Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF)

Monday, January 19, 2009

Together is the only way

I just watched C-SPAN 2 coverage of a forum about "Women and African-American" (so labeled by the station) of about 6-8 women at Howard University in Washington D.C. While unenthusiastic before, I now think the cable bill I temporarily split was worth it for at least one day. Women on the panel included Bay Buchanan of American Cause, Hillary (last name?) a pollster, the vice president of NOW, a woman representing a Feminist (self-described as part of the name, but I'm not sure of the rest of the name) organization, a writer for the New York Times, an editor of another publication, and Rosario Dawson. My lack of aptitude with names please forgive me and use it as motivation to find out more details, watch a re-run, read a transcript for yourself. C-SPAN does release archives.

The women talked about issues today and how they are changing and how different generations realize issues such as racism, sexism, economic disparities, and how all of these affected the elections and how politics are viewed today. As women who are top leading figures of their organizations mentioned how they became passionate about these issues, so many similarities struck me with WILPF. We are an organization which is based upon connecting the dots between racial and economic disparities, between political choices and how one overcomes awful situations and gracefully supports others who have to make difficult choices:

"It's fine and well if you can have the debate about whether you are going to work or stay home with your kids, but that's simply not an option in reality for a lot of women."

"It's wonderful that you can have and raise a baby in a non-optimal situation, but this 14-year old girl who was impregnated by her father does not have the choices or the situation that the pharmacist assumes she has."

"Women across social stratification with the same education and work position may get the same pay, and the fact may be that there are now slightly more women enrolled in college, but once you get out into the workforce, what is the reality: Women are still predominantly at the lower-end, lower-paying jobs."

and so much more.

WILPF makes those connections, sees those disparities, AND connects them to what we do not live in: a peace mentality. Instead of going out to get one's own, as one said today, it is so important to create those family structures where they no longer exist. Help your neighbor next door, watch their kids for little while during work or a job interview. Help overcome the fact that there are exceedingly difficult choices to make when someone is trying to do the best they can.

And I was promptly reminded that while taking care of my body this morning and resting was important, so too is it a National Day of Community Service, so excuse me while I shower and go take a walk with a garbage bag. I missed my opportunity on campus, for which you had to make a reservation (and I hope it filled up!), but I can do something simple.

You know, I'm kinda skeptical about politics, but I have a feeling - if we all get in this, it's gonna be messy, but it could be good.

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  • Hi! I, too, saw the CSPAN2 broadcast that you are talking abt and am looking for it now to watch again and pass on... Do you know where I can track it down again?

    By Blogger Ellen Connolly, at 6:46 AM  

  • You should be able to track it down through the CSPAN website. They keep archives of their programming for distribution. I do not know, but would assume, that you have to pay for copies of programs you want.

    By Blogger Rebecca, at 10:02 AM  

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