made something clear.  “Pink” issues are red, white, and blue issues.  If we adopt her phrase as a tag and a hashtag we can go a long way toward establishing some of the viewpoints Hillary is going to be advocating.  In other words, we can help her reframe the issues by adopting her vocabulary.

I have never failed to learn something by listening to Hillary.  Her 1000 Days initiative taught us how providing good (and surprisingly inexpensive) maternal and child nutrition over the 1000 days from conception to age two can change the future, not just for families, but also for nations.  Her Clean Cookstoves  Initiative taught us how cooking over unsafe fuels affects the health and lives of billions of people all over the world.

When Hillary Clinton speaks, there is always something to learn.  I have learned today that I can help  her reframe how we talk about (frame) and then see things by changing how I categorize them.

P.S.  Something else I just learned.  I think the hashtag works better if you leave the apostrophe out.  #NotAWomensIssue   *sigh*

What has Hillary Clinton taught you?

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