For those who may not have caught the core of what she was suggesting, she reaffirmed that helping women become self-empowered was beneficial because, “It’s good for us.”
Folks in line were a cross section. Mothers with strollers, retirees, some men who looked like they had taken the day off.
“By stark comparison to Senator McCain, Senator Obama will take the long view. He will look before he leaps. He will not sacrifice American lives lightly or use force to prove a point. He will restore an honor to the American Presidency that is based on mutual trust.”
Women, to a much greater extent than men, depend upon services paid for by the government. With tax cuts promised by both candidates, the increase in the deficit may affect the revenues needed to fund those programs vital to women.
At Stonestreet Studios in the heart of the Flatiron District in Manhattan, performers will read almost 600 letters that reflect a spectrum of responses to McCain’s vice-presidential choice.
Augmenting McCain’s commitment to overturn Roe v. Wade, Palin ratcheted up the discourse with her position of no abortion exceptions in the case of rape or incest. “She can’t keep the women’s vote if they actually know what she is suggesting,” was the popular wisdom. Yet, there were a lot of female voters who weren’t clear about her record. That’s when a core group of women, using new media and an approach that has defined the 2008 election, jumped in to present another point of view.
Feminists have often been accused of not having a sense of humor (How could they survive without one?), but this relaxed event had laughs to spare. Before the eight female stand-up comics strutted their stuff, I asked several people what they had found funny in 2008. They had to think hard.
Carolyn M. Byerly, Associate Professor at Howard University, questioned if the press was “meeting its social responsibility” to provide coverage of issues and events that affect women’s status. She emphasized, “You can’t underestimate the invisibility of women.”
I interviewed Joan Blades by telephone to get her reaction to Palin — who actively references her role as a mother. “We haven’t heard her agenda yet,” Blades told me. “The focus needs not to be on [her] personal family issues, but what she would do as Vice President.”
Inevitably, during the Q & A, inquiries were posed about the latest polls and the Sarah Palin factor. Gandy replied that “polls will shift” when people find out more about Palin’s record. On an ironic note, Gandy opined, “I love it that the Republicans have discovered sexism. Before that…it was whining.”