It has become increasingly clear that our President is a vulgar human being, who uses social media not as a platform to talk about issues or to try and make a positive impact on the world, but instead, uses it like a cowardly internet troll. And while I think there is a time and a place to call out his insanity and instability, his wrong doing and inappropriateness, I do not want to be distracted by his circus act while important things are going on. And whether or not the GOP intended for this to be their strategy - to work on unpopular legislation while everyone is looking the other way - I am going to keep my eye on the ball. It's easy to get caught up in the words of a madman, but it's the actions of his handlers and enablers that I am going to do my best to stay focused on. I encourage us all to buckle down and get more involved in understanding the actions and legislation coming from this administration & the legislative branch.
Back to the issues at hand...
A woman named Bethany Kozma has been appointed to the office of Gender Equality & Women's Empowerment. Some fun little facts about Ms. Kozma - she held a position in the George W. Bush administration, but has spent the last several years raising a family and opposing equal rights for the LGBT community, especially the T (transgender) folks. Just last year, Kozma wrote a piece for a publication arm of the Heritage Foundation, a conservative political organization focused on those poor, mistreated American Christians (I hope you can hear the sarcasm), in which she called for them to rise up against the Obama administration's guidance to public schools in allowing transgender students to use the restroom of the gender the students identify with. Rousing that unfounded fear tactic that children will be sexually assaulted by a transgender person, Kozma asserted that her own children were at risk and encouraged the Christian Right to go to battle over where people go the bathroom. That's right...this lady will now be at the table for the US Agency for International Development. Because if there's one important issue the US can teach the world, it's to care too much about where people go to the restroom.
In a somewhat opposite, but equally interesting move by the administration, the White House is trying to determine whether or not to keep the Council for Women & Girls. Of course, this probably shouldn't be incredibly surprising. The George W. Bush administration disbanded a similar council started under the Bill Clinton administration, so it only makes sense that the new Republican president would hit the undo button on literally anything the previous Democratic president did. We obviously know that our current president has an acute issue when it comes to women, plus we have a vice president who refuses to even meet alone with women, so that he can retain his religious sanctimony.
Despite the fact that we apparently have a administration full of powerful women, who seem to care about women's issues such as equality, the pay-gap, family leave, and STEM education when it is politically convenient (I can admit they are powerful and ambitious, even though they are either brainwashed or self-loathing), and a First Lady who has yet to do anything impactful, the administration can't seem to realize that keeping this council would be an easy slam dunk. Instead, they are so repulsed by any Obama legacy positions that they just let them die, instead of seeing how it could actually help their cause or help them gain points. I miss Michelle Obama more than ever, and miss the positive influence she had in the lives of all of our children, especially our young women. I don't think the 3rd Mrs. Trump can hold a candle to her, and she's certainly not a figure I would even want a child to look up to.
So, while the current voices in power seem to want to hush up the women, quite literally, I want to share the stories of some women who should be celebrated on this Day of Independence:
- Deborah Samson - a young woman in her 20's, who had been freed from indentured servitude, joined the Fourth Massachusetts Regiment disguised as a man named Robert Shurtlieff. Samson was wounded numerous times and refused medical treatment, fearing her identity would be discovered. When she fell ill from a sickness she contracted at camp, a doctor discovered her identity. She was not allowed to remain in the Army, but was given an Honorable Discharge, and later fought to get back pay and pension from the Army. She is now officially the Massachusetts State Heroine.
- Sybil Ludington - the 16 year old daughter of Colonel Henry Ludington, who rode a 40 mile circuit to awaken a militia to warn them of the British army.
- Lydia Darragh - a Quaker woman who played double agent. She allowed her home to become a gathering location for British soldiers, then she passed along British information to the spy network of George Washington. Darragh sewed messages into button covers and other locations. When she passed along British plans for attack, she likely saved hundreds of soldiers.
- Margaret Corbin - wife of a soldier who handled cannon ammunition, Corbin often assisted her husband. During battle, when the soldier firing the cannon had been hit, her husband took over firing the cannon. Her husband was killed, and Margaret stepped up and manned the cannon herself, until she was horribly wounded from opposition fire.
If you want to read more stories of heroic women who played incredible roles in the Revolutionary War, check out this article from Mental Floss.