Were you, like us, thrilled by the news that President Obama has created a Council on Women and Girls, putting Valerie Jarrett and Tina Tchen in charge? Read more about why we should be thrilled, here.
We were less thrilled, however, to see the scanty coverage by the mainstream news media. Perhaps we are naive, but we were hoping for front-page stories. Instead, the New York Times mentions it in its Caucus and Motherlode blogs, while the likes of the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal do not report on it AT ALL.
Critics say that the new council is just an executive order and not legislation; that it does not have Cabinet rank; that it’s nothing more than a hollow gesture to make the administration look good. Well, World War II Japanese-American internment camps happened under executive order, and so did the desegregation of public schools. Finessing the Geneva Conventions to allow torture was also by executive order. And while the new council does not have Cabinet rank, the whole Cabinet, from the Secretary of Defense to the US Ambassador to the United Nations, is required to serve on it.
The new council could very well prove to be nothing more than window dressing; it will ultimately depend on the political resolve behind it. But public support strengthens political resolve. If the news media does not think the council significant enough to actually inform the public about it, then the chances for broad-based support diminishes, giving political resolve the chance to fade away. This lack of interest from MSM — about what amounts to a pledge from the President to take the concerns and lives of American women seriously, a pledge that would be of interest to more than half the people in this country — betrays its continuing male bias.
Thank God the women who are watching can take it upon ourselves to let the country know about the council and what it means. It’s up to us to shore up that political will to make sure the White House Council on Women and Girls fulfills its promise.
This Week’s Fem2.0 Twittercast
Topic: Power and Women
Moderator: Madama Ambi
March 15, 2009, 10 PM EST
To join Twittercast, see here.
Madama Ambi writes: "The hardest job is convincing women to take their power. It hurts to say this. Women are ambivalent about power. They don’t know what it is, they don’t know where it comes from, and they’re not sure it’s a good thing to have."
Read the read of Madama Ambi’s conversation starter, here.
March 22 Twittercast: Special Invitation to Younger Women – What Do You Want to Tell Feminism?
March 29 Twittercast: Feminism and Marriage
If you have some ideas about what the Fem2.0 community should tweet about, let us know!
If you haven’t had a chance yet, you can still complete the Fem2.0 survey here. The survey closes today.
Have a great weekend.
The Fem2.0 Organizers