Other ways to serve

Prompt from BlogHer NaBloPoMo:

Would you ever want to run for public office? Why or why not?

No, I don’t have interest in holding public office, much less going through the stress of running. That being said, I am interested in politics and I would consider being more involved in the political process if the opportunity arose. It’s been on my mind a lot lately:

My tweets mention local politics in particular, but I believe smart, progressive women need a voice at all levels.  You can’t get to those larger platforms without standing on smaller stages first, and quite a lot of important decisions are made at the state and local level.

As for my involvement, there are a few things I would consider, albeit behind-the-scenes.  To begin with, I would compile research for key issues, conduct briefings, or write speeches within my areas of expertise.  I also think it’s important to contribute to the broader discourse on complex societal issues. To that end, I would like to work for a think tank, or design and/or conduct research. I want to understand and amplify stories that are often marginalized, and help those who would most benefit from forward thinking, heart-centered policies.

Although I have no intentions of throwing my hat in any rings, I will look for ways I can help create a more loving society.

Attention Please. Small Government? Um, not so much.

I hope you guys have been paying attention. I use the words guys loosely because so much of what’s been going on in government adversely impacts women. In January we had Congress attempting to redefine what counts as rape. Now we have state governments criminalizing women and doctors for legal medical procedures and barring Medicaid recipients from low-cost health care altogether! It’s down right scary.

This ridiculousness comes at a time when legislators all but banned the word uterus from normal political discourse, while a jury acquitted a man of rape, ostensibly due, in part, to a woman bruising her cervix from being too enthusiastic with a washcloth. (No country for basic anatomy. Body parts are dirty words after all).

It’s not all about women’s issues. There’s enough to go around for poor and working class people (many also women) who, without probable cause, now have to submit to drug testing prior to receiving government assistance. Before you get the chance to assert how reasonable this could be, let me help you – it isn’t. It’s discriminatory and disgusting. Period. People don’t deserve to be treated as potential criminals because times are hard. (Rachel Maddow is brilliant as always on much of this. It’s 6 minutes well spent).

The point of this post is to make sure you’re paying attention. The buzzwords are smaller government and taking the country back, but the actual policies are larger, more intrusive, and discriminatory, and they punish women, poor and working class people, and people of color. These laws get written and  passed by legislators. This is an important point.

Who is (supposedly) representing your interests? Do you know what they’re really doing?