Women’s Work: Bright Spots for Main Street Women This Week

This week, the Oscars treated us to Seth McFarlene singing "We Saw Your Boobs" and the sequester cuts go into effect that will negatively impact women. But there were bright spots... VAWA PASSES AND MOVES TO PRES OBAMA'S DESK The VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN ACT was finally reauthorized. The U.S. House of Representatives voted yesterday and passed the bipartisan Senate version, which included key protections for campus rape, Native and immigrant women, and LGBTQ women.  Representative Gwen Moore, Democrat of Wisconsin and a victim of domestic and sexual violence herself, spoke passionately about the need to pass the Senate’s bill. I pray that this body will do as the Senate has done and come together as one to protect all women from violence. As I think about the L.G.B.T. victims who are not here, the native women who are not here, the immigrants who aren’t in this bill, I would say, as Sojourner Truth would say, ‘Ain’t they women?’ ” Every Democratic and 87 Republicans voted for the Senate bill; 138 GOP members voting against it.  Among the nay votes was House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.).  The House's action means that VAWA will be reauthorized for another five years, … [Read more...]

Down on Main Street: U.S. Women Poorer And Getting Ready For More With Sequestration

If you're like me, you remember at least one time during childhood when you squabbled with some other kid. An adult stepped in and said, "Work it Out." As we head closer to the March 1 sequestration, that ominous term now part of American lexicon, DC squabbling and fingerpointing continues. I'm longing for Main Street to rise up and tell those governing us to work it out -- right now. Instead of using energy to find solutions, those governing us seem more focused on who's fault it is that we're in this situation. My vow of tolerance is failing, though I'm listening to all 'sides' and wondering, where is the adult to step in? We're innudated with information about how these automatic cuts will impact us in a myriad of ways. Likley thousands of teachers will lose their jobs. Our food supply will become less safe as food inspections are reduced. Children will go without vaccinations. Struggling parents won't be able to afford child care. Millions of seniors will go without meals. (For more, see the White House sequester cuts estimates of impact for your state at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/politics/sequestration-state-impact/?tid=ts_carousel.) When sequester … [Read more...]

Four Intolerance Taming Practices: 8 Weeks to Optimum Tolerance New-News Challenge

My Grandpa used to tell me, “Point the finger at someone else and you have three pointed right back at you.” The response to each New Year’s State of the Union (SOTU) address typically serves as an exercise in finger pointing. This year, we were treated to the ‘official’ Republican response, by party “Savior” Senator Marco Rubio, and the additional rebuttal by Tea Party Republican Senator Rand Paul. En masse, Main Street Women’s pre-election Manifesto for Tolerance was a call to end the vitriolic state of the union. So far, their magic wands have produced little impact – the SOTU exemplified that. After listening to everyday women across the U.S., I realized I’d gone darned far down the intolerance path myself. (You know. I confessed to having flashes of ramming my car into others because of the viewpoints their bumper stickers express, e.g. “Women for Aiken.”) My own intolerance growth stems in part from how, like most of Americans, my narrow, personalized news sources present one perspective – the one most like mine. The ‘new-news’ challenge is beginning to tame my internal intolerance monster. Vowing for eight weeks to watch, listen to or read one news source each … [Read more...]

Mainstreet Women Manifesto for Tolerance: More Change We Want to See Happen – Congress

Main Street Question #9: If you had a magic wand and could change one thing in the U.S. immediately, what would you change? (Post 2 of 2.) #2: MAINSTREET WOMEN CHANGE CONGRESS Mainstreet Women, you made clear that while you don't feel you currently have a strong voice, when given the chance you want to be heard as individuals. I promise to honor every one of your inspiring, insightful and hope-filled magic wand responses – you have my commitment that each of your voices will be shared with the world. But as I reported last week, one theme did rise to the top:  tolerance. We’re beginning to share with one another on our US Mainstreet Women Facebook page how WE can begin leading the change we want to see. Penny, CA wrote:  "I will listen more, speak less, but speak up when I need to," exemplifying how our ‘tolerance manifesto’ holds the promise for moving us and our nation back to a time when we could talk with one another fearlessly about our differing perspectives and remain friends. Change starts on Main Street, with us, and also:  Mainstreet Women want Congress to change. “I’d have a bipartisan Congress with the good of the country at heart. That would affect … [Read more...]

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