The Ladies of the DNC
I don’t enjoy much about the pomp-and-circumstance of the Republican and Democratic National Conventions. States declaring who they are going to give their votes to, in this computer age, seems very old-fashioned. Politicians who want to take a bigger national leadership role are often spotlighted, which makes me groan with its obviousness.
But sometimes there are speeches that touch you and make you cry because the speakers are saying the right thing. These women from last week really inspired me with their words and courage.
Sandra Fluke, an attorney and women’s rights activist, spoke about contraception and pissed off Republicans. Sandra’s speech made me cry, especially after it was pushed to prime time because someone (thankfully) decided what she was going to say was important enough to be heard by the majority of DNC viewers.
Everyone on Twitter was freaking out about Michelle Obama’s speech, which was warm but powerful and drove home some important messages about Democrats and families. She is an insanely good speaker but I wanted some more overtly feminist statements (like her work as a mother is as important as her work as a lawyer, but she never mentioned her former job).
I also cried during Tammy Duckworth’s speech. Duckworth, a candidate for the House of Representatives in Illinois, talked about growing up in a household with an out of work father, and how she worked hard to rise up through the ranks of the Army. I loved when she said this: Last week, Mitt Romney had a chance to show his support for the brave men and women he is seeking to command. But he chose to criticize President Obama instead of even uttering the word “Afghanistan.”
U.S. Senate candidate from Massachusetts Elizabeth Warren is a hero to many. Her speech, given before President Bill Clinton’s, talked about the middle class being marginalized, which many people, no matter what their political affiliation or gender, can relate to. These lines made me cheer from my couch: President Obama believes in a country where billionaires pay their taxes just like their secretaries do. And I can’t believe I have to say this in 2012, a country where women get equal pay for equal work.
Lastly, Gabrielle Giffords made a simple gesture: she delivered the Pledge of Allegiance. The audience chanted “Gabby! Gabby!” and everyone seemed united, like we were working towards a common goal. I am always in awe of her and thought she did a beautiful job speaking in front of such a large audience, which she has not done in several months (she left congress in January).