Women in politics making history

This weekend took a comedic turn when cast member, Cecily Strong, of Saturday Night Live hosted the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner. Some audience members interpreted one comment as humorous, but others thought it was controversial.

“I want all the media to put their hands up and swear something this election season,” Strong said. “I solemnly swear not to talk about Hillary’s appearance because that is not journalism.”

Women in politics have had the misfortune of being stereotyped and judged more on their looks and personality than that of their male counterparts.

In the 2008 presidential elections, Hillary Clinton was on the receiving end of many sexist remarks during her campaign. One such remark was made by political news correspondent, Tucker Carlson on MSNBC who stated, “When she comes on television, I involuntary cross my legs.”

Other journalists and media outlets frowned upon these comments however, there were many more individuals who made sexists remarks about Clinton and other politicians.

This is not the only issue that is raised with in this statement. Hillary Clinton is a woman who is running and previously ran for President of the United States. There are many women who are currently filling in roles for major U.S. political seats and are paving the way for future females to take over leadership positions in politics and businesses.

Young girls

Girl Scouts created this on a trip.

Girl Scouts created this on a trip.

Last year, Girl Scouts launched a campaign with the hashtag #banbossy which they used to encourage individuals to quit telling young girls they are “bossy” because it is one of reasons that girls are unable to be confident and do jobs that are what boys should do.

Danielle Ross a senior Girl Scout who received her Gold Award after being in Girl Scouts since kindergarten.

Danielle Ross a senior Girl Scout, who received her Gold Award after being in Girl Scouts since kindergarten.

Carol Dedrich, Chief External Relations Officer of Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles stated, “The Ban Bossy campaign is about raising awareness around a descriptive word used disproportionately to demean girls and women. We believe girls who exhibit assertiveness should be seen as acting like leaders, not acting bossy.”

The issue of inequality between men and women in the workplace range far beyond politics but even in everyday businesses and research facilities. Vrinda Agarwal, a student at University of California, Berkeley was a Girl Scout throughout her adolescence and held many positions within Girl Scouts, helping her to develop courage, confidence and character to pursue her dreams in various fields, including standing up for women and gender equality.

“Women are very underrepresented in hard science fields, like engineering and physics. I hope that young girls, particularly women of color, are encouraged to pursue STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields, rather than discouraged.” Agarwal said. “The statistics show that up until age 11 or 12, girls are interested in STEM fields. However, between the ages of 13 and 18, many women are discouraged to enter STEM or do not see other female role models in STEM to aspire to.”

Education for women

According to the Center for American Progress women make up 50.8 percent of the United States population, 47 percent of the U.S. labor force and 59 percent of the college-educated, entry-level workforce. 60 percent of women earn their undergraduate and master’s degree.

We can see it in public education, where women have lower graduation rates in poor areas; or in Corporate America, where women earn less than men; and even in politics, in which women are significantly underrepresented.” Agarwal said.

With education comes responsibility and can help grow a passion in females to pursue and develop their own viewpoints to provide to society.

“When women become legislators, they are far more involved in the formation and advocacy of gender-based issues, including women’s health, reproductive rights, child care and wage equality. They are also more responsive to their constituents.” Agarwal said.

The beginning for women in politics

“I now announce myself as a candidate for the presidency. I anticipate criticism, but, however unfavorable, I trust that my sincerity will not be called into question,” Victoria Woodhull said in 1872. Woodhull was the first woman to run for president and did so prior to women’s suffrage in 1920.

She did not make it far, but this was the gateway for females in politics. Between Woodhull and Clinton there have been 44 women who have run for president but only two women have obtained he nominations for the major parties. Both Geraldine Ferraro for the Democratic Party in 1984 and Sarah Palin for the Republican Party in the 2008 election were vice-presidential candidates.

Facts about women in politics

In 1992 there were 24 women who were elected, making it the first largest slot for women to be elected in the same year.

According to the Center for American Progress, 2012 was considered a watershed election year for women in American politics. This was the second largest growth rate for women in politics with 19 women being elected.

Republican Scott Brown lost to two different women in U.S. Senate history. He lost to Jeanne Shaheen in 2014 and Elizabeth Warren in 2012.

California female representation

California has two female U.S. Senators, Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein. California is the first state to be represented simultaneously by two women in the Senate. This is a major step for local politics in the state and to show young women that it is possible to know and understand the truth that women are capable of going far in politics.

Mrs. Nelson's bookshop in San Dimas, Calif.

Mrs. Nelson’s bookshop in La Verne, Calif.

On local levels there are 1,392 female mayors in the U.S. cities out of 30,000 cities. In California there are 55 cities that have female mayors.

Glendora mayor, Judy M. Nelson is a woman who has faced much discrimination of being a female in politics. She is a small business owner who founded Mrs. Nelson’s bookstore in La Verne, Calif.

“In thinking about Glendora’s elected representatives, there are two women on our City Council, our State Senator is a woman, as are both of our Congressional and both of our US Senate representatives,” said Nelson. “Only our State Assemblyman and our LA County Supervisor are men.”

