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What’s so funny about this (and today’s strip) is that we have many excellent training programs that have been working with women on how to run for office, period. I’ve personally helped bring one to Ohio (White House Project’s Go Run! in 2008) and I’ve participated in many more. Read and share. And thank Garry Trudeau. And also know, this problem isn’t limited to folks running from the right – we know there are plenty of potential trainees to be found all along the political spectrum.

By Jill Miller Zimon at 10:50 am December 24th, 2013 in Gender, Humor, Politics | Comments Off 

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Jen Sorenson tells it like it is in this graphic illustration explanation of what the heck is being done to reproductive rights and legal medical care for women throughout Ohio and the country. Please share it widely and often.

By Jen Sorenson for the ACLU

By Jen Sorenson for the ACLU

By Jill Miller Zimon at 12:08 pm October 24th, 2013 in Ethics, Gender, Health Care, Reproductive Health, Reproductive Rights, Women | Comments Off 

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The  Washington Post is up with an interesting article about women now taking the political mantle from dads, rather than sons or rather than just sons. But I personally know people who will tell you that it was their mother’s activism that got them engaged. Here’s one story that highlights how U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D, NY) got her game from her grandmother. Only toward the end does the article mention women as “bequeathers” rather than “inheritors.”

Here’s the WaPo piece – what do you think?

By Jill Miller Zimon at 8:51 am July 30th, 2013 in activism, Gender, Politics | 1 Comment 

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From Cleveland’s own Mike Polk. Hattip the Plain Dealer.

By Jill Miller Zimon at 10:44 pm July 10th, 2013 in Abortion, democracy, Gender, Health Care, Women | Comments Off 

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Boys club signing away reproductive rights and health care needs of Ohio's women

Photo by Karen Kasler of the Statehouse News Bureau for Ohio Public Radio and Television. Hattip to 100% Men tumblr.

For more about the unconscionable agenda forwarded by these elected officials sworn to represent all Ohioans, read here.

UPDATE: Cincinnati.com’s Carl Weiser names names re: which boys got into the seemingly boys-only event.

By Jill Miller Zimon at 8:49 am July 1st, 2013 in Abortion, democracy, Gender, Ohio, Politics, Women | Comments Off 

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From Planned Parenthood Advocates of Ohio:

Inspired by Texan Women, please wear RED for Ohio and join us to show Ohio’s Legislature & Governor Kasich that we Stand With Ohio Women beginning at 10 AM Thursday with a Press Conference on the High Street/West entrance side. We’ll then pack the Gallery for what could a long day! (wear comfy shoes!). Spread the word – this is a non-partisan event for ALL of us who believe that Ohio’s Budget should not be the “Abortion Budget”. Demand a VETO on abortion amendments! *** if you can not make it in person, please call Gov Kasich 614-466-3555. Tell him to veto all of the attacks on access to reproductive healthcare! See y’all in Columbus! #StandwOHWomen

DO NOT DESPAIR OR STOP USING YOUR VOICE – don’t just stand with Wendy, let’s be Wendy & Leticia and all the great advocates in Texas – read and see more here. From the first link:

Like hundreds of thousands of people, I listened to Davis speak — for me, for Texas women, for all women — thanks to a grainy livestream and obsessively refreshing Twitter. Katie Naranjo, a local women’s rights advocate who spent more than 13 hours in the Senate chambers on Tuesday, told me on the phone that night, “As she was reading the testimony of all the women who weren’t allowed to testify before the committee, we all knew she was our voice. We were her and she was us.”

She was us. And so when Davis was yanked from the floor on a parliamentary technicality — Republicans said she violated the rules of order by making points about women’s health that they deemed were “not germane” to the women’s health legislation under consideration — other women rose to speak. Or tried to. Senator Leticia Van de Putte, who had rushed to the capitol directly from her father’s funeral earlier that day, was granted the floor and asked, “At what point must a female senator raise her hand or voice to be recognized over the male colleagues in the room?”

