Senator Kristen Gillibrand gets the Girl, You’ve Got Bigger Stones Than Me Award of the week for going head-to-head on “Meet The Press” yesterday with none other than Rep. Michele Bachmann. (Rep. Bachmann, let me remind you, refers to emergency contraception as “the morning-after abortion pill” thus conflating it with abortion, suggests the HPV vaccine can make children become mentally retarded, jokes about so-called “ex-gay” therapy and does not allow her daughters to ask boys on dates.) Somehow Sen. Gillibrand managed not to reach through the TV screens and shake her … even when Bachmann said Republicans want women to “make their own choices.”
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“I believe too many women are sitting on the sidelines and aren’t engaged in the issues that affect them. I’m particularly concerned about younger women — women 40 and under who are not engaged at all. Some of it has to do with the fact that women are busy; they’re focused on their careers; they’re focused on raising children. But a lot of women also believe that their voice doesn’t matter, that their views are not important, and that their vote doesn’t make a difference. And that’s really what I want to challenge with American women.
Right now, less than one percent of women in Congress are under 40. I want to really work over the next few years to bring more women off the sidelines and get them engaged. To care about the policies and decisions that are being made because I don’t want them waking up a year from now, two years from now, 10 years from now, and realizing that they don’t agree with the laws that are being written and the agenda of this country because they didn’t participate.”
—Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) is my number one favorite politician right now, precisely because she utters quotes like this. Instead of being preachy about why we need more women in politics “just because” (which is how we could end up with President Michele Bachmann), Sen. Gillibrand is simply and succinctly pointing out that legislation is passed by those who care enough to make it work. Horrified that your state doesn’t recognize gay marriage or de-funded Planned Parenthood? Do something about it — run for office. If you don’t, someone else will! [Marie Claire] Keep reading »