Kamala Harris, 12th woman to vie for VP

LaDonna Harris

Kamala HarrisReading the latest NatGeo, I came across a surprising title. “At least 11 women have vied for U.S. vice president. Here’s what happened to them.” Wow. And the subhead: “Kamala Harris isn’t the first Black woman to run for vice president—or the first Asian-American.” Tell us more!

Marietta Stow – National Equal Rights Party (1884)
Running with Belva Lockwood, a lawyer. “Lockwood caught Stow’s attention when she pointed out that, while women couldn’t vote, ‘there is no law against their being voted for…'” The two women campaigned seriously and, out of some 10 million votes, won almost 5,000—cast by men.”

Lena Springs – Democrat (1924)
Nominated at the convention. “Springs received several votes but the slot on the ticket went to Charles Bryan, the governor of Nebraska.”

Charlotta Bass – Progressive (1952)
The first black woman candidate was “a crusading newspaper publisher in California. She joined Vincent Hallinan as his running mate. They won 140,000 votes.”

Frances ‘Sissy’ Farenthold – Democrat (1972)
She was “a serious contender at the convention but lost the nomination to Missouri senator Thomas Eagleton.”

Toni Nathan – Libertarian (1972)
The first female vice-presidential candidate to receive an electoral vote. A “Republican elector who couldn’t stomach Spiro Agnew, Nixon’s running mate, picked Nathan instead.”

Here’s where I started

LaDonna Harris – Citizens Party (1980)
“Harris, an activist and member of the Comanche nation, became the first Native American woman vice-presidential candidate… In the 1970s, she’d been a force for indigenous affairs in Washington as the wife of Oklahoma Senator Fred Harris. She and presidential candidate Barry Commoner ran on an environmental platform and won less than one percent of the popular vote.”

A couple of observations. I voted for Fred Harris in the 1976 Democratic primary. And in 1980, I voted for Commoner and LaDonna Harris in the general election.

Angela Davis – Communist Party (1980, 1984)
“A Black activist and philosophy professor in California who’d been on the FBI’s most-wanted list… She and presidential candidate Gus Hall garnered less than one percent of the vote.”

Geraldine Ferraro – Democrat (1984)
The “first vice presidential nominee on a major party ticket when Walter Mondale named her as his running mate. The congresswoman from Queens shook up the race…” They won “only Minnesota, his home state, and the District of Columbia.” Naturally, I voted for them.

Emma Wong Mar – Peace and Freedom Party (1984)
The “daughter of Chinese immigrants, a longtime anti-war and pro-labor activist from California, became the first Asian-American woman to run for vice president when she joined Sonia Johnson on the ticket…”

Twice, even

Winona LaDuke – Green Party (1996, 2000)
An “economist and Native American activist in Minnesota, joined Ralph Nader on the ticket in 1996 and 2000.” They received 2.7 percent of the popular vote in 2000, or 2.9 million votes—the most garnered by any third-party woman candidate for vice-president to date.”

Yes, I voted for them in both years. Note that Democrats Bill Clinton and Al Gore, respectively, easily won New York State.

Sarah Palin – Republican (2008)
When John McCain selected her as his running mate, she, “who was in her first [and only] term as Alaska’s governor, became the second female vice-presidential candidate for a major party and the first for Republicans. McCain and Palin received nearly 60 million votes, more than any other ticket with a woman as a vice-presidential candidate.”

Which brings us to…

As my blogger buddy Chuck Miller noted when Kamala Harris was first selected by Joe Biden, And the attacks began in four… three… two…. For reasons involving someone else’s reading assignment, I have a particular disdain for the dreadful Dinesh D’Souza. His suggestion that she’s not black because there’s a prominent slaveholder in her Jamaican father’s ancestry is beyond absurd. As I’ve noted, my own fourth great-grandfather was a slaveholder.

Yup, the Same Old Pathologies in attacking Kamala’s family tree. The same birther lies from the Tweeter-in-chief, with his inplausible deniability.

And his son-in-law’s non-clarification is in the same mode. “Kushner, who is both a White House and a campaign aide…” – does that bother anyone? He “pointed out that the President said ‘he had no idea whether that’s right or wrong’ — a technique Trump often uses when he’s trying to shirk responsibility for spreading disinformation.”

