Over the weekend the NOW conference was held in Albany, NY. Being honoured this year with a “Woman of Courage” award was the Buffalo Folksinger, Ani Difranco. During her speech, overwhelmed by the supportive NOW audience, Ms. Difranco let a revelation loose by announcing that she is, indeed, 12 weeks pregnanat. Ani will be giving birth in February 2007, smack dab in the middle of our gorgeous Buffalo winter.
This news was wonderful and a little bit strange at the same time. It’s absolutely spectacular that Ani wants to have a child. It’s even better that she can make the choice to do so. The strange part is that she is Ani. The first and foremost folksinging feminist of the 90’s. It’s just a bit weird. This is a situation where I must say I am torn. Happy and astounded at the same time. Joyful and taken aback.
Well – at least we know she will raise the kid the best way she could and hopefully remain left. More to come on Ani and her baby. A whole new realm of musicality could spring from this. The hormones alone could spark another album. Ofcourse, the baby will most likely be talented as well. The hope is that she will continue to make music after the birth. We shall see. An Aquarius will certainly be complementary to her Virgo, or at least we hope so.
In other news – the NOW conference was celebrating the 40th anniversary of the organization. 40 years of bringing women together and “building a feminist future”. Betty Friedan was remembered fondly at the conference. Ms. Friedan passed away earlier this year but her presence was most likely felt at the conference of this organization that she founded.
The number one issue for the National Organization for Women is still the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). This is an amendment that women have been trying to get passed since 1923 (three years after women won the right to vote with the 19th amendment). Why do we need the ERA, you might ask? Equal pay, non-discrimination in the workplace based on pregnancy or sexual orientation, reproductive rights. Making women legally equal in our society would afford us with the opportunity to better pursue legal action concerning discrimination and the erosion of our rights, in general.
It is unbelievable that in a country that is supposed to stand for freedom and justice, we still do not consider women to be 100% equal, in every way, to men. We are supposed to be the most civilized, most aware of human rights nation in the world, but we still have the “glass ceiling” in the work place. Women have tried to break through and a few have made it, but there are still large discrepancies between men and women in high paying positions. This isn’t a call to give women jobs just for the sake of having a women in the position (quotas), but to give women an actual shot at the jobs they are qualified for. An even playing field between the boys and girls is truly all we ask for. No special treatment, just equality.
Peace and Justice Now!!!
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