There is so much that I want to say about this week's election, most especially about 20 women -- a record number! -- claiming seats in the Senate. I celebrate that progress just as I celebrate President Obama's re-election with much hope that the next four years brings us some really great hopey-changey stuff, including the appointment of more Supreme Court justices who will protect the rights of women to govern our own bodies.
But ... I am working my tail off doing some paid work that I love in two different places, not to mention mothering, head-of-householding, and all of that jazz -- so I will save most of my thoughts and then share my diatribe soon on a resurrected Rox on a Soapbox blog.
Until then, I want to share one strong sentiment: when I attended The White House Project a few years ago, the statistic shared therein was that at the rate women were achieving higher office, it would take 500 years to reach gender parity.
Five. Hundred. Years.
I don't know where that figure stands in light of this week's election, but I do know this: it is a messed up world that we live in if we think that 1:5 Senators being female is something to celebrate. 20% may be progress, but it is far from good enough -- especially during a time when our legislature appears to care more about making laws governing our bodies than it cares about making laws requiring equal pay for equal work. 1:5 doesn't rearrange our government's priorities like I feel only women -- especially mothers -- can. (I will back that up someday soon, I promise.)
1:5 is not a statistic I can accept for myself, let alone for my daughter. 1:5 can't make progress on childcare, pay equity, equal rights, pregnancy/prevention choices, stronger laws against domestic violence ... 1:5 doesn't drown out the din of the patriarchal society that's as old as America. And it is old. It's time for a new approach.
Times, they have to change, and faster. It's not good enough to aim to do it for our daughters and granddaughters, because they'll use the same excuse: making the world a better place for their daughters and granddaughters.
And we wonder why the estimate is 500 years to attain gender parity in politics.
We have to do something -- but what? Well, for starters, we have to run.
When the Rox on a Soapbox blog returns, its focus will be on women's political issues, the changemakers, and on advocacy of women's entry into politics. And when the next election comes around, I hope that the goal is at least 2:5, because 1:5? Not. good. enough.