Women In The World

Women In The World

 By Karen and Erica

As always, we were blown away by this year's Women In the World Summit

The most delightful speaker--and there were many--was Margaret Atwood, author of The Handmaid's Tale and about a million other books. Very funny. Very well spoken. And very opinionated:

  • Feminism and human rights should not be on opposite sides.

  • Female inequality came about because of wheat--men got meat and wheat and women got only wheat. Now, as we move into the knowledge era, that inequality will disappear.

  • The Handmaid's Tale has escaped from its book covers and now has a life of its own. Still, as its creator, Ms. Atwood insists that its TV persona reflect only what has already happened in the real world, like Ceausescu's 1966 decree mandating that all women have four babies.

Leymah Gbowee was a close second. She talked about using very female weapons to help topple a dictator in Liberia. Those weapons? Getting all the women to dress in white, and go on a sex strike.

Sally Yates, Attorney General for ten days, brought tears to our eyes. She knew she would be fired when she decided not to enforce the initial Trump immigration order. But to do otherwise would have undermined all of her years at Justice. Quiet and forceful, a true patriot. 

Young Parkland activists demanding social justice reminded us of when we were that age and all fired up about the Vietnam war and feminism and racial equality. You go, kids.

Most restaurant workers are women. They have to put up with all sorts of things to earn a living on tips because the antiquated laws governing minimum wages, which originated in slave days, sets a ridiculously low wage for tipped employees. Kudos to those trying to change the system, and to the states that have.

Women senators work together on a bipartisan basis. So said Murkowski and Gillibrand. Their male colleagues should give it a try. 

Four brave women journalists from countries ruled by strong-men were amazingly lively as they warned us about parallels with our own country. Hillary Clinton could not keep them under control, but she was surely having as much fun as we were.

Women and money. Yes, for sure women need to know what is going on with the family finances. We were a little dismayed, however, by the casual agism on display, like calling those over 50 the "graying" population, and characterizing everyone in that cohort solely as needy and requiring long term care. What's that all about?

The founder of a company, Caribu, that makes a clever device allowing parents to read to children even when they are not together--and offers it free to parents serving in the armed forces--gave us a good laugh when she said she hoped one day to have the same confidence as that of a mediocre white man.

There was a lot more, but we can't top that!



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