Stephanie Schriock of EMILY’s List Explains Why Women Must Run for Office

Editor’s Note:Feminist Conversations is a regular column, where we talk to pro-choice activists from across the interwebs to find out what folks are up to in their neck of the woods.

Today we’re talking to Stephanie Schriock, the president of EMILY’s List. Founded in 1985, EMILY’s List is the country’s largest resource for women in politics, and has worked to elect 85 pro-choice women to the U.S. House of Representatives, 16 to the Senate, nine governors, and hundreds of women to state legislatures, constitutional offices, and other local offices.

When did you first call yourself a feminist, and what influenced that decision?
I was raised with feminist ideals by parents who were clearly feminists, but at the time and place I was growing up, the word itself was seen as a negative. So I never thought of myself as a feminist – just a strong woman who could do anything. I think there are lots of 30- and 40- somethings who feel the same way. Nothing makes me happier than seeing a new generation of women and men take back the word – and I am proud to join them.

What does feminism mean to you?
That women should be as free as men to pursue life, liberty and happiness. And I believe we will be. [Read more...]

Who’s Too Hormonal?

Before I use my angst for good, a moment or five of piling on: Should Anthony Weiner have known better?  Of course. The poor schnook may have delusions of grandeur and an adolescent’s case of cause-and-effect amnesia, but if his week of weaseldom has proven anything, it’s that he is painfully and horrifyingly in touch with reality. Much as he might wish at this particular juncture to pull the rip cord, he has and has probably always been, well-aware of the difference between right and wrong. (And by “right and wrong,” I’m shooting for the realm of meaning somewhere in the vicinity of the moral, self-protective sense of the words—Representative Weiner doesn’t seem to be guilty of  much more than abject stupidity and lying in a wish-fulfillment fantasy effort to deny the aforementioned stupidity.)

So yes. Anthony Weiner did know better, and he did it anyway. And, sadly for all of us, the good(ish) news, at least on June 8th at almost 8am EST, is that it seems the man is guilty only of supremely bad judgment and an enviable ability to rig the risks vs. rewards equation in his favor.

I leave it to kinder, wiser, more patient souls like Nancy Gibbs to  ponder what it is that makes powerful men so powerfully and predictably undone by their libidos. I have at least as many flaws as Representative Weiner, if not a million more, though none of them include sending any picture of me (or any part of me) to any person with even the faintest hope that they might find that picture sexually attractive. But I would be somewhat less risk-averse than myself if I were to believe with any real conviction that this afforded me any but the most qualified, equally-within-glass-house-living insights. [Read more...]