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Your GPW Editor-on-Occasion is Petra Fried in the City.
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stories along The Way

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Women's Conference - dodging the biggest issues

Maria Shriver's annual Women's Conference is well underway, and being of the female persuasion myself, I'm shaking my head. For something that purports to be 'the nation's premier forum for women', it completely misses the mark in terms of what real, day-to-day issues are for the fairer sex. Things like...


Violence Against Women- #1 in my book. Some days as I watch the evening news, I honestly wonder why women in this country haven't taken up arms against their abusers. It seems the only way this crime will be authentically addressed. Why isn't Violence Against Women a Hate Crime? It ought to be. Guess we need a better lobby.

Pay Inequity and blatant prejudices - as a highly educated woman, I can talk about this for hours. I'll spare you.

Social issues like Objectification, and addressing some of the extremely destructive social behaviors women are taught from a very young age. Some learned as their only way to manipulate men, and some learned to see other women as threats. Men certainly have their own set of social behavior crap so don't think you are above this discussion, guys.



Women's Human Rights  - hell, everyone's human rights! But worldwide, women are preferentially abused as a group. Just a small but current example: this week the UAE passed a law saying that a husband may legally beat his wife and kids if it doesn't leave any obvious marks. How terribly forward-thinking of them.

Meanwhile, here we are in the 21st century, and the Bush Administration refused to sign on to International Human Rights agreements and tried to enforce a global gag rule on abortion. What do we look like, the UAE?

Human trafficking

With all of these issues needing serious work, what is the main topic of this year's Women's Conference?  Alzheimers' Disease. Who is on the front page of the Alzheimers' Association web site? Maria Shriver.

Yet something seems to be happening at this conference. The news is full of attendees being interviewed saying how happy they are to be making a difference and changing the world. WhooHoo!

You bet. For those attendees who think that this is what they are really doing by attending - becoming empowered to change the world -  here's a little South Park episode you should watch. Pay attention to the second half.

If the parallel isn't obvious enough, just replace 'Jam Fest 2005' with 'The Woman's Conference' as you watch.