“Candy, can you say that a little louder?” and “Binders full of women”

As we near election day (“Only 16 days away!” says every Sunday show, as if we didn’t know that), there seems to be an almost hysterical realization by the media that women may indeed decide this election….apparently we turn up in more numbers than men when it comes to voting, and the female vote in swing states may determine which way those states swing.  But both parties seem to have a deaf ear when it comes to listening to women, although that may explain why they are talking so loudly when speaking to us:  like a deaf person, they have to turn up the volume so they can hear themselves.   That would be okay, but sometimes I think both parties are speaking slowly and enunciating to make sure I get it.  As a blonde, I might muster up the energy to take offense, but I am sort of busy getting through the hollow reasons why I should vote for either one of these parties.  Like a reliable girlfriend who is taken for granted because she seems to be there for the long haul, both parties may be counting on my vote because they assume they know what my deal breakers are–but of course, neither party can be sure what those are anymore.  Call it the new feminine mystique–but it may translate into a huge political mistake for either party if they are a little too sure about their assumptions about American women.  Yes, we are a demographic group–but we are as splintered and polarized as the U.S. Congress.  We don’t stick up for each other because we are women.  We let our male dominated parties tell us what to do.  So much for girl power.  Instead, we let ourselves be labeled “liberal” or “conservative” women, when the truth is most issues bleed into both camps in terms of what would really benefit women.  We are blowing our chance to find common ground because we think we can be a part of the good old boy network that exists in both parties–but when has that ever worked out?  Was Sarah Palin embraced at the last Republican convention?  How does Hilary Clinton feel about that bus she was just thrown under? Continue reading

Ingrid Michaelson, Blood Brother

This summer my wife and I joined our ten-year-old daughter for our first Ingrid Michaelson concert. Ingrid (it feels so impersonal and stuffy to call her “Michaelson”) is a singer-songwriter in the indie-pop mode.  Most of the fans at the concert were several decades younger than my wife and I, and some friends have assumed that we attended just for our daughter’s sake. But the fact is, all three Josephs at the House of Blues that night are big Ingrid fans. Her songs are exquisitely crafted, emotionally compelling, and beautifully performed. I really think she will ultimately go down as one of the great American singer-songwriters. Continue reading