I’m going to echo Maria Shriver and state the obvious: while I have not lived on the brink of poverty, I am deeply concerned by the growing income gap in America. I work every day to expand opportunities for the millions of people -- one in three Americans, seventy percent of whom are women and children -- who struggle every day to make ends meet.
Earlier this week, Maria introduced a report that illustrates how urgent that work is. A Woman’s Nation Pushes Back From the Brink is filled with thoughtful essays from academics and activists -- everyone from Hillary Clinton to Barbara Ehrenreich to Beyoncé. And it includes new research on how deeply entrenched poverty has become in our social fabric, and how we can change it.
I encourage you to read Maria's introduction to the report, and to explore A Woman’s Nation Pushes Back From the Brink in full.
Deputy Communications Director Lily Adams sent an email to supporters encouraging them to call out Chairman Reince Priebus and the Republican National Committee for condoning sexist rhetoric from Rush Limbaugh and to stop enabling him. Here's what she had to say:
Rush Limbaugh saying something sickeningly misogynistic isn't breaking news, so rest assured I'm not planning to write to you every time he does.
But earlier this week, Limbaugh mocked "liberals" for criticizing men who stare at women's breasts, encouraging them to instead approach women and say, "Will you please ask your breasts to stop staring at my eyes?"
There's a line between casual but unacceptable sexism and justifying sexual harassment. When someone as prominent as Rush Limbaugh crosses that line, everyone -- Democrats and Republicans alike -- needs to stop the precedent from becoming habit.
You know Rush Limbaugh's comment was flat-out wrong. I know it was wrong. And I'd bet even Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus can recognize it was wrong. Join me and ask the RNC to stop enabling Rush Limbaugh and those like him whose rhetoric encourages or condones sexual harassment.
This Sunday, the Daily Caller -- the Rush Limbaugh of websites -- piled on with a full-throated defense of sexual harassment:
Ladies, how are you going to feel when the progressives prohibit men from paying you a compliment on your walk home from the bar? You know there's always one friend of yours who waited all night for that.
And if you happen to be a woman who isn't employed by the Democratic National Committee or the New York Times, maybe you're really not all that offended by these sorts of things.
As a woman who happens to be employed by the Democratic National Committee, I am offended by Rush Limbaugh's comments. But I'm not alone, and I know there are plenty of women (maybe even some who work at the Republican National Committee) who'd agree that this is the wrong message to send, encourage, or defend.
And frankly, the RNC has the ability to reduce the influence held by Rush Limbaugh and the writers of the Daily Caller. All they need to do is encourage their fellow Republican leaders to stop making time for interviews with outlets like these.
So call on Chairman Priebus and the RNC to step up and take action against the type of rhetoric that encourages sexual harassment:
We are going to be in a lot of big fights with Republicans during the election year that starts in just a few days. But surely we can come together in the meantime to put an end to disgusting rhetoric like Limbaugh's that encourages sexual harassment.
Thanks for everything you're doing to stand with women across the country,
Deputy Communications Director
Democratic National Committee
(Note: This is satire. Sort of.)
With last week’s news that Republicans are going to start holding seminars on how to talk with (and about) women, we at the Democratic National Committee were able to get our hands on a draft syllabus and reading list for the expanded sensitivity training sessions Republicans are going to be holding.
Syllabus for Republican “Sensitivity” Training
“Let me put it this way, some of these guys have a lot to learn.” – Republican Aide to Politico
“Some of our members just aren’t as sensitive as they ought to be.” – Speaker Boehner
Dear fellow Republicans —
Welcome to GOP Sensitivity School, where our goal is to help you show your friendlier, more inclusive side!
HOW TO TALK TO AND ABOUT WOMEN 101:
Headline: “Bill Cassidy Staffer Tweets Mary Landrieu-Mussolini Picture” [POLITICO, 11/22/13]
Headline: “NRSC Tweets Sexualized Attack Against Alison Lundergan Grimes” [Huffington Post, 11/19/13]
HOW TO HONOR RELIGIOUS AND CULTURAL DIVERSITY & TOLERANCE DURING THE HOLIDAY SEASON 101
Headline: “GOP Draws Fire For Selling 'Happy Holidays Is What Liberals Say' Merchandise” [Birmingham News, 12/4/13]
Pants on Fire: “Jeb Bush Says Obama Is Closing The Embassy To The Vatican” [Politifact, 12/4/13]
Headline: “GOP Group Attacks Obama As ‘Anti-Religion’ For Moving U.S. Embassy In Vatican” [Mediaite, 11/27/13]
Headline: “GOP Rep. Duncan Hunter: 'It Is Part Of The Middle Eastern Culture' To Lie (VIDEO)” [Huffington Post, 12/4/13]
Headline: “Pryor Gets Gop Flak Over Bible Ad” [Arkansas Online, 12/4/13]
Headline: “Republicans Had Better Get Comfortable With 'Happy Holidays'” [Business Insider, 12/2/13]
HOW TO OPEN OUR BIG TENT UP TO THE LGBT COMMUNITY 101
Headline: “Rep. Randy Forbes: Deny Money To Gay Candidates” [POLITICO, 12/4/13]
Headline: “Boehner Sees ‘No Basis Or No Need’ For ENDA” [Washington Blade, 11/14/13]
PROVING WE’RE SERIOUS ABOUT LATINO OUTREACH 101
Op-ed: “Gov. Christie Making Weak Excuses For Opposing The NJ DREAM Act” [PolitickerNJ, 12/5/13]
Headline: “No Immigration Reform Vote In The House This Year” [Washington Post, 11/8/13]
Headline: “McCarthy: No House Immigration Deal In '13” [The Hill, 11/8/13]
HOW TO PUT A BAND-AID ON A MAJOR PROBLEM 101
Headline: “GOP Men Tutored In Running Against Women” [POLITICO, 12/5/13]
Headline: “Boehner’s Rx For GOP’s Women Woes: Be More Sensitive” [ABC News, 12/5/13]
LEARNING FROM YOUR MISTAKES 101
Headline: “No soul-searching for Virginia GOP after losses” [Politico, 12/8/13]
From the Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza on the path forward for the GOP following their losses in Virginia: “But, no matter what, Republicans have a problem… But knowing it and knowing how to solve it are two very different things.” [Washington Post, 12/8/13]
Last week, women state party Chairs, Vice Chairs, Executive Directors and staff gathered in New Orleans during a meeting of the Association of State Democratic Chairs to discuss the increasing role of women as leaders in Democratic Parties across the country.
This was the second time I participated in this event and wow! Not only has the turnout grown, but the programming - under the leadership of Louisiana Chair Karen Carter-Peterson and Idaho Executive Director Sally Boyton Brown - has excelled and given us the tools to improve how we promote women leaders in the states across the country. I was especially moved when both Chair Carter-Peterson, the first female Chair in Louisiana, and Maryland Chair Yvette Lewis spoke about what they each had to overcome in order to move into the top leadership position in their state Democratic Party structure.
Here's a few pictures from the event. I am looking forward to the next gathering!
Great turnout in New Orleans at the women's luncheon!
Maryland Chair Yvette Lewis moderates panel discussion about media coverage of women running for political office and what our national group of women can do to create change in our states.
Louisiana Chair Karen Carter-Peterson answers a question about women leaders in state parties.
One last pic from the ASDC & Louisiana Democratic Party welcome reception on Friday evening... an all women New Orleans brass band! They were incredible.