It was at this point the women in the chamber, who had been shushed for hours, erupted in a chant of “Let her speak! Let her speak!” The chorus had a distinctly female, strangely jubilant timbre. It had been Davis’s intention to speak until midnight, not yielding the floor until the legislative session expired so that the abortion-restricting bill would not be able to come to a vote. But when she was pulled from the floor just minutes before midnight, the women who had assembled picked up where she left off, drowning out the legislators’ attempts to call a vote.

By Jill Miller Zimon at 9:03 am June 27th, 2013 in Gender, Ohio, Politics | Comments Off 

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It’s really unbelievable, given the size of the city and its inherent diversity, not to mention that more than half its population is woman. What gives? Read the full article here.

On the lack of media coverage of these results:

Surprisingly, women losing ground in the nation’s second largest city garnered little media or public attention during the election cycle.

“If there was a lack of Latino or African American representation on the city council, think about the uproar you would have heard,” said Rachel Michelin executive director of California Women Lead, a nonpartisan nonprofit dedicated to getting more women elected to office.

“It would have been national news,” she said.

On why it matters:

“Women bring a different perspective,” said Michelin. “That different perspective adds to the diversity of thought that members of the city council or statewide office need to have when they’re making public policy decisions. I think that you’re going to see a decline in certain issues and viewpoints being made because you don’t have more women on the city council.”

Women need to have a strong voice and play a central role in the development of public policy, particularly at the local level. We live in neighborhoods and cities, the decisions made by local government have the greatest impact on our daily lives.

With just one woman sitting the city council, Michelin asked, “How much can she accomplish if she doesn’t have the critical mass of other women colleagues on a board as political as the Los Angeles City Council?”

And on why it’s happening: According to the article, at least in California, there are fewer politically educated women (I’m not exactly sure what they mean by that, to be honest), “behind the scenes” activities (i.e., consulting, polling, strategy) is dominated by men, fundraising when women don’t have the political networks men do, and moving from Sacramento to a city council isn’t happening as much. In addition, women need to make political contributions to women and mentor them up the ladder.

Anyone in California, what do you think?

By Jill Miller Zimon at 5:28 pm June 15th, 2013 in democracy, Elections, Gender, Women | Comments Off 

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I’d say I’m at a loss for words for how to express my extreme discontent over Ohio House Bill 200 but I’m going to save it for a steady and increasingly louder drumbeat of arguments against it starting tonight. Make no mistake, to defeat this absolute and absolutely invasive set of provisions that completely contradict the charades of conservatives who say they want to keep government out of our lives, we will need to be as adamant, sharp, specific, relentless and vocal as ever, if not more so.

Your education on HB 200 can start with these links but I have no doubt this is just the beginning of the battle:

The bill itself – it has no fiscal notes or bill analysis yet

The Plain Dealer story on it including the laundry list of restrictions:

Among other things, the bill would:

• Require doctors to give women a verbal description of the ultrasound, including an audible heartbeat, if available. (The bill notes, however, that a woman can refuse to view ultrasound images or listen to the sounds detected by a fetal heart monitor.)

Compel abortion providers to tell patients that fetuses and embryos can feel pain, and that a woman who has an abortion increases her risk of breast cancer.

Extend the waiting period for abortions to 48 hours instead of 24.

Require doctors to tell patients seeking abortions in writing how much money they earn and how much income they would lose by not performing abortions.

Eliminate “medical necessity” as a reason to waive the waiting period. Medical necessity had been defined as a medical condition that complicates the pregnancy so that it warrants an immediate abortion.

Allow a waiver for a “medical emergency,” which is redefined in the bill as a condition that would result in the woman’s death without an abortion, as opposed to one that presents a serious risk to her life or physical health.

Doctors who do not follow the rules could be charged with a first-degree felony and fined up to $1 million.

Look at all those job-creation proposals, eh? Exactly what Ohio needs – you smart drafters, you.

