How do you hold your own in a room with a group of women who already have finely honed political messages?
I’m not sure that I did.
This weekend, I was lucky enough to be selected to attend a training seminar for women with progressive political ideas in an attempt to get those messages out in a bigger way this election year.
I got to sit next to Gloria Feldt. Really. For someone who was a girl during the early Ms. years, getting to talk to one of the women who led Planned Parenthood and the reproductive rights movement in this country was an honor.
But it’s hard to be a generalist in a room full of specialists. Bright and amazing women who have very focused agendas on issues like immigration, family leave, and minority rights. They know the stats and the information on their issues like the backs of their hands.
So here I am trying to figure out how a voice of a generalist/pundit/mom can get heard. I think there’s a place for that — we can’t all be specialists — but how do you convince media outlets that a voice about how women feel about many topics is worthy of a few seconds of air time?
There are so many men’s voices on the opinion pages, on the Sunday morning news shows, in just about every media outlet. Interestingly, the numbers of men to women in the field of political opinion aren’t that different from the numbers of women law partners compared to men. And that all needs to change.
So I’m hoping to find the voice of a convincing generalist. A voice that will get a little attention for the issues that matter to so many of us — whether we’re red, blue or purple. That can only be a good thing for us XX-ers, right?
And if more of us get heard, maybe we can start to change the fact that men’s voices have an overwhelming presence in a country where women outnumber them, even if only by a little.
A girl can dream, can’t she?