Linda Gould

  • WE NEED MORE SCIENTISTS, ENGINEERS AND TEACHERS IN POLITICS

    It’s clear that there aren’t enough people in politics that have a science background (see EPA leadership) or a teaching background. Perhaps we wouldn’t have people disputing climate change if there were more educated people in science leading this country.

    What’s being done to get more scientists and engineers into US politics and how can we support those efforts? How many women with a science background are in politics? How are they being supported?

    If you are a scientist, engineer or teacher, or know someone who is, urge them to become more involved in politics. They can either run for office (and these organizations will help them) or serve as advisors, speak up at town halls, or host events to inform the public.

    Congressional Science & Engineering Fellowships (30 + orgs)

    A partner society is a national or international scientific or engineering association that sponsors one or more fellows under the umbrella of the AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellowships. Societies are typically 501(c)(3) organizations with a majority of members at the doctoral levels who are professionally involved in research or education related to science and engineering. Partner societies conduct their own application and selection processes, and may offer different stipends and support.

    Partnership is open to scientific or engineering societies. Partnership is not open to universities or university associations, academic institutions or consortia, trade associations, foundations, or commercial sponsors, or professional societies without a significant focus on science or engineering.

    All partner societies agree to sponsor at least one congressional fellow; in addition, they may choose to sponsor an executive or judicial branch fellowship.

    AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellowships

    Providing opportunities for outstanding scientists and engineers to learn first-hand about federal policymaking while using their knowledge and skills to address today’s most pressing societal challenges.

    Eagleton Science and Politics Fellowship Program

    Established in 2015, it enables graduate students, post-docs, and faculty to explore intersections between science and politics in order to increase their understanding of how politics affects their disciplines and how they can effectively engage with political and policymaking leaders and institutions. The series highlights the need for improvements in communication between scientists and non-scientists and for expanding the pool of scientifically trained graduates interested in public service careers.

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  • published DO WE NEED PASSAGE OF AN EQUAL RIGHTS AMENDMENT? in News 2019-01-28 02:25:14 -0500

    DO WE NEED PASSAGE OF AN EQUAL RIGHTS AMENDMENT?

    Sarajean outlined services available to promote women running for office and provide them the tools for successful campaigns.
    Yuri explained the success of gender quotas in making women's issues important in government policy.
    Alecia gave a talk on organizations that help women develop the skills necessary  for a successful run for office.

    In 1972, Congress passed the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), which was sent to the states for ratification. By 1977, 35 of the necessary 38 states ratified the amendment, and it looked like it was only a matter of time until the amendment would be enshrined in the Constitution. And then came Phyllis Schlafly, a conservative, upper-middle class housewife who used fear to rally similar-minded conservatives against the ERA. Their reasons? Women could be drafted if an ERA passed; women would lose alimony in divorce cases, and possibly their children; and--oh the horror!--unisex bathrooms would be permitted and gays would be able to marry!

    It was a perfect example of how conservatives insist on imposing their beliefs on everyone. And, their fear-based tactics worked. Not only did no more states ratify the ERA, four states rescinded their ratification (it is uncertain if this was legal), and the ERA was DOA. Until 2017 and 2018, when Nevada and Illinois, respectively, ratified the ERA. 

    We are now one state away from ratification (presuming the rescinded ratifications are not permitted, and that is a huge presumption. It would likely be challenged in the courts.).

    But now, the question is: have women's rights come far enough that we don't need an Equal Rights Amendment? Many well-educated women are not even aware that we don't have an ERA, many states have passed their own ERAs, Congress has passed targeted laws that guarantee women's rights, some countries with the greatest gender equality do not have an ERA (think Iceland) and some that do have an ERA in their constitution are pathetically lacking in gender equality (think Japan). 

