Friday, October 19, 2012

Binders, binders, and more binders

Binders full of women

Ok, it’s several days later. All the pundits have had their chance at Mr. Romney’s “binders full of women” comment.

Me, a 50-something woman, two (grown) kids, no job, college-educated and reasonably intelligent still wants to cry. I don’t intend this blog to be political, but this is a comment that just can’t pass. I am part of the generation that had to convince doubting teachers that we could go to college and earn something other than a teaching certificate or nursing license (NOTHING wrong w/ either, but it isn’t what I wanted.) We were knocking down doors in professions and working our way up. So, anything that smacks of “putting women in their place” bothers me.

First, Mr. Romney’s story isn’t completely true. I will use a quote from The Atlantic to demonstrate:
“The Boston Phoenix's David Bernstein says the story isn't true -- that women's groups had been pushing these binders and that they were created by a bipartisan coalition of women's advocates:
What actually happened was that in 2002 -- prior to the election, not even knowing yet whether it would be a Republican or Democratic administration -- a bipartisan group of women in Massachusetts formed MassGAP to address the problem of few women in senior leadership positions in state government. There were more than 40 organizations involved with the Massachusetts Women's Political Caucus (also bipartisan) as the lead sponsor.
They did the research and put together the binder full of women qualified for all the different cabinet positions, agency heads, and authorities and commissions. They presented this binder to Governor Romney when he was elected. …”

I was living in New England at the time, and dimly (very dimly) recall some group presenting Mr. Romney’s transition team with lists of qualified women for high state jobs.

OK, Mr. Romney was mistaken. Or misremembered the facts. Or was not told the facts. Well, if Mr. Obama can get something wrong, I guess Mr. Romney can, too.

I just wish that politics was about ideas instead of “gotcha.” I also wish that the fight to get 50.8 per cent of the U.S. population ( was over.

But it is not.

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