If you've been following us, you know that over the past few years Fem2.0 bloggers have written extensively about public policy
, and its role in women's lives not just here in the United States, but abroad as well. Most of us tuned in last night to watch President Obama's Third State of the Union to see just what kind of country he envisioned leading this year. Check out our initial thoughts:
I went to bed early and gather there were only the two early mentions of women - great mentions, but the same thing we've heard for years. Plus, I went to bed pissed off about his energy and environment points. If I didn't have a bad cold I would have been writing about what a bad idea it is to expand our use of natural gas and not even mention the word fracking while he claims it will be done safely without harming residents.
I liked the President's tone and the fact that he took Congress to task for their inability to work together. But it was very obviously a campaign speech and very focused on the economy. While talking about social issues might not sway moderates, that doesn't mean they deserve to be ignored. I'd like to see something more substantive from that realm.
It's as though the speech was finished and someone said "Wait -- don't print that out yet! We need to stick something in there about women!" It's pretty clear what's in there just for appeasement. I'm interested to see what happens with the proposal to require students to stay in school until they graduate/turn 18. Does it do anyone any good to keep students in school against their will, or is it just for statistics' sake, like standardized tests he spoke out against? Seems contradictory to me.
Some good "fairness" policies introduced, which should resonate well with Americans, and I agree with Christina in that it was clearly a campaign speech meant to draw contrast to Mitt Romney. Regarding #Fem2 issues, "Equal Pay for Equal Work" is one of the easiest nods to women's equality ever, so I'm not terribly impressed with his mentioning that. Overall, while I appreciate calls for teamwork and bipartisan cooperation to get things going, I didn't think the speech was terribly ambitious or courageous. In order to inspire some, you're going to have to alienate others.
Two points for actually mentioning women in the SOTU. Equal pay for equal work - what a novel concept! For a Prez focused on jobs, jobs, jobs, he almost pointed out that investing in women might help the economy. Looks like we're making progress?
I couldn't agree more with Katie. And I think the end part of the speech was phenomenal! I wish I could vote in the next election!
So you've heard our initial thoughts! What are yours? Did the President do enough for women last night? Does it matter?
Photo by H. Darr Beiser, USA TODAY