    On January 20th, in recognition of the International Women's Rights March, DAJ members and others met to discuss gender equality in the world at large, and specifically in Japan and the US. We discussed whether an ERA is really needed in modern times, and the kinds of actions that we can take to fight for either an ERA or individual rights. Some key points included:

    1) Pro: Having an ERA in the Constitution serves as a framework and would override state laws that could be discriminatory.

    2) Con: it would be difficult to generate interest in passage since most people think women have equal rights already.

    3) Pro: Passage of an ERA could not be overridden by future congresses, but individual laws could be.

    4) Con: Passage of an ERA would make people think everything is solved and stop fighting for legislation that targets specific needs of women and the LGBTQ community.

     The group agreed that equity is just as important to fight for as equality, and while some were in favor of passage and others were ambivalent, no one was ultimately against passage.


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  • published 2018 Wrap Up in News 2018-12-12 05:06:13 -0500

    2018 Wrap Up

    Thank you to all of our members for your support in 2018. We had so many events, activities, meet ups, marches and vigils. From baseball games to protests, we kept each other sane while getting through two years of attacks by the Trump administration, and now, with our victories in November, we can put a stop to some of the most egregious policies Republicans are trying to enact. There is still much to do, and there is another election coming up. Elections never seem to stop anymore. And we will be right there, pushing the Party to work for policies that help those of us living abroad. Looking forward to seeing you again in 2019. 

    And thank you for voting! 

     

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  • published Thanksgiving Party in News 2018-11-25 22:42:10 -0500

    Thanksgiving Party

    Democrats had a lot to be thankful for this year--we won a majority in the House of Representatives, and we now have some breathing room AND someone who can do their job in Congress by investigating the accusations against the President and hold him accountable if it is shown he acted illegally. 

    Democrats from throughout Tokyo and its environs met up at Two Dogs Taproom at Roppongi to celebrate our holiday and discuss politics and the things we are thankful for. 

    We also presented Sherry Miyasaka with the Volunteer of the Year award for her varied and extensive volunteer efforts on DAJ's behalf. Besides helping plan and set up the Global Meeting in May, Sherry was crucial to the Get Out the Vote efforts. She joined other volunteers to attend various events and hand out voter registration materials, and she made more then 1000 calls asking DA members worldwide to vote. 

    Linda Gould was also presented with a certificate of appreciation for her volunteer work on the Global Meeting and as Kanto Chair.

    Enjoy the holidays, then join us for activities, events and actions in 2019 to prepare for the next election.

    Happy holidays! 

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  • published Midterm Election Watch 2018 in News 2018-11-09 02:49:47 -0500

    Midterm Election Watch 2018

    Photo by Yoshiaki Miura (Japan Times)

    Democrats from across the Kanto region met at Two Dogs Taproom to follow election results in real time. 

    The results were slow coming in, but we started with some bad news: Beto O'Rourke was defeated by Ted Cruz, Amy McGrath lost in Kentucky, and Andrew Gillum lost the Governor's race in Florida. Democrats were surging in the House races, but it was clear the Republicans would maintain control of the Senate, and possibly gain seats.

    Two days later, the election watch is over, but the races are not. It appears there may be a recount in the Florida gubernatorial race as Rick Scott's lead is falling, and falling steadily. Although Brian Kemp--the candidate who seems to think he can oversee the election in which he is a candidate--has declared himself the winner, Stacy Abrams has NOT conceded and will not concede until every ballot is counted. And it seems her tenacity has paid off; the margin of Kemp's "win" is dropping and dropping. It appears there will be a run off, and the good news is that Kemp has resigned as Secretary of State, so he won't be overseeing the counting of remaining ballots in this election or those in a potential runoff. And it just may be possible that Kyrsten Sinema may win the Senate seat in Arizona.

    Democrats hava a lot to be proud of. We won some key governorships. We won the house, we held our own in places that had long been Republican strongholds, and there will now be over 100 women in Congress. The 2019 Congress will be more diverse thanks to wins by Native and African Americans, young people, gay people, muslims, liberals and moderates. THIS is how Democrats will change the face of Congress and America. 