Today women in politics

Vrinda Agarwal

Vrinda Agarwal

“If you don’t represent women in politics in America as future president, who will?” Agarwal asked Clinton at the Clinton Global Initiative University conference at Arizona State in March 2014.

Clinton responded that she is worried about the future of female equality, but did not announce or hint that she was running at that point. She announced her candidacy for the 2016 presidential run on Sunday, April 14 this year.

From various reports former Hewlett-Packard CEO, Carly Fiorina, may soon join Clinton as a female presidential candidate. Fiorina has stated that she will be making an important announcement on May 4th.

The most recent reports and studies conclude that inequality is clearly visible in America on the macro-level: modern America has ranked 84th in the world for women’s political representation,  the average full-time working woman earns just 77 cents for every dollar a man earns, only 20 percent of the current U.S. Congress is composed of women and this is just the beginning of the statistics.

In a 2012 study from Rutgers Center for American Women and Politics there were only 19 positions held by women between the Republican and Democratic Party out of 100.

According to the U.S. Congressional Record women currently comprise 17 percent of U.S. Congress. Of the 244 Democrats in the House and Senate, 61 are women. Of the 289 Republicans, 29 are women.

As of January 2013, 99 out 535 members of Congress were female. According to Agarwal ever since the beginning of the Obama administration, there has been an increase in the number of female senators, an increase in the number of female Supreme Court justices, the appointment of the first black female Attorney General and the first female Chair of the Federal Reserve has been successfully appointed.

“All of these changes occurred under a progressive, democratic President, so I believe we would see even more political representation for women if Hillary were to win,” Agarwal said. “She already serves as strong inspiration for women across the nation, myself included, to run for office.”

The Obama administration has brought more women into politics than any other administration, and they have also brought the most diversity to the White House. The most recent example includes Loretta Lynch, who was sworn in as the first African American woman to be nominated and placed in the attorney general role of the United States.

The bottom line is that when it comes to representing women in politics, descriptive representation matters,” Agarwal said. “It matters that we have men and women representing women, and it will continue to matter in our nation until we are ranked at the top of the list for women’s political representation, women earn equivalently to men in the workplace, at least half of congress is composed of women and legislators cease to make a mockery of violence against women.”

While women are still the minority gender in politics and in other fields they have the opportunity to make a difference.

In a study found by Pew Research women are 34 percent better at working out compromises and being honest and ethical than men are. Women are 26 percent better at working to improve U.S. quality of life than men and are 25 percent  better at standing up for their beliefs than men are. These statistics are just within politicians.

As the election for 2016 is coming closer only time will tell if the United States will have its first female president. With the nominations still out on the horizon people are still waiting to hear of more presidential announcements.


Murder she didn’t commit

After 17 years behind bars for murder, Susan Mellen was released from jail by a judge who declared her innocent of the killing. It was stated that dectective Marcella Winn suppressed evidence from Mellen’s attorney that would have cancelled out the trial’s key witness in 1998.

This story is not the first of its kind. There have been others who have been locked behind bars planning on a life in prison, when they were innocent. The idea that someone will keep evidence like that hidden for the sake of keeping someone’s mental issues hidden is something that is not right and shows that not everything is as it seems.

“There’s no amount of money in the universe that can give me back what I lost with my family and my children, the pain and the suffering,” Mellen said. “I just want to live my life again.”

Cars, trails and a horse chase

A three-hour car chase, narrow trails, rugged terrain, stealing a horse and riding it through the desert sounds like something between an old western film and a Fast and Furious film.

The incident ended with an ineffective tazoring due to loose clothing and a beating from police on 30-year-old Francis Pusok.

San Bernardino County Sheriff Jon McHahon said there would be an internal investigation as it is seen from a KNBC Channel 4 helicopter that they captured the chase and beating.

Pusok was transported the hospital and his injuries were not given. Three deputies involved were also transported to the hospital – two for dehydration and one that was kicked by the horse. The horse had numerous injuries to its legs but has been returned to its rightful owner.

The American Dream and sinking ships

Former United States Senator, Richard Santorum gave a speech at the Iowa Freedom Summit on Jan. 24, 2015 at Hoyt Sherman Place in Des Moines, IA.

Beginning his speech, Santorum humored the audience with a story of his infamous sweater vest and informed the audience on the health of his daughter, Isabella.

Santorum discussed how he would not tear down the Democratic Party by talking poorly and tearing down their flaws because it is “what they would do” and it is how they won the past election. He brought up that the country is divided and that “we need to do better, because America deserves better.”

The statements that he made clearly shocked the audience at points as one could hear the gasps and comments that came from the audience throughout the speech.

While three of the statistics that he provided in his speech were not entirely correct, Santorum got the audience to question the drastic statistics. The lack of truth in those statements could have been used as either shock value or he simply misread the reports that he was talking about.

He got creative by using one saying that the Republican Party uses.

“One of our favorite sayings I know that you hear Republicans say all the time, is a rising tide lifts all boats. And that is true unless your boat has a hole in it.”

