Feature: Soapbox Musings

Why NOW Doesn't Represent Me

Author: Shari Schmidt
Published: January 31, 2011 at 1:09 pm

I read a lot about the state of feminism in America today. The pioneers are concerned that the younger generations don't appreciate the hard-work and sacrifices they made so we could move closer to equality. I disagree. I think the problem today is that we don't have any leaders or organizations we can follow.

I say this as someone who wrote an email to NOW this morning. After watching the candidate they endorsed in the Chicago Mayoral race make a fool of herself — yet again — I had enough. Carol Mosley Braun has said many arrogant and embarrassing things in this mayoral campaign. Still her personal attack on the another candidate, Patricia Van Pelt-Watkins, was a new low. I don't think it's a stretch to say that Mosley Braun's tirade was an embarrassment to all people, not just women.

Why did I write NOW? I wrote because the NOW Equality PAC and the Chicago NOW Equality PAC endorsed Carol Mosley Braun.

If NOW wants to be relevant to a new generation, it needs to show that it actually thinks about the issues important to women. It's not enough to simply endorse the most well-known female candidate in a race just because she has the best chance of winning.

I don't live in Chicago. I'm a suburbanite. You might wonder why this issue is important to me. Well, we have twin daughters. I'd like them to grow up in a world where men and women are on a more equal footing. I'd like them to see female role models at all levels of the private and public sector. It bothers me that they won't have an organization they can support to make these things happen.

Even if you want to see a woman in office, it's not enough just to be female. At some point you also have to be professional and competent. Until NOW gets that, the organization will not speak for me or anyone else I know.

Photo courtesy of Stock Exchange (http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1149607).


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Article Author: Shari Schmidt

Shari Schmidt is the mother of twin girls and an award-winning marketing communications professional. She writes about topics ranging from parenting to politics. In her free time, she manages to travel, spend time with her husband and walk their blue-eyed Huskey. …

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