Gerry N.O.W.Geraldine Ferraro becomes the first vice presidential nominee in U.S. history when Democratic nominee Walter Mondale selects her as his running mate. The article notes a correspondent increase in the number of registered female voters. Cindy Taylor, president of the Charlottesville NOW chapter, emphasizes the importance of raising awareness of women's issues among female voters at the college age.
Ferraro nomination sparks new activity
By KATHY JOURDAN
Cavalier Daily Associate Editor
On July 21 the Democratic National Party made history by nominating a woman as the presidential running mate. Now, little over a month after that vote secured immortality for Geraldine Ferraro, the implications of her nomination are still growing, according to Cindy Taylor, Charlottesville's National Organization of Women chapter president.
â€œThere's a real excitement that Ferraro has caused," Taylor said. "We're seeing a lot more women registering to vote. She makes you feel a lot more included."
A colleague in a voter registration office informed Taylor that nine out of 10 calls for registration information were from women.
"Women are getting involved and making sure that concerns are met," she said. Taylor, a fourth-year architecture school student, said her own biggest goal right now is to maintain student involvement in politics, especially womenâ€™s rights.
Students' votes are important, she said, adding, â€œThere are races that have been lost by four votes in this state. You can make a difference.â€
Within the University, Taylor said she has met "some really good thinkers who really had visions of the future." But the University provides, to a certain extent, a â€œfalse atmosphere.â€
"Teachers treat you fairly. Men and women are equal in terms of economics. You're not that involved in the political system at this age," she said. â€œThere's this feeling that â€˜yeah, my rights are protected.â€™â€
But that sense of security, she warned, â€œis going to change." Out in the "real world," problems like insurance costs, marriage and children will undermine womenâ€™s feelings of security, she contended. But the toughest enemy women face, Taylor said, is other people's attitudes.
"You always wonder, would they have said that to me if I'd been a man, [am I being) taken seriously as if I were a man?" she said.
To start enlightening women and men at the college level about these problems, NOW plans to have a table set up outside of registration.
The fight for equality is especially important in this year's election, Taylor said, because Reagan's administration has jeopardized many of the advances NOW has made over the years. The failure of the Equal Rights Ammendment [sic] in 1983 was one of the most devastating losses, she said.
â€œAfter 1980," Taylor recalled, â€œthere were a lot of very sad women who worked for years, quit their jobs, uprooted their whole lives to come work on this issue" in unratified states like Virginia.
â€œYou may think you've come a long way, baby, but when you see Title 9 squelchedâ€¦we worked years to get that passed.â€
Pointing out that many women once thought the step by step method employed by Title 9 would be enough to protect their rights, Taylor added wryly, â€œPiece by piece can always be taken away.
â€œIf President Regan gets reelected weâ€™ll be on the defensive versus really making progress.â€
Taylor has watched the progression of womenâ€™s rights since the time when her mother and grandmother were fighting injustice, she said.
â€œMy mother was a member of NOW and had brought a sex discrimination suit against [her employer] the department of Agriculture.
â€œHearing her stories about how sheâ€™d been mistreated in the workplace,â€ became an experience in â€œconscience raising,â€ Taylor said.
Since then, Taylor said she has taken an active role in the womanâ€™s movement and formed a vision of what sheâ€™d like to accomplish in the world.
This vision includes things other than the fight for womenâ€™s equality. Taylor said she would likek NOW to become more closely involved in minority rights issues.
â€œWe havenâ€™t accomplished our goal of making sure human rights are preserved,â€ she said. â€œIf you look at domination, as long as it exists anywhere that makes it â€˜OK.â€™ Itâ€™s not OK.â€
Taylor said she is also worried about child support for working mothers. NOW members have worked very hard, Taylor said, to obtain passage of a bill in Congress that would make government subsidies available to those who need them.
â€œI want to change the workplace so that I can have child support,â€ she said. â€œAmericans are kind of behind Europe in some of those things.â€
Finally, she expressed fears about the possibility of nuclear war. â€œIâ€™d trust Geraldine Ferraro at the [negotiation] table more than Ronald Reagan,â€ Taylor said.
|Tags||advocacy, national media, student publications|
|Date Added||August 8, 2016|
|Date Modifed||December 11, 2017|
|Collection||Cavalier Daily: articles about gender discrimination|
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