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The concept of “election day” is now an anachronism. This is election season, and we’re in the thick of it. Early voting has begun in many states, and others begin each day going forward. Debates are finally happening – where they’re happening at all, and polls are tightening. The stakes couldn’t be higher.
I’ll start today’s show with an essay I found on Facebook that sums up what women my age (give or take a decade) have experienced during our lives, and where we are now. Unfortunately, its author is “unknown”- but it’s brilliant.

“I’m 14 and I’m struggling in Algebra class. When I ask for help, the male teacher says ‘I’m not surprised, girls aren’t that good at Algebra.’

I’m 18 and go to my first fraternity parties with girlfriends. We don’t ever say it out loud but it’s understood that we need to stick together at these parties and not get separated, for our own safety.

I’m 20 and I’m working as a hostess at the Red Lion Inn in San Jose, near the airport. Men in suits come in to eat after their meetings during the day and I see them take off their wedding rings before heading into the bar next to the restaurant. Every girl who works there learns quickly not to bend too far over because of the short skirts of our uniforms.

I’m 22 and it’s my first day on a new job. My male supervisor gets me into a room alone and I think he’s going to tell me about the job but instead he tells me about how much he likes sex and how he needs to have it every day. I get up and walk out of the room and avoid him after that, but I don’t tell anyone because I’m one of the only women there and I don’t know what to do.

I’m 24 and I’m watching Anita Hill on TV, testifying about a man who wants to be on the Supreme Court. I don’t understand everything I’m watching but I understand that she’s a black woman facing down a panel of white men and she is going to lose because, at 24, I do understand who has power and who does not.

I’m any age in my 20s and I’m walking on the street, in a park, in a city, in a suburb, anywhere. Men tell me to smile, to wait a minute, to slow down what’s my hurry, can I ask you a question, can I stand too close to you, can I demand your space, your time, your attention, hey where you going bitch?

I’m 25. I’m buying my first car and the salesman offers a price I know is way too high. I bring my stepdad to the showroom and the same car is now $3000 less. I smile and buy the car but inside, I’m seething.

I’m any age in my 30’s and I think about where I park, where I go, whether I should get in that elevator that only has one man in it and how I should make sure not to make eye contact with men in the streets. All of this is normal to me and I don’t question any of it.

I’m 35. I’m buying my second car and the salesman says we should wait for my husband to get there before talking about the price but would I like to see the makeup mirror? I tell him I’m a lesbian and, if he’s waiting for my husband, he’s going to be waiting a long time. I leave because I’m learning.

I’m 40 and a woman, Hillary Clinton, is taking a serious run at the Democratic presidential nomination. She’s smart, tough and qualified but she endures endless anger, viciousness, and misogyny and she eventually loses in the primary. Male friends tell me it’s probably for the best because there’s just something they don’t like about her, you know?

I’m 49 and a man who said he grabs women by the pussy is elected as the 45th President of the United States. The night of the election, I feel physically ill and my first conscious thought is ‘my God, the Supreme Court.’ The next morning, I overhear two men laughing and congratulating each other about the election and I feel unsafe in my own country.

I’m 51 and another man who stands credibly accused of sexual assault has just been confirmed to serve on the Supreme Court. I see women on television sobbing, screaming, protesting, crying out in their anguish and their fear. I am so angry. I think of every woman I know and I am so angry.

I am any age, every age. I am a woman. I am a daughter. I am discounted. I am underrepresented. I am underestimated. But I am a voter. Today, that has to be enough.”

~ Author Unknown

I followed that with this video, posted on YouTube by a singer-songwriter named Chadwick Stokes, and features the 100 Women Chorus

Then, I welcome Tom Sullivan to the show. Tom is a political blogger, holding down the morning shift at Digby’s blog, and a field organizer, and author of the get-out-the-vote planning guide, “For the Win” (the 4th edition now out,
A listener emailed me yesterday about Tom’s article at Digby’s Blog encouraging Democrats to run on their accomplishments, with the comment “Democrats need to take the narrative and start ramming this down everyone’s throat”.
So, today, let the ramming begin!