    So, today, we celebrate the wins we have, we mourn what could have been if our other candidates had won. But tomorrow, we start all over again, because there are still major battles to be fought and still much work to be done.

    Please join us.

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  • published Tokyo Harvest GOTV in News 2018-10-13 06:49:23 -0400

    Tokyo Harvest GOTV

    Visitors to this year's Tokyo Harvest got more than delicious food and entertainment; they got the chance to register to vote and request an absentee  ballot. DAJ's super volunteers Sarajean, Jenise and Sherry are so committed to getting Americans to vote from abroad, they attend events throughout Tokyo to answer questions and address any problems people have about voting while living here in Japan. Thanks you guys!


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  • published Yakitori in Saitama in News 2018-10-07 06:48:57 -0400

    Yakitori in Saitama

    Democrats met up in Saitama on the day Congress voted to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. The conversation naturally centered around that issue, but we also discussed how to move forward and how to motivate people to vote, but we also just got together and talked about local issues, the things that bring us together as a community--things like exhibitions, events, and shopping tips.

    We are all eager to get together again in the coming months, so we hope you'll join us

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  • GLOBAL WOMEN'S CAUCUS EQUAL RIGHTS AMENDMENT PROJECT KICKOFF WITH EQUAL MEANS EQUAL

    The United States is ONE state short of passing the Equal Rights Amendment. 

    These States have not yet passed it: Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Utah, and Arizona. 

    The Democrats Abroad Women's Caucus is hosting a Webinar with the Executive Director of Equal Means Equal to strategize how to get at least one more state to pass the amendment. 

    We have waited since 1982. Now is our time! Join us. 

    For more information, about time and place, please click here

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  • We Stand in Solidarity with the Women Coming Forward With Their Sexual Assault Stories


    On September 25, join us in an act of solidarity with the women accusers. At any time during the morning, post a photo of yourself or the attached photo to any of your social media accounts with #BELIEVESURVIVORS. Include the message "I Stand in solidarity with Christine Blasey Ford and all women around the world who speak up against sexual assault." Please also include the hashtag #democratsabroadjapan.

    The GOP did what they could to discredit Christine Blasey Ford. She stood strong, and though there is not yet an investigation into her allegations, she will get to testify at a hearing.

    Now there are two more women who have come forward with their stories. There is a former girlfriend of Mike Judge's who has verified the wild parties attended during the time they were in high school. There is a Yale colleague who claims she was told that Kavanaugh likes women who look like models to clerk for him.

    We don't know what happened. But we stand with those who have gone public with their stories, and at the minimum, demand an investigation into these allegations before the man is put in a position to rule on cases that affect our futures.

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  • Opinion: We are Fighting for Our Daughters' Futures

    I have a daughter. She is 20 and just about to enter the world as an adult. What kind of world will she be engaging in?

    America has a president who has bragged about sexual assault.

    Republican men are pushing to vote to approve a man to the Supreme Court without investigating the allegations of sexual assault against him.

    Republican women constituents are saying things like, “What boy hasn’t done this in high school?”

    Why are they so adamantly supporting this man? So they can achieve their decades long push to finally rescind a woman’s right to control her own life.

    If there is one mistake we women, democrats, liberals, feminists have made, it is that we mistook winning a battle for winning the war.

    Sixty percent of Americans support a woman’s right to choose, so we thought the courts would never overturn it. If Kavanaugh is approved, Roe v Wade will be overturned.

    We railed at the states that systematically made it difficult to impossible to retain access to health clinics for health care and abortions, but we never believed it would pass beyond a state’s rights issue. If Kavanaugh is approved, Roe v Wade will be overturned.

    We didn’t understand that our fight needed to not only continue despite the gains we made in reproductive rights, it needed to expand.

    By the time Phyllis Schlafley stopped passage of the Equal Rights Amendment, women had already begun to reap the benefits of the battles they had won, so work to pass the ERA virtually stopped. Brett Kavanaugh has sided with corporations over regular people on environmental, consumer protection and financial reform issues. If Kavanaugh is approved, many advances we have made—better pay, access to health care, family leave—are at risk of being overturned.

