An Inclusive Litany


Elizabethe Holland of the St. Louis Post Dispatch reports on a speech by Particia Ireland, former head of the National Organization for Women, October 29, 2001:
"It's important that we have freedom to debate and listen with open ears," she said. "I also want us to recognize not only what we're hearing in the discourse, but who we're hearing... and who we're not hearing."

Ireland said the majority of voices the nation has heard on all things significant since Sept. 11 belong to "rich, white, able-bodied and apparently straight men."

Where are the other voices, Ireland queried, those of women and people of color? If the collection of voices was more balanced, citizens might have heard more by now about the need to harness power and anger, she said, rather than a steady diet of "guy talk."

"Guy talk is 'Osama bin Laden, wanted dead or alive,' " she explained.

"Guy talk may be speaking in black and white of good and evil." With such a strong push for citizens to think alike, now is an especially important time to pursue governmental action on other key issues such as poverty and hate-crimes legislation, Ireland said. She also said citizens need to be mindful of military women's lack of reproductive rights while overseas. Securing abortion rights has long been one of NOW's top battles....

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