Read more

By Jill Miller Zimon at 10:02 pm June 13th, 2013 in activism, conservatives, Courage, democracy, Gender, Health Care, Ohio, OhioHD12, Reproductive Health, Reproductive Rights, Republicans, Sexism, Women | 1 Comment 

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U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and several other women in the United States Senate don’t give up and won’t be giving up, and no one should ever expect that they will, or should, when it comes to making sure that pursuit of sexual assault complaints in the military get handled with the utmost respect and efficacy as any other allegation, perhaps with more given the nature of the behavior involved. And so her statement, and the way in which she and other members of the Senate continue to press for what they believe is needed, while still acknowledging the challenges without delegitimizing the underlying concerns of those challenges, shows us how leadership in the political universe is and should be done.

Her statement:

Today we’ve taken several important steps forward to reform how the military handles sexual assault cases. But I’m disappointed that with respect to the provisions within the Military Justice Improvement Act that would remove sexual assault cases from the military chain of command, the voices of sexual assault victims have been drowned out by military leaders who’ve failed to combat the pervasive sexual assault crisis. I will continue fighting to strengthen the NDAA by offering the Military Justice Improvement Act as an amendment once we take it up on the Senate floor. I promise, our advocacy on this issue has only just begun.

And video:

By Jill Miller Zimon at 10:43 pm June 12th, 2013 in activism, democracy, Gender, Military, Sexism, Women | Comments Off 

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Here’s the trailer:

And its website.

By Jill Miller Zimon at 5:03 pm June 8th, 2013 in activism, Diversity, Elections, Gender, Women, Youth | Comments Off 

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The latest NBC poll offers a nice recognition for today’s milestone reached by Roe:

According to the poll, 54 percent of adults say that abortion should be legal either always or most of the time, while a combined 44 percent said it should be illegal – either with or without exceptions.

That’s the first time since this poll question was first asked in 2003 that a majority maintained that abortion should be legal. Previously (with just one exception in 2008), majorities said abortion should be illegal.

In addition, a whopping 70 percent of Americans oppose the Roe v. Wade decision being overturned, including 57 percent who feel strongly about this.

There are many excellent pieces of writing reflecting on Roe to be found around the interwebz but here are a few I came across today:

Roe v. Wade at 40: Then and Now (Joanne Bamberger, The Broad Side)

5 Things You Don’t Know About Roe (Irin Carmon, Salon.com)

The People’s Choice (Jeffrey Toobin, The New Yorker)

Interactive: The Geography of Abortion Access (The Daily Beast)

Crow After Roe: How Women’s Health is the New “Separate But Equal” & How to Change That (Book excerpt, Robin Marty and Jessica Pieklo)

Roe at 40: Judging a Mother’s Choice (NYT’s The MotherLode) but then be sure to read

Reproductive Justice for All Daughters (Veronica Arreola at Fly Over Feminism)

Roe v. Wade. Forty Years. (Echidne of the Snakes)

Posts from young feminists (h/t to Sam Meier):

“What Was Life Like Before Roe v. Wade?”

“Whatever Happened to Jane Roe?”

“What is Roe v. Wade? Many Millennials Have No Clue”

And

The Women’s Media Center’s Media Guide to Covering Reproductive Issues

By Jill Miller Zimon at 12:02 am January 23rd, 2013 in Abortion, Civil Rights, Gender, Health Care, Women | Comments Off 

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This topic is all the rage this week. Use the comments for discussion. Again, I go back to the esteemed Supreme Court Justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sandra Day O’Connor (comes at the 30 second mark) and their comments to Diane Sawyer in 2010. Btw, the whole clip is worthwhile to recall just how hard reaching parity has been and how nonpartisan this issue is:

Nine. I love that answer.

