OREGON COAST —Women have always played an important role in Oregon’s commercial fishing industry, even if they don’t actually fish or work on boats. But a new study indicates their roles are changing.
The research, funded by Oregon Sea Grant and published in the journal Marine Policy, was based on a series of oral-history interviews conducted mainly with fishermen and their wives.
The findings could help government agencies set policies that take into account their potential impacts on the wellbeing of entire fishing communities, said Flaxen Conway, a community outreach specialist with Oregon Sea Grant Extension and a co-author of the paper.
Conway, who is also a professor in OSU’s College of Liberal Arts, noted that a federal law, the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, requires policymakers to consider how management policies could affect the economic and social wellbeing of fishing communities.
Women’s contributions to the fishing industry are not always visible and are continually evolving, Conway said. They have traditionally performed onshore legwork roles, such as provisioning vessels and taking care of the financial side of the business, she said. But some of those interviewed noted an increase in the number of women involved in research or management, such as serving on task forces and commissions, sometimes because of increasingly complex regulations and markets.
Sarah Calhoun, a former OSU master’s student, conducted interviews with 15 women and 10 men from the coastal Oregon towns of Astoria, Warrenton, Garibaldi, Newport and Port Orford; and Morro Bay, Calif., as part of this project.
One fisherman’s wife said she entered the “politics of fishing” when fishing quotas were starting to be implemented.
“It was really obvious that our boat and our community was going to be entirely left o• it [if ] we weren’t at the table to participate in the really finer details of the design of the [catch shares] program, and so that’s when I got involved,” she said.
Another fisherman’s wife noted, “More women and fishermen’s wives are much more aware of the regulatory issues than they were 20 years ago, and are much more active … self-educating or attending the meetings, or pushing their husbands out the door [to a meeting] and telling them, ‘You need to go to this.’”
The increasing complexities of the fishing industry have increased women’s need to turn to social support groups such as Newport Fishermen’s Wives, and to adapt by learning new skills, said Conway. For example, one fisherman’s wife described the challenge of understanding fishing quotas: “How do I open a quota share account, how do I trade quota, how do I transfer it from account to account?” she asked. “That’s the kind of constant learning [that’s necessary] as regulations change. And I think that the learning curve — as opposed to 20 years ago — [has] grown exponentially.”
As one fisherman’s wife put it, “Fishing isn’t what it used to be. It isn’t the same. So I think you have to be able to adapt to change.”
Conway agreed. “I’ve always been really impressed with the resilience of the fishing community, and this work has showed us that adaptation has actually resulted in a major change in the roles women play in the family business.”
The interviews form part of the Voices from the West Coast oral history project. Suzanne Russell, a social scientist with NOAA’s Northwest Fisheries Science Center, was a co-author of the paper, and the center also provided funding.
Rick Cooper is managing editor for Oregon Sea Grant, headquartered at Oregon State University since 197 1. He manages websites and social media, writes content for digital and print uses, and edits publications and other content.
Sara Skamser and her husband, John, design and make fishing nets as owners of Foulweather Trawl in Newport. Skamser, who was previously a fisherman and welder, was one of 16 women interviewed for a research project funded by Oregon Sea Grant about how women’s roles have changed in Oregon’s commercial fishing industry. (Photo courtesy of Lynn Ketchum)
Michele Longo Eder stands in front of the fishing vessel Timmy Boy, which she and her husband, Bob, own. Eder was one of 16 women interviewed for a research project funded by Oregon Sea Grant about women’s roles in Oregon’s commercial fishing industry. Until her retirement in 2015, Eder, who is on Oregon State University’s Board of Trustees, was an attorney whose practice included an emphasis in marine and fisheries law. (Photo courtesy of Chris Becerra, for Oregon State University)
There will be a “sister” STANDING TOGETHER MARCH in Newport, Oregon on January 21!
There’s grief over Hillary Clinton’s election loss among the 200,000 women planning to march on Washington the day after Donald Trump’s inauguration Jan. 20, but those organizing the Women’s March on Washington said the event is about far more than that.
For the women coming as far away as California and Hawaii, there’s concern that women’s rights could be rolled back by Congress and the new Republican White House. These include some of the causes women fought for dating to the suffragette convention in 1848 in Seneca Falls, N.Y. — such as affordable health care.
The women planning to gather in Washington on Jan. 21 haven’t been corralled by an outside interest group. They started responding to a Facebook event page created by retired Hawaii attorney Teresa Shook on election night. They’re coming on their own, mainly on chartered buses from large cities and smaller locales or are driving or flying themselves.
Various women’s groups, such as those supporting birth control and abortion rights, are coming to them.
For many women, it’s the first time they’ve been involved in civic activism — among the dozens of independent coordinators at the state level are yoga teachers and fashion designers. That spontaneous outburst of activism has posed some of the event’s early problems, as it has struggled to find a cohesive theme and organization.
“This is not only historical for us and our generation,” said Carmen Perez, who will turn 40 on the day of the march, “but also the fact that this is the first mass mobilization after a president steps into office.”
The march will begin with a rally near the Capitol building, and it’s among about 100 taking place across the country and internationally, including in London.
