#5050x2028 isn't about politics.
It’s about culture.
We can argue left or right, whose done what to whom, issues and policies… til the cows come home. While too little changes in our expectations.
We are feeling creatures who think. We think we are rational people first. We aren’t. Research shows that emotions get our attention and then we figure out what to do about it. Once we get used to something, it doesn’t arouse much emotion. That’s the idea.
Women at the big table about 50/50 with men? Are you “Wow, that’d be cool!” or “Whoa! That’s a bit radical!” Neither is our best answer. The one that will really speed things up? “Well, duh.”
That’s why the Women’s Campaign Fund…
- talks about more than races and politics.
- proposes radical partnership with men.
- directs our attention to the 96% of elected offices in the U.S. that are at the local level.
loves Wally Funk.
- woo hoo’s the first all-women broadcast team to handle a major league baseball game.
- and shouts out the thunder of the National Women’s Soccer League.
WCF loves every example and opportunity we have to show how normal it is for women to lead, win, excel, persist, and simply be as good as or better than anyone at what they do.
So here’s what you can do.
Stand outside one of these long summer evenings. Look up at the world around you. And give this little item a Brando-worthy roar: “Why WAAIIITTTT?!?!?!
Heck, host a party and get your whole crew to do it! We’re talkin neighbors hanging out their windows, dogs howling, the whole shebang.
Unleash everything you’ve got to challenge our patience with getting there on some far off, magical day.
As my relatives might say: “We should live so long!” Exactly!! We should live til 2028.
No is no and enough is enough.
Right? It’s finally sinking in – and breaking through. News flash: Women are not some second class of human. Their strengths, talents, intelligence, capabilities. Their stories, ideas, experience, perspective. What they do innately and through the degrees they’ve earned, the life they’ve led.
#metoo. #timesup. As men and women, each – and more – have stamped our consciousness with where we are on this long journey. And that is: “Done.” Aka… Out of patience.
As we grapple with reaching a historic limit on what’s tolerable, we notice that list of qualities above with greater urgency.
What the heck are we doing leaving those things piled up waiting in the wings?
Have you have enough of people saying women don't bring enough to the table in government? How about asking yourself this:
When is enough enough? 25 years? 50 years? Another 100 years?
Short answer? No.
How about within the decade? #5050x2028.
The Ties That Tame Us
And in the month of May, earth rested. Well, not around here, where grass grew like it was auditioning for America’s Got Talent. Yet it’s hard to come through this time of pandemic and not see something unexpected and deeply rooted, a touch of grace, that leaves us calmer about who we are and how we get by.
For those who sense that the past year’s sudden grip turned out to be a time for our true nature to come gently forward, here’s a thought: now we take that nature back into culture. And culture is more or less what we do to tame our nature! Perhaps this time, we can help our nature to tame our culture.
How? In The Little Prince, a classic tale for children and adults, a child who is a prince asks a fox to play with him because he is so unhappy.
The fox says they mean nothing to each other, but would if the prince tamed him. He explains what that means: “to establish ties.” The prince is skeptical: he feels pressed for time and he’s looking for friends. The fox explains how his life works now, endlessly repeating the same instincts to hunt chickens and be hunted by people. To shake that up, he says, the prince’s footsteps can become something the fox looks forward to rather than avoiding.
Soon things that separate them might become harder to bear, yet richer in spirit, because each will have so much more to appreciate just from knowing the other.
There’s more to our nature than we imagine. There’s more to our culture than we give it credit for.
What will we do? What did you do? What will you do?
April Needs One More Day (at least)
You’ll be pleased to know that April has no bad days. In fact, in addition to its many worthy monthlong celebrations, it stands in salute to everything from Twinkies to rats.
Perhaps we need a movement to end its shortchanged status and add one more day. Heck, why not two? Okay five. Suffice to say: April is National Everything Month (though not for Everything bagels). So having an iffy day? April showers you with things to celebrate.
April 15, President Biden nominated Lebanese-American Christine S. Abizaid to be the Director of the National Counterterrorism Center at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. If confirmed by the Senate, Abizaid will be the first woman to hold the post on a permanent basis.
This year’s theme: Fair Housing: More Than Just Words. “We all want and deserve the same basic things: a safe place to live and an opportunity to succeed with dignity, with grace, and with hope,” says Marcia L. Fudge, Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary. She is the first Black woman to lead HUD in more than four decades.
30 [Other] Reasons to Celebrate April
- April 1: April Fool's Day
- April 2: Peanut Butter and Jelly Day
- April 3: National Chocolate Mousse Day
- April 4: World Rat Day
- April 5: National Caramel Day
- April 6: National Twinkie Day
- April 7: National Beer Day
- And don’t miss any of the rest, like…National Pretzel Day (because: National Beer Day), Haiku Poetry Day, or Eggs Benedict Day!
In the News...
Pushing on an Open Door
Let’s take stock:
· Ten women confirmed in a few short weeks in the new Administration’s Cabinet.
· Many more in the pipeline for leadership posts throughout the federal government.
· Barely a ripple with some of the most strategic nominations and confirmations.
What a moment. What a wave.