In 2020

One can challenge Kamala Harris on her record. She wasn’t my pick for President. But she will get my vote for Vice-President in November! I have voted five times for a woman in that role. You know the old saying, “the fifth time’s the charm”?

Some levity. McSweeney’s: I Don’t Hate Black or Woman Candidates, but Kamala Harris is Running for Vice President and My Head Just Exploded. Borowitz: Harris tells him She Cannot Send Him Birth Certificate Without Postal Service. And, of course, Randy Rainbow.

Hey 19, that’s a woman’s right to vote

19th*

woman's right to vote“The 19th Amendment guarantees American women the right to vote. Achieving this milestone required a lengthy and difficult struggle; victory took decades of agitation.”

In fact, “opposition to woman suffrage in the US predated the Constitutional Convention (1787)… Still, there was opposition to such patriarchal views from the beginning, as when Abigail Adams, wife of John Adams, asked her husband in 1776, as he went to the Continental Congress to adopt the Declaration of Independence, to ‘remember the ladies and be more generous and favourable to them than your ancestors.’ In the scattered places where women could vote in some types of local elections, they began to lose this right in the late 18th century.”

In July 1848… the Seneca Falls Convention launched the women’s rights movement. “The Declaration of Sentiments and Grievances was ratified by the assembly. They also passed 12 resolutions that specifically necessitated equal rights for women including the resolution that proclaimed women’s right to vote.”

A constitutional amendment was first introduced in Congress in 1878. Some suffragists challenged male-only voting laws in the courts. “More public tactics included parades, silent vigils, and hunger strikes. Supporters were heckled, jailed, and sometimes physically abused.” Many Americans found the idea of a woman voting a radical change. It was generally accepted among men that women should be “protected from the evils of politics.”

Wyoming

Interestingly, the struggle was more successful in the western part of the country. It was Wyoming, in 1869, which became the first territory to grant women the right to vote. When it joined the union in 1890, it became the first state to grant female citizens the ballot. Colorado (1893), Utah (1896), Idaho (1896), Washington (1910), and Colorado (1911) followed.

“By 1914, every state west of the Rockies had granted females the right to vote. Kansas was the only state east of the Rockies to accept women’s suffrage. Why the divide? Some historians believe pioneer women were more highly regarded for their role in settling the West. Others suggest that there were fewer women in the West, therefore men valued and respected them more. Either way, New York didn’t grant women the right to vote until 1917.

“On May 21, 1919, the House of Representatives passed the amendment, and two weeks later, the Senate followed. When Tennessee became the 36th state to ratify the amendment on August 18, 1920,” the threshold was reached. The amendment was certified on 26 August.

The National Archives is having a virtual commemoration of the centennial of the 19th Amendment. The struggle for women’s suffrage, leading up to and beyond the certification of the 19th Amendment on August 26, 1920.

BTW

In recent Presidential elections, female voters outnumber male voters.

‘Ms. Jacobs! Is that you?!’ AOC’s Twitter reunion with her second-grade teacher.

The 19th*

This Poynter article recaps the 2016 presidential election.

“Hillary Clinton was running for president. Two questions followed Clinton. “Is she electable? Is she likable?

“‘That felt so unfairly narrowly tailored to women candidates,” [Emily] Ramshaw, [then editor-in-chief of The Texas Tribun] said. “That was the moment it first occurred to me that it would be incredible to have a storytelling platform that was by women for women.'”

Launching August 2, “The 19th* is a nonprofit, nonpartisan newsroom reporting on the intersection of gender, politics, and policy. It is funded by a mix of membership, philanthropy, and corporate underwriting. The name says it all, right down the asterisk.”

Gender gap on climate change

“green rage”

gender gap on climate changeThere is a gender gap on climate change issues. This ought not to surprise me, and yet it does. The New Republic ran an article in 2019 “citing research that suggests climate science, for skeptics, becomes feminized.

“Many men [in the United States] perceive climate activism as inherently feminine, according to research published in 2017. ‘In one experiment, participants of both sexes described an individual who brought a reusable canvas bag to the grocery store as more feminine than someone who used a plastic bag—regardless of whether the shopper was a male or female,” explained researchers at Scientific American.”

