Democrats' Women Dilemma: What to Do About Gloria
Around the State
Something akin to "Women 'R' Us" was set to be a campaign theme during the Democratic convention, which begins Sept. 3 in Charlotte, N.C. The party had just named 10 more speakers for the event -- all of them women.
But then along came activist Steinem and several chapters of the National Organization for Women (NOW), blasting the DNC for “discrimination against mothers with young children” during the convention.
The NOW chapters of Southern California, spiritually led by a razor-sharp Steinem — there are four of them — are up in arms because the Democratic National Convention won't offer automatic access for young children on the convention floor -- nor will it be providing childcare during the event.
This is bad, says Steinem, 78. “Women are the key to a Democratic victory, and sometimes, children are the key to women,” she said in a statement. “It’s both right and smart for the Democratic Convention to behave as if children exist.”
Susie Shannon, one of the delegates to the 2012 Democratic National Convention, claims the policy is leaving women like her out in the cold.
"Moms with young children 6 years of age and under who can't be left at home, some of whom are breastfeeding, are relegated to second-class status within the Democratic Convention,” she explained. “They are unable to participate as a delegate due to antiquated policies and inadequate accommodations that were apparently in place before women’s suffrage.”
"Ouch," said David Levy, one of the convention's home town organizers, after he heard what Shannon said. "We accommodate all we can. In fact, we're very accommodating," Levy posited. "But a convention generally isn't a family affair. We list vendors who provide child care very near the Convention Center."
Credential children and babies? It's ridiculous, says NOW Hollywood President Lindsey Horvath: "That policy is being used to discriminate against mothers."
Horvath was quoted in The Daily Caller saying this: "The DNC requires children and babies to have a credential to enter the convention, and then denies these credential requests from moms. The DNC credentialing process is being used as a tool to prevent mothers from participating at the convention and is nothing short of discriminatory.”
Steinem, meanwhile, claims she will continue to make a racket until the DNC gives moms with young children a little sugar. "The party that says it cares about women needs to show it cares about women."
Names of the 10 women speakers released Wednesday morning by the Democratic National Committee include U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin; former assistant secretary, U.S. Department of Veterans AffairsTammy Duckworth; Sandra Fluke, Georgetown University student; Denise Juneau, state superintendent of public instruction, Montana; Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America; Caroline Kennedy; Lilly Ledbetter; actress Eva Longoria; U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski of Maryland; and Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Action Fund.
Already announced as speakers: California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris and Massachusetts U.S. Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren.
Levy admits the party "needs to get with" Steinem to "exercise damage control before this thing gets crazier and even more embarrassing."
Reach Nancy Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (850) 727-0859.