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tv   Female Political Trailblazers from New York  CSPAN  December 25, 2016 1:45pm-3:21pm EST

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>> a panel discusses three political trailblazers from new york. the first african-american woman elected to the united states congress. the second jewish woman elected to congress, and the first woman from the major party to run for vice president. about hurdlestalk they encountered in their political careers and compared those to what hillary clinton faced in the 2016 presidential campaign. this talk is just over one hour and a half. frequent anda jupiter to the new york times where she was a staff reporter from 2007. she was a correspondent with newsweek, where she covered breaking news and social trends. prior to becoming a journalist,
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working for a consulting firm. paralegalighted as a -- her interests include eating, drinking, and spending as much time as possible. she is currently at work on the cookbook, which captures the flavors and history of new york since -- new york's history. here with us tonight, the founder and president of the bella leadership institute. with a mission to inspire young women and girls to lead the andre, to institute works professional mentoring from high school girls and college-level women. for lobbyist and candidate elected office, she has been a professional involved in many fields, including politics, economics, urban development,
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and human rights. an assistant professor in the africana studies department and the director of the -- brooklyn women's activism at brooklyn college and she is currently completing her manuscript. "black woman's politics in the post-civil rights era." she holds a doctorate in african-american studies from northwestern university with a specialization in race, politics and culture, and a masters of arts from the institute of research and african-american studies at columbia university. last but not least is the founder and president of dazzling media, a new york-based company.
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she is the director and producer of the film -- previously she was a long time of award winning producer for the today show. she has worked in politics, public affairs marketing, and investment banking. if i have not given you enough the futurerating leaders of our daughters, i don't know what to say. i thank you for coming out tonight. please come and converse. [applause] >> i will start here and come over, that way you guys can relax. thank you for that warm welcome. i am really thrilled to be here. when you asked me many months , i'm glad you were envisioning a historic celebration.
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i did a lot of thinking before i came today to think about how we wanted to talk about the election, how we want to think about the legacy of the women in new york who have paved the way for progress in terms of our political system. i want thank you for coming out on this literally dreary day. see what we can learn from the past. i took a look at one of my favorite books. when it came out back in 1985, -- sks what happens
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as we get from visual entertainment. ago, the first book to consider the way electronic media was reshaping our culture. what happens to journalism, education, religion when they become forms of show business? we have elected a president who is a reality tv star. i was intrigued to be reminded that in 1854, when abraham lincoln and stephen douglas had one of their most memorable the opening address was three hours. there was a three-hour response. after that there was a one hour rebuttal, at which point lincoln
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suggested the audience go home, take a break and come back. you can imagine a time in our country when people had the patience to have the kind of dialogue. bill moyer, television anchor, said that he worried about how -- he said i'm worried that my own business helped to make this an anxious asked agitated amnesia did americans seem to know everything about the last 24 hours, but very little from the last 60 centuries. littled to tell you a bit about the genesis of my book. wanted to tell you tonight one small story that is in the book and how it might actually be a
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wonderful parable about human civilization. then i want to talk about these amazing women that our panelists represent and what lessons we can learn from them going forward. it is especially thrilling to be -- the great experiment that is new york city and americana really was born. at the and of the 1800s and early 1900s, as so many immigrants came to this country, mostly from europe but other places, many of them were deposited in this neighborhood and they live together in very close quarters. many different coulters, having to live
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together. we faced health problems in terms of disease and contamination. we faced political problems. there were some education problems. the very short history of the united states that came before that. the way that wealthy white families educated their children was to either provide a private tutor for them, or they would , or they would be educated with other students. churches also provided schooling for young people of their own denomination. this system was in operation in the late 1700s. that is when king's college
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opened up, which is now known as columbia college. if you were really wealthy and your son was really bright you could hope to get them into kings college. of all children needing an education hadn't occurred people yet. i think sometimes we forget how dumb humans can be and how long it has taken us to be civilized. to tell you about two women, one whose mother was a slave in virginia. she gave birth to katie on a beinghile she was transported to new york. she was with katie when they were very young. the katie lived alone. she noticed something, that there were all these abandoned
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children on the streets and nobody was taking care of them or teaching them. even though she was a literate, her mother had recited scripture to her. children off these the streets into her own home and started teaching them these phrases, these scriptures. she also began teaching them how to do things, such as men's clothing, how to boil water or make something to eat. in the 1900s, the historian that was looking at lower manhattan credit fordeserved opening the sunday school. as new york city was getting more and more populated and as immigrants were having more children, there was a group of quaker women who were concerned about the children on the
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streets who weren't going to school and weren't being educated. they formed a group called the association of women friends for the relief of the poor, a long-winded name. but they became known as the female association. they sat down and put something in writing that i think was of critical importance. they decided to open up a school for any child, regardless of background, regardless of place of birth, regardless of religion in order to help provide them with an education. just for boys or girls. they weren't really concerned about the colors, the skin or what religion their parents believed or didn't believe. they had this notion and they committed to paper that every child deserves an education. work andn their
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they turn their men to these women from the female association and asked to run a school for girls. they had a little more experience, they ended up running the school. this became the foundation on which the public school system was built. the idea of being concerned of other people wasn't something that was immediately obvious to everyone. this notion that we should have empathy is something psychologists have studied for long -- for a long time.
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they turn and look at the baby. it is not always something in the forefront of human behavior. it is something various religions have talked about. the idea of caring about other people and helping other people, regardless of whether they look like you or are part of your family. it has been a very slow evolution. the founders of our country and new york and those that fought beganncipate slaves, they to get the idea that we were going to free blacks and blacks needed to be educated. at the time they were thinking about black men and black women.
