I had a great question sent to me privately about the my comment about female candidates disappearing with details on their very much alive campaigns.
Here's what I wrote:
(Yes, I realize that I complained during the endorsement meeting that all the women blended together, but I was probably onto something b/c they've all disappeared.)
Now, he had a good point. The campaigns seem to be alive, but I was speaking more metaphorically. The overload of candidates almost forces everyone but the most die hard politico to focus on a few races, either those with a personal interest or those that get the most media attention. I recognize this is not necessarily smart, but it is probably a survival skill.
For example, I have yet to see any political group publish an organized, easy to follow breakdown of the races, especially the very complicated judicial races. The Steel City surveys are useful, but there is no follow up.
Still, how does a feminist dismiss women as disappearing? Well, one candidate had no opponent (Amanda Green) so to me she is much more a legislator than a candidate. I recognize that her performance in the election impacts her future in the campaign, but I just don't think she's on the radar for “candidate.” The same with Natalia Rudiak who has won her race. The primary was exciting and thrilling, but I've heard nothing from her campaign for weeks.
The reality is that the gentleman who emailed me is also the one who has been at the forefront of identifying and pushing two races that should matter the most to queers — Jack Panella for Supreme Court (think redistricting) and Tim Michalow for County Council District 1. So I've throw my hat in with the two white heterosexual guys for the sake of the dykes. I don't subscribe to the philosophy of casting the net wide when it comes to endorsements. It makes perfect sense to me to concentrate energy, money and attention on a few races rather than trying to be all things to all people.
That's why I thought Steel City Stonewall should not endorse for the mayoral election and stay focused on Panella Michalow. Every conversation battling it out over the pro-gay Acklin/Harris choice versus alientating the boy prince is conversation that would be better spent UN-electing an opponent by knocking on a door in County Council 1.
I'm not opposed to the female candidates, but frankly they haven't reached out to me as a lesbian blogger. I'm not invited to events, I'm not getting email updates and I'm not being asked to interview the candidates. Acklin and Harris pursued me. Michalow is in constant touch. So they get my attention. Luke's team ignores me as a constituent so I don't expect much from the campaign, neither of which want to answer the LGBT Advisory Committee questions. LOL. I can't NOT ask it, right.
I'm glad women are making progress. I lost my female representative on City Council and I'm quite disheartened at what that portends for Manchester given the muck of local politics. I'm glad Natalia and Theresa (eh) keep the balance a bit.
I'd like to understand the judiciary, but frankly all that reaches me are the behind the scenes campaign management horror stories. It seems like a free for all so why bother?
Tom Michalow needs me to knock on doors. He ascendency to County Council impacts the budget for the Department of Human Services. He gets the complications of foster children in the education system. He knows adolescent girls who have been victims of incest and ignorance; he sees the need for access to good information on birth control and safe, legal abortions. Gay issues are a no brainer and he told me he would push to get domestic partner benefits approved to help ALL unmarried County employees. He is going to help women.
I just can't keep the big picture in mind. It is too overwhelming, especially when I swing by the national blogs and see the exciting array of queer candidates running across the country. Or when I try to grasp the referendum battles in Maine and Washington. It is a lot to process.
If the women don't want to disappear, my suggestion is that they use the new social media tools Dok and Kevin are utilizing effectively. Make me care by keeping your name in front of me.
Is there sexism involved in this strategy? Sure. These men are probably better funded than the women. The organizations which could be educating me are also underfunded and don't have the mighty array of churches to leverage. Still …give me a call and we can do an interview. I'm open to changing my mind.
Heck, now I've got a weekly podcast with slots to fill and it reaches a lot of people. I can't invite everyone on, but if your website has some LGBT content I might slide on over and promote it. But you need to push this information to me.