    The republicans are hiding the advice Kavanaugh gave to the Bush administration on torture, spying on Americans, court nominees and lobbying. They are likely hiding the fact that the man supported the very policies that stained America’s reputation in the world.

    We don’t know what will happen with this nomination. But it isn’t lost on women across the nation that it is a woman who has stepped up to challenge the man who is likely to be the deciding vote on Roe v Wade.

    A record number of women are running for office. It isn’t lost on women across the nation that it is other women who are stepping up to challenge the policies that our male politicians have implemented.

    Again, it is women who will step up with new ideas to remedy the issues that not only affect them, but all Americans. Because the policies women are striving for—equal pay, justice, better schools, access to reach our potential as individuals—will benefit everyone, even those who are willing to make excuses for men who behave badly.

    There are many more battles to come. Unfortunately, we will be fighting some of the same battles we fought decades ago and though we had won.

    The only thing you need to do is vote. Vote for democrats. Vote for Democratic women. And encourage your friends and family to vote, too.

    You, me, a new batch of Democratic women in office have the power to make the world better for all of our daughters.

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  • Join DAJ's Write-Your-Reps to Make the Change You Want

    Every Thursday, DAJ members meet at the Algate British Pub to talk politics and write our Representatives on the issues important to us. Each Thursday we write them on a different issue. Join us every Thursday or just sometimes. 


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  • published Dinner and Discussion about the Supreme Court in News 2018-09-13 03:51:59 -0400

    Dinner and Discussion about the Supreme Court

    Democrats are worked up over the tactics being used by Republicans in the Brett Kavanaugh nomination hearing. So, it was of great interest to attend a dinner on September 11th where we were able to discuss the Supreme Court and election tactics with Keio Law Professor David Litt at the Cheese Kitchen Racler. 

    Half of the attendees were women, and much of the conversation entered around the likelihood of Roe vs Wade being overturned should Kavanaugh be confirmed. But we also discussed the Mueller investigation and the impeachment of Donald Trump. The Republicans are campaigning on the idea that Democratic wins in November will mean that Trump will be impeached, but in actuality, the ones discussing impeachment are primarily the Republicans. It is yet another attempt to scare voters to the polls, because, in fact, the Democrats are waiting for the results of the Mueller investigation before jumping to conclusions. While many of us at the dinner, and probably throughout the US, are personally appalled by Trump and want him gone, we confirmed that we are a country of laws and will wait to see what Mueller presents.

     As expected, the food was delicious, the conversation was interesting--and sometimes heated--but it confirmed what I knew all along: we can disagree on so much, but you can sit moderates and progressives and conservative Democrats at the same table, and they will have a reasonable, respectful, and diverse discussion.

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  • Interview with David Litt about the US Judicial System


    With the Brett Kavanaugh hearings underway, this interview with Keio university Professor David Litt is timely and helps put the issues at stake in context. 

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  • published Happy Democrats Abroad Day #DemsAbroadDay in News 2018-09-08 01:51:41 -0400

    Happy Democrats Abroad Day #DemsAbroadDay

    I am so happy to be a Democrat. I wasn't always a Democrat. I grew up in a conservative household and voted for Reagan in my first election. But it didn't take long for me to see that Reagan and his Republican colleagues didn't care about women's rights, the environment, gay rights, or fairness to aspire to bigger things. They cared about business and tax cuts. Over the years, I have become more and more liberal as I see Repbulicans cutting taxes while crying about the debt, taking away a woman's right to choose while strapping her with more difficulty to make a living, tearing up the environment so a few industries can make millions or billions, making it more difficult for people to declare bankruptcy while making it easier for businesses to take advantage of consumers. I've watched as people lose health care and jobs and houses while businesses combine into bigger and bigger monopolies. The list goes on.