By Jill Miller Zimon at 9:39 am January 10th, 2013 in Gender, Politics, Women | 4 Comments 

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Diane Sawyer reports on the milestone met this year as 20 women come to serve in the U.S. Senate, the most ever:

But we can do better and we should. The U.S. House of Representatives is the most diverse ever, in part because the Democratic Caucus is, for the first time ever, is more than 50% women and minorities.

Why does this matter? Some people can’t help but ask that question. Read this article from National Journal about the insane difficulty reauthorization of VAWA (Violence Against Women Act) is experiencing and note in particular:

The 113th Congress, which gets sworn in today, will be the most diverse in our nation’s history. It will include 19 new people of color, the first Hindu representative and the first Buddhist senator, the first openly gay congressman of color, the first openly bisexual congresswoman, the first openly gay senator, and more female members than ever before. It still doesn’t come close to accurately representing the country it will govern. But it’s better than what we had before—and where the 112th Congress failed, the 113th very well may succeed.

The women in the clip above also address the question of why it matters. Honestly, though? I’m tempted to just say, “Because.”

By Jill Miller Zimon at 9:01 pm January 5th, 2013 in Congress, Gender, Women | Comments Off 

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A teaser from a piece I wrote for USAToday.com last week during election night:

So rather than watch the tick-tock around the swing states of Virginia, Ohio and Florida, I’m following the record number of women who are running for office this year. If you are not familiar with that statistic, check out the 2012 Project (which has corralled women to run in this first post-redistricting election, a time when the increase in open seats also increases the chance of women winning those seats).

Where might this history be made? In New Hampshire. Its situation reminds me of the 2010 Diane Sawyer discussion with United States Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sandra Day O’Connor. During the conversation, Sawyer asked Ginsburg, how many women would be enough women on the bench.

“Nine,” Ginsburg replied with a smile. “There’ve been nine men there for a long time, right? So why not nine women?”

Something approximating Ginsburg’s prophecy has come true this election eve in the Granite State because its voters elected the first all-female congressional delegation.

So awesome – New Hampshire did indeed become the first state to have an all-female congressional delegation, with a female governor to boot. So coveting them.

Ohio – you’re next. No, really. I told Henry Gomez, so you know it’s going to happen.

By Jill Miller Zimon at 10:27 pm November 11th, 2012 in Diversity, Elections, Gender, Ohio, Women | Comments Off 

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From the very engaged, ever-active, nonpartisan The 2012 Project:

Women currently hold 73 House seats and 17 Senate seats and make up 17 percent of the US Congress. In this election, there are a record 163 women nominees for House and 18 for Senate. The 2012 Project’s campaign to hit “20 Percent in 2012″ requires women to hit 87 House seats and 20 Senate seats after Election Day.

To make the most educated guess, consult the 2012 Election Tracker. Predict how many women you think will win on Nov. 6th and be eligible to win fabulous prizes!!!

First prize: $250 Gift Card

Second prize: a Nespresso coffee machine from Nestlé

Third prize: Swag Bag from Lifetime Television

Contest deadline is Friday, November 2nd at 5:00 p.m. EST.

If you are into fantasy football, this might be for you. It is not as easy as it looks. You might also check out Real Clear Politics and FiveThirtyEight for an assist. Not sure if I’ll give it a try – need sometime to brew over it. What does your gut say – can we break the record?

By Jill Miller Zimon at 6:55 am October 26th, 2012 in Congress, Gender, Politics, Women | Comments Off 

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I’m very sorry that I won’t be able to listen to Thursday morning’s WCPN Sound of Ideas live but I’m sure it will be excellent listening:

There’s been a lot of talk this Presidential campaign season about women’s issues. And much of the talking is being done by supporters of President Obama, who say the GOP — with its platform opposing abortion — is against women. Republican women, of course, take issue with that. A sluggish economy , which they pin on the president, is a bigger concern, they say. Defining and debating women’s issues and women’s votes, Thursday at 9:00 on The Sound of Ideas. Join Mike McIntyre for the discussion.