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it is this long slow progress of becoming aware of the idea that you can have empathy. that might benefit everybody. it was a fun experience to research this look and learn about all these women who played such an important role in new york city, because new york city is a place where some of these national movements and big ideas started. an overstatement to say they began in new york and traveled outward to the rest of the country. where in new york city they really galvanized women's suffrage.
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it was in new york they began publishing a newspaper and they had some meetings to begin to make some significant inroads. it is in new york city where they can go and ask for birth control. if i have one more mouth to feed on going to grind of glass and eat it. making those inroads here in new york it would get more attention and more women outside of new york would begin to know about options they may not even be aware of. here blacks from all over the country began to get and build in the united states in their own vision and how they could form a coalition and have their own economic power and make their own contributions the way they defined it and not necessarily
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the way white americans would find it. thoroughly always having a man represent their communities. it was in new york that eleanor first taught a so many of the workers were toiling and factories had problems and they got the idea that stretching could help them be healthy. after she was first lady in washington and after she came back and was ambassador, it was here that she stayed up all night, working on the u.n. first-generation of human rights . hours, weeks agonizing, trying veryt into words this complicated idea about respecting the rights of all
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people. when i look at new york and i think about all the progressive movements that have happened here, whether we are talking about gay-rights, black lives , to me they are all human rights. to me, that's what it's all about. it's about recognizing this idea that all humans are treated with dignity and respect. that recognition, that realization is something taking a long time for people to get to. a lot of that awareness has come in new york city and a lot of the groups had formed in new york city. it was a great pleasure to get to hear about these women. that human rights, the compassion and empathy should be an intrinsic part of the american dream, is not automatic. and i don't think it's widely
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understood by everyone. amidst ae are still great awakening, and this awakening has been centuries in the making and it is still going on. i think the dialogue that we unfortunatelyis too often wrapped up in tiny little attractive soundbites for television, and so the real work, the real dialogue doesn't always take place. some well many in new york are very sad about the results of the election, there are many in the country who are ecstatic about it. and those same people might be people that we know and love, and who believe that they are also supporting the american dream. rally att i went to a the corner of president and clinton streets in brooklyn, and people were very excited.
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for a biglans celebration for the election of the first female president. i brought my children because i wanted them to experience the excitement and community for an election. i have sons, and one of my son said, can we play soccer? i said no, there's too many people around. he reached up and picked up a soccer ball, and someone had brought a donald trump mask, a scarily hallow -- scary halloween mask, and put it over the soccer ball. i was horrified. i didn't want my children to think it was appropriate to kick around a pretend human head as a form of play and that's how we should respond to our feelings. to me, that's what all this is about. separating out our basic human feelings and instincts and
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learning how to manage those things, while also training ourselves to do more thinking and use reason. that brings me to you guys. luckily, all of our panelists are willing to talk about some difficult issues, and i want to now to talk about the people they are here to represent. i will start with my questions for you. bring that mic over? so, shirley chisholm is my hero. politics inlved in
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manhattan first, i believe, and then in brooklyn. primarily in the plan. but she decided to run for congress so it could have a representative. for many years, there was no representative for the neighborhood where the population was largely black. i wanted to ask if you could talk for a minute about her campaign and what was so unique about it, and then i want to ask my other question you know about. >> shirley chisholm began her political activism, as many women do specifically during that time, and someone who stuffed envelopes and did fundraising for various kinds of democratic clubs in brooklyn. that women,nd was
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as usual, did most of the political work. however, there weren't that many women, or if any, in leadership positions. she decides to run for actually the new york state assembly first, because she was in the new york state assembly of the 1960's, 1964, 1965. she started specific policy initiatives in the new york state assembly. she was the first african-american woman to be elected in the new york state assembly. and that redistricting was
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thought to be a placeholder for an african-american man. no one would dare to run for congress. at that time, you really only had adam clayton howell. chisholmange on -- decides to run for congress in 1967 and gets elected in 1968 and what happens is that she , andagainst james farmer james farmer who was head of core, who was a civil rights on in in deemed early that election that there was a ,eed to have a man in congress and it was indeed his right as a black man to run for that office. decision to run as a liberal and a republican, and
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what he did was insert a certain sexism and gender dynamic and what he failed to african-american women did all the work and 2-1 the men.oted so he alienated a large part of his industry. understood -- understood who did the work, who wrote it great and she ran a great campaign that talks specifically about the needs of brooklyn people. as much as people knew who james farmer was, and he had people -- all the kind of political elite from harlem and new york city's civic and
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manhattan, supported him and gave him money, and chisholm won because she met the needs of that constituency. -- all the kind of political elite from harlem and new york city's civic and funattan,she also ran a really campaign. i loved reading about the fact that she pulled up in her sound truck outside the projects and through lead speakers, she said this is fighting shirley chisholm, and she did not hold back. after she was in washington, i read something she wrote about her experience. she said that being a black woman, she found that the fact that she was a woman often created more problems for her in washington than the fact that she was black. there's a lot of talk about intersection analogy -- intersectinonalogy and the fact the you can use -- different lenses. you can talk about
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that in terms of her experience as a black him in and whether you think that's the same or different today. >> i think for shirley chisholm, she's talking about her contentious relationship with the congressional black caucus. leadership trait intersectional analysis of shirley chisholm, we cannot attract a discussion around racism. and surely chisholm faced racism in the u.s. congress. there were specific people who would not work with her because of her race. but what also was actually more important, why people did not want to work with shirley chisholm, was her belief that she was unbiased.
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because she would not align because she would not align herself with the status quo politicians, whether they were on the democratic side or they for the presidency, chisholm wants to create a peaceful coalition. and she says, i'm not running as an african-american, although she was proud of that, i'm not running as a woman, although i'm equally proud of that. i am running as the people's candidate. and so chisholm in 1972 has the most aggressive political campaign. and so she has an agenda for gay rights.
