The Widdershins

Activist Monday: The Women’s Equality Party

Posted on: October 27, 2014

Good day, Widdershins! I hope you had a good weekend filled with sports and other forms of fun.

As we have been noting for some time here at TW, Election Day almost upon us. I mentioned last week that women will be key to keeping the Senate for the Democrats, and that I feel in their desperation to get us to turn out, some politicians have been playing the “abortion rights” card a little too strongly, especially those who seem to forget all about us until it’s time for us to vote.  Many years ago, in the PUMA days, I and many others suggested that we form a Party dedicated to women’s equality, and that we should use our leverage to push the Democratic Party to pass the ERA. Well, it looks like the first step may have been taken in New York, with the attempt to create a Women’s Equality Party.

The WEP was launched this July as the answer to the assaults on the basic rights of women throughout the country and right here in New York. Inspired by the spirit of Seneca Falls and those who came before us, the Women’s Equality Party brings together the strength of New York’s women leaders to help elect candidates who support the issues that matter most to us, including the passage of the full 10-point Women’s Equality Act.

From achieving pay equity, to strengthening domestic violence protections, to ensuring a woman’s freedom of choice, the WEP says that all women, everywhere are equal because if we don’t all count the same, then none of us count at all.

The WEP isn’t just the beginnings of a new political party; it is a powerful movement to bring women’s issues front and center and ensure that the voices of women are heard and counted where they matter most – at the ballot box.

Why should I cast my vote on the Women’s Equality Party ballot line?

If you and 50,000 other New Yorkers cast their vote for Governor on the WEP line on Election Day, we will have formed the only Women’s Equality Party in the nation, and taken a real, tangible step towards a better future for the women of New York State.

By voting on the party line, women and their allies have the chance to demand change by sending a strong message to legislators in Albany that they must pass the full 10-point Women’s Equality Act.


Is the Women’s Equality Party an established political party

No, not yet! This November is the first time that the Women’s Equality Party will appear on the New York State ballot. Just like other third parties in New York State such as the Green Party, the Working Families Party, and the Conservative Party, the WEP needs to obtain 50,000 votes for Governor this November in order to become a formally established party in the state of New York.

Now I know we are all fairly observant people, so I am guessing you all noticed the references to the New York Governor’s race on that FAQ page. There’s one big reason for that: Our current governor, Andrew Cuomo, paid for the site and calls for the formation of the Party in his campaign commercials. So yes, it is currently what we would call Astroturf, rather than grassroots.

Nonetheless, Cuomo has an excellent record on women’s rights, and unlike many Dems, introduced the Women’s Equality Act last year in an attempt to do what the federal government doesn’t have the political will to get done. In my book, he deserves my vote, and was going to get it anyway. Why not use the WEP line and see what happens?

Every movement starts somewhere. If Governor Cuomo wants to fund the start of this one, good for him. He may be surprised where it ends up. After all, well-behaved women seldom make history. If American women (and the men who support us) start understanding what we can do by demanding equality instead of expecting Democrats to.hand it to us, our historical moment could begin next week.

This is an open thread.


3 Responses to "Activist Monday: The Women’s Equality Party"

Sorry MB! It is a great post! I agree with you 100%, and think it is a good idea. You should leave it up for tomorrow. Mondays are always my most hectic day.

MB, I’m heartened to still see an intelligent post unapologetically advocating equality for half the citizens in this country.

It makes a huge difference, now that Congress and the courts have turned their backs on women at the national level, that states like New York are making an effort to make women’s equal citizenship more reality than paper.

For someone like myself, for whom the right of women to full and equal participation in American public life through the freedom, adult agency and economic power of paid work was always as fundamental as the right to ownership and control of one’s person, and who has seen that right all but revoked, the fight is over on the national level. The courts have eviscerated the equal employment opportunity laws; the agencies created to enforce those laws, particularly the EEOC and the Office of Federal Contract Compliance, have had neither the will nor the funding to do so for decades, particularly with regard to women. The workforce is as gender segregated as it was forty years ago; the only difference is that now people are quicker to justify and excuse it.

It looks like it’s back the long slow uphill fight on the state level for both these fundamental rights for women.


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