New Clear Vision


constructive commentary for the chronically farsighted


Beyond Tolerance

April 12, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Guest Author

LGBTQ Struggles for Equality in Washington State

by Mariah Bell-Stuart, Todd Abrams, and Shalea Semana 

Seattle, Washington is a city of rich culture, activism, and nonprofit work. It is a city of entertainment and arts, and remains one of acceptance. Known for its overall ‘tolerance’, it has the second largest gay community in the U.S., next to San Francisco.

In the 1960s and 70s, Seattle experienced an influx of gay men moving from areas of hate crimes to a more open-minded environment. The greater Seattle Area historically has been accepting of LGBTQ people. One salient way Seattle caters to the community is through bars and other socializing venues that cater to LGBTQ singles and couples.

Seattle political leadership also recognizes the historical importance of the LGBTQ community and is attempting to preserve important sites of historic and contemporary significance for LGBTQ flourishing and wellbeing. These places include bars, stores, community organizations, health centers and other places that specifically cater to the LGBTQ community (Vandenorth 2012). By preserving these places it ensures that Seattle continues to be a leader in equality and protection for the LGBTQ community.

In many other parts of the country tolerance for the members of the LGBTQ community and their own institutions is lacking and in many places open direct hostility and discrimination remain not just evident but in many respects a growing menace. (more…)

One Billion Rising

February 19, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Diane Lefer, Family

V-Day Panel Seeks to End Violence Against Women and Girls

by Diane Lefer

“One billion women violated is an atrocity. One billion women dancing is a revolution.”

That was the statement sent out by the One Billion Rising campaign urging women around the world to dance in the streets on February 14 and demand an end to violence against women and girls.

While “Break the Chain,” the campaign’s music video, screened in the background, three dozen women and a few men in the meeting room of the Los Angeles chapter, National Council of Jewish Women got up and danced before settling down to the serious business of a panel on teen dating violence. (more…)

Know No Differences

October 16, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Current Events, Jennifer Browdy

Malala Yousafzai Stands Up for Us All

by Jennifer Browdy de Hernandez

There are a couple of old saws that I was taught as a young journalist, which I continue to pass on to my media studies students now.

One is: if it bleeds, it leads.

And another: one powerful human interest story is worth a million statistics.

We saw both of these principles in action with the news of Malala Yousafzai, a 14-year-old Pakistani girl who New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof calls “one of the world’s most persuasive advocates for girls’ education.”

Everyone probably knows by now of how the Taliban viciously shot Malala in the neck as punishment for her outspoken insistence that girls should be allowed — and indeed, encouraged — to go to school, just like boys. (more…)

Power of Women

August 31, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Diane Lefer, Economy, Politics

Having It All By Having Choices…

by Diane Lefer

When you walk into a room and fewer than 50% of the people there are women, “it should look peculiar,” said Madeline Di Nonno, executive director of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, “and it doesn’t.”

Marianne Williamson, in her lead-up to the upcoming November conference SISTER GIANT: Women, Non-Violence and Birthing a New American Politics, points out that woman make up only 16.8% of our elected representatives in Congress — a figure very close to the 17% cited by Di Nonno as the percentage of female characters we see “in the environment” in film and on TV. What’s going on here and how do we change it?

Last week, the West Hollywood Women’s Advisory Board observed Women’s Equality Day with Understanding Our Power, a roundtable discussion moderated by Dianne Callister, academic, theologian, and director of foundations that benefit children and mothers around the world. Di Nonno brought her expertise in media; attorney Angela Reddock spoke from her experience in labor and employment law and city politics while licensed clinical social worker Judi Miller Levy based her remarks on extensive work in the field of domestic and sexual violence. In spite of the power women clearly have and 92 years after we won the right to vote, the speakers considered why, in Di Nonno’s words, “women have stalled out.” (more…)

Work-Life Balance

July 02, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Economy, Family, Jennifer Browdy

Not Just a Women’s Issue…

by Jennifer Browdy de Hernandez

I decided to bite my tongue and wait to see the reaction to the recent Atlantic Monthly cover story by Anne Marie Slaughter on women and the work-life balance — I knew as soon as I started reading it that it would set off a firestorm of commentary, and I have not been disappointed.

Slaughter, in case you have not been following this story, is a Princeton University professor and dean, who was drafted into the State Department by Hillary Clinton and worked there for two stressful years.  She wrote the article after returning to the snug harbor of Princeton, where, thanks to the flex time allowed by the higher ranks of academia, she is far better able to manage her professional and family commitments.

Slaughter’s main point in writing seems to be that our society needs to adapt itself better to the needs of working women. She calls for more women to get into leadership positions in business and government, and make workplace and policy changes that will make parenting and working outside the home more manageable. (more…)

The Space Between

June 18, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Family, Rob Okun

Choreographing the Father-Son Dance

by Rob Okun

Rain was gently falling overhead; clouds obscured the stars. I was safe and dry in my son Jonah’s tent. I turned off the flashlight and dozed. I was sleeping a parent’s weekend sleep — one ear open waiting for his safe return. Old habits die hard; I needn’t have been so vigilant. He had only gone in search of cell service to call his girlfriend to say goodnight; he was years past high school curfews.

Jonah is our youngest and had recently finished college. As a graduation present we were spending the weekend at a writing workshop at a conference center and camp we both have a long history with and deeply love. We hadn’t done something like this for some time — just the two of us going away for a few days — so the gift was as much for me as for him. (more…)

Equal(ity) Time

April 05, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Community, Culture, Diane Lefer, Economy

Seeking Unity Across Sex, Race, and Class

by Diane Lefer

In an era when we see the faces of women, people of color, gay and lesbian people and people with disabilities among the 1%,”All the movements we have founded for our liberation are now represented in the establishment,” said women’s rights and anti-racist activist Selma James, “but we are not.”

And we remain unlikely to prevail without unity.

James, born in New York, one-time resident of South LA, veteran of anti-colonial struggles in the Caribbean, and now UK-based, was back in the US to launch her new bookSex, Race and Class — The Perspective of Winning. As the keynote speaker at the Teach-In, “Sex, Race & Class: What Are the Terms of Unity?” on Saturday, March 24 at the Southern California Library in South LA, she drew on  decades of organizing experience to talk about how to bridge the divide among the different sectors that make up the 99%.

The answer may well be “Money.” Not as the root of all evil, but the source of both autonomy and commonality. (more…)