How much of an impact?
The diversity of concerns driving participants to the nation’s capital makes it unclear how much impact they’ll have on the agenda of the incoming administration. Organizers hope the significance of the march, bringing together more than 100 different interest groups including the Sierra Club, NAACP and MoveOn.org, will be a web of activism spun in its aftermath. Much like the conservative Tea Party formed as a grass-roots movement, organizers see the event as the start of a wave of activism on the left.
“We see this as the first convening,” said Janaye Ingram, the head of logistics. “New alliances will be forged through this effort.”
They enlisted star power and support from a previous generation of activists: labor leader and civil rights activist Dolores Huerta joins feminist icon Gloria Steinem and civil rights activist Harry Belafonte as honorary co-chairs.
Some of the organizers, such as Perez and Tamika Mallory, worked with Belafonte’s non-profit Gathering for Justice.
“The rhetoric of the past year alarmed people, it galvanized people,” said Cassady Fendlay, communication director for the march. “But we also recognize these issues didn’t just happen in the past year.” She cast the march not as a Trump protest but an attempt “to speak to all levels of government.”
The march started with Shook and has blossomed into a diverse coalition of women — and some men — coming together to highlight their concern over a broader array of issues, including criminal justice and climate change.
Perez called the event an “entry point” for many women to get involved in their communities. “We hope it will ignite a spark in them to go back to their communities and do something,” she said.
Interest groups filling the void
The last time this many women marched on Washington was in 1913, the day before Woodrow Wilson was inaugurated, when a parade of more than 5,000 women fought for the right to vote, according to University of Scranton political historian Jean Harris.
Though this moment in history is far different — those protests became violent as women were attacked and the police stood by — many of the issues the suffragettes talked about going back to Seneca Falls in 1848, including equal pay mandates and affordable child care, remain unfinished business.
“We’ve been trying to move forward, but at this point, women have to fight just to maintain what they have,” Harris said. “Having this march right now is important to say we’re not going to take this. We’re watching,” Harris said.
Some of the marchers acknowledged that there isn’t a cohesive message, and some booked their flights and hotels in a state of shock after Clinton’s loss. “All of this disappointment rolls into one giant ‘I’m going to fly to D.C.’ ” said Elizabeth Nash, state issue manager at the Guttmacher Institute, a reproductive rights research group.
Since then, concerns among women’s rights activists have crystallized, said Nash, who points to state-level trends working their way to Washington. Though Trump’s daughter Ivanka pushed for paid maternity leave during the campaign, it is not emerging as a top priority of the new White House, and the list of women’s concerns is long.
Take abortion restrictions. The average number of restrictions passed from 1980 through 2009 was 16 per year, according to a USA TODAY analysis of data provided by Guttmacher. From 2010 through 2016, the average was 61. These include ultrasound and fetal heartbeat mandates, and states such as Kansas and Indiana are among those that far outpace others.
“The threat is real,” said Nash, who will join the march. “We’ve been at this point at the state level for several years where there are state legislatures and governors willing and eager to limit abortion access. … At the federal level, we haven’t seen this same threat for a very long time,” she said.
Aside from appointing Supreme Court justices who could seek to overturn the decision in 1973 that established a woman’s right to abortion, Roe v Wade, there are other things that could happen more immediately.
This includes Congress rolling back funding for Planned Parenthood, which provides free breast cancer screening and health services. U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan said Thursday that Republicans would cut the group’s funding as part of repealing Obamacare. The same goes for contraception coverage provided under the Affordable Care Act, as well as access to mammograms with no co-pay or deductible. Since more women receive Medicare than men, changes to the program would disproportionately hurt them.
“Trump and the Republican Party’s mission to repeal the Affordable Care Act, gut Medicare and turn back the clock on reproductive health and women’s economic security will hurt women and families across the country,” said Stephanie Schriock, president of EMILY’s List, which works to elect pro-abortion-rights Democratic female lawmakers. “We can’t afford to go back to a time where just being a woman was considered a pre-existing condition or roll back the progress we’ve made on combating discrimination based on gender and sexual orientation.
“We’ll be fighting Day One of a Trump presidency,” Schriock said.
The Trump transition team did not respond to a request for comment.
Paying for the march
According to the event organizers, they’ve raised $1 million of the estimated $2 million needed to cover the costs of putting on the event. Online merchandisers are doing their part.
Groups such as Hillary’s Nasty Woman Society target women on Facebook with ads selling march-themed shirts bearing the logo “Women’s rights are human rights,” a phrase coined by Clinton in a speech in Beijing in 1995. During one of their debates, Trump called Clinton a “nasty woman.”
One of the hoodies marked “best seller” reads, “I never dreamed I’d grow up to be a nasty woman. But here I am, killing it.”
“Women are angry, and women are getting involved, and that’s the key, that this march mobilized women and that they work with the anger and use it and don’t let it drop,” Harris said.
I thought I had it together. I thought I was moving on, “getting over it” as the world kept telling me to. She lost, he won. The only thing we can do is keep fighting. We are seeds, we are safety pins, we are stronger together. So I picked myself up from the black hole of despair I had fallen into after Trump won and I got back to the business of life.