    Democrats aren't perfect. But they offer solutions for people like me. I'm voting Democrat in the coming midterms. And I'm volunteering to get as many people to request absentee ballots as possible.

    Please, register to vote and request your absentee ballot.
    #DemsAbroadDay

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  • published Focus on our Volunteers--Sherry Miyasaka in News 2018-08-26 03:22:31 -0400

    Focus on our Volunteers--Sherry Miyasaka


    Sherry showed up at a DAJ meeting this past January. She was quiet, respectfully listened to the speakers, softly spoke to those around her, then kicked into gear and showed the rest of us how its done. She was crucial to the success of the DA Global Meeting, has volunteered for various GOTV events, and is now ranked #16 among DA members (yeah, that's worldwide) for phone banking, even though it is something she dreaded doing. 

    Why did she step up now to volunteer? 

     Why I phone bank

    by Sherry Miyasaka

    I hate making phone calls. I guess that’s why my husband was incredulous when I said I would start phone banking.

    But I read the news every day, and it makes me angry and disappointed to see my country's leaders passing laws or making rules that hurt so many people. Each day I read the news, my determination grows stronger to do whatever I can to give Democrats a majority in Congress in the upcoming midterm elections on November 6, 2018. My hope is that a Democratic Congress will help put a brake on the current president and even possibly make Congress legislate again. So, I do my best to ignore the discomfort of calling strangers, and spend as much time as I can calling US voters abroad and ask them to vote in these midterm elections. Thankfully, Democrats Abroad has made it is easy as possible for me.

    I often recall the words of Julia Bryan, Chair of Democrats Abroad, who mentioned at the DA Global Meeting  that the millions of votes of those of us who live abroad can be the margin of victory for the Democratic Party. Statistics show that only a small percentage of eligible voters abroad actually vote in midterm elections. I feel that I can make a real difference in the upcoming election if I can motivate enough voters who live abroad to register to vote, request a ballot, and then vote. 

    While we may not live in the US right now, every single one of us is affected by US policy. Whether we intend to return to the US or just care about our family and friends, or just love our country for its ideals that so many around the world aspire to, we need to make our voices heard. Whether we live in the US or abroad, since the US has influence around the world, we need to make our voices heard for the benefit of US citizens and even non-citizens whose very lives may depend on US policy even though they have no say in making that policy.

    Îf you read this, please make sure you are registered to vote and that you have requested your ballot this year. And then, please send in your ballot. We all need to vote so the world knows that the US as we once knew it, is still for democracy and the rights of all.
    Let’s Get Out The Vote! GOTV!
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  • published Women's Launch Discussion about Feminism in News 2018-08-23 01:36:12 -0400

    Women's Launch Discussion about Feminism


    In an age where women are making their voices heard, a few Democrats Abroad Japan members gathered at the Pink Cow in Akasaka to discuss the role of feminism in our current political climate. A majority of Americans--men and women-- support equality for women in the voting booth, the workplace and the community,  yet the fact that conservatives have been able to vilify the words feminism and feminist is testament to the difficulty Democrats have at framing their arguments. By focusing on criticising women for how they fight for their rights--too aggressively, too militantly, too much emphasis on minor details--conservatives have been able to dilute the arguments that bind people in solidarity.

    The DAJ members were encouraged with the increasing number of women running for political office. More women in political leadership roles will not only offer a diversity of voices and opinions on the matters affecting women, they will address issues that are relevant to the lives of all Americans because there is an intersectionality between women's issues and all the major issues facing our country.

    Environmental issues ARE women's issues: environments with clean air and water are fundamental to raising healthy families and overall health.

    Class issues ARE women's issues: those in poverty are more likely to be women and children, live in communities with polluted water and air, and have less access to quality education.

    Health care issues ARE women's issues: better access to health care affects every member of a family, and since women are often the health care workers and carers, it affects them in the workplace as well as their own access to care.