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mcgovern didn't. she has an agenda for native americans. mcgovern didn't. she has an agenda for women. embodied what it meant to be an intersectional todidate and what it means embody intersectional politics, and it is something that i think is missing from this kind of political moment we stand in today. >> thank you. let's talk about prejudice, shall we? officeur mother ran for for the first time, or even not for the first time, did she encounter prejudice, and how did it show itself? what do you remember her talking about it? >> my mother ran for congress for the first time in 1978 trader the impetus for her original run was to find a way to solve some problems, which i
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think you will see is a commonality amongst all these women. was an assistant district attorney in queens and she headed the first special victims unit. she actually came up with the name. so she was handling the sex crimes and child abuse cases for , and she thought those victims were special victims that needed to be treated differently. but what she became very frustrated with was that though there was some battered spouse legislation, there wasn't enough legislation to protect these victims, and she felt that she was punishing criminals, she was getting convictions, but she wasn't actually solving problems or helping to make it so that this didn't happen as often as it was happening. and she was also personalizing
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it, which women tend to do more. she decided to run for congress, because she sought -- thought that was where she would have the most impact. she was told, she hadn't worked her way up. she hadn't been a district leader, she hadn't been in the state senate or state assembly, and she was immediately running for congress, and there were others who were in teh wings -- the wings, there was a district leader who was running. whostegman and tom manton, ultimately succeeded her in congress after she was nominated for the vice presidency. she was discriminated against not so much as a woman at that point. or even so much as an italian-american, although they were both irish. it was more that she wasn't part of the party machine. she was an outsider.
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but one thing i will say that was discriminatory as a woman was the when she was campaigning , they attacked my father, who is here, so that was the first time that a spouse was being attacked, and it was because it , that i was aware of. to events,s going people started saying that she was having an affair with a staffer that was with her first two was a guy, so they send out a woman with her and then she was having an affair with the omen. -- woman. it wasn't really until she ran for vice president, which was in 1984, that she was discriminated against both as a woman and italian-american and catholic. >> quickly, you said she
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personalized the problems that she saw. can you explain what you mean by that? each tile that was abused as her child. she saw each woman -- and it was usually a woman -- who were rap children or people that she knew. she saw the elders who were abused as her mother. she was very maternal. solve thoseo problems. she wanted to make things better for them. so, i started my remarks tonight talking about how i hope the dream of us getting to a point in our society that we use language that is less divisive and more inclusive, and when i
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read one of your mothers' biographies, i was struck by sort of a familiar italian-american identity that she seemed to represent, because she wrote about checking with her husband before making the decision to run, and that's because she had your support that she was willing to run. i thought how interesting it was that she embodied that seemingly dual identity of being a traditional italian catholic wife and head of a family, and on the other hand, being a very independence minded, modern woman, going out take a leadership position. can you talk about those roles and whether you think that's a fair assessment? raised in ahe was play traditional italian-american family, other than the fact that she was
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raised in a single head of household. her father died when she was eight. she embodied the values.american family was very important. her relationship with my father was very close and very traditional in many ways, even when she was campaigning, she was making sure there was dinner around the table and the kids were taken care of. if she was running the household, on the road or whatever. but she always credited -- they had an unusual -- despite all the traditional italian stuff, they had an unusual partnership, in that they had -- when they got married, first of all, my mother asked if she could keep her maiden name. because she wanted to
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honor her mother, who sacrificed and put a huge emphasis on education, and she felt that was the way she was going to get anywhere in life. so, she wanted to use ferrero. despite the traditional italian-american upbringing my father also said, he said, i don't have a problem with that. i think that's wonderful if you want to honor your mother. their deal was that my mother would stay home with their children after they were born. the three of us, until we were in school, and that he would support her in whatever she wanted to do. he didn't know that she would go into politics, which -- i don't know who got the better bargain made the better deal. when you talk about her differing to him, i think there was just a partnership. i think anyone running for office, whether it's now female or whatever, if you have a family, if you have a partner,
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it's something that you do need to discuss beforehand because everybody's making sacrifices, and to make it work you need that sort of support. >> can you talk about those sacrifices in terms of being part of a national campaign, and on what she wore and how she looked and how her hair was? those were things that she experienced and wrote about, and -- that's what i'm wondering. has it changed at all? >> not at all. it's less of a novelty. all these women were looked at for this -- their appearance and what they were wearing and how they conducted themselves. fortunately you had three very strong women here that were very professional, and were very driven for what they believed in. ofn she -- the other sort
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overlay is when you are nominated as vice president or out to serve on the ticket as vice president, you are thrust into the national limelight overnight. hillary and donald just spent a year and a half campaigning. there's no ramp-up time. it's an overnight sort of thing. but when also, she was the first. she was a complete novelty. and so, no one knew who she was. she was a third term member of congress and she had risen very quickly into leadership. she was secretary of the democratic caucus, after shirley chisholm had been in that role, which is now called the vice chairman, and she was considered a rising star in the party. politic didn't
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know who she was. so, there was that, and she was a woman. they had to figure out how she and mondale were going to interact with each other. they couldn't hold hands, they couldn't raise arms, because i was considered weird or inappropriate. she also had to worry about things like, it was really hot. it was the middle of the summer, and an outdoor rally, if she raises her arms, her dress goes up and it's shorter. there's all kinds of stuff that guys don't think about in suits. -- she was soso i think that was also helpful and remarked upon too. >> thus the popularity of the pantsuit, you don't have to worry so much. your mother was known as battling bella.
