Nolen: Congress now looking more like all of country
This is a woman’s kind of year. We can hope it’s a year when men wake up to the fact that they cannot make the decisions about what women can and cannot do with their bodies. During the past few years, men have taken it upon themselves to have the last word on what women do with their bodies. This is a battle they are destined to lose. We hope they realize that.
This year women are making a real difference in the U.S. Congress. There are now 20 women in the U.S. Senate. There are 28 women of color in the House, nine Latinos and six Asian/Pacific Islanders. Congress will never be the same. In New Hampshire, the three top elected officials are female. For so long, men have held political power. We hope they can see the writing on the wall.
We’ve looked back on American history, and we have seen the way men have taken advantage of their position to try to keep women in their place. And actually they have held on for a long time. Woman’s suffrage alone took years to happen. Equal rights for women has taken even longer. Hopefully, it won’t take much longer before women will be equal in number to men in the federal government.
Men seem to have a much harder time dealing with diversity than women. For all the years men have held positions in politics, there have been very few social changes. In religion, the men seem to be either Catholics or Protestant. In the first group of women senators, we already have a Hindu -American. Among the women we also have an Asian-American. Before long, Congress will look like the rest of America.
There are more than three times more women in the House of Representatives. Undoubtedly, a woman’s caucus will mean there will be a lot of changes in Congress. Perhaps, in four more years we will have a female for president.
I really believe that if women were in charge, we would see a lot of changes in the way work gets dealt with. I believe that all those unclassified jobs for which there are no wage schedules will be classified.
Women see a lot of things differently than men. Once individuals have had to operate as the last rung on the ladder, they can often see the path ahead more clearly. Wage equality is one of those things which has never gotten the attention it needs. And it is one of the things that makes for such unfair wage differences.
I think more women in Congress is an idea whose time has come. Working together will bring better results from both points of view. And at the very least, men can see first-hand that women are more than capable of making decisions about their own bodies and minds.
It will be a good opportunity for men to learn more about themselves and think of ways to take care of their own bodies. That would be a good thing.
Unfortunately, I won’t be able to say good-bye to the worst Congress in history, because many of them will not be going away. They’ll be hanging around for another year or so. Many of them are dedicated to seeing the end of President Barack Obama’s tenure. With the country growing browner every year, there’s the possibility that they may live to welcome another president of color to replace him.
The world is changing so rapidly, one just can’t count on anything. Perhaps we will have a new majority by the time the next election year rolls around. We’ll just have to learn to live in a world of all kinds of people. Those who can’t, will simply have to live alone.
Live and let live is the best answer I can think of for trying to get along in this world. Maybe, our best is yet to come.
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