The resulting “green rage” safeguards male dominance by punishing women who challenge the existing social order. I suspect it is at least one factor in the demonization of climate activist Greta Thunberg.

All around the world

And it’s not just an American phenomenon. One reason may be that women are more likely than men to feel the effects of climate change. “Women make up more than 80 percent of people displaced by climate change, according to United Nations data, and air pollution is a top threat to the health of pregnant women and their children.

“Women also typically hold less socioeconomic power than men, making them more vulnerable to such environmental disasters as floods, droughts, hurricanes and wildfires… Across 130 countries, women in government positions were more likely to sign on to international treaties to reduce global warming than men.”

This 2016 United Nations report states: “Women’s empowerment is key to the success of climate actions… Meaningful participation by women will enhance the effectiveness and sustainability of climate change projects and programmes and help address existing inequities while working towards fulfilling the respective international agreements calling for the equality and empowerment of women.”

When the world experiences the warmest ever January in 2020, when it hits a record 68F (20C) in Antarctica in February 2020, there’s no room for such parochial divisions. We need to fight climate change, yesterday. And in the main, it appears that women and girls may be best suited to lead the way.

Recent anti-abortion laws: ignorance is no obstacle

“The sin to me is bringing a child into this world and not taking care of them.”

women.abortionI checked. The last time I mentioned abortion in this blog was in 2009. And THAT was about its representation on television.

I wouldn’t have taken it on now except for the fact that the perpetrators of recent laws weren’t just confused about what exactly their bills do — “they were proud of their cluelessness.” As a New York Times opinion piece noted, America’s Leaders Need Sex Ed. “For those who want to regulate women’s bodies, ignorance has been no obstacle.”

Oh, and there’s right to privacy angle too.

In Georgia, the six-week law is scheduled to go into effect in January 2020. women who terminate their pregnancies would receive life in prison. This law would also criminalize healthcare providers, like doctors and nurses, providing the procedure.

Moreover, Georgians who seek abortions outside of the state may be charged with conspiracy to commit murder. Anyone who helps the pregnant person complete the journey, such as by driving them to a clinic, may also be charged with conspiracy.

“And a woman who miscarries because of her own conduct—say, using drugs while pregnant—would be liable for second-degree murder” Exactly how is this latter provision supposed to work?

Roughly 15 to 20 percent of all pregnancies in the United States end in miscarriage, “defined as the loss of a fetus before the 20th week. The majority of miscarriages occur within the first seven weeks of pregnancy.” A woman having a miscarriage is supposed to suffer the additional stress of proving – to whom, and how? – that she didn’t have a drink after dinner?

The US Supreme Court held in Roe v. Wade, and elsewhere, that the Due Process clause of the US Constitution includes a certain amount to privacy. And this right should mean that the government should not intrude in such delicate affairs.

The Georgia law also bestows personhood to a fetus, “entitled to all the protection of all the laws of Georgia.” That means they’re counted in the Census? If they’re American citizens, they can’t be deported if mom is there illegally, I presume. All sorts of legal landmines there.

Alabama did Georgia one better. Their law, going into effect in six months, would effectively ban abortion in the state. It criminalizes the procedure for doctors who provide them, and they could face up to 99 years in prison. The legislation doesn’t include an exception for cases of rape or incest.

The hypocrisy is strong. As reported in Newsweek, AL “State Senator Linda Coleman-Madison proposed an amendment to the bill that would require the state to provide free prenatal and medical care for mothers who had been denied an abortion by the new law. Her amendment was struck down by a vote of 23-6.

“‘The sin to me is bringing a child into this world and not taking care of them,” Coleman-Madison said. “The sin for me is that this state does not provide adequate care. We don’t provide education. And then when the child is born and we know that mother is indigent and she cannot take care of that child, we don’t provide any support systems for that mother.”

Here’s NOT a surprise: States with the worst anti-abortion laws also have the worst infant mortality rates.

A friend asked an interesting question: Women have used the seeds from Daucus carota, commonly known as wild carrot or Queen Anne’s lace, for centuries as a contraceptive. “The earliest written reference dates back to the late 5th or 4th century B.C. appearing in a work written by Hippocrates.”

