Wednesday, October 17, 2012

"Binders Full of Women"-Second Debate

I watched the presidential debate last night, as did about 56 million people.  I figured that President Obama would be on "his game," because I imagined he would better prepare for this debate, after his "too nice," professorial performance in the last debate.   I thought both President Obama and Mitt Romney did well. And I was pleased to see Candy Crowley from CNN, moderate the debate. She was the first woman in 20 years to do so.
Thanks to all the women who fought for women's rights and issues, before my time, I grew up in America, (in Brooklyn), believing that a woman could do just about anything. I've held leadership positions in the Church and spent many years as a teacher and a religious educator and never felt discriminated against  because of my gender. I was also raised in a household with strong Italian women, my aunt who lived upstairs from us, was a true matriarch and so that influenced me as well.
I'm well aware that I'm fortunate and that many women in the world do not share the freedoms, rights and opportunities that I've been blessed to have and I hope and pray someday there will be gender equality throughout the world. I think that if women in the world held more leadership positions in government and in the private sector, the world would be a better place.
I have to admit, like millions of others, I found Mitt Romney's phrase, "whole binders of women," which he used in the debate last night amusing. Mitt Romney used the phrase (which has gone viral) when describing his efforts as governor of Massachusetts to find the names of women who could possibly serve in his cabinet. He was answering a question about equality for women and fair pay in the  workplace.
He said, "And so we took a concerted effort to go out and find women who had backgrounds that could be qualified to become members of our cabinet. I went to a number of women's groups and said, 'Can you help us find folks,' and they brought us 'whole binders full of women.'" Of course he meant binders filled with the names of capable women who he could appoint to his cabinet, but under the stress of the evening he simply said, "whole binders full of women." Well, social media exploded with the phrase and women all over the country were immediately trying to figure out how to make a Halloween costume to look like they were coming out of a giant binder. Twitter users caught on quickly too and "binders full of women," appeared at one point, in the evening, at 40,000 times in one minute.
Is this a crazy world we live in or what? That's why I stay grounded with prayer, otherwise it's so easy to get caught up in the craziness of the world, the internet and social media.  I'm very grateful to God, for my deep faith, my belief and prayer life. Though I find this world, at times sad, and at other times, amusing, I am in the world but not of the world and I can thank God for that.