Meet Colleen Hanabusa, the should-have-been newly appointed U.S. Senator from Hawaii to replace Sen. Daniel Inouye. It was Senator Inouye's final wish on the day he died, sent to Governor Neil Abercrombie, that his seat would be taken over by Representative Hanabusa, a wish that the governor chose to ignore.
I know we are still in the holiday/party mode, and of course I am commenting after the fact which not only doesn't help anything, it makes me sound like a whiner. Nonetheless, whine I will because this appointment would have been made if women had put some pressure on Abercrombie to choose her. So where were the women and all of those people who say that they want more women elected? I suppose that they were doing what they always do and that is:
1) putting their heads in the sand
2) saying that it doesn't matter----NEXT time it will happen
3) believing that the advance of women to these top positions will just happen in due course in an organic way
And that is why more women aren't at the top------we aren't doing much to help ourselves. And we are letting ourselves get cowed by the idiots/folks who insist that they aren't going to be a vagina voter and that the decision to vote for women is somehow shameful. Well listen up folks-----there wasn't anyone more qualified to take this position whatever their genitalia.
I digress however. My friend myiq2xu over at The Crawdad Hole mentioned in his droll, inimitable way that the act of not appointing eminently qualified women such as Hanabusa is a much more serious "war on women" than that other "war on women" and he is right. It is also worth noting that according to some sources, Hanabusa wasn't President Obama's choice either, a fact if true, doesn't help him shake his reputation for running an almost boys club at the White House and beyond. And I might add for the umpteenth millionth time that women hold 18% of the seats in the incoming U.S. House and 20% of the seats in the incoming U.S. Senate and yet we are 50.8% of the population and 52% of the voters.
If people really care about women holding power commensurate to their numbers, they need to stand up and say so, loudly, clearly, and often. I hadn't written anything until now about not appointing Rep. Hanabusa because I was hoping someone else would. They haven't----the pickings are extremely thin on this subject if you do a search. The ones that do show up have little to do with getting more women into the Senate.
One more opportunity missed. How many more will we let slip through our fingers? They will ALL slip through our fingers if we don't make a ruckus about it. And none of it will just happen organically. If women want power, they will have to go after it and seize it just like the men do. And we have to put pressure on people like Governor Neil Abercrombie to do the right thing.
In the meantime, I'm taking my show on the road in 2013 to get groups of people together to talk about where women are as far as holding top positions in this country. I'll speak to any size group whether it's in your living room with a few of your friends or anything else. If you want to be part of this conversation, let me know and we'll see what we can do. Email me at email@example.com. We can't afford to let one more easy one like the Hawaiian Senate seat slip through our fingers ever again.