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i'm curious if you think that and i'm asking, because when i was doing research for the book, the sort of stereotype of the bigmouth new yorker certainly predated your mother's birth by 1/2 century. i'm curious how that label came to pass and how she felt about it. >> she represented this district, her first run was in 1970. she ran for the first time for congress. candidate,o a lawyer civil rights candidate. battling bella was an easy term. quite as strong as many people know, dynamic, they residence, -- big presence, how she wore the hat. how did she start wearing the hat?
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what happened was, my mom went to columbia law school, graduated in 1944, and so there were 4 women in her law school class. to go to represent a client, and she went to a law firm and said hi, my name is bel la. and i'm here representing xyz. to go to represent a client,the receptionist said, gt down. she waited 10, 20 minutes. she goes back up to the reception and says, i said hi, i'm bella. the receptionist says, we are waiting for the lawyer. my mother said, i and the lawyer . at that time, eller -- eleanor roosevelt and others wore gloves and she started to wear a hat to be distinguished, although she said, i took off the gloves. i used to say, it's what under -- what is under the hat that counts too, mom.
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there are some people in this room who may have even met her, met my mother. was very dynamic, left dancing. swimming, dancing, interacting. theof the reasons why 1970, the war in vietnam, and she quotes the impeachment of nixon, and a congresswoman to do that in 1970 over the escalation of the war is because she knew how to work on both sides of the aisle and knew not just battling it. she understood the procedure of the congress, and how you work the congress, and how you legislate. she was charming, as was your mother. there's another way i knew surely chisholm. she was like this, and so was my mother and so was yours, but she was charming and dynamic and had a great personality.
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and people connected. they met her on the street. we have pictures in my office that a lot of people like to look at, the taxi and truck here.s down hey, bella. they understood this woman was of the people. she came from a poor family, she was completely on her own, she had no husband. here. hey, bella. he didn't finance her campaign. she went to school on scholarship, she went to hunter college because at the time it was the only college that was free. she went to columbia on a full scholarship. so, there was a lot of commonality to people with a story in new york. so, you were in a leadership program for girls, and it's the bella leadership institute. what are some of the leadership qualities you think girls should
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learn that were things at your mother modeled? >> i made this organization 11 years ago, one of my great staff is here. i made it as a living legacy to my mother, but not just because of a lawyer. the living legacy i been working on a lot in my life as a feminist activist and someone who tries to understand the difference because i was in between of the second, third generations, and the original generations of feminists here, and watch them grow up around of thel you -- mlilieu second waves of feminists and being in the civil rights movement, watching my mother and being exposed to that, and i understand -- and this is a big thing i've been talking about things i -- one of the created -- was to bring to the next generation, and them to the
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next generation of that. we worked in college, high school, and middle school girls, the context of why we need to build leadership skills and why .he work is not yet done in colombia, where i teach, i came there before i was teaching . how many times i've told my ,tudents, in the teaching i do havemic development, i still yet to see a boy raises hand and apologize. professor, this may not be relevant, but -- today i had a girl do that in my class strata this happens every year, every semester. i said, if you're going to do that -- in this class, we don't do that. and yet today after this election -- you know what else?
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this is an important point. we're going to go there. in case anybody missed it, hillary clinton began her confession speech today with an apology. is our you are referring to? but i'm not surprised. i missed it because i was teaching. we can all talk about my mother as a jew and a woman who ran in 1969, 1970. her work colleagues in the congress who had a big presence. wasn't heavy until much later in life, but she was big and tall. you knew she was in the room. what i'm saying is that we need to own our personalities. i told my students today, what makes a leader? someone who is authentic, who you can relate to, laugh with,
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cry with, and someone who understands their own soul in their own insights. i teach this leadership stuff. this is very important. lots of girls and young women still do not have that self-esteem issue handled. and still question their own intelligence and authority and their own ability to be able to lead. but hillary clinton came under fire relentlessly for in televised speeches as being insincere, as being not emotional, as not being authentic, whereas nearly every person who's ever worked with her or been friends with of attests to a deep well emotion she experiences, she's a
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an incredibly generous, empathetic person, has a terrific sense of humor. one time a story came out that showed her doing shots with john mccain's camp, having a good time. whenever you hear the criticism about her being too uptight and too staged, i always imagined that she carefully constructed her appearance and her words oneuse one slip-up, and you immediately come under fire. in the media environment we live in, i'm somebody who wears almost no makeup in my daily life but because i knew there would be television cameras here today, i'm wearing lots of and y come under fire. in the media environment we eraeup, because the cam presents things and a certain way even though that's not exactly the same as reality. do you say to a woman who wants to run for office about being authentic, about putting your true self, your accent, and your flaws on display if you know you are
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going to come under fire from everything from how your hair looks to -- >> i have to stop you. it's not helpful. with hillary -- i know her personally, donna knows her. shehe first race in 2008, is all that that you said. but she's more scripted than shirley and bella and geraldine were. she is. >> because? >> because of her background, where she grew up, and the structure of her family, because of the way she got into politics, because of a lot what happened with being the first lady. >> explain what that means. i've been on a camera before, i'm holding a microphone. the vast majority of people who are watching don't have that experience. why would you have to be scripted? what does that mean? >> you don't have to be
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scripted. she chose to be. she's not like bill. she's not like a bella or a really --hirley, who this is more natural to who they are, and were. she hasn't been -- thus not who she was and is. interestingly enough, after the second campaign, i think that she's really learned how to be more that way. one other thing on this. i told my students this two hours ago. things about this leadership, particularly women, too,en, but women and boys but i want to focus on women and drills at the moment -- you really have to know who you are youirls at the moment -- really have to know who you are. took, andg that she
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that my mother took, and that shirley chisholm took, and that your mother took, for all the reasons -- 40 years later, hillary clinton is getting the same attacks at my mother did when she ran and shirley did and your mom did and gerry did, and yet, you have to know where you're at. if you don't, you cannot sustain it and you cannot convince that you are of the mind, soul, and heart to be elected. >> say what you mean by beating. give some examples of the beatings that shirley chisholm took. and you don't mean physical beatings trade you are talking about being attacked in the press, being criticized. calling herted out 110 when she starts to run. she was 110 pound woman running for the presidency. that is the description, before they even got to her name. i think it's also important to
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us ahat history provides great example for this moment. and so i think my disclaimer of clinton was -- imaybe hsshe really don't know if she really paid attention to the women that we are representing. as modeling for her, right? so what would it mean? i say this in my book. what would it mean if obama and hillary clinton when they began their presidential upheaval, that they spoke the name of shirley chisholm, that they spoke the name of geraldine ferraro, that they spoke the wouldf bella abzug, what it mean for the public history for that, in terms of memory? instead of speaking the name of abraham lincoln. these phenomenal
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women who also connected to a constituency that allows barack obama to be elected. chisholm's campaign, the reason why she runs is because of young people. not because the old establishment asked her to run, but young people who were against the vietnam war. and that they left her ability to be honest. nd so, i think that's a part of the discourse. >> and you are speaking to what liz brought up about her authenticity and willingness to represent herself and speak her mind. all of these women have something that a friend of mine is working on a book about.
