It’s time to get political again.This week President Barack Obama was sworn into his second term in office. Following the inauguration hooplah came all the news coverage: The dances! The clothes! Beyonce! Michelle’s Bangs! Soon the excitement will wear off and we’ll return to the lull of politics as usual, right? This happens to me. When election time comes around, I eat up newspapers, NBC Nightly News, and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Once the election ends, however, politics go back to background noise for me. The same with the new presidential term. I’m excited at first–there is so much possibility and promise in January, as if the country is making its own New Year’s resolutions. This year I want to stay more engaged.
In the spirit of inauguration (inaugural: marking a beginning), I would like to make my wish list for President Obama and the members of Congress. I want gun control laws to be re-evaluated and the push toward same-sex marriage to continue and so many other things. But, since I am the resident sex writer here at the Collective, you know this list is going to be all about uteri and junk, right? You had to see that coming.
1.) Violence Against Women Act
Earlier this month, the VAWA ended after eighteen years. While it passed in the senate (along with some important added protection for immigrants, the LGBT community, and Native Americans), it didn’t make it through the Republican-dominated House of Representatives. Thanks to the leadership of House Minority Nancy Pelosi and Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) and Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), the bill was reintroduced in the senate. The new bill omits additional protection for immigrants, an unfortunate compromise that comes from the Republican side. Nonetheless, after much outrage across the country, at least we’re on our way back to reinstating a law that helps PROTECT THE LIVES OF WOMEN. Now, we have to see if the Republicans in the House will go along with the new version of the Violence Against Women Act. Breath held.
2.) Reproductive Rights
I struggle with exactly how to talk about this subject because it can be political and personal. When my high school friend personally hates President Obama because she thinks he is a baby killer, I feel angry for her bringing her personal beliefs into politics. At the same time, when I hated Mitt Romney (and Todd Akin and Richard Murdock and on and on) for the rights they wanted to take away from women (from abortion rights for rape victims to removing birth control from health insurance coverage) I guess I brought my personal beliefs into politics. It’s a fine line that we all cross, but since this is my post, I hope that Congress and President Obama will move in the right direction when it comes to women’s reproductive rights.
3.) Ladies Politicking
Forgive me, but I can’t help but think of Big Sean’s line from “Mercy”: “Now we out in Paris, yeah I’m Perriering. White girls politicking, that’s that Sarah Palin.” Okay, now that that’s out of my system, let’s celebrate: This month, a record 101 women were sworn in as members of the US House of Representatives and Senate. That’s still only 20% of Congress, but sometimes you have to celebrate small triumphs or you’ll go crazy weighed down by so many shortcomings. Reform usually works this way–slowly. The Collective’s home state of Oregon has a bit greater of a percentage with about 27%. You can read more about that here. So while I can’t wish for more women in Congress right now, I do wish that women in politics now will be strong and make strides and inspire other women to enter politics so that election year after election year we can keep making history and move farther and farther up from 20%.
That’s my inauguration wish list, the biggies at least. Okay, that’s enough politics from me. Don’t worry, next week I’ll talk about masturbation and order will be restored here at Sexy Thursday.