Connie Schultz, journalist
Charlotte Hays, director of cultural programs, Independent Women’s Forum
Justin S.Vaughn, assistant professor of political science, Boise State University

Mike McIntyre – have fun!! (No – really!)

By Jill Miller Zimon at 10:52 pm August 22nd, 2012 in Gender, Politics, Women | Comments Off 

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When will we see that headline? Because I saw the one I describe at the end of this sentence over an AP story in the Plain Dealer today and countless variations are all over the place regarding Marissa Mayer’s ascension at Yahoo. This is what we call pure unadultered linkbait: “All eyes on Yahoo’s mom-to-be chief exec.”

Really? Really? As if we will ever see, “All eyes on Yahoo’s dad-to-be chief exec.” Please.

MarketWatch had it right: Wall Street to Yahoo’s Mayer: Why Bother? or some other variation of the mammoth challenge related to her…JOB. Even an article discussing what should be disclosed is acceptable.  But seriously. From now on, media? When a guy ascends to the top of a Fortune 500 company, you better run several graphs if not entire articles about the man’s obligations and circumstances outside of the C-suite.  This is just ridiculous.

By Jill Miller Zimon at 2:48 pm July 18th, 2012 in Business, Culture, Gender, Sexism, Social Issues, Women | 1 Comment 

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Because I have not seen enough or many women-oriented sites covering this. I’m not sure what’s up with that, and it’s absent from all along the political spectrum.

From the Service Women’s Action Network (SWAN – looks like a really excellent site): SWAN on the Lackland AFB Scandal

From NPR: Military under pressure to crack down on sex abuse

From Minnesota Public Radio which seems to be covering it well: Sexual Assault in the US Military

HuffPo: Tailhook whistleblower demands Congress investigate Lackland Sexual Assaults

The Daily Beast: Lackland Rape Scandal Shines Spotlight On Military Failure

By Jill Miller Zimon at 3:04 pm July 17th, 2012 in Courage, Ethics, Gender, Law, leadership, Military, Scandal, Sexism, Women | Comments Off 

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Short answer? None.

Long answer? Read his full analysis here.  An excerpt of how he breaks it down:

Actually, Mr. Romney has a bit of a problem. The Republican women with the most traditional qualifications for the vice presidency tend to be moderates, especially on abortion choice, probably making them unacceptable to the Republican base. Another group of up-and-coming female governors and senators may not be adequately seasoned for the rigors of the campaign trail. The few exceptions are probably too old, or too controversial, to be smart choices with swing voters. It has nothing to do with their gender, but any of the women that Mr. Romney might choose would be at least a little risky.

Then again, when I watch stuff like the new Political Animals, all I can think about is how primal people’s quest for power can be. Unsavory doesn’t begin to describe it.

By Jill Miller Zimon at 8:12 am July 16th, 2012 in Elections, Gender, leadership, Politics, Women | Comments Off 

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Update: Let’s add Teri Christoph and ShePac to the list of folks who could easily give a statement on the Young Guns gender imbalance. This is not gotcha – I don’t care or have illusions about what the conservative women’s orgs will say about this matter. But the silence is deafening, as they say. In the ShePac solicitation email, after all, it says, “Support, Honor & Elect conservative women.”

Original post:

I don’t get it but then I don’t know if I ever will. How exactly are the women conservatives coming up through the system again? I’d be okay with groups like the Republican National Committee Women (which has a sidebar list of elected Republican women), Smart Girl Politics or the National Federation of Republican Women making some comment, any comment about this – I’d just like to hear their rationale – or their anger – related to the dearth of women being named to this program. Do they really not thinking anything about this at all?

If this sounds like old news, it is – I wrote about this several times in the past and the program didn’t do any better previously in terms of recruiting women. Then again, apparently there’s a growing belief that the Republican recruiting isn’t going well in the Senate side either no matter the gender.

By Jill Miller Zimon at 10:11 pm July 12th, 2012 in conservatives, Elections, Gender, Women | Comments Off 

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