• I want to hear how you intend to advance women’s rights and protect what we fought for so valiantly. Remember equal pay for equal work? Hard to believe—we still don’t have it! I want to hear your plans to create more opportunities for all women, of all generations, of all colors—not just binders of women. Pass the ERA already! Quit dancing around it.
• Implement marriage equality for all, including same-sex couples. I’ve been with my partner for 13 years, and still we can’t get married in Pennsylvania.
• Corporations are not the same as people. Occupy Wall Street and Occupy Philadelphia helped teach that. I want to see more employment, more green jobs, free education for anyone who seeks it so students don’t saddle themselves with a lifetime of debt and no future.
• Health care, affordable health care, for everyone. Not one person turned away. Not one test avoided or surgery not done due to expense. Earlier detection for cervical cancer. The tests exist; make it a priority. We matter.
I care about a number of issues. Too many to list here. But until the electoral process changes, and opens up to more points of view, for now, I’ll vote for Jill Stein and the Green Party.
But at the end of the day, it’s still illusion, not revolution.
Linda Slodki is the president and co-founder of the Mt. Airy Art Garage. Her views are her own and do not reflect the opinions of the organization.
Women’s Bodies and Women’s Lives: Why I Choose Obama
By Cecily Kellogg
I’m one of those liberals who’s been to more than my share of political marches. My mother took me to marches when I was a little girl. Marches for peace to stop the Vietnam War at first but eventually it became marching for women’s rights and the Equal Rights Amendment (remember the ERA?). Until Reagan was elected; since then, most of the marches have been for choice—for women to continue to be able to control their own bodies.
And for the last 10 years, I’ve watched abortion rights erode and be chipped away with laws such as the Partial Birth Abortion Ban, and even though I marched with T-shirts that boldly proclaimed KEEP YOUR LAWS OFF MY BODY, I never thought I’d turn into the poster girl for late-term abortion.
In 2004, I was not quite six months pregnant with much loved and wanted twin boys named Nicholas and Zachary when I got very, very sick; one boy passed away, and even though my doctors tried to stave off my sickness (which was severe pre-eclampsia) until my surviving son was big enough to survive outside of my body, it failed. I got worse— much, much worse—and after suffering multiple organ failure, horrendous head pain, the doctors began fearing seizures, strokes, or my death.
I was forced to choose to terminate the pregnancy in order to survive. It was the worst day of my life.
Yet I was blessed that day; my doctor was one of only two in the Philly area that knew how to perform the medical procedure that is usually referred to as a “partial birth abortion,” the Intact Dilation & Extraction. Plus, in 2007, the Partial Birth Abortion Ban went into effect making it much, much harder for doctors to save the lives of women like me (women, by the way, that pro-life politicians such as Rep. Joe Walsh of Illinois claim don’t exist).
In the eight years since I lost my sons, I’ve told my story thousands of times on my blog, to strangers, to family members, and now here. Each time I tell it I remember it all again: the smell of the hospital, the pain in my head, the faces of the doctors that delivered the bad news—every awful, horrible moment.
But today, when I sing to my daughter as I tuck her into bed, I’m so grateful that I’m alive and she’s here. She’s bright and fierce—a 6-year-old charmer and warrior, and she’s the light of my life.
I plan to vote for President Obama again because I desperately want her to have the same rights and protections I did. Pre-eclampsia is an inherited risk; my mother had it, and my daughter is highly likely to have it as well. I do not want her—or any other woman—to die because her doctor is unable to perform a life-saving medical procedure.
I hope you feel the same.
Cecily Kellogg is a local writer, blogger, speaker and social media professional.
Why Rich People Need to Stop Complaining
By Randy LoBasso
Hey. White Guy here. I’m glad you’ve made it all the way to the last page of this cover story. And are willing to listen to me, too. Because I have a lot of important things to say, obviously. Let’s begin with a history lesson: For centuries now, rich white guys have been the cause of all the world’s problems—but not necessarily the solution to them. Since Second Wave feminism caught on, the writing on the wall has become clear: The White Guy is on his way out. Women and minorities are catching up as they’re given equal opportunity to do so.
You do not need identification to vote on Tuesday, Nov. 6. We repeat: You do not need identification to vote.
Let’s face it—the last year has been hell for women. The fight to keep reproductive choice intact was fiercer than ever before. It’s a mess, to put it mildly. But what do locals have to say about it? PW rounded up the six most memorable tweets from 2012 to give you an idea.
PW's Summer Guide 2014