March 23, 2008

Women's History Month and Nevada 's Women Bloggers

Sven, over at My Silver State, has asked the women bloggers in Nevada to weigh in on Women's History Month. Well, the month is nearly over, but I finally got my answers to him today. He'll be posting them at My Silver State, but I thought I'd share what I wrote.

What, if anything at all, does Women's History Month mean to you?
I love celebrating women and the contributions we have made to society but I wish we didn't still feel the need to have a Women's History month. Just as I wish we didn't feel the need have to have "Black History Month" either. We don't have a "Men's History Month" now do we? Women and Blacks have made substantive contributions all through our history, and there should be no separation of their history from the larger story. You would have thought by now our history textbooks would have been rewritten.

I've noticed that Nevada's main female bloggers all blog anonymously. Why do you think that is and what's your reason?
Protection mostly. Fear of harassment. I think I may be the only one who doesn't blog anonymously, and it was a conscious decision to do so. Blogging anonymously works for most, but for me, I didn't want to be afraid to put my name to whatever I posted. I take the words of Maggie Kuhn to heart: "Speak your mind, even if your voice shakes."

Why do you blog and what do you most like to write about?
I've always kept a journal and I love engaging with people about important (and sometimes whimsical) topics. To me, blogging serves both of those needs. Writing has always assisted me in sorting out my thoughts and reasoning things through. Right now I'm focused on the presidential race. I write mostly about politics but do throw in other things as well. Blue Lyon, like me, will continue to evolve.

What influence do you think female bloggers have both in Nevada and nationally?
Desert Beacon and Myrna the Minx are my two favorite Nevada bloggers when it comes to local stuff, and how national issues affect us here in Nevada and up north specifically. I think both of them have tremendous influence in Nevada. Taylor Marsh is in a league of her own and has attracted an international following and is very important in the national dialogue.

Who is your favorite female blogger?
I have too many to name.

How would you evaluate the political landscape for women in Nevada?
Fair to middling. We've got women in positions of power all over the state, but have yet to put them into the top spots.

While a lot of women are involved in Nevada politics, and a lot of the top elected positions are and were held by women, Nevada has yet to elect a female Governor or U.S. Senator. Do you think that will be changing any time soon?
I hope so. We've got some incredible women that would serve this state well.

In that respect, why do you think Dina Titus lost against Jim Gibbons?
Two words (and this is blasphemy for many in my party): Clark County. They failed to deliver the Democratic vote. End of story.

What do you think is the attitude toward women in politics in Nevada today? How has it changed in recent years?
Nevada is very independent and though there is some of that "good ol' boy" network still around, I've also realized that Nevadans, for the most part, want you to prove yourself. Do we have to work harder? Yeah, you bet. Not much different from the rest of the country in that respect, but I've also seen a willingness to give women a chance to make their case. I've only been in Nevada for about ten years, so I cannot address how it has changed, but from what I know, Nevadans have have shown a willingness to elect women and we gave women the vote in 1914, six years before the 19th amendment was ratified. I think that speaks well for Nevada as a whole. But who knows, maybe I'm just an optimist!

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