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it is about individual uniqueness. use thesese women adjectives, they were strong, they were brave. they were also phenomenal human beings. they each had personality and energy and an honesty that you don't come across all the time. >> i would argue that hillary has all that too. is -- sheeve that she was the most experienced, and had this sort of expertise and intelligence, more so than any other candidate that has ever run in either party. that being said, the only point i wanted to add, hillary didn't run as a woman running for president. and i think in part, that's because you saw in 1984 -- first of all, when my mother ran, she
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was not at the top of the ticket, and people vote for the top of the ticket. the fact that she was a woman was one of the reasons that she was chosen, walter mondale was sought as the next extension of civil rights, the opening of civil rights and inclusion. ut i think what you saw in that vote.on was women did not women do not vote for women. women vote for pocket books, just like everyone else. our release that was the case there. vote. women do not vote for women. here you saw that women -- more women voted for her, yes. there was a gender gap, but there were still a lot of women who voted for trump. she wasn't really running as a woman in this race, she was running as the best qualified person to ever be running for office. also ihink they did doubt, by the way, she's also a woman and this would be history making.
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to some extent, i think younger women today don't really see , or that is a problem because a woman hasn't been president, they don't see it as that big a deal. a woman has run for president. but they should. once you have a woman in that role, it will change what women and girls and boys think is possible for women, the way it did for barack obama. say'll ellet liz something. >> i want to think about this. right before the election, i said to both my classes -- i was supporting obama. i was an advisor to the campaign 2008 and i was a delegate for him in 2008. i took a lot of heat on that, but 2008 and i was a delegate fr him i made a decision based on what i just talked about before, being in touch with your inner
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self and knowing that he knew who he was and was communicating that. now,i said to my class -- guys, we are going to find out whether we are a more racist country or a more misogynist country. that was in 2008. think about that. as elected. here we are, all these years later, and what has happened? thati'm trying to say is -- every way, classism, racism, misogyny, all of that showed itself in this race because donald allow them to do this all over the country, and there is tremendous anger. it's not just the woman thing. it's a combination of a combustible. those of us who work with women and young women, and my students, i have to give them
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hope. how are we going to get this track? how are we going to get women in the united states constitution as equal citizens? track? you tell that to kids in high school and college, and they don't know that. our basic rights as citizens, half the population are still not equal citizens after all this happened. so you wonder why hillary has, amongst everything else -- and were lking if my mother here and your mother were here, there would be that discussion. >> we have seen the enemy, and the enemy is within. were here and your mother were here, there would be thatthat's what n getting to, getting past the discussion of them and us, and talking about all of us, and the voter is our neighbor. so how is that that we all live
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in this society and have seen such drastically different things? women running for office, just to sort of bring it up in a women havel sense, to be asked several times to run for office. men aren't asked. they asked themselves. these three women we are talking about here were unusual in that way. put themselvest out there. it's not just in politics, it's also in corporate america or whatever, they are always saying -- they start with an apology, or they say, i don't know if i'm qualified to do that. the i don't have the direct experience, but maybe -- guys are always putting themselves out there. if you're looking for things to tell experience. i don't have the direct experience, but girls, they have the risk and believe in themselves and put themselves out there, whether it's in corporate america or in polit ics.
