Deep Conversations: When Hillary and Trump Debate Again, Hope They Talk About Gender

America, it’s time to face reality. This 2016 election jumped the shark with the Donald Trump/Billy Bush October Surprise  (Access Hollywood video, 2005). Soon afterthe Hillary Clinton campaign came under scrutiny when Wikileaks revealed a trove of emails from the campaign leaders, plus some of the text of Hillary Clinton’s paid speeches to Wall Street. Since it is highly, highly unlikely that the upcoming, and final, Presidential Debate will yield insight into education reform, I propose that many of the questions deal with improving the quality of life for all in the USA, regardless of gender. At least the audience would perhaps glean more insight into these candidates whose public lives have been so carefully constructed.

The questions below reflect my interest in the topics of home labor and housekeeping. One of the pivotal books on this topic is Nickel and Dimed (2001), by Barbara Ehrenreich. I loved using this book in a non-traditional-aged college class I taught at a super cool Midwestern college.

Questions for the candidates:

  • How does your participation in the institution of marriage shape your opinion on equal pay for equal work?
  • If sexual harassment in the workplace is intolerable, how can the workplace be re-imagined as an equalizing force in small communities and in larger society?
  • What percentage of the GDP is derived from housekeeping?
  • How much should traditional homemakers earn for their housework?
  • Do the candidates have any “chores” they routinely do at home and if so, what are they and why do they do them?
  • Assuming that the candidates have paid home staff, what is the average rate they pay their respective staffs?

The Economy of the Future Must Include Singles

Women hit the glass ceiling in academia and in business when their needs are not taken into consideration. What happens when single women are not paid equivalent to men? One guess, the loss of the ability to build a future.

Grit? Forget it. Many are born gritty, but grit will not help when those who make the budgets and disperse checks assume women can be paid less simply because they are female.

So, why do so many politicians make pleas to the “American family” when so many Americans (45% in 2014, according to the U.S. Census Bureau) are single? 
At least one state understands the plight of American singles, Ohio. Ohio celebrates “National Singles Week” the third week in September. More states should do the same. 
Question for Presidential candidates: 
How can singles reap the economic benefits of the middle class when the economy seems geared to the married middle class? 

Colin Kaepernick, and Associates, Kneel to Stand 

Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers QB, continues making news through kneeling (he had been sitting) during the national anthem — infuriating some, emboldening others. He states that he continues kneeling in order to take a stand against repression and oppression. Kneeling has various connotations, including courtliness. Could this type of action be read as a form of heraldry?

Hillary, Take a Stand: After Getting Well, Hillary Clinton Must Go to Indian Country and Speak Her Truth on #DAPL

How can Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton discuss economic growth without taking a personal stand on the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL)? The Democratic Party Platform addresses America Indian concerns, however, according to Bill McKibben’s op-ed in the Los Angeles Times, Sec. Clinton has yet to speak out on the DAPL.

The Nation owes a debt to American indigenous people. Knowledge of American Indian land protection initiatives, including protection of seeds, grows through the efforts of many, including Winona LaDuke. Has Hillary Clinton met this American activist,  economist, and former vice-presidential candidate? LaDuke is not the leader of the Standing Rock #NoDAPL protest/protection effort, but she is a keen politician whose voice must be elevated. 

A meeting between these two women would send a powerful message, but beyond the symbolism, LaDuke’s groundbreaking analysis of indigenous land rights and land usage should be studied by all.

Will LaDuke be invited to join a Hillary Clinton administration?