Daily French Roast
Anne is reading …
Tina Brown reviews the femme-rich, powerhouse weekend in New York, the third Women in the World summit. IMF head Christine Lagarde gave the keynote speech at opening night dinner, saying “If Lehman Brothers had been a bit more Lehman Sisters…we would not have had the degree of tragedy that we had as a result of what happened.”
Nobel Peace Prize winner Leymah Gbowee told the cheering crowd: “My definition of victimhood is the person who sits and waits for a knight in shining armor … it was always that way for me.” The international leader confessed to being bemused at American women’s passivity in the debate over reproductive rights: “I watched this and said to myself, ‘Where are the angry American women?!”
Fast Food Nation Still
Ten years after his seminal book ‘Fast Food Nation’ Eric Schlosser admits to The Daily Beast that little has changed in food production in America. Yet he remains hopeful.
On the one hand obesity rates soar in America. The rate among preschoolers has doubled in the last 30 years. All major attempts to add new regulations around food safety have failed in Congress. New safety regulations for workers have also failed. That’s the bad news, writes Schlosser.
Looking at positive news, it’s undeniable that a food movement has arisen across America, a drive for more sensible and enlightened eating characterised by the reality of having an organic garden at the White House. Parents are working to kick fast food, junk food and sugar-rich soda out of schools.
The National Restaurant Association, “a corporate bastion of the old mindset” now agrees that today’s top menu trends are “local sourcing, sustainability, and nutrition.”
Primarily because of increased costs, organic food remains only 4% of food sales in America. More than 23 million low-income Americans live in “food deserts”, although some research suggests that people don’t eat better when the access to good food problem is solved.
Schlosser promotes organizations like The Restaurant Opportunities Centers United and its fight against wage theft, racism, and the abuse of workers in the restaurant industry; The Edible Schoolyard Project and Slow Food USA and their mission of trying to bring healthy food to children in low-income communities; and Growing Power, a group led by Will Allen and based in Milwaukee, is demonstrating how agriculture can thrive in the inner city, turning urban food deserts into farms that produce healthy food.
Obama Courts Women
The Obama campaign launches a big campaign with American women this week. Mailings go out to a million women in battleground states today. An effort called ‘Nurses for Obama’ will begin Wednesday with a new website and nurses stepping up as advocates for the new health care law in their communities. A national campaign Women for Obama is in high gear.
War on Women
Yesterday’s New York Times article Centrist Women Tell of Disenchantment With GOP reinforces the reality that Republican women are mad over the GOP effort to roll back access to contraception.
Mary Russell of Iowa City, who describes herself as a retired teacher from Iowa City, an evangelical Christian and ‘old school’ Republican of the moderate mold interrupted a baby shower for her niece to discuss politics. Until recently, Russell supported Mitt Romney but not today.
She said she might vote fornow. “I didn’t realize I had a strong viewpoint on this until these conversations,” Ms. Russell said. As for the Republican presidential candidates, she added: “If they’re going to decide on women’s reproductive issues, I’m not going to vote for any of them. Women’s reproduction is our own business.”
In fact large numbers of Republican and Independent women interviewed in Iowa say they will vote for President Obama or not vote at all. The 2010 election was the first time since 1992 the women’s vote went to Republicans. Now the pendulum may be swinging back.
“Everybody is so busy telling us how we should act in the bedroom, they’re letting the country fall through the cracks,” said Fran Kelley, a retired public school worker in Seattle who voted for Senator John McCain over Mr. Obama in the 2008 election. Of the Republican candidates this year, she added, “They’re nothing but hatemongers trying to control everyone, saying, ‘Live as I live.’ ”
As Rick Santorum, and his 1950s vision of women’s role in public life, picked up a win in the Kansas caucus over the weekend, the tough talk on controlling women’s health shows no sign of abating. Catholic bishops meet Tuesday to discuss just how far they intend to push efforts to seize control of women’s reproduction in America, through their rejection of the Obama Administration’s no co-pay, contraception compromise.
The Catholic Reporter writes that there is no game plan among the bishops for how to proceed.
“If the bishops reject this deal, they don’t have a lot of options,” Russell Shaw, a commentator on religion and politics magazine wrote in conservative Catholic Crisis Magazine. “Closing down thousands of Catholic institutions and programs isn’t likely. Remedial legislation pending in Congress has little chance of becoming law with Democrats controlling the Senate and the White House. As for simply refusing to obey the … rule, it’s a last resort.”
Anne of Carversville
AOC Private Studio
How about this symbol for Women for Obama? Remember Sarah Palin’s crosshairs map? We say a pink innertube is sexy, fun and a real lifesaver for American women.