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and running for office is not easy. >> i can say it. i ran for office. as a gay woman against a gay man, the first in this country. i ran as gay, he ran as a gay man. in the middle of the aids crisis in 1991, he shared that he was hiv-positive. aidss the height of the crisis. that's what i said before, that women in particular really have -- women. women get carved up. you have to understand who you are and the depth of your strength. attacked so viciously. the point you made about women don't put themselves forward -- that's what we talk about all in every still, sector. and also with the financial thing. now that more women are getting more money, even in their own
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names, it's a little bit easier because women have the resources now more than they used to. i've never lost an election. i ran in columbia. >> lucky girl. >> i left politics a long time ago. >> the folks are going to bring the microphone around. naturally, some guy asked the first question, right? >> that's ok. >> i'm wondering as i listen to the panelists talked about the fact that there are so many countries around the world that have elected a woman as a national leader in america has yet, -- and america has not yet, my question is whether you feel that there is some thing about the way the american election system works, and that is the most important aspect of the discrepancy or whether it is something inherently cultural, or some weird combination of the two. >> i think some of it is -- it's
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definitely institutional. inability or the difficulty for the money they needed even though the selection show that hillary clinton was anding at campaigning receiving a significant amount moneyey for her campaign, is usually the determining women's ability to maintain and sustain their ability to run. and so that's why you have organizations who really are focused on providing the resources for women to vote. but they might also think this culturally. if we look at the data in terms and theoted for trump
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significant amount of college-educated white women, , 45%neducated white women voted for trump. that's very scary, right? if you look at african-american women, 94% voted for clinton. i think people are connected to voting for women, but then there are some of us who aren't connec ted to that ideal of seeing i think people are connected to voting forwomen in the highest f ranks. actuallyk that trump did quite a bit of good for feminism, because he put misogyny right out there for all to see. for a long time, in this country, a lot of those feelings were hidden. it may be in other countries
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where there is permission for people to express their feelings , that concerns about women in office may be expressed, but they are also allowed to be sort of exercised, getthen you can move on and onto the business of running a government and elect a female. it'sis country, it's like been repressed in a lot of ways. now it's out there, and everybody can see it. will it help us in the long run? i'm not so sure. i think there will be some dark days ahead treat as to why the united states is not elected a woman to high office yet, that's a big part of it, this sort of rampant and endemic misogyny. >> is not just misogyny and racial and all. i think that historically we've had women in all the prime
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ministers and presidents starting from golda meier in israel, margaret thatcher, and the -- thewhat is shock value, or the unusualness of having a military leader in the case of golda meier, and margaret thatcher was very conservative and very militaristic. people got beyond that. it's more of the norm. we in this country have not broken the stereotypes of the norms of what women and men are supposed to be and do. and even anntries, rwanda, who have a terminus they have years ago, in this world the most representation of women in any parliament in the world and rwanda. -- in rwanda. the men often said, we screw this up. and we could not do very well dealing with this. let them do it. so therefore it's a process,
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it's the money, but it's also that we have not made that cultural dynamic shift, that real shift of the way we do women in this country. >> isn't it also how we view men? such a limited definition of masculinity that that hasn't shifted yet. and you see more and more men being woken up to feminism, because men who wouldn't have necessarily define themselves that way so shocked and horrified by some of the things that trump said, they are sort of aware on a much deeper level above the kind of society that women experience. structuralo add two things. i think it's easier in a parliamentary system where you not focusing on the individual so much. it's more of a meritocracy. so, that's one thing.
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but i also think -- you brought up emily's list, and in new york state there is eleanor's legacy, which does the same thing but on a more local level. in the way that you get into higher office is generally from coming from more local levels. women youomen -- more have in the pipeline, the more likely they are to rise up. most until this time around, most presidential candidates come from the senate or the house, usually the senate, or a governor's mansion. womenou have a lot more governors are a lot more women in the senate -- there have been steady gains. i don't know what it is now today, but they are 20% in the senate. i don't know what it is in the house, which isn't a huge increase over where it was when the women were representing were there, but it is progress and there are a lot of women in the
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state houses in the assembly and the senate. even starting out on community boards, people generally have to work their way up. the more women do run for office, the more women will be in office and they can work their wa up. >> -- way up. >> any questions? >> hi, so i was wondering, this is more of an open-ended question about civics. it has a lot to do with what happened in this election. the electoral college and the way that impacted -- i was watching it from the wings and i was nervous because my aunt, she's one of those critical swing voters they were counting on in places like wisconsin. it was a very personal thing that i was thinking about, gets intorse it questions of internal misogyny and how do we build up women so
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they will see -- a lot has to do with whether this was the right candidate at the right time. i think this is something we will all have to keep looking at straight obviously trump was not the right candidate, but that didn't stop him. my question is, i thought the electoral college at one point was designed to set up so that if you had this kind of a close race, that you could throw the election away from the person who you thought was a danger to the country, but they are not talking about that at all. i was wondering what everybody here would have to say about that. i think we have to get rid of the electoral college, simple as that. most countries in the world have majority rules, one person, one vote. each election we have the same thing. it is used in the swing states. i think we have to get rid of it.
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>> what was the other thing you are talking about, civics? we need to talk about politics, civics, like we did when we were don't even know the basis of the united states constitution. of our real remiss public school system around the country that we don't. >> i just booked to teachers yesterday at the -- spoke to teachers yesterday. it was around the inability of elementary schools to teach civics to students. what has happened is you have an electorate of people who actually listen to someone, who knew nothing about what governing was, and they couldn't test it. they didn't really have the mechanism to say, it doesn't really work like that. likenment doesn't work that.
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if you don't have a framework or not whending, and it's you're in elementary school and is not taught in high school and then when i get you in college, you get upset at me in class because you ask one specific question i get every semester, why no one told us. about --t you tell us why didn't i know about a surely chisholm? i've never heard of her. why didn't i know that this country in many ways was already created on an equal footing? in equal footing? it is ingrained in our constitution of inequality that we do not regard women, we did not regard african-americans, right? with what american democracy was created and formed as, even though it's an amended to be a larger thing of what we hope for today, then people aren't as confused and they are
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not saying, we want something back which was never there in the first place. >> it was interesting. considering the background of allary and of donald, commentator said, the public was more forgiving of a man and a woman. and that's really bad. we really haven't gone that far. they definitely weren't judged the same way. i would argue that -- again, my mother, your mother, and surely would always say, the women had to be that much more prepared and that much more qualified. whole -- what is it, dancing backwards in heels? unusual. unfortunately, that is the way it is.
