As April Ends It’s Time to Use Our “Outside Voices” – We Must Speak Up to Protect Our Rights
April is flying by – fast. We’ve already had Passover, Easter, Tax Day and Earth Day. The “next big thing” is the “We Are Women March,” set for this weekend: Saturday, April 28th.
If you haven’t yet heard about this event, it will be big: Women everywhere are relocating their voices and marching in every state capital, including DC, displaying their non-partisan unity in an effort to tell our legislators “Enough is enough!”
If you haven’t yet heard about this, check out the “United Against the War on Women” website. From there, you can find out where the march will be held in your state.
As women who grew up during the 60s and 70s, we Boomer Women know the power of solidarity and unity. I’m hoping that this march will bring an end to the recent years of apathy during which we women have stood on the sidelines, allowing others to take control of our bodies, our health, our incomes and our rights.
I totally agree with political commentator Donna Brazile, whom many of you see on CNN and ABC or hear on NPR, who recently wrote about this alarming situation in an op-ed piece I think is worth sharing.
Here is what Donna said:
Alice laughed: “There’s no use trying,” she said. “One can’t believe impossible things.”
“I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” — “Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There” by Lewis Carroll
I kept thinking about this conversation between the White Queen and Alice as I watched one Republican spokesperson after another deny that their party has launched a “war on women.” Some partisan strategist apparently decided the best way to make a truth go away is to ask the public to believe the impossible — that it doesn’t exist.
In full disclosure, I too am a partisan. But I also recognize that facts matter, and that we can’t discuss policy if we put words through the looking glass to distort the facts. And all across America, GOP lawmakers have introduced legislation designed to restrict women’s access to a full range of reproductive health care services. They even want to eliminate funding for Title X, our nation’s family planning program, which was introduced by Richard Nixon.
Redefining women’s rights so that they aren’t, and finding pretzeled explanations to justify enforcing economic inequality — I call this Humpty-Dumptying the debate. Republicans’ denial of a pattern of behavior — namely, their concerted effort to return women to a pre-World War I status — asks us to believe the impossible.
A new report by People for the American Way concludes, “Anti-woman proposals that have been percolating in the right-wing fringe for years — such as ‘personhood’ measures — are suddenly supported by mainstream presidential candidates. Rights that women have come to take for granted — like the right to access birth control — have suddenly come under attack for the first time in decades.”
Let me highlight just a few of the greatest attacks on women’s access to reproductive health care and preventative medicines, as presented in that report:
* Republicans in Congress have voiced strong opposition to extending the Violence Against Women Act. In one instance, they want to strip a provision giving Indian tribes new authority to enforce domestic violence laws. Some Republican leaders, now worried about the gender gap among voters, are modifying their opposition. They will still attempt to pass a watered-down version.
In response, Vice President Joe Biden, one of the original champions of the act, said: “Imagine now the message it sends if (the law is) not reauthorized. Just ask yourself, what message would be sent to every one of our daughters, every one imprisoned in her own home?”
* Many Republicans want to repeal the Lilly Ledbetter Federal Fair Pay Act. Signing it was Obama’s first act in office. Still, despite progress, women today are paid 77 cents on the dollar — a man’s dollar. If the pay were equal, it would buy eight months’ worth of groceries.
* In 2009, Wisconsin ranked 36th in wage parity. But the state’s Equal Pay Protection law for women — same job, same pay — allows women to sue businesses. So Republican Gov. Scott Walker got the Republican legislature to repeal the law, using the pretzel defense that lawyers were using the law to “clog up the legal system.”
* Republicans in Virginia passed a vile law mandating that a woman seeking an abortion must have an invasive vaginal ultrasound exam, though it has no medical purpose. Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell said he’d sign it, then said he’d oppose it, but signed it March 7.
* In Pennsylvania, Republican Gov. Tom Corbett offered up some advice for women who don’t want to have a mandatory ultrasound before they terminate their pregnancy: Don’t look at it. “I don’t know how you make anybody watch,” Corbett said. “You just have to close your eyes.”
Will voters consider all this part of an attack on women’s rights — an assault that allows government intrusion into your private life decisions? We will soon find out.
But we women deserve to have control over the critical decisions affecting our own health, and we intend to keep it that way.
And if Donna doesn’t get you agreeing that “Enough is enough,” and we need to act now to take back control over our lives, I’ve got one more salvo.
Here’s Erin Nanasi, Senior Columnist for the web magazine MadMikesAmerica, speaking passionately from her kitchen. Her video, “We Are Warriors”, which she and her husband shot last February, is actually what led first to the development of a Facebook page, and then to the decision to hold the “We Are Women” marches across the nation.
Isn’t it amazing how powerful one compelling voice can be?
Speaking of the power of one voice:
- I have to mourn the passing of another voice which has been so strongly a part of our forum, BoomerWomenSpeak. Most of you know by now that Charlene Michaels, who posted under the moniker “Chatty Lady,” passed away earlier this month. She will be missed.
