Tag: feminism

The ‘Barbie Speech’ – How Much Has Really Changed For Women in America?


In our world where up is down, and black is white, there is a left and a right – it’s the middle we appear to be missing. Does it exist, or was it make believe all along?

Into this existential despair enters Britt Cagle Grant, the 47-year old Federal Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. The Stanford Law graduate, blessed by the Federalist Society and Leonard Leo, and former clerk of Hon. Brett Kavanaugh, was nominated by Donald Trump and confirmed by the Senate on July 31, 2018.

Now six years later, her words in rejecting DeSantis’s “Stop Woke Act” (otherwise known as the “Individual Freedom Measure), are particularly crushing to her supporters: “By limiting its restrictions to a list of ideas designated as offensive, …it penalizes certain viewpoints — the greatest First Amendment sin. Banning speech on a wide variety of political topics is bad; banning speech on a wide variety of political viewpoints is worse.”

When still a Presidential candidate in 2022, DeSantis used the bill as the leading edge of a divisive campaign based on white nationalist victimization, stating, “No one should be instructed to feel as if they are not equal or shamed because of their race. In Florida, we will not let the far-left woke agenda take over our schools and workplaces.”

Ron and Casey DeSantis mirror in many ways the fictional Barbie and Ken – soon to be featured in the 2024 Academy Awards. The comparison of Ron to Ken needs little explanation. And Casey is equally well-credentialed. The former host of PGA Tour Today met her husband on the golf course, and was married at Disney World. Beautiful and smart as a whip, she graduated with a degree in Economics from the College of Charleston where she competed on the Equestrian Team.

With this most recent turn of events, the DeSantis family seems to be following the plot line (with its twists and turns) of Barbie – this year’s favorite for Picture of the Year. And in the aftermath of that film you will find a female disrupter at least as prominent as Justice Grant.

I am speaking of the brilliant actress, America Ferrera, who played a 39 year old mother and Mattel employee, and delivered what one film critique describes as “the ‘Barbie’ monologue we all talked about.” You can find the two minute speech in its entirety here, and it is well worth a listen. Ferrera herself described the big speech this way: “funny and subversive and delightfully weird.”

When I first heard the speech, (husband, father of a grown daughter, grandfather of six granddaughters, brother of six sisters) I cried at one specific line – “It’s too hard.” – That comes in the next to the last paragraph.

Here is “The Speech”:

“It is literally impossible to be a woman. You are so beautiful, and so smart, and it kills me that you don’t think you’re good enough. Like, we have to always be extraordinary, but somehow we’re always doing it wrong.

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We’re Ready for Mamala


With the long-awaited inauguration day behind us, America is finally getting something we desperately need: an elected woman in the White House.

On the heels of chaos and violence at the Capitol and after four years of the Trump Administration, we are ready for strong female leadership in the executive branch to help put the country on the right course. In fact, it is long overdue.

Kamala Harris didn’t just need our votes to make history as America’s first female Vice President. To be successful, she’ll need every ounce of our ongoing support as she steels herself to direct threats to her life and faces the challenge, along with President-elect Biden, of healing a deeply fractured nation.

Female leaders around the world have modeled that strong leadership through 2020’s most difficult times. Women have led some of the most effective pandemic responses worldwide. Countries led by women leaders had six times fewer confirmed COVID-19 deaths — and fewer days with confirmed deaths — than countries led by men. New Zealand, Taiwan, Germany, and Iceland — all led by women — are among the coronavirus management success stories.

These women acknowledged the threat from coronavirus rather than underplaying it. They were decisive, and used data and science to drive their decision-making. They took a long-view when designing their response, prioritizing long-term well-being over short-term economic pain. They listened to outside voices to ensure they had the best possible input and solutions for their countries. And they showed empathy. Having a female leader became a symbol of inclusive, open-minded, effective leadership.

And the world took notice, lauding leaders like Jacinda Ardern, who was rewarded with a decisive victory in New Zealand’s October national elections.

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Sexism vs. Cultural Imperialism


As I was getting ready for bed last night a friend shared a tweet that immediately caught my attention.

The tweet was of a paper that has just been published online, titled “Does physician gender have a significant impact on first-pass success rate of emergency endotracheal intubation?” and showed the abstract which began,

It is unknown whether female physicians can perform equivalently to male physicians with respect to emergency procedures.

Understandably, this got the backs up of a lot of people, myself included. Who on earth thinks that’s a valid question to be researching in this day and age? Are we really still having to battle assumptions of female inferiority when it comes to things like this? Who on earth gave this ethics approval, let alone got it though peer review?

I then took a deep breath and asked myself why a respected journal, The American Journal of Emergency Medicine, would publish such idiocy. Maybe there was something else going on. The best way to find out is to read the paper so I got a copy and started reading. The first thing that struck me was the author affiliations – both are associated with hospitals in Seoul, South Korea. The second author had an online profile, he is a Clinical Professor of Emergency Medicine. I couldn’t find the first author anywhere which made me think they are probably quite early in their career. The subject matter wasn’t something I could imagine a male early career researcher being interested in so figured they are probably female (not knowing Korean names I couldn’t work out if the name was feminine or masculine).

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