Thursday, October 25, 2012


Women have been the focus of this upcoming presidential election. By accident? Maybe. I don’t think the presidential campaigns purposefully started out as campaigns in which women were thought of as the secret weapon; or not. However, both presidential campaigns have promoted ideals and platforms that have made this political campaign personal for many women who stand on both sides of the political spectrum. Are the messages to women from both parties a mere tactic to get the women’s vote? It depends on who you ask.

The Republican Party has focused on the economic issues they claim have been created by the Obama administration. Additionally, Republicans have repeatedly expressed that President Obama is diverting the attention from his failed economic policies by focusing on rhetoric about women’s rights. Moreover, the pro-life stance of the Republican Party is intended to strike an emotional nerve with women and as such, the Republicans (divided by the issue on if and when abortion should be “allowed”) are appealing to the maternal instinct of women by telling us that they will protect life in the womb. However, we all have heard what many men and women in the Republican leadership have said about women, abortions, rape, and so on (including the latest comments by Murdock), which in my opinion should make all women (and men) angry.

In the other hand, Democrats are appealing to women’s votes by focusing on their track record on women’s rights. President Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act which states that women must earn the same pay for the same work as men (the wage gap is that White women earn 77 cents for every dollar a man makes; this gap is even higher between men and women of color). Obama also banned employment discrimination based on gender identity which helps women and girls increase their access and participation in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and math). The Affordable Care Act also prevents insurance providers to discriminate against women (women pay higher health insurance premiums than men). Furthermore, Obama stands to protect women’s reproductive rights by supporting access to contraceptives free of copay and women’s right to choose. Additionally, the President signed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act which allows gender crimes to be prosecuted by the Department of Justice.

Based on what we know so far about the presidential campaign, how well are Republicans and Democrats playing the woman card? As a woman and a voter, the Romney campaign is doing an excellent job at pushing women (at least the ones that are not suffering from Stockholm Syndrome) away, if you ask me. Obama has professed he wants his daughters to have the same opportunities as every other son in America will have and his record proves it. As a woman, I cannot vote for a party that is so wrong when it comes to women’s rights. Some may argument that we (angry women pro Obama) are just suffering from hysteria. Well, men would be in rage too if any woman candidate would tell them what to do with their penises and testicles and impose on their right to procreate (or not). I wonder how men, especially those from the Tea Party, would react if they were the ones being regulated, raped, and denied to choose what’s best for their bodies. We would definitely be reading a different set of stories. But for now, it is up to us, women and the men that place the women in their lives in high esteem, to go out and vote for our rights and the only candidate who has supported and defended our rights. That candidate is Barack Obama!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


We started my son in karate when he was 4 years old. At first, we just wanted him to play a sport and be with his friends. We also thought karate would be good for his motor skills, to learn discipline and courtesy, to burn off all that energy young children have and to someday be able to defend himself against bullies and potential abusers. When Paul Vincent started as a little tiger, he looked so cute in his uniform! It was too big for him but he looked adorable. As a little tiger, he basically learned the basic form of Tae Kwon Do and played fun games that were geared towards improving his coordination, building those pathways in his brain so that he could focus, learn, and do. I was ecstatic the first time I told him to do something and he responded with a stern and loud “yes, ma’am!” at 4 years of age! I thought “just for this, you are staying in karate!”

Now, a little over four years later, my son is a first degree black belt. He respects the sport and just now “gets it!” He said to me yesterday during a ride in the car: “mommy, I love karate. It is really my thing. Although, I sometimes feel like not going to class because I am tired, I love karate and I know being a black belt is only the beginning. I want to continue”. I was very proud of him for saying those words and for his honesty and commitment to his passion. We have seen him grow in karate and the days as a little tiger are long gone. Now my son is on his path to becoming something greater; something that he doesn’t even realize yet. He is on the path of becoming a man of principle, commitment, and values. Just like the tenets of Tae Kwon Do, my son is on his journey to mastering “courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self-control and indomitable spirit.” He says those tenets 4 times a week during class but he is doing much more than just saying them: he is becoming them!

I wait excitedly for what the future holds for my son. I certainly don’t have a crystal ball to see into his future (although I would love to!) But I know his experience in Tae Kwon Do will certainly help him to become the best version of himself.
(I want to express my gratitude to Mr. and Mrs. Spicar from Spicar Martial Arts in Southlake, TX for facilitating this journey for Paul Vincent and being allies in his development and growth. You may not know that you play an important role in the life of all the children that you teach. A part of what they are and a part of what they will be has been forged by you!)