If Queen Anne’s lace is used after intercourse – as a morning-after pill, essentially – how would the laws deal with that, since pregnancy would not yet be confirmable? This is also relevant to other birth control methods, notably the IUD.

It’s not just the South doing stupid stuff. In April, Ohio also passed a bill that would ban abortion at as early as six weeks. Now, the Ohio state House is considering a bill that would limit health insurance coverage for abortion services and also bar coverage for many forms of birth control.

It has a doozy of a provision that allows an ectopic pregnancy fetus to be removed from the Fallopian tubes and inserted into the uterus, a procedure that DOES NOT EXIST.

GOPUSA notes that such “bills have almost no chance of surviving the inevitable lower-court challenges, but that’s the point. Republican lawmakers are spoiling for a legal fight, hoping that their state’s pro-life bill will become the vehicle for the high court’s 5-4 conservative majority to put the brakes on Roe.

With restrictions on abortion, and, foolishly, contraception, being passed or considered across US, the goal isn’t to end up with the heartbeat bills, but to continue to chip away at women’s rights.

Yet, only 18 percent of Americans believe abortion should be illegal in all instances, according to a Gallup poll. Nearly six in 10 Americans believe that abortion should be legal in all or most cases, according to Pew.

In response: #YouKnowMe: an online movement in which thousands of woman have come forward to put a human face to the figure that one in four women get an abortion in their lifetimes.

Sisters are doin’ it for themselves?

This policy consists of three laudable R’s: rights, meaning the promotion of women’s issues, including by countering gender-based violence and discrimination; representation, including support for women’s participation at all levels of decision-making, from parliament to private sector boards to the legal system; and resources, to ensure equitable allocation among people of all genders, whether in government budgets or development projects.

Sisters are Doin It for Themselves*One of the first songs I thought about after QoS died last year was Sisters are doin’ it for themselves by Eurhythmics and Aretha Franklin. It only went to #18 in 1985, but I thought it was anthemic, with Annie Lennox and Aretha trading vocal licks.

*I watched by this January 29, 2019 interview of Ellevest CEO Sallie Krawcheck on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. She “noted that the lack of diversity in top management positions runs counter to research showing that diverse companies perform better.”

What was most striking, though, is this exchange:

TN: There’s also a fascinating trend I’ve read about where sometimes women who are in positions of power seem to be the ones who block other women from progressing.

SK: … Absolutely. She’s got a name. She’s a queen bee. And I’ll tell you exactly why she does it. Because the business world she’s grown up in, she looks up and she says, “Oh, I see the leadership table. And there’s one woman there. Or there are two women there. There’s one person of color there. I got it. So in order to get to that seat, I’m not competing with all of you guys. I’m competing with her.”

*From the hardly liberal Foreign Policy: Sweden’s Feminist Foreign Policy, Long May It Reign. Stockholm should continue actively pursuing a foreign-policy agenda focused on gender equality. And the world should follow. BY RACHEL VOGELSTEIN, ALEXANDRA BRO

“In 2014, Sweden became the first country in the world to publicly adopt what it explicitly called ‘a feminist foreign policy,’ putting the promotion of gender equality and women’s rights at the center of its diplomatic agenda. This policy consists of three laudable R’s: rights, meaning the promotion of women’s issues, including by countering gender-based violence and discrimination; representation, including support for women’s participation at all levels of decision-making, from parliament to private sector boards to the legal system; and resources, to ensure equitable allocation among people of all genders, whether in government budgets or development projects…

“[Foreign Minister Margot] Wallstrom’s announcement of a feminist foreign policy was not simply rhetorical — it was also strategic. The government recognized that gender equality is critical to Sweden’s broader foreign-policy objectives, including economic development, prosperity, and security. There is a growing body of research at the Council on Foreign Relations, the United Nations, academic journals, and military publications demonstrating a relationship between women’s inclusion and stability. A 2015 study by the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies found when women participate in peace processes, agreements are more likely to last — and to be forged in the first place.

Improving women’s status is also imperative to economic growth. In a separate 2015 study, the McKinsey Global Institute… calculated the potential benefit of closing gender gaps in the workforce at a staggering $28 trillion to global GDP by 2025 — as well as an estimated 19 percent growth rate in Sweden alone — if women simply participated at the same rate as men.”

*Josephine Cochrane