Archive for January 2009

Choice & Fair Pay- A glance into the Obama future

January 31, 2009

I wrote a bit about choice in my other blog, aintiawoman.tumblr.com, for NARAL’s “Blog For Choice” day– asking all bloggers in the blogosphere to dedicate 1 blog to writing about Choice, and what they want from President Obama.

Barack Obama has been President for 12 days. In less than 2 weeks, he has shown a strong commitment to women’s reproductive rights. Since the majority of my intellectually mature life was spent under Bush,  I had almost entirely given up on a US that actually fit beliefs– on a US that would fight for women, fight for reproductive justice for women not just here, but all around the globe.
Obama has realized that ideal in the 12 days that he has been in office. He has reversed the Mexico City gag order, a move that will greatly improve the lives of women abroad.

The first bill President Obama has signed is the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. The bill is a HUGE step for women’s equal pay in the workplace, and something that I have closely followed since Lilly brought her case to the Supreme Court (pause here to breathe a sigh of relief that we have Obama in the office to hopefully appoint Justices to the Court– since Bush appointees were the ones that turned this vote to 5-4 against Lilly). Opponents of this bill wanted women silenced. They wanted Lilly’s courageous fight to look like an uppity, nagging, whining woman who should sit down and shut up. But she never did. And now because of her, other women won’t have to.

But in addition I think there is an important symbolic significance about this bill being the first Obama signs as President. As he states himeself:

“It is fitting that with the very first bill I sign – the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act – we are upholding one of this nation’s first principles: that we are all created equal and each deserve a chance to pursue our own version of happiness.”

Throughout the campaign, the battle between Clinton and Obama seemed to endlessly pit us against each other in the media– the older white feminists against younger, civil rights-oriented Obama supporters. But the thing is, Obama is on our side. Obama is on feminism’s side. He always has been. And I look forward to 4 or 8 years more.

Obama signs the Lilly Ledbetter Act

Obama signs the Lilly Ledbetter Act

(i encourage you to read his full statement…its quite powerful)