He used this metaphor as a visual to show how the American people and American Dream without an education cannot be successful in America, but rather they will fail or sink.

Santorum also talked about how the U.S. needs to provide jobs for America’s citizens and less for illegal immigrants. He discussed how education must involve the parents and not have the government control education, because this is one of the major reasons our country is failing.

He concluded his speech with speaking directly to the audience members to tell them that they do a great job, make good decisions and they will this time around in the upcoming election process.

Santorum had previously run for president in 2012, and was a United States Senator from 1997-2007.

Richard Santorum – Iowa Freedom Summit, Hoyt Sherman Place: Analysis

On Jan. 24 2015, Steve King held the inaugural Iowa Freedom Summit at Hoyt Sherman Place in Des Moines, Iowa. This event brought in many republican politicians who spoke to hundreds directly at the event and thousands through a live broadcast. Senators, businessmen, governors and many more  shared political addresses regarding the upcoming election in 2016.

Former United States Senator, Richard “Rick” Santorum was one of the many contributors to this event. Santorum provided a viewpoint on how the country is divided and the need for the American Dream to come back to what it once was. He provided information that made the audience wonder more about what was going on with the country. The facts brought up shocked the audience and viewers, so being able to dig deeper with that is necessary.

Many comments Santorum made were true. One of the first items discussed was his sweater vest. He stated that the Iowa Freedom Summit at Hoyt

Courtesy of Creative Commons.

Courtesy of Creative Commons.

Sherman Place was the location that launched his sweater vest. While he was not wearing one on January 24, 2015 he did wear the infamous sweater vest at previous events.

Here are some of the main facts that were provided by Santorum which have been checked for validity.

One of the main facts during Santorum’s speech was immigration and jobs for American citizens versus non-citizens.

“Since 2000 there have been 6 million net new jobs created in America. … How many of those net new jobs are held by people who were not born in this country? All of them. There are fewer Americans working today who were born in this country than there were in the year 2000 in spite of 17 million more in the workforce.”

However, according to factcheck.org, the three words that take this entire surprising statement is stated to be false are “all of them.”

In the same article it is stated that “Santorum ignores the 2.6 million jobs gains by native-born Americans over the age of 65 in the same time period.”

The information that Santorum used was based off of a Center for Immigration June 2014 report.

When the report was first presented, it seemed as if this statement was true, but once one looks further in, it quickly shows a different side of the issue.

In this report it is illustrated that since 2000 work from native-born citizens has declined and due to immigration, employment is decreased for natives.

Overall, this fact was not stated correctly. There were many facts and statistics that showed the effects of immigration on native-born workers, but the point Santorum was trying to get us what not correctly stated and shown as he missed the mark with saying that non-citizens had all 6 million net new jobs.

Another major statistic that he presented at the Summit dealt with the percentages of individuals who were born outside of the United States.

“We’re approaching percentage-wise the highest level of immigrants than we’ve ever had in America. Almost 14 percent now. It was 14.2 at the end of the great wave in 1920. There are more people not born in this country than have ever been in the history of the country.”

Just from that quote it can be distinguished that even points of a percentage off, is still a large adjustment since we are talking in terms of millions of individuals, not just a household. By stating that we are “almost at 14 percent” and then go to 14.2 percent can show that the layout of this portion

Jobs for immigrants vs. native born in the U.S.

Jobs for immigrants vs. native born in the U.S.

of the speech should have been in a different order and format. This fact can skew skeptics to go elsewhere.

According to Census data from 2013, this data shows where we were as a country when we were at 13.1 percent of immigrants in the population.

The other portion of this statement states that the highest level of immigrants was in 1920 at the end of the great wave. The great wave did end in 1920. Nonetheless, according to factcheck.org the highest point was in 1890 when the population of foreign-born individuals we were at 14.8 percent.

While these two reports at first glance seem to be deemed as true, the documents and reports that were used for the speech can show that either the reports weren’t looked at close enough or there is a trace of hyperbole at play.

Another item brought up was percentages on education.

“Look at those who of the 70-percent of Americans don’t have a college degree and many of them don’t have a high school degree.”

At first glance this seems to be a shocking percentage of individuals who do not have a college degree in America. Nevertheless, concurring to looking deeper it can quickly be shown that the statistic is not clearly that high in a percent.

According to a report done in 2012 by the Lumina Foundation, a private

College enrollment increasing.

College enrollment increasing.

institution, 40 percent of all working-aged citizens now have a college education and degree. If this information is accurate today as it was just over two years ago, the percentage would approximately be 60 percent rather than 70 percent that do not hold a college degree.

This fact check shows that it would still have been helpful to him since over half of the American people do not have college degrees. While it is not as high as before, it would still show that our society does need to be better educated.

“Karen and I home schooled our children. … Was it harder?  Sure, it’s harder. … Oh but what a blessing to be intimately involved in your children’s education.”

This comment may be blinding and bringing previous issues up for himself. In 2012 Santorum enrolled and has his children attend a Pennsylvania cyber charter school. At this time he insisted that taxpayers also pay for his children to attend.