Democratic National Convention Accused of Discriminating Against Mothers

Illustration for article titled Democratic National Convention Accused of Discriminating Against Mothers

Thanks to the lack of liberal politicians who make outrageously horrible and nonsensical statements about rape, abortion, and the wage gap, Democrats have a pretty good lock on the women's vote. Is that why they're not too concerned about recent accusations that they're disenfranchising mothers who want to attend the Democratic National Convention by not providing childcare for attendees or allowing kids on the floor at all?


Feminist activists, including Gloria Steinem and multiple chapters of the National Organization for Women (NOW), have spoken out harshly against what they see as discriminatory practices against mothers with young children. "Women are the key to a Democratic victory, and sometimes, children are the key to women," Steinem said in a statement. "It's both right and smart for the Democratic Convention to behave as if children exist."

Mother and 2012 Democratic National Convention delegate Susie Shannon said in a statement that "moms with young children six years of age and under who cannot be left at home, some of whom are breastfeeding, are relegated to second-class status within the Democratic Convention, unable to participate as a delegate due to antiquated policies and inadequate accommodations that were apparently in place before women's suffrage."

Convention spokeswoman Joanne Peters said that attendees with young children could find private child care providers on an official vendor directory and that lactation centers are being provided for nursing mothers. But Shannon and the other women putting pressure on the DNC don't think that's enough. "The Democratic Party shouldn't put you in a position where you have to choose between your child and participating in a political convention," she said.

Predictably, Republican bloggers are getting a major kick out of this. "As we all know, the GOP wants to turn the clock back to the 1950s," wrote the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Kyle Wingfield with glee. "But at least women could vote back then! The DNC apparently is stuck in the 1910s!"

Hardly. But it sounds like it would be a pretty great idea for the DNC to offer free childcare services if they don't want kids — or angry mothers — around.

Women's Groups Upset Dem Convention Banning Kids From Floor [CBS Local]
Women's group slams DNC for not providing child care [Charlotte Observer]



Free childcare services? Who would pay for that? I think in this situation, it's very likely that free childcare services would = young female staffers and/or volunteers being put in a daycare center and not getting to network or participate in the convention while the young male staffers and/or volunteers are running errands for muckity-mucks and schmoozing and networking. I vote no.