    Race issues ARE women's issues: whether as mothers who have to worry about their children in an increasingly violent country, access to birth control, quality education, and access to higher education and employment, women of colour are far more likely to be adversely affected by local, state and federal government policies.

    More women may be stepping up to run for office, but equally important is motivating women to get out to the polls to vote. The majority of women identify with Democratic policies, but if they don't vote, policies that are harmful to their families and themselves will keep them powerless. 

    As members of Democrats Abroad Japan, our job will be contact voters in Japan and remind them to request their ballots, to inform them of the amazing candidates the Democratic Party is supporting, and urge them to vote.

    We could use your help. In coming weeks, visit this website to learn about more activities and events where you can help Get Out The Vote.

    Linda Gould, DAJ Kanto Chair


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  • published Women's Caucus to Launch in Japan in News 2018-08-16 03:10:43 -0400

    Women's Caucus to Launch in Japan

    On August 22nd, Japan will join Country Committees across the world in working to advance the rights of women when DAJ launches its Democrats Abroad Women's Caucus event. 


    Women are taking a beating under this administration. But we will not sit back and take it. Democrats Abroad Japan is joining the Democrats Abroad Global Women's Caucus to show our strength, strategize about how to make our issues and concerns a priority to politicians, to identify politicians who help us for our fight for equality and how to motivate people to vote in the midterm elections.

    Join us for our first meeting. Our discussion will be "Is feminism a bad label? What does feminism mean in today's environment?" "How do young feminists differ from middle-aged or older feminists?" "Can you be a feminist and NOT support a women's right to choose?" "What issues are important to today's feminists?" 

    For more information and to RSVP, go to our events page at https://www.democratsabroad.org/jp-kanto_events

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  • published Women's Caucus to Launch in Japan in News 2018-08-16 03:09:50 -0400

    Women's Caucus to Launch in Japan

    On August 22nd, Japan will join Country Committees across the world in working to advance the rights of women when DAJ launches its Democrats Abroad Women's Caucus event. 


    Women are taking a beating under this administration. But we will not sit back and take it. Democrats Abroad Japan is joining the Democrats Abroad Global Women's Caucus to show our strength, strategize about how to make our issues and concerns a priority to politicians, to identify politicians who help us for our fight for equality and how to motivate people to vote in the midterm elections.

    Join us for our first meeting. Our discussion will be "Is feminism a bad label? What does feminism mean in today's environment?" "How do young feminists differ from middle-aged or older feminists?" "Can you be a feminist and NOT support a women's right to choose?" "What issues are important to today's feminists?" 

    For more information and to RSVP, go to our events page at https://www.democratsabroad.org/jp-kanto_events

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  • published Interview about the US Judicial System--part 1 in News 2018-08-04 08:39:02 -0400

    Interview about the US Judicial System--part 1

    To prepare for an event on September 11th, I interviewed Keio University Law Professor David Litt. Here is part 1 of our conversation where he discusses his work as a clerk for Judge Goodwin on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and for Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy.



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  • published We Need More Women In Politics--Here's Why in News 2018-07-30 08:55:33 -0400

    We Need More Women In Politics--Here's Why

    An Ode to the Women Who Have Shaped Me

    I had a conversation recently that shook me to my core.

    It was a normal conversation about politics that progressed to a one-sided shouting match. I was the calm one, but defended my criticisms of Trump and what I consider to be black-hearted conservative policies. Then, the person asked me, “Why do you even care? You don’t even live in America.”

    God, I wish I had $10,000 for every time I was asked that question. But I calmly answered. “Because I have kids who are going to have to live in the world we are creating, because my husband and I would like to move back to the US someday, and because I love my country and want what’s best for all Americans. Because I’m American.”

    “That’s debatable,” was the response from someone I know well (or thought I did) and respect, even though we disagree politically. From someone who I always thought respected me.

    It felt like an earthquake. Like when the ground that has always been there to support you suddenly jerks and jolts and knocks you off your feet and tosses you around.

