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Kimberly Blessing Hi, my name is Kimberly Blessing. I'm a computer scientist, Web developer, standards evangelist, feminist, and geek. This is where I write about life, the Web, technology, women's issues, and whatever else comes to mind.

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Politics Blog Archive

Désolée

Despite the fact that all recent evidence pointed to this outcome, I’m still sad to see that Ségolène Royal was not elected as the new French president. I was glad to hear that about 85% of the French people voted, though — that’s huge!

I didn’t follow the election all that closely — though I probably paid more attention than the average American. My French isn’t all that great anymore, but from what I was reading about Mme. Royal’s position and what I thought I understood, I thought she had some great ideas in her 100-point plan.

I wonder what will happen to France as a country with Nicolas Sarkozy at its helm. His plans for changing France have been called “American” and “racist” by some — and for France, that really scares me. I don’t mind him fighting for things like over 35-hour work weeks (because I never could quite understand how anything ever got done in France when there were so few work hours), but it seems to me that he does come across in much the same way that Dubya does — hard-headed and unwilling to change his views in the face of opposition. He’s known for his bad temper. I think he’s kinda scary.

I also can’t help but wonder how this may affect Hillary Clinton as she contends for the Democratic presidential nomination. I’m not yet sure who I’m for in that run-off, but I certainly have a keen eye watching what goes on with her, just to see how she’s treated by the media and how she handles herself. I heard that, in the last French presidential debate, Royal was on the offensive — which Sarkozy called out as being un-presidential. A thinly veiled sexist attack that we’re to see more of in the U.S.? We’ll see soon enough…

Right here, Right NOW

There’s so much that’s been brewing, but between work, volunteer commitments, and being sick, I haven’t had time to write. But certain urgent issues must receive attention!

Today is Equal Pay Day — the day each year that female workers’ earnings finally catch up with men’s earnings for all of last year. Why do women earn less, and why do we stand for it? I don’t want to hear that it’s about education or the fact that women take time off to have kids — even knowing that I’m an exception, I still know women that have more technical and more advanced degrees than their male counterparts that take a back seat in pay. And in my career so far, I’ve known men to take far more paternity leave (up to 9 months!) than the women who’ve taken maternity leave. It’s time for equality — which still needs to be written into the Constitution — and the Paycheck Fairness Act can help.

Now that the Supreme Court is out to take over my husband’s job and prescribe medical treatment for people in this country (or is it just women in this country?) EVERYONE ought to be scared. If you want safe and effective options available to you when your life is in danger, when you want a choice in what happens to you, support the Freedom of Choice Act. Even if you don’t support abortion-rights, think about the fact that the Federal Abortion Ban makes women into second-class citizens, unable to make decisions about their lives and bodies, even in times of crisis or mortal danger — now aren’t you appalled?

PLEASE, encourage your senators and representatives to support both of these important bills! Haven’t we had enough of this administration’s “Daddy knows best” misogyny and must we institute it into law?!

Wouldn’t it be nice?

Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.

It’s amazing how many people believe that the above is already U.S. law. It isn’t — it’s Section 1 of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), which was not, in fact, ratified in 1982. It’s now known as the Women’s Equality Amendment and is being reintroduced in Congress. Isn’t it time, already?!?

Anti-Santorum != Pro-Casey

, I’ve had it with you. Quit asking for my support. Quit asking me for money! Especially in requests like this beauty that came in today’s mail:

Please join me in opposing Santorum for reelection by making a generous contribution to his opponent, Bob Casey Jr.

Letter from Al Gore on behalf of the Bob Casey for Pennsylvania Committee

Ha! As much as I hate (yes, hate) Rick Santorum, that’s a very, very poor reason to support or vote for you. C’mon Bob, be honest with the people! If you’re soliciting funds, you’d better start talking about what you will stand for, about what you’ll do differently for the people of Pennsylvania and for the country.

I already wrote to you, personally, to tell you that I would not support your run for senator from Pennsylvania, since you do not support a women’s right to choose. I urged you to change your political position (not your personal views) and to support the DNC’s platform of defending women’s rights. But you’ve chosen not to. Fine.

However, you continue to barage me with requests for funds… and now I’ve had it. I was throwing away the solicitations previously, but you know what? Now I’m going to do what I used to do as a pro-environment, anti-junk mail teenager — I’m going to start sending all of this crap right back to you. That’s right, let your campaign pay for the return postage.

And maybe, just maybe, by blogging about this, others will follow suit. I hope they do. And I hope the cost affects your finances enough for you to take notice. For the pro-choice voters of Pennsylvania, you just won’t do as an alternative to Santorum.

Apparently, I’m just a breeder

South Dakota lawmakers have just signed a law that could make nearly all abortions illegal. I want to vomit. I want to scream!

South Dakota lawmakers, and others that support this type of legislation, clearly see it as their right to enslave women of reproductive age, making us into nothing more than breeders. In the case of the SD law, they’d force women who have suffered through rape or incest to carry and birth a child. This puts SD on par with countries like Afghanistan and Iran, where women’s rights are often restricted in other ways. What’s next, South Dakota, what’s next?

And tell me, South Dakota lawmakers, is access to birth control going to be improved? Would sex education be improved?

And what legislation are you proposing to punish men who commit rape and incest? Forced vasectomies? Castrations? What requirements do these men then have in assisting financially in raising the child that they helped create? Or in assisting the mother with medical bills, lost wages, etc.?

If you have no answers to these questions, South Dakota lawmakers, you’ve been foolish in your policy making, and you are clearly unfit to fill your jobs. I hope that the people — women and men of your state — will vote you out in upcoming elections.

If you feel as I do about South Dakota’s abortion law, I encourage you to join Planned Parenthood’s National Day of Solidarity with South Dakota. Or post signs, write letters, post to your blogs!

South Dakota can’t repeal a woman’s right to free speech!