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i also think that he was given a season,ing the primary because he wasn't taken seriously for a long time because he was a reality tv show and a celebrity, and when he became such a force and they started attacking him, it was too late. he wasn't subjected to the same scrutiny that he was then in the general race, which he started. he was very upset about how he was attacked, or investigated, even. but that was when they started looking at him differently. i think you are right that what were called her flaws and her mistakes were put on at the same level of things he did the were nowhere near -- that were nowhere near the same level. >> i will look up something zynga said about americans not knowing their civics and their
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history. i also think we are in a situation and a time now where most people cannot differentiate between information and entertainment, because so much of news and journalism has been presented as entertainment, and entertainment tends to be journalism and news. it's very confusing. even people in my own family who know and love me and know that i'm a journalist don't necessarily know how to differentiate between a talking head who is just filling up airspace and a deeply reported story by someone who has a lot of experience in the field and spent months, maybe years researching a particular topic. there's a big difference. unfortunately i think we will learn what it means to have an entertainer in a serious business of governance, but that's another problem we need
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to address. >> passing the mic. >> so, it took me a long time to consider myself a feminist, and i read recently that only 52% of white women call themselves feminists. i have relatives who are quite religious and voted the way i'mr husbands voted, and wondering if white women in particular have a problem with feminism being immoral. because of religion, because of choice, because of reproductive rights, and how do we get through that? so, while i was pondering tonight's conversation, i made a little timeline for myself to
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look at our progress in new york city and in the country. and, you have to remember that women have not had the right to vote for even 100 years yet. that did not happen until 1920. it wasn't until 1973 -- >> what? >> [indiscernible] no, that is the question, right? the popular phrase now and dialogue about race relations is are you woke? re: great if you are a white person and you are woke. having compassion, whatever their bodies operate,
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the skin color, the religion come other belief. it is this slow process, if you look at human civilization, american society, people become empathetic about people who are not like them. so in my humble opinion, whether we are talking about feminism or gay rights, all the same stuff, it's all about do you care about the well-being of other people who are not like you? think, in a lot of traditional teaching, it's the woman's place to honor the man. great deal ofor a people in this country, the definition of masculinity is that you dominate, that you are the ruler. until we have an alternative definition, until you can continue to be a man without having to dominate, it is creating this problem that you are describing where women are in the position where either they submit or they stand up.
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and if they stand up, they are defying this code that has been set. and a lot of women don't see that. that you're saying that it took you a long time to come to feminism. ahad i -- i had a post from facebook page about a book i wrote. he doesn't consider himself a feminist, but he is still really excited to read my book. do consider you a feminist. as long as i've known you, you care deeply about people, but women being treated well, and he rep me back and said, you are right, i never thought of that before during so it's about the language that we use. on just wondering if the reason that there is this divide, is it really about feminism. i don't think women who voted themselvesidn't see or may be of them didn't see themselves as feminist.
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i think that they are conflicted ofh other issues in terms determining what this country looks like, possibly. i think that's a part of it. why did you now self identify as a feminist? >> i don't know. it took me a while. a single mom. i thought i couldn't be a feminist if i was a stay-at-home mom. >> here is the thing. in the nordic countries, places where they have mandatory parental leave for both parents and national daycare, do you think we are having this conversation? no, we are not the end that's what we need to normalize. we need to normalize in this country. not just the daycare, which would really help a lot, but also that what does it mean, you know, feminism?
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people are reacting to a because they remember -- my mother was one of the founders of the second wave of the feminist movement. -- brawlmber broad burning and lesbians come all the negative things. what you told julian what you know is that it's really to make an equal gender representation of men and women so that we can live collectively in the hole. the fact that you are a mom,aker, a stay-at-home doesn't make you any less a feminist because you believe obviously that you want to take care of your kids, but he also want to reach gender equality. i get it. moral question, sure, choice, religion, all of that feeds into that. >> all my relatives feel that feminism is immoral. it is a huge problem that girls can't identify with themselves as feminists. >> i say one thing about that.
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i had one girl's mother take her -- we had one mother take out the girl from training. why? anduse we talk about choice about reproductive health and abortion. and she took that kid right out even though she was printed and she loved the program. think the moniker is a problem for the reasons that liz talked about. , think feminism, the word feminist, is seen as outdated. and people don't relate to it. younger people don't necessarily know what it means other than people who were brought burning and lesbian and they are allowed. but the one thing i want to share -- and again, this is after 1984, but my guess is that
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it is applicable here, too. there were polls there were done and there was a phenomena where women who were middle-aged -- my mother was 48 when she ran for vice president -- so her age and above had a real problem with her running for office. and the reason was -- and this is a little bit, looted, but stick with me. she could do what they considered a man's job, then they should be able to do a man's job. but they didn't feel they could do a man's job, so they didn't want her to be able to do a man's job because it would make them feel bad about themselves. i don't know that that is so different from what a certain number women are experiencing, particularly those white educated women who you are -- about.out your
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>> i just wanted to say thank you because it's especially what i really wanted -- needed tonight. >> don't start crying because then we will start crying. >> it is really helpful to hear from somebody who is pioneering our rights and it is helpful to know that there is hope in that we can carry it forward. , i a lotein of heart of the information that is coming out now is saying that much of the country feels disenfranchised and unhappy with the direction that the country was going. and whether or not they thought that who we ended up electing truly does embody the correct direction, it was a hail mary. so for myself, as an asian-american whose
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demographics completely pegged me as how i voted and also dictates that quite frankly i would be scared to live in the middle of the country because i would not be wanted there. >> i had a dominican student today, one of my great students, who set in the class and said i'm really scared. i'm about to become a citizen here. she is struggling to get through lumia financially. and she told the class. i'm scared. why did i come to this country? i feel inferior. i feel exposed. another student said, north carolina, to black women living with a white man remake. the guy came to the door with a gun to go after the women , if the whitethat room he had been at the top this guy down, who knows? of people are feeling when you're feeling right now. the muslim community, even before this happened, because
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they were targeted. it is an expression of tremendous discontent saying get rid of the status oh. i don't care, put them in there. >> we've been told those. we need to speak to that part of the country. the part that i have personally been told by my white friends is that you are not empathizing with them. and i can understand that. i grew from privilege. i find it truly difficult for myself to say i'm ok with you saying these things about me and about other immigrants when you say you don't want us. so i'm having difficulties finding the way forward. what do you see that as? the words right nowto articulate it. that is wrong. there's no way for pacifiers in authority or racism or sexism. that's not an equal ground.