    A few other hurtful insults were thrown at me, criticizing me for my liberal beliefs, with the result that I have spent significant time recently reflecting on how I developed from a Reagan-voting, military-loving, individualism-touting, bootstrap-raising, my-way-or-the-highway bullying, I-deserve-all-I have white woman to the compassionate and passionate liberal that I am today. I was raised conservative, but conservatism is as antithetical to me today as it was appealing when I was young. What changed me?

    The amazing women who have been part of my life.

    Of course it’s not that simple—no one who travels to foreign countries, attends university, reads extensively, has an astute partner, and lives abroad remains unchanged. But when I think about the moments that literally shifted my behaviour or way of thinking, they were connected to some woman in my life:

    A boss, the first who cared about me as a person and not solely as an employee, who challenged my views on marriage and motherhood, and shared her feelings of lonliness as she grew older without a companion; my friend who showed me there was humor to be found in the frustration of raising kids, and if you didn’t tap into that humor, your children would suffer; another friend who was betrayed in the worst way but stood strong and fought for her future when it would have been so much easier to crumble; a colleague who pointed out my hypocrisy by asking a simple question, “How is your viewpoint less ideological?”; my female colleagues and now friends who supported each other when a misogynistic manager bullied and abused us while the male management did nothing; the role-model mothers in my community who patiently dealt with temper tantrums, unreasonable demands, and teenage snark; friends, family and colleagues who taught me how to be a friend, to open my mind to new possibilities, to listen, to understand that privilege is as much responsible for my success as my own efforts, and most importantly, to reflect on and challenge my own views, then to change them if they didn’t meet that challenge.

    None of these women were aware at the time that they were influencing me. They didn’t see themselves as models of human behaviour with a mission to change someone’s worldview. Heck, I didn’t know how much they were influencing me. It took that face-slapping comment from a friend for me to reflect on and see how by simply being authentic and open, they helped mold a better human, a better citizen.

    When you look at history’s list of heroes, so few are women. We rarely get the glory for our accomplishments. Yet our influence reaches deep into our societies. We are accomplished in our own right and inspire others to achieve. So many of our reactions and conversations appear to be insignificant moments that drift into the ether, but they actually resonate years later in the behaviour of our children, friends, strangers, and even ourselves. Our routine moments take on a life of their own when someone sees them as a way of coping with difficulties. Our day-to-day life is the ultimate example of soft power.

    But we also aspire to more. Some of us want to play a stronger role in our government and businesses. And because we are women, we are told by other women to support each other. Madeline Albright famously said, “There is a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other.”

    Hell aside, we SHOULD be helping each other. It is unfathomable to me that it was a woman who stopped the Equal Rights Amendment. I’m still furious that women helped elect a misogynist racist to the highest political office. And it is women who are often the most vicious critics of female celebrities, politicians and neighbors. They are a minority, but their power has been accentuated because so many of us have NOT been politically engaged. Now we are. But marches and protests are not enough.

    We need more women in office. Run for office. Support a candidate. Vote.

    The conversation I experienced was like an earthquake. So, too, was the election of Donald Trump. But like after every earthquake, there is a time for reuilding. For making what was destroyed better, stronger, more resilient.

    We need more women in office. Run for office. Support a candidate. Vote.

    There is a record number of women running for office this year. Not all deserve your vote (some are like Phyllis Schlafley who would take away our rights), but they all deserve your attention. I’m a Democrat and hope that every woman elected this year has a (D) after their name. But it is also important to keep in mind that it was two Republican women—Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski—who stood against their Party and voted to keep the Affordable Care Act, who are on record for being against overturning Roe v. Wade. Don’t support a woman candidate because she is a woman; support her because her actions will influence others to be strong, tolerant, compassionate, and engaged.

    Yes, we influence with our soft power. But we can have an even stronger influence on our families, fellow Americans and country.

    To do that, we need more women in office. Run for office. Support a candidate. Vote.

    Vote. Vote. Vote.

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