NEXT KCDW MEETING OCT 22TH Location: Red Lobster in Silverdale. Our speaker will be Dave Peterson, Kitsap County Clerk, talking on the history of the Democratic Party in Kitsap County. NO RSVP required.
by Jo Fox Burr
I don’t mind pink. I even wear it. I do mind its use to symbolize women. Pink is after all just a muted version of RED. Is this not a subliminal message that women are the weaker sex? Football players wearing pink shoes to honor Breast Cancer Awareness Month strikes a discord with me, particularly given recent accounts of players’ committing domestic violence and the inadequate disciplinary response of the league.
So when I read Kathleen Parker’s column in the Kitsap Sun (10/1/2014) about the war on women which she claimed was based on just one thing – ‘abortion rights,’ it seemed ironic that it happened to be the day the Sun was printed on pink paper. I was surprised by her stance as I thought she was a more moderate enlightened Republican. After this initial statement, her column did turn to focus on how a Democrat had offensively indicated that his female GOP opponent had never held a ‘real job.’ Aside from the fact this woman has had paying jobs, Parker took offense at the implication that being a mom was not a ‘real job.’ I agree with Parker on this, but do not agree with her that this sin was essentially the same as Limbaugh calling Sandra Fluke a slut. What Parker didn’t notice was that she had just tacitly acknowledged the war on women was far more than only an abortion issue. While her point was made that Democrats can also sin on this issue, overall it is Republican policies which are at war with women. Yes, the abortion issue is a major focus of this war, particularly with the proliferation of red state legislation forcing abortion clinics to close. However, closing these clinics is also denying other types of care to women.
Republicans oppose raising the minimum wage. But nearly two-thirds of minimum wage workers are women so this is another part of this war. At all wage levels, in general, women are earning about 77% of what men earn. Part of this is because there are more women than men in such jobs as teaching and child care, both of which are inadequately compensated for the work and service they provide. Last year, it was the Republican controlled Washington State Senate which resisted providing sufficient funds for education to meet the mandated requirements of the State Supreme Court McCleary Decision. Also we have domestic violence, which truly is a war on women. The distain for abusers is not a partisan issue. However, cutting the social safety net – a target of the GOP – limits escape routes for those women courageous enough to walk away, even when doing so means leaving their financial support behind. Related to this is the gun issue. Far too many women are killed by guns in the hands of men who should not legally have them. Most Democrats support closing loopholes while the Republican Party and NRA don’t.
The day after Kathleen Parker’s article, a column in the Seattle Times (10/2/2014) by a man, Jerry Large, showed a far greater understanding of the obstacles women face in what seems an eternal battle to gain sexual equality. He wrote, “The persistence of domestic violence, pay gaps, and exploitive or dismissive media portrayals suggest we have a problem that is so pervasive as to seem almost normal and therefore invisible.” Thankfully this was printed on white paper, not pink.
This struggle for sexual equality has been going on for far too long. Some gains have quietly been made, but suddenly there seems to be a force trying to beat these gains back. The denial of abortion rights might be the rallying point for this force. But our society is changing. Gay rights are now widely accepted, we have a Black President, more people are favoring immigration reform and stricter gun regulations, AND more women are moving into leadership roles in both public and private sectors. For those who don’t deal well with change, such as conservative Republicans, this is disturbing and their desperation is causing them to use some ugly tactics. The war on women is very real, but we will win in the end – as long as we remember the power we have particularly when we vote. It might be hard to shake the color pink as our symbol, but perhaps if we push its intensity and insist upon it being Shocking Pink we will feel stronger and those resisting change will feel less inclined to mess with us.
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
Kitsap County Democratic Women
Date: Oct 22th (Wednesday)
Time: 11:30 a.m. lunch; 12:30 meeting.
Place: Red Lobster
Speaker: Dave Peterson,
Kitsap County Clerk
Kitsap County Dem. Central Com.
Date: Oct 20th (Monday)
Time: 6:30 p.m. Desserts; 7:00 p.m. mtg
Place: Eagles Nest
23rd Legislative District Democrats
Date: Nov. 19th (Monday)
Time: 6:30 p.m. social; 7:00 p.m. mtg.
26th Legislative District Democrats
Date: Nov 7th (Thursday)
Time: 7-9 p.m.
Place: Kitsap Rm, Givens Center
1026 Sidney Rd, Pt. Orch
35th Legislative District Democrats
Date: Dec. 6th (Saturday)
Time: 11:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Place: North Mason Sch. Adm. Bldg.
Hwy 3, Belfair
This will be our re-organization meeting. Positions up for election are President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary and 3 At-Large Executive Board Members. Please note that this meeting will be held a week earlier than normal – on Nov. 19th.
Saturday, Dec. 6, 2014 - 11:30am to 2:00pm; Ambrosia Catering Co.
More information will follow.
“Seeing women as full people is kind of a new thing, I mean it must be, because we continue to have trouble making that leap. And when I say we, I don’t just mean men, I mean women, too.” – Jerry Large, Seattle Times Staff columnist
CONGRATULATIONS REMO BARR FOR WINNING THE MAGGIE AWARD FOR BEST COMMITTEE WOMAN!