Bi-weekly Brief: March 2, 2017
Brought to you by Women's Campaign Fund
If there’s one thing that stands out after reading this first-person account of how the new White House feels from an American Muslim woman, it’s her perception of a lack of diversity and acceptance. Pieces like this are useful because they allow us, the electorate, a rare moment to peek behind the curtain. We get to hear directly from Rumana Ahmed how it feels to be a minority woman in a White House that has promised to ban her people. It’s a stark reminder that my (our) job is far from done. Ahmed lasted eight days in the new White House. This is her story.
About that ^
Diversity being as important as it is, I got a huge smile out of reading Hewlett-Packard’s open letter to their law firm partners on the topic. In short, it matters a whole lot to them, and they’re putting their money where their mouth is. Respect. Here’s the full letter.
Re: diversity, the US sucks
The Inter-Parliamentary Union published this list of 193 countries ranked by the percentage of women with seats in their lower or single house of government. Guess where the US falls? Grab some tissues and/or a stress ball, because it’s sad.
Merriam-Webster is still on a roll
If you’re a regular around here, you might remember the last letter you received from me that contained a piece about the woman behind the sassiest account on all of Twitter. Apparently, her wit knows no bounds. And it’s not exactly being constrained by a lack of material these days either. Let me posit a simple question: what does “feminism” mean to you?
Trumpspiration: More women to run for office than ever before
“It wasn’t outrage…It was empowerment.” Alex Lipman, an early-30s law student and now-aspiring politician, is using the election’s many lessons to change her perspective on politics and to take action. Making lemonade is not only delicious, it’s a golden example of how to take dangerous rhetoric and turn it into a W for women. Here’s hoping Alex Lipman, and the thousands of other women with similar aspirations, effects major change. This is a great way to help.
Protecting women is great, but this isn’t how it’s done
Having someone look out for you is a wonderful thing. It’s comforting to know that your back is covered, but when it’s at the expense of another, things can get messy. Recently, the Trump administration rescinded a guidance protecting transgender students’ bathroom rights. While lawmakers are sweet to think of protecting women, it’s not transgender students we need to be protected from. The freedom to choose which bathroom applies to them doesn’t diminish our safety. So thanks, White House, for trying to protect us, but no thanks to incorrectly using women as the reason for your lawmaking. Didn’t ask for it, don’t need it.
Aspire to more (female role models)
You know what kind of ad campaigns and TV commercials I think are impactful? The ones that challenge what we know and pose a meaningful question/solution in order to take measurable action. Ad agency BBDO did just that with their “Put Her On The Map” project. This piece on The Huffington Post describes the what and why, and ends with BBDO New York’s president, Kirsten Flanik, dropping a little wisdom: “If girls can’t see it, they can’t be it.” To recognizing more women and letting them be shining examples for our girls!