Friday, August 17, 2012

A bit discouraged

I know it's summer and people are busy. I realize re-electing President Obama isn't everyone's cuppa, and his chances of winning West Virginia are zero and none. I get that time is limited and it's important to spend it wisely.

Last night was the monthly meeting of the local Democratic women's club, of which I am the Democratic woman in charge. In June, eight members came. Last month, only five. Last night, seven.

We haven't been able to vote on anything all summer. There are items to vote on and money to disperse. The election is less than three months from now. A handful of members can't be expected to plan and [wo]man fundraisers or events or receptions.

Our next event is a public screening of the HBO film Iron Jawed Angels. I'm going to try to make arrangements for a late September showing. Voter registration ends October 23 and early voting begins October 24, so airing it in September – NEXT MONTH – makes sense.

And apparently, if it is to be, it's up to me.

I feel strongly about making this happen, and the members who showed up last night all thought it was a great idea. One had seen it, said it was very powerful and definitely something we should do. And if more people had been at the meeting, I might have gotten more constructive input. More than, "Wow, what a great idea."

In order to show it without paying royalties on the film or rent on the venue, it has to
  1. be shown for educational purposes [check]
  2. have no admission charge [check]
  3. be open to the public [check]
That leaves a lot of leeway as to what our group can do. I went to bed thinking about making post cards to put on each chair with future meeting dates printed on them. I woke up wondering if we should rent a popcorn machine. In between, I thought about publicity, inviting special guests, having a discussion period prior to or following the film, and more.

In other words, there was not much sleeping going on here at Chez Middle of Nowhere.

This election seems to be one in which women will make the difference. Fifty-one percent of voters are women, and Republicans seem to be hell-bent on selling us out. If you're a woman, or if you love a woman, how can you support a party who is against ALL abortion, even in the case of rape, incest or the life of the mother? (And if you're pro-life, doesn't the mother's life count?) Someone who voted against the Lilly Leadbetter Fair Pay Act. Someone who would, somehow, get rid of in vitro fertilization. (How is that possible?)

The film depicts what women went through – ridicule, imprisonment, torture – to secure the right to vote. I don't even have to see it to realize that my whiny little rant about lack of participation at a meeting is nothing compared to the original struggle to cast a ballot.

Thank you, Blogger, for that insight.


jen said...

Don't forget, it's not just about the presidency. Maybe you can also hype big local races, school levies, issues.

Good luck with your event. I'd come!

Winnie said...

It saddens me when people don't vote. So many have died for the right, and women had to fight so hard to eventually be allowed to vote. My thing, if you don't vote, you can't complain when things don't change, or go the way you want them to. My parents would make it a voting night, and even we would all vote together and go for pizza. Even when we moved out and some of us (like me) lived in the same town, we would vote at our polls and meet up for the pizza after. It was instilled in us as a family. I love that you are trying to make the issue well known. Women count, and women and if we want more women in government, we need to vote! Gosh, I want a woman president in my lifetime!