When it comes to winning Federal funds and support for the district, it is much better to have a woman fighting on your behalf. Political scientists have calculated that the bonus to constituents in electing a woman legislator runs to about $88 per head in government spending.
‘Many of the major pieces of legislation that passed the Senate last year - from the farm bill to the Violence Against Women Act - were spearheaded by women who got bipartisan support,’ says Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)."-
From “The Female Factor” NYT Amanda Foreman for Vogue, March 2013
Statements that are not surprising.
"For when we imagine the fully emancipated 21st-century woman, we are apt to think of some toned, immaculately dressed overachiever, leading a Fortune 500 company while bringing up bilingual twins. And that’s what simultaneously stresses women out to the point of living on a Pinot Grigio drip, and terrifies insecure men. This idea of perfect, sexy, superhuman lady-titans, winning at everything. That’s what scuppers moves toward gender equality. For my feminist money, I don’t see gender equality as ‘‘women exhausting themselves to be more incredible than any other human beings have ever been at any other point in time.’’ Mainly because it sounds a) pretty unlikely to happen terribly often and b) like a massive administrative headache. For me, true equality would be getting in on a bit of that male, ‘‘14 pounds overweight but I don’t care,’’ ‘‘getting sexier as I get older,’’ ‘‘confidently chipping in at meetings with crazy idea,’’ ‘‘I definitely need some golfing me-time’’ action, instead. While one hugely important part of equality is to have extraordinary people’s achievements facilitated and recognized — whatever their gender, sexuality, ethnicity, religion or ability to accessorize — an arguably even bigger part of equality is for everyone to feel comfortable being a massively average schlump.This, clearly, is not the case for women, who treat themselves like a massive ‘‘To Do’’ list. What an intolerable burden! And that’s why gender equality means ‘‘women being equal to men’’ — however nuts, dim, deluded, underachieving or ill-kempt the men may be."-
Caitlin Moran - Global Agenda, in response to what gender equality means.
I used to work in a social justice, female-dominated industry. I used to have grandiose ideas about feminism and what it had, and could, accomplish in America. Now that I work in a male-dominated field, where most of my bosses are men and and where I spend quite a bit of my day being used to help appeal to a “feminine” demographic, I have no illusions about what would be one of the most remarkable markers of equality for young American women.
In American society, gender equality would be the privilege to have the courage to be wildly unremarkable, and expect to be praised even moderately for it. To feel that our accomplishments should not quickly be dismissed simply because we have not yet risen to the top of our field as fast as we possibly could, to not have to sit through another day quietly biting my tongue, suppressing ideas and opinions, while a room full of men spend the time ‘confidently chipping in at meetings with crazy idea[s],’’ for me, living a life filled with more privilege and opportunity than most women around the world could ever imagine, selfishly, for me, just experiencing that simple security would be monumental for me.
The other answers are better than this. They address the broader goals of equality on a critical global level. They tackle issues with much more dire consequences that are much further from being solved. But in my own privileged life, that simple idea seems earth-shattering.
"If no woman in your life has ever talked to you about how she lives her life with an undercurrent of fear of men, consider the possibility that it may be because she sees you as one of those men she cannot really trust."
"If something hurtful enters your body, you create something beautiful to protect yourself from it. That’s my philosophy."- Wangechi Mutu, quoted in ELLE magazine.
"You may be praised in a way that is so backhanded and/or condescending you’re not really sure if it still counts as praise."-
The rest of this article is so amazingly accurate and spot-on, to the extent that it’s helpful and therapeutic to return to it almost every single time I have a bad day. Or every time I’m in a presentation that requires me to pitch concepts against two teams full of men, to a roomful of men, and then I remember that it’s actually still 2012.
I could say that it’s daunting and outrageous to have that moment when you realize that there are literally only two women sitting in a room full of men, but what’s worse is that I guess it’s not. This quote pretty much just sums that up.
"We are the girls with anxiety disorders, filled appointment books, five-year plans. We take ourselves very, very seriously. We are the peacemakers, the do-gooders, the givers, the savers. We are on time, overly prepared, well read, and witty, intellectually curious, always moving… We pride ourselves on getting as little sleep as possible and thrive on self-deprivation. We drink coffee, a lot of it. We are on birth control, Prozac, and multivitamins… We are relentless, judgmental with ourselves, and forgiving to others. We never want to be as passive-aggressive as our mothers, never want to marry men as uninspired as our fathers… We are the daughters of the feminists who said, “You can be anything,” and we heard, “You have to be everything."
"I cannot be so many things. I cannot be something for everyone … Woman, beautiful, artist, wife, housekeeper, cook, saleslady all these things. I cannot even be myself, nor know what I am."- Eva Hesse (via oh-ew)
"Let me break it down for you: she’s writing herself into existence. She’s giving herself a part to play because, God knows, no one else will and she wants to matter in this life. As far as I can tell, it’s working. I went straight to iTunes and bought her new release “Born To Die” in toto (how often do I do that??) because it was more than a collection of songs or a performance, it was a phenomenon. Maybe all the more so because she’s not overwhelmingly talented. The minute I hear the whisperings of “how dare she,” I’m interested. I don’t have to like it, it doesn’t have to be worthy.
Lana Del Rey seems to be bothering everybody because she allegedly “remade” herself from a folk singing, girl-next-door type into an electro-urban kitty cat on the prowl (of course I like her), and they feel she is inauthentic. I would argue that the uncomfortable feelings she elicits are simply the by-product of watching a woman wanting and taking like a man."- Liz Phair on Why Lana Del Rey Scares Rock’s Boy Club aka Liz Phair will always be one of my favorite women in existence. (h/t berezina)
"Not to get too soapbox, but if you want to be pro-woman, you have to be pro- all women, not just the ones whose lives have turned out like yours."-
Emily V. Gordon - “Let Us Now Celebrate the Aging Party Girl.”
“Maybe there’s a possibility that what you’re really upset about is that you don’t want to/can’t live that way, for either practical or ethical reasons, and you know what? That’s not her deal. It’s yours.”
A list by Mindy Kaling (a.k.a. Kelly from The Office). My favorite:
The Ethereal Weirdo
The smart and funny writer Nathan Rabin coined the term Manic Pixie Dream Girl to describe this archetype after seeing Kirsten Dunst in the movie “Elizabethtown.” This girl can’t be pinned down and may or may not show up when you make concrete plans with her. She wears gauzy blouses and braids. She likes to dance in the rain and she weeps uncontrollably if she sees a sign for a missing dog or cat. She might spin a globe, place her finger on a random spot, and decide to move there. The Ethereal Weirdo appears a lot in movies, but nowhere else. If she were from real life, people would think she was a homeless woman and would cross the street to avoid her. But she is essential to the male fantasy that even if a guy is boring he deserves a woman who will find him fascinating and perk up his dreary life by forcing him to go skinny-dipping in a stranger’s pool.