Women’s Day – Election, 2016

screen-shot-2016-11-08-at-4-08-46-pmBoth of the editorials in The Seattle Times today are about women, not surprising given that today is historic. For the first time since this country was founded we are voting in an election where a woman is a major contender for the Presidency.

Hillary Clinton is not the First Woman to run for President,but she is the First Woman to represent one of the major political parties. Translation: This is the first time a woman has the possibility of gaining the Presidency. So, it’s not surprising that one of the editorials in today’s paper was about her. The evidence of how far women have come, after slogging through centuries of battles, is apparent.

But, the evidence is also there for how much work remains, right there in the second editorial about how Harvard University cancelled the season for their men’s soccer team after the team produced “scouting reports” on the women’s soccer team, ranking them by appearance and ideal sexual position.

It is important that we not become complacent because a woman has the opportunity to reach the top of the government. After all, only 20% of the Senate seats are filled with women and a slightly smaller percentage in the House of Representatives—and men still rank women by their appearance and not their skill. We must remain vigilant if women are to be assured that their views and opinions are considered, that they can affect how this country treats its citizens and one another.


Today’s paper also carried an obituary for Janet Reno. The article points out that she was the First Woman Attorney General in the United States, appointed by Hillary Clinton’s husband. It recounts her achievements and her mistakes. What it does not mention is her terrific sense of humor. She was an amazing woman, full of strength and an ability to laugh. I wish I could have met her.

Janet Reno – Attorney General

          Janet Reno never abandoned her principles, in spite of criticism. “I am not fancy. I am what I appear to be,” she said. She inspires us to remain true to ourselves, to speak for ourselves and to protect those who need our strength.

JANET RENO FOR DRAFT BLOG 2          When Janet Reno attended Harvard Law School in the 1960’s women were not called on in class because their voices were not deemed strong enough to be heard, but by 1978 Janet Reno was finding her voice. Appointed state’s attorney for Dade County in Florida, the first woman in that position, she worked to protect children, contain drug dealers and rid government of corrupt judges and police officers. She was re-elected to office four times.

In 1993 President Clinton appointed her Attorney General of the United States. She was the first woman to hold that position and served longer than any other attorney general in the twentieth century. Her tenure was not free from controversy, but she stood strong. She won praise for convicting those responsible for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, initiating a lawsuit against tobacco companies, taking Microsoft to court for antitrust violations, and capturing and convicting the Unabomber. She was criticized and sometimes reviled for the force used in the Ruby Ridge incident, the storming of the Branch Davidian compound, and the return of Elian Gonzales to his father in Cuba.

In spite of her tough demeanor, Janet Reno has a sense of humor. She appeared with Will Ferrell on Saturday Night Live in a sketch called “Janet Reno’s Dance Party” and voiced herself for an episode of The Simpsons. She speaks often, working to convince others of the connection between the quality of education and crime rates, and of the benefit of an improved juvenile court system that reaches troubled children before they become adults.


For online biographies of Janet Reno, see:





Janet Reno: Doing the Right Thing by Paul Anderson


When Janet Reno was at Harvard Law School, one of the professors did set aside a “Ladies’ Day” so that the 16 women in the class of 500 could ask questions. Were you ever in a situation where you felt you could not speak because you were a woman?