- We have a new voice joining the stellar roster of NABBW Associates. She is Liza Weiman Hanks, coming on board as our expert on Estate Planning. Please join me in welcoming Liza. Hers is an important topic that becomes ever more crucial, the older we get.
- Be sure to check out the entertaining “Texts from Hillary” (Secretary Hillary Clinton, of course) before you set this issue aside. They literally had me rolling on the floor laughing, and once I found them, I just had to share them with you.
And don’t forget to check out the many wonderfully relevant web links, Associate posts, book reviews and Member News Bytes in this issue.
Well that’s it for me this month. I’m deep into the development of the May issue already, and I can promise you it’ll will be as good as this one is. Until then, find your voice and use it. Our rights need to be protected, and you can help make sure they are. Let’s end our apathy now.
And while we’re doing that, why not invite a friend to join you? You’ll hugely magnify your impact that way…
Don’t forget, NABBW is dedicated to supporting you and helping you live the best life possible. Be sure and use all your benefits, and if you’re not yet a member join now! Exciting things are happening here!
Anne L. Holmes, “Boomer in Chief”
PS Be sure to send us your news, and tell us what you think of this issue. As always, “I’m listening.”
Boomers In The News
Here Are Other Articles of Interest:
Will America Ever Have Another “Sputnik” Moment?
Originally published in the Huffington Post on March 19, 2012 by Barbara Hannah Grufferman
Michio Kaku, a professor of theoretical physics in New York, claims the U.S. is losing its global edge, because we’re not producing enough scientists. Seems to me like another “Sputnik moment” could also serve to get us working together again, as well.
Who Should Pay for Healthcare?
Originally published in Sightings at 60.blogspot.com on April 8, 2012
When did we get to the point where medical decisions are made by Big Pharma and prices are determined by some kind of weird calculus involving the government, private insurance companies and big medical groups?
Reconnecting Through Art
Originally published in the New York Times, “The New Old Age,” on April 13, 2012 by Alyson Martin and Nushin Rashidian
Art offers people a way of communication that doesn’t rely on verbal skills, which is why more and more museums are offering programs for dementia patients.
The Wonders of Vinegar
Originally published in 50Plus.com on April 12, 2012 by Ranya Elguendy
Whoever said, “You can attract more flies with honey than you can with vinegar” obviously didn’t know about the multi-faceted properties of vinegar. From nutrition to medicinal and household uses, the uses of vinegar are virtually limitless..
Originally published in BrownEyedBaker.com on March 8, 2010 by Michelle, the Brown Eyed Baker
Michelle says there is nothing more intensely satisfying to the palate than warm, fresh bread paired with the salty smoothness of cheese. She shares recipes and pictures to drool over.
Being the CEO of Mom’s Care
Originally published in ThrivingintheMiddle.com on April 10, 2012 by Kathleen Cleary
Why not tell your folks you’ll be the CEO of their care and they are your most important client. As business partners, you’ll make decisions together and evaluate what’s working and what isn’t. Kathleen explains how this has worked for her.
7 Great Girlfriend Getaways
Originally published in SecondArt.com on April 12, 2012 by Jane Ganahl
American women took 45 million trips last year, either alone or with girlfriends and female family members. And, more than half of all married women have taken trips without the hubby. What about you? Have a girlfriend getaway planned yet?
Spring Ahead with Fashion
Originally published in ABoomersLifeAfter50.blogspot.com on March 12, 2012 by Judy Boomer Girl
What’s in style this spring? Bold pastels, pleats, romantic elements like peplums, lace and ruffles – and high waisted silhouettes. Want to know more – check out the article…
Wrinkles Can Predict Bone Density
Originally published in AARP Bulletin on June 7, 2011 by Candy Sagon
Yale scientists have found that the more wrinkles a woman has in her early menopause years, the lower her bone density. This is important because women over 50 are at the greatest risk for bone fractures from osteoporosis, the thinning of bone tissue and loss of bone density over time.
9 Things You Should Always Buy On Sale
Originally published in SecondAct.com on April 9, 2012 by Kara Ohngren
These experts share info on how you can save when purchasing travel, clothes, pets, fitness, shoes – even wine…
Surge in Total Knee Replacements for Boomer Women
Originally reported on ABC World News with Diane Sawyer on December 21, 2011 by Lara Salahi and Brinda Adhikari
Gone are the days of 50-something women who define their new decade by staying home and joining a book club or two. These women are more likely to be found moving and shaking at the gym, on the dance floor or trekking on some adventure abroad. Active lifestyles can mean achy joints, leading baby boomers to become the fastest-growing demographic group to undergo total knee replacements.
Recent Forum Topics
I continue to witness women encouraging others in our Virtual Village at Boomer Women Speak Forums.
Won’t you join us? Here’s a peek at some topics we’re chatting about:
Quotes for Living
This month we bring you a very special inspirational quote.
If you have quotes which guide you, please feel free to send them,
so we can share them with the rest of our audience.
