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Del. Ken Plum: Women Honored

by Del. Ken Plum December 12, 2017 at 10:15 am 32 Comments

This is a commentary from Del. Ken Plum (D-Fairfax), who represents Reston in Virginia’s House of Delegates. It does not reflect the opinion of Reston Now.

Earlier last week there was a groundbreaking ceremony on the grounds of the State Capitol in Richmond for a memorial “recognizing the contributions of women across four centuries.” The first phase of the monument named “Voices from the Garden” will be an oval-shaped plaza that will contain 12 bronze statues depicting significant women in Virginia’s history. A glass Wall of Honor containing the names of several hundred additional women of note will surround the plaza. Supporters of the new monument claim it to be “the first of its kind on the grounds of a state capitol.” Certainly it is a step forward in recognizing the important place of women after English colonization and the transport of the first English women to the colony in 1619.

The grounds of the Capitol have been dominated by white men since Richmond became the capital of the Commonwealth in 1780. From the grand equestrian statue of George Washington that dominates the grounds to a lonely statue of senator and former governor Harry F. Byrd, only the Virginia Civil Rights Memorial opened in 2008 offers evidence of others than white men who contributed to Virginia’s history. The addition of the women’s memorial at a critically important time will help to fill in the blanks of history as will the Virginia Indian Tribute Memorial that is currently under construction. 

Recognizing the historic contributions of women has become even more important at a time when the daily news brings information on the number of women having been sexually harassed by well-known political and entertainment figures. While those disclosures have brought attention to the situation, there needs to be recognition that we are only seeing the tip of a very great problem. Many women who are afraid, feel shame or powerlessness, or whose perpetrator is a relative, co-worker, or community member but who is not famous have had to suffer in silence. Now that the lid is sufficiently off, the issue will not be able to be swept away or ignored. The path forward is not entirely clear, but giving women the respect they have earned whether in history or as head of a family is an important step. A memorial on capitol grounds of a state that did not ratify until 1952 the Nineteenth Amendment giving women the right to vote in 1920 is an important step as well.

The greatest tribute to women in Virginia may have come with the outcome of the recent Virginia election. Pending final vote certification there will be 38 women in the Virginia General Assembly–27% versus the earlier 19%. The Democratic caucus in the House of Delegates will be nearly half women as it should be. Supporting these women candidates were thousands of women working to make a difference in numbers never before realized. Seeing these winning women candidates are thousands of young women who just witnessed a door opening for them. It is likely to be that Virginia will finally ratify the Equal Rights Amendment as I have supported my entire career.

  • The Constitutionalist

    How can we ratify the ERA when no one can agree on what the definition of sex is?

    • Mike M

      I am astonished to see ERA dragged from the grave and dusted off. But then, it’s Ken – something of the un-dead himself. I remember when ERA was fresh and I was young. It just seemed stupider as the years went by. It was an obvious, cheap, and divisive grinding stone for the left. Might have been their first big coherent strategy on harnessing gender politics. I think the silliness of it became widely transparent and it contributed directly to Reagan. The left fails to see that their divisive and destructive methods contribute to their own defeat. I warned what was coming before Trump. If he gets removed before getting a chance to succeed or fail, heaven help us. What comes next might make Trump look like a gem.

  • 40yearsinreston

    Hudgins and Bulova would be top of the list for a womens ‘wall of shame’

  • 40yearsinreston

    Plum should put his actions where his mouth is and resign in favor of woman

  • Willie Reston

    Waiting for a conservative commenter to weight in on how this is somehow an attack on them, or something.

    • 40 years unblemished

      Last time I checked Ken was male, so based in his own rethoric he is part of the problem.

      Q: snip or gender bender?

      • Willie Reston

        Its nice to be impotent but its more impotent to be nice. So I go with gender bender

        • Mike M

          So, what’s nice about being impotent, Willie?

          • Willie Reston

            That was fake Willie (aka Mike M) on the second post.

          • Mike M

            Sorry, dude. I don’t impersonate. Some do. But I think you wrote it.

          • The Constitutionalist

            I think we’ll have to ask his husband.

    • The Constitutionalist

      Still waiting for Willie Reston to post an educated retort to any of the thousand or so debates he’s started, got off topic, lost, and ran away to the next thread.

      Wagers on how long it’ll take, anyone?

      • Mike M

        I bet never!

  • Mike M

    Ho hum. Another Democrat panders to one of their favorite identities – women. Unfortunately it works with so many women. Here’s the deal,. What is truly important to me is also important to women. Many know this. Many still vote Dem, just like the sheep for which they are taken.

    • Mike M

      Women are stupid and I don’t respect them.

    • Willie Reston

      Maybe they vote Dem because that’s the party that better represents their values. Or, you know, it’s the party that actually has any values to speak of.

      • Mike M

        Another superficial comment. Thanks.
        What values would you be talking about?

        • Willie Reston

          Firstly, not being Bible-thumping hypocrites.

          • The Constitutionalist

            So are you saying that a Democrat can’t be a Christian?

          • Willie Reston

            Once again your poor reading skills reveal themselves. I said the GOP party line can largely be defined by its fake adherence to Christian values, I didn’t mention anything about Dems. There’s nothing at all Christian about the modern GOP. Democrats, by and large, better exhibit the Christian values you conservatives claim to love so much but never actually put into practice.

          • The Constitutionalist

            “Maybe they vote Dem because that’s the party that better represents their values. Or, you know, it’s the party that actually has any values to speak of.”

            “Firstly, not being Bible-thumping hypocrites.”

            “Once again your poor reading skills reveal themselves.”

            “I said the GOP party line can largely be defined by its fake adherence to Christian values, I didn’t mention anything about Dems. ”

            Willie Reston – 2017, everybody.

          • Willie Reston

            Good effort, sport.

          • The Constitutionalist

            Thanks, you make it really, really tough sometimes.

          • Mike M

            This one really makes me laugh, because Liberals’ political beliefs are all about NOTHING but their irrational values. For many it is their religion, even though they might tell you they are irreligious. Those who are church-goers want the government to be the extension of their church, enforcer of their values, and the magical distributor of their philosophical generosity but imposed upon others. Some Conservatives confuse their religion and state too. But even that minority of Conservatives never let their values ascend to lofty heights above practicality, responsibility, common sense, and fiscal soundness.

          • drb

            Not in this day and age. You have to be a racist, bigot anti-liberty and freedom which is the opposite of a Christian

          • Mike M

            It would be such a simple world where you could reduce Conservative-minded people to an irrational caricature. The problem is Willie, that is not reality. It’s much like holding your hands to your ears and singing la-la-la – something Liberals do all the time. Also, I am not religious, but I grow weary of the L-word tendency to insult Christianity at every turn and then demand tolerance for everything else.

        • Chuck Morningwood

          Well, how about not backing child molesters as Senate candidates?

  • RoadApples

    For the best benefit of the Country:
    Repeal the 19th Amendment.

  • drb

    One question. Why do we need an amendment when the Left just says what the Constitution means even if it says nothing about it or the Left just ignores the things written plainly in the Constitution?

  • drb

    And remain consistent.

  • drb

    Hatred, in one word.

  • drb

    Looks like Plum is edging his way into taking the leadership position. (Hoping the Dems take control with the recounts). You would think with his support for women that he would let a woman take that leadership role. “Do as he says not as he does” is his motto or he is just a sexest jerk.

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