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the only way that we can say -- because i have students at brooklyn college were saying well my family get deported next week? right? about that history has shown us, even in moments of severe progress or what we consider to be progress, there are also moments of retreat. where people are fearful because of some. and so the only thing that we can at least -- i think the only silver lining in this entire horrible moment is that we now understand the life-and-death situation that is before us. and if that doesn't mobilize us and that doesn't force us to gather together, to make sure that in the next election, you
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don't have an entire red house, senate and top of the ticket, then i don't know what will. because now we are fearful. other people might have been fearful, but now we are fearful. >> i completely relate to what you are feeling. i didn't get any sleep last night and have been emotional all-day. -- all day. what i say is, he will do what he says he will do. i mean, last night, as much as it kills me to say this, when ,ou look at his victory speech he talked about how he had two new night -- to unite the country now. part of me says the part devoted for you did not want to unite the country. but he is saying -- maybe the things he was a was just a win,
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hopefully, and maybe now he knows that you need to unite the country. is heillary said today has been elected our president. and hopefully he will do the right thing. and we have to have an open mind to that. that he will uphold the and move away from what has been the rhetoric of the campaign. >> i hope. >> we are going to close in just a second. i want to just quickly tell you about one more women in the book, one of my favorites, ella baker. baker,learned about ella i was frankly horrified. i was like one of your students. i wanted to know how it was possible that i could grow been the united states, get an education, have a masters degree, and had never heard of elevator.
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in my opinion, is not just one of the most important women who ever lived in new york. she is one of the most important women in american history because she is largely responsible for all of the most important civil rights groups in the 1960's that made all the civil rights progress that we have. and part of the reason why we don't know ella baker's name -- most people don't know her name -- is because she didn't really care about celebrity. she didn't really care about fame. quite the opposite. she can about people and she worked for change. and that's one reason. and another reason i think is because she was a black woman and because her work wasn't pretty and it wasn't shiny and televised that it didn't become really well known. helped start the naacp. by martin was hired
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luther king jr.'s group. parksaker taught rosa what to do. she taught her in her workshop about how you peacefully through dust peacefully protest. and it was ella baker's idea to start this student, nonviolent coordinating committee. when i get more free time, i will make it my personal mission that martin luther king jr. day becomes martin luther king jr. and ella baker day because her contributions are so significant. or get another day. i don't know how many days of school off i can handle before we have national childcare available. we will see. time of herhe
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death, she had earned this nickname. it was fundi. fundi is a swahili word for someone who spends -- to send crafted down to the next generation. i think all of you women tonight ndis.really fu they were there authentic selves and they devoted their life and their work to promoting democratic ideals, promoting a society,ious city and where all kinds of people are welcome and live with one another in peace. so i thank you all for coming. since none of you slept last night. [laughter] and i invite you all to check out the book and continues commerce station. thanks for being here. [applause] julie forant to thank having this conversation and for the book.
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and i also want to and with a quote from someone who was a famous. deny, we heard about women who became politics -tici- polis. many of us in the room are not necessarily politicians and we won't be politicians. but i hope we can derive inspiration from all the people who left wonderful words. orchard, women at 97 the first woman to vote, her name is sarah byrne sq. she voted in 1920. last may, when i think we were excited about hillary becoming -- i wrote a little piece of her. but i kept the oral history that her daughter had given about her. and her daughter remembers growing up on the lower east side and that she and her sister -- she and her sister with friends. we learn toid that
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judge people by themselves and not what they are. there's good and bad in every race, creed and color. so you stay with from troublemakers and make friends with a nice people. that is helpful. but i think it is important that we take the next step, that we have compassion and that we make .riends with the nice people compassion is important, but fighting import -- fighting is important as well. knowing who we are inside to become the leaders we can in the places we are to do all we can come even if we don't run for office, to make the city, to make this country a better place together. thank you so much for coming out tonight on such an exhausting night. thank you to the wonderful, inspiring speakers and writers and family members. you can read more about inspiring women. the book is for sale. and the heartck of our community and what we're
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trying to do here. >> two more announcements. one of you want a signed book, i never did do that. but also, the illustrator of the book has joined us. will you stand up? [applause] halley painted the beautiful portraits in the book. please talk to her. and also, another announcement. have dorothy9, we chisholm day. we have it every year. we have sherry randolph as our speaker, talking about her work with shirley chisholm and florence kennedy. so it's november 29 at brooklyn college. [applause]
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>> you are watching american history tv. 48 hours a program on history. follow us on twitter for information on our schedule and to keep up with the latest extremist -- latest history news. sunday, january 1, in depth will feature a live discussion on the presidency of barack obama. we are taking your phone calls, tweets add emails and facebook questions. april ryan. at a loud, author of democracy in black, how race still in for the american soul. marinus. watch in-depth from new to 3:00 a.m. eastern on sunday on book tv on c-span 2.
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--next, christine hester christine hefner, former ceo of playboy enterprises, talks about comedian lenny bruce's life and legacy. she focuses on social commentary in his standup routine and how he pushed the boundaries of free speech. this is part of a two-day conference commemorating the recent acquisition of lenny bruce's collection at brandeis university. >> i am here to offer special thanks to steve, sitting over here, who is the other instigator and driving force of this conference. steve wrote an enormously rich, informative biography and a sort of career study of lenny bruce, done in 2005 at the university of paris. as a result of his research in that respect, he got to meet and know many bruce's daughter, and


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