What’s left? As women receive wide acceptance in positions of expertise, influence, and leadership in the national life we share, WCF bangs the drum for more of what it took to get them there: commitment to women in office.
Acceptance is a true milestone. Commitment is what turns that historic precedent into #50502028.
Commitment to making sure every one of these women is heard and her impact is noted far beyond the offices they occupy. Commitment to leveraging acceptance into expectation of a wide field of qualified women for every office on which we vote. Commitment to more than an organic “if we build it, they will come” approach.
We need every action we can imagine to ensure that the door is open ever wider from this moment forward, until we don’t even notice a door exists.
Wow. January was a stunner. Yet the weeks that followed did their best to keep up the pace. That’s really saying something, since, let’s face it, February in the U.S. is barely an excuse for a month, marked by a turtle crawl toward the hope of Spring, with a veiled threat to go on forever!
We’re on a wave. Delivering us faster than we might have imagined to #5050x2028.
How do we know?
The first ever female Director of National Intelligence got confirmed January 20th by an 84-10 vote in a 50/50 Republican/Democrat Senate – on the first day of a change of Administration.
Days later, Janet Yellen became another first, as the new female Secretary of the Treasury, her bona fides stacked high. The earth didn’t shake… The ocean kept on rushing to the shore…
Great news! Yet not the news on everyone’s lips.
That tells us how enormous the wave is becoming.
Questions that might have been heard a scant few years ago don’t seem to have challenged the outcome. “Can she handle it?” “Can the agencies handle their first woman chief?” The stories weren’t really that big a deal. Ask a few people if they can name the new DNI.
Once again, how do we know we’re on a wave?
Almost 60 years ago, a synthesis of 508 studies showed how people adopt innovation. Malcolm Gladwell talked about it in his bestseller, The Tipping Point.
Turns out, people embrace new options for doing things – in waves. Each driven by the influence of people in the wave before them. Two small waves up front, two big ones later. Next thing you know, more than eight out of ten people are standing on a new shore.
So, when the next big thing begins to look like just another day at the beach, you can be fairly sure the waves are rolling.
This is key: as the current rises, so do expectations. We’re no longer looking for a tiny bit of lift. 40/60 by 2075? Not anymore.
#5050x2028: It’s time to embrace the fullness of the opportunity borne by a powerful tide.
Speaking of which…
We got a glimpse of our #5050x2028 future this month with the arrival of a 50/50 team at the very top of the United States government.
And the future looks pretty good!
Of course, we expect 2028 to be different than now – but how? Current struggles and crises can forge opportunities we might never have imagined otherwise. What’s your role in choosing our best options?
As we celebrate this 50/50 moment, we are also reflecting on a moment of transformation – the opportunity to find the space between unyielding division and another place, where so many millions simply live and work and do their best to thrive.
We don’t meet this moment by reducing all our ideas and inspiration to the two or three things everyone can happily and peacefully agree on. We meet this moment by recognizing the abundance of options and goodwill available to us. We meet it by looking for more great ideas and ways to improve on those options.
You can make it your legacy to recognize that a world of potential is in our hands. You may not always know how to do things better. Yet you’ll find things work better when you move like the ocean: “flexible, transparent, open, yielding — and unstoppable."*
Each of us has the power to become a rich resource through which a whole world of different forces and ways can live with enough common ground to thrive.
Think about that as we engage with the new year and the wave that’s building toward the promise of #5050x2028!
* Martha Beck, Steering by Starlight
Happy New Year!
What word do you use to describe 2020? Yup. It was all that and more. Let’s break down our favorite moments and lessons learned – and we invite you to share yours with us below.
We head into 2021 clear-eyed about the work ahead, and with a hopeful heart. 2020 was a challenging year for our nation and our communities, but it has never been more obvious that #5050x2028 is an urgent goal. It meets this critical moment and sets us up for a different – a better – future for this generation and the next.
Thank you for helping move us in such significant ways so much closer to #5050x2028. We’ll have all sorts of adventures in the new year, but first, read on to celebrate and reflect on what we’ve done together this year.
In November, 50/50 leadership reached our highest office with the election of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. WCF believes a 50/50 team will bring outstanding insight to the table as our nation addresses challenges from the pandemic to culture change to economic endurance and recovery.
Americans with a wide range of ideas, from sea to shining sea, showed up and got it done on every level of elected government. A record-breaking number of women and, specifically, Republican women, were elected to Congress. Your neighbors and friends stepped up to run for local office and had an incredible impact on your community. Poll workers around the nation are STILL working hard to count every vote. You, the voter, made your voice heard.
It’s all worth celebrating. Take a lap around the living room and give it your best moves. Then, let’s get back to work – because we have a lot to do. Read on…
As a historic election cycle comes to a close, we are grateful to all the Americans who stepped up to make their communities a better place, and to all the barrier-breakers who showed us what leadership can and should look like.
From the voters and the poll watchers to the marchers and the courageous people who keep the conversation going across the aisle no matter how tough it gets, all the way up to one big 50/50 ticket, it’s everyday women and men – you! – who influence the forward vision of this nation!
Now, let’s get out and vote! And if you’re one of the millions of Americans who already cast their ballot, read on to check out what else caught our eye this month…