Dear 20- and 30-Something Sisters,

You have had access to contraception and the
oppportunity to control of your own bodies for as
long as you have been alive.

The stories of back-alley deaths from illegal and unsafe abortions are just "stories" to you, fortunately not reality. There has been some real progress made in wage parity, a pushing back of the glass ceiling, job options, and attention paid to sexual harrassment in the workplace. And, men--you good guys--you have wives, sisters, mothers, cousins, friends and girlfriends whose lives are better now. (Your own lives are better now, too. It's not just women who end up responsible for an unplanned child.)

To any sane person, rape is a physical violation that is a punishable crime. There are no "degrees" of rape. There is no "legitimate rape." Let's make sure right-wing male legislators don't try to institute their Medieval ideas.

You have options that previous generations of women worked (and some died) to achieve. The struggle, la lucha, does not stop with you. Pick up the relay baton already and do your part. Agitate, demonstrate and vote Democrat down the line.

Want to honor the legacy of Ted Kennedy in the U.S. Senate? If you're in Massachusetts, vote for Elizabeth Warren.

Want to support a lesbian for U.S. Senate, and help maintain the majority there? In Wisconsin, Tammy Baldwin is your woman. Here are her priorities: jobs, families, workers, small businesses..

Not sure whom to vote for? Emily's List has a great website that allows you to see the pro-choice, pro-equality candidates in every state.

And if you'd like to know more about women of color in politics or about women already serving, click on the boldfaced phrases for information from Rutgers University.

As for the economy, stick with the presidential candidate who pulled us back from collapse, not the one from the party that got us there in the first place (and whose "five-point plan" is a D: defer, denigrate, destroy, digress, and disregard).

Please vote to give our president, Barack Obama, four more years with a Congress that will work with him to work for us.


Kit Lang said...

Bravo! thanks for posting. :)

(P.S. If you moderate your comments, why do you make us jump through hoops to comment? This is my fourth try!)

annell said...

A wonderful post!!!

Joanne Mattera said...


Because without that filter, spammers can post comments not just on the current post but on the 800 previous articles I have posted. A robo-spammer can go down the line and post methodically. It's terrible. I once spent two days cleaning up the crap they deposited in all of those posts.

I go through those hoops when I post on another's blog. I understand the frustration, but it's the only thing that keeps the blogosphere safe from penis enlargers.

Natalya Aikens said...


flaubert said...

Thank you, thank you! A wonderful post!


Kim Matthews said...

Too many people I respect and care for are so put off by our president's perpetuation of the GWOT that they are abstaining in protest or voting for Jill Stein or other candidates. If you want to create change in our country, work to get the word out about Citizens United. Urge your elected officials to bring back Glass Steagall. Voting third party or not voting this time around means voting for a right-wing Supreme Court and an Oval Office that supports the oppression of women. He's not our savior, but he's a far cry from the alternative: Obama '12.

Tamar said...

Great post Joanne! Thank you.

grovecanada said...

Women's Issues:I don't know...I think that contraceptives have just created the current cancer plague that women are dying from...A slower death perhaps...I wonder why contraceptives are only forced on women? Perhaps it was the greatest thing since sliced bread in the 60s, but this is 2012, & I am not all for them...Nor do I eat much sliced bread...

PB said...

Excellent post with great info and advice. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

I'm voting for Obama, but I am very distressed by the Democratic platform's apparent lack of interest in the environment. If we destroy our air/water/land, education, health insurance issues, women's issues, food quality, etc... will be very high end problems.
On another note, why do the Dems still feel it is necessary to be so war mongering? The last debate was like a battle for who will be the most imperialistic!
Because one can vote with anonymity, I am posting anonymously in the same spirit.

Scarlett said...

I admit that I'm biased and a life-long Democrat but let's not leave out the "race card". I've heard too many comments like "I don't know what it is, but there's just something about Obama that I don't trust". When I mention it could be because Obama is black, they always strongly deny it. I've heard so many variations of that comment that I know, sadly, that many have chosen Romney because he is white. It is uncool to be racist but it certainly still exists - otherwise, there is no way in hell that a moron like Romney would even come close to winning over a man of integrity like Obama...

Joanne Mattera said...


You are absolutely correct that racism is an underlying motive against Obama. And on the right-wing talk shows and "news" programs it's pretty overt.

And I totally agree that there will be white idiots who choose the stupid white guy because he is white. That is reprehensible (but not surprising, alas).

But in this post I wanted to reach women--a najority of about 51 or 52 percent--and particularly the youngwomen who may be taking for granted the rights they have available to them.

Anonymous 6:32--
Bernie Sanders, independent senator from Vermont, addressed your concernes recently with this comment:
"I am more than aware that many Americans are disappointed that the President and Democrats in Congress have not been stronger in fighting Republican obstructionism, in taking on Wall Street, in reversing global warming and in making sure that we do deficit reduction in a way that is fair. I share those concerns.

"But now is not the time to shoot ourselves in the foot and debate what the Democrats should or should not have done. That is for the day after the election when progressives begin the process of developing a strong, 50-state strategy which rallies the American people to demand that government work for all the people, not just the super-rich."

Nancy Natale said...

This is a great post, Joanne. Young women don't realize what it meant when the birth control pill was introduced and made available to women. Prior to that, there was no birth control readily available except condoms and diaphragms. When the pill became widely available, sex without fear of getting pregnant also became possible and it wasn't a big deal to ask your doctor to prescribe birth control pills even if you weren't married. This was revolutionary and a radical change for women that liberated them in ways they couldn't yet imagine.

Also part of this new freedom was the legalization and accessibility of abortions. Women could choose to abort a fetus without having to risk death or permanent injury from an unskilled abortionist. This was another huge step in freeing women from domination by society in general and men in particular.

When something has "always" been there, it's human nature not to realize how important it is until it's no longer there. We must vote to keep access to contraception and abortion freely available to all women, not just those who can afford to pay. This is a necessity for a free society and is particularly important for womenas individuals and for allowing women to take their rightful place in society. There is still a mountain to climb to achieve equal rights for women, people of color, LGBT women, immigrants and all the rest, but the ability to choose is the foundation that cannot be moved. The Democrats are the party who are holding the line on freedom of choice and if we value choice, we need to vote Democratic to keep them in office.

Anonymous said...

In regards to Bernie Sanders' comment about timing the criticism for the day after the election, I think that is two days too late. This debate is long overdue and it is past time to push our elected leaders to act on the most important issues. They need to state their positions overtly, without subtlety, directly, and immediately. BEFORE THE ELECTION!!
As I said, Obama is my candidate, but only because he is closer to my ideals (he doesn't even vaguely mirror them overall). In the end it appears that Mr. Sanders is going to have his way.