What Women Want

June 30, 2008

Well, I’m a woman and I know what I want, would my answer be sufficient? While it works for me, I can guarantee it wouldn’t work for my colleague, my neighbor, even the other women in my family. And to quote a little article in the Washington Post Express: “For centuries, men have been wondering what women want. So have women, for that matter. Mel Gibson made a whole movie about it (don’t look there for answers, though — Mel Gibson knows nothing about women.)”

What the article did point to appears to be a very interesting new book by Robert Engelman, More: Population, Nature, and What Women Want. To quote from the review: “In More, Engelman shows that this three-way dance between population, women’s autonomy, and the natural world is as old as humanity itself. He traces pivotal developments in our history that set population — and society — on its current trajectory, from hominids’ first steps on two feet to the persecution of ‘witches’ in Europe to the creation of modern contraception. Both personal and sweeping, More explores how population growth has shaped modern civilization — and humanity as we know it.”

In the recent AAUW Washington Update, one of the stories covered speaks to this topic, “Bush Administration to Withhold Int’l Family Planning Funds.” For the seventh straight year, the Bush administration will withhold funds authorized by Congress for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), according to PLANetWIRE, which reports that several State Department and other blue-ribbon investigative teams have found that the UNFPA pilot program demonstrating voluntary family planning has been effective in 80 countries, including China. And in case you haven’t read elsewhere, AAUW supports the right of every woman to safe, accessible, affordable, and comprehensive family planning and reproductive health services. Check out our position paper on reproductive rights.

Back to what women want. Dare I say we all want the ability to be able to choose what opinions we have or want to agree/disagree with? Choice with responsibility is harder to achieve, but something most of us strive to accomplish. What do you think?

Christy Jones, CAE By:   |   June 30, 2008

1 Comment

  1. I was one of the 20,000 women who attended the National Women’s Conference in Houston, Texas November 18 to 21, 1977. A National Plan of Action, a 26 plank program was created. We addressed What Women Want. At that time we stated:

    ” We lack effective political and economic power. We have only minor and insignificant roles in making, interpreting and enforcing or laws, in running our political parties, businesses, unions, schools and institutions, in directing our media, in governing our country, in deciding issues of war or peace. ”

    Some progress has been made, Nancy Pelosi is speaker of the U.S. House. We have one female U.S. Supreme court justice. 17% of our legislature is female. Our wages are not yet equal to men’s. I have read that AAW has worked on job equity and wages since 1913 ! We have Reproductive Freedom, but States continue to erode these rights.

    Our final statement in 1977: We do not seek special privileges, but we demand as a human right a full voice and role for women in determining the destiny of our world, our nation, our families, and our individual lives.

    I believe that statement should be made in the 111th U.S. Congress which will convene in January, 2009.

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