Featured NABBW Associate
Liza Weiman Hanks
A big NABBW welcome to Liza Weiman Hanks, our newest NABBW Associate, whose articles are now appearing on NABBW.com as well as here in the newsletter.
Liza joins NABBW as our expert on Estate Planning. She has been an estate planner since 2001, focusing exclusively on estate planning, creating trusts and wills for families of all ages, as well as trust administration and probate services. Officially, the State Bar of California’s Board of Legal Specialization, recognizes her as a Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust, and Probate Law.
In 2001, after the birth of her son, she left a large Silicon Valley law firm to start a solo practice focused on making a positive difference to children and families. Eight years later, she joined Finch Montgomery Wright LLP, in Palo Alto, as a partner. In between, she taught Estate Planning and Taxation at Santa Clara University Law School 2003-2006.
Always, Liza’s focus has been to provide personalized, attentive, high-quality and affordable family estate planning.
These days, Liza assists her clients in drafting living trusts, wills, powers of attorney and advance health care directives. She also assists trustees and executors in trust administration and probate. Liza says, “I love teaching my clients so that they feel confident and competent during both estate planning and trust administration/probate. In my opinion, there’s no such thing as a ‘dumb question.'”
A 1996 graduate of Stanford Law School, Liza is a former magazine editor, and the mother of two children. She still tries to schedule her days in order to allow her to pick her kids up after school.
In addition to practicing estate planning law, she has written three books, The Mom’s Guide to Wills and Estate Planning, The Trustee’s Legal Companion, and The Busy Family’s Guide to Estate Planning: 10 Steps to Peace of Mind (Note: This book comes with a CD-ROM that provides 15 easy-to-use forms — including a simple will — and worksheets that will help you get organized, make important decisions and track your progress). All books are published by Nolo and available in bookstores on- and offline.
Monthly Columns from NABBW Associates
Product Reviews of Interest to Baby Boomer Women
Reviews are a service we provide for paid-up-to-date NABBW Members. Email us for details.
(Once submitted, please allow ample time for reading/reviewing. Books and other products will not be returned.)
Click Product Image or Title to Read that Review.
(Purchase Link is Available Within Each Product Review)
Funny Blog Posts and Videos
Have you seen the “Texts from Hillary” series of blog posts?
Whatever your political leanings, they’re hilarious!
Click on the image below to see them all collected into one post.
We also found a music video just for boomers . . .
NABBW Member News
B. Lynn Goodwin-Brown
B. Lynn reminds you to check into our new procedures for Writer Advice’s 7th Flash Prose Contest – and enter ASAP if you haven’t yet. “Check the red-framed box on the home page. Thanks to all who’ve already submitted. If you haven’t, what are you waiting for? “
Joan Ellen Gage
Joan has just re-released her first book, “Water Running Downhill,” in Kindle format. Her second book, Stranger in a Strange Skin, is now available as a free download in a number of formats. Joan says it is for “Any woman who has ever wondered who has hijacked my body and left me here with this alien flesh?”
http://laurel-rund.artistwebsites.com and http://essenceoflaurel.com
Laurel reports that she’s just completed another art show, this one at Siesta Key Village in Sarasota, Florida. She writes, “I am grateful for the journey I am on. It has taken me to unexpected places and, at the art shows, I have experienced exquisite moments with individuals who visit my booth. These extraordinary times fill me with gratitude because the people I have met are the charming gardeners who make my soul continue to blossom.”
Carolyn Howard Johnson
Carolyn reports that her poem “Sympathizing with Tantalus,” combining the unfathomable beauty and complexity of the universe with time-honored myth, was published in Voices Israel 2012 poetry anthology, to be released in June 2012, and containing more than 220 poems from Israel and overseas.”
Author/editor Barb reports that she and her husband enjoyed participating in the Spokane Dream Center’s 15th annual Easter Drama production. Barb played the role of a dancing angel, while her husband was an usher. Now that the production is over for the year, she is busy working on a new look for her website.
Give The Gift Of NABBW Membership
There are LOTS of reasons to give a gift of an NABBW membership. Perhaps you want to:
- Affirm a friendship
- Share the power of the new NABBW.com site with a colleague
- Honor a family member (your mother, your sister, your daughter, your grandmother…)
- Connect with a loved one
- Mark important events, like birthdays (After all, many of us are experiencing milestone anniversaries and birthdays these days…)
- Give a little encouragement to someone who could use some support and nurturing
- Celebrate a new beginning
- Or just share the many joys (and challenges) of being a Baby Boomer Woman today…
Now it’s easier than ever to give a membership in NABBW as a gift. In the past, we arranged gift memberships on a one by one basis. NOW we’re offering gift certificates., and they’re EASY to arrange. All you need to do is click on the link below. It takes you to a sign-up page, which you need to fill out. Here’s how:
- In the first set of boxes, you tell us about you. We’ll ask for your name, your email address (so we can contact you) and other simple contact information.
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To Send an NABBW Gift Certificate, click here NOW.