Today, the “She’s Doing It” weekly series will start answering that question.
The first is a woman I admire greatly for her astute political analysis and smart writing. Keli Goff is the author most recently of The GQ Candidate and you can catch her regularly on The Dylan Ratigan Show. She’s a contributing editor at Loop21.com and blogs at www.TheHuffingtonPost.com. Follow @KeliGoff on twitter. Now, read more from her here:
Gloria: Was there a moment when you felt very powerful recently?
Keli: I thought the Komen Foundation's recent reversal of its decision to defund Planned Parenthood was an incredibly powerful example of the incredible power of women. I did my small part in writing about it all, but the way so many women of different races, backgrounds, ages, and political parties came together made me even prouder to be a woman than I already am.
I couldn't help thinking, when men get mad they go to war. When women get mad, we go to work, and as this proved we get results—and we get them quickly. As I said in my column on the subject, never underestimate the power of women—especially when we work together.
Gloria: For the first time in history, gender parity at work, in civic life, and in personal relationships seems possible--if we choose to make it so. That's my take. What's yours? What are the signs that tell you I'm right, or that make you think I'm overly optimistic?
Keli: There is great reason to be optimistic. Every study shows that Generation Y is more progressive on a host of issues, particularly social issues such as racial and gender equality, so our country is headed in the right direction. We all have to hope and believe that things will only get better, but our optimism should be laced with a bit of caution.
When President Obama was elected many hoped that perhaps our nation was finally ready to begin putting its troubled history of racial inequality behind us. Yet here we are a few years later and poor black men face record levels of poverty and unemployment.
Similarly, last year writers like me heralded data that showed that childless young women are now out-earning their male counterparts, and that young women now outnumber males on college campuses, as proof that perhaps our nation is finally ready to begin putting its troubled history of gender inequality behind us. Yet poor women in particular still struggle for protection of basic rights, like access to contraception, as we have recently been reminded.
My point is the future certainly looks bright for many of us who belong to groups that have historically been disenfranchised in this country, but the future remains bleak for many as class inequality begins to usurp racial and gender inequality as the greatest barrier to the American Dream.
This means that the only way we will ever truly achieve gender equality is if those women who have been fortunate to achieve power use it to help those women who have not. As far as I'm concerned that's the next great feminist challenge.