I worked on a new script. I took my three-year old daughter to preschool. I drove out to a kids’ consignment sale in the valley. Because the fact that a racist, misogynistic ignorant hatred-spewing demagogue has been elected president doesn’t change the fact that my kid needed a new booster seat and jammies that fit.
The LA traffic was thick and my mind, as it does in heavy traffic, started to wander. I’m a comedy writer, but suddenly I was thinking up stories about post-apocalyptic worlds where women revolt and take over the planet. I started thinking about writing a song. Something that captured everything I was feeling. A love song, a fight song. Something to show the world that I was still with Her.
I am her. The words flashed through my head. And suddenly, there on the 101 freeway, I was down the hole again. Tears streaming, sobs choking, heart breaking. The realization hitting me. I am Her.
And here was the root of my pain. This wasn’t just about the disappointment that my candidate lost. Or the fear of what Trump will do to this country. It felt like my very soul hurt and I realized that it was because of what this election said to me as a woman. It said no.
No, woman, stay in your place. No, woman, you are not good enough. No, woman, no matter what you do, you will not win, you will not be the boss of me.
It crushed a part of my female core to realize that yes, the world at large really does hate women that much. And while there are other reasons to dislike Hilary Clinton and disagree with her policies, misogyny and sexism are the gas that fuels the fire they burned her with.
We are supposed to stay quiet and not ask for much. Stay in our place and say please and thank you and don’t challenge anyone. We must be perfect, ten times more perfect than the man beside us. And then we must wait for them to give us permission to follow their orders.
I have always been both a strong woman and a good girl. I got straight A’s. I was class president. I went to an Ivy League school and even gave the commencement address, just like Hillary. I sailed through a hurricane off the Cape of Good Hope as the only woman on a crew of eight men. I sold everything I owned and moved across the country in order to pursue my dream of being a screenwriter. I put my husband through nursing school while raising a daughter who doesn’t believe in sleeping through the night. I dream big dreams. I make hard choices. I don’t give up. Just like Hillary.
And yet every time I walk into a meeting, usually to try and sell a female driven story, I have to sell my “likability” because I know only 26% of creators, writers, directors and producers in TV are women. And every time I walk down the street alone at night I have to hold my phone in my hand, finger ready to dial 911 should that man walking towards me decide that he’d like to converse with me with some “locker room talk.”
Hillary Clinton did everything they told her to do. She smiled, she worked hard, she was polite and caring, she stayed calm. She was not a Bitch, even when she had every right to be. She wore just the right amount of make up, kept every hair in place. She did her best. She did the best. And still.
She sat in the front row, having studied and done all her homework. She raised her hand and the world would not call on her. Instead they pulled the bully, the lazy lying jerk, cheating on his test and blowing spitballs from the back of the class and made him the principal. Made him the President.
I am Her. Every woman is, whether they know it or not. Every woman has been held back by, pushed down by, grabbed in the pussy by sexism that cannot, will not, allow a woman to rise higher than a man. The misogyny that pulses through this world, the blood that keeps the dick of American patriarchy hard, it penetrates us from the day we are born. Smile pretty. Be good. Be quiet.
Hillary gave me hope. Things were going to be different. For me and my daughter. The broken shards of the glass ceiling would crumble to glitter dust beneath our empowered feet. We were going to dance together in the fresh air of that open sky, nothing to keep our hands from reaching for the sun. It was an exciting, inspiring time to be a woman.
But now that hope feels gone. Every day a new story about a woman being harassed or assaulted in the name of Trump. A new promise to cut funding to Planned Parenthood, to abolish Roe v. Wade. A new appointment of someone like Steve Bannon, an open misogynist. We cracked the ceiling and now the ceiling wants us to bleed.
Hillary Clinton stood up for women and when the world slapped her back down, my cheek felt the sting. I know that there is work to be done, battles to fight, toddlers to raise into Nasty Women. And so I keep driving. But even now as I seek the horizon, the words keep going through my head. I am Her. I am Her. I am Her. And the tears keep falling.
Writer, fighter, mother, lover. Collector of all things wicked awesome.
She would change it not just by signing petitions, or protesting, or calling her legislators. For the first time, she sketched out a plan to run for elected office.
In 2020, Hernández intends to make a bid for a seat on the San Jose City Council or the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors. Her focus will be reproductive rights and community empowerment, she said.
“Everybody says organize, don’t mourn, make a change,” said Hernández, 22, a student at the University of California at Santa Cruz. “So I said to myself, ‘How am I going to be an active member in this? You know what, I need to run for office. I need to be a part of that decision-making. I need to make sure Trump’s voice is not the only voice out there.’ ”
Among young, liberal women who expected to see the country elect its first female president Nov. 8, Hernández is not alone; many are responding to Hillary Clinton’s defeat with a new sense of obligation to seek political power. After years of never imagining a career in the public eye or only vaguely entertaining the idea of working in politics, these women are determined to run for elected office.
They don’t speak for all women, many of whom voted for Trump — 42 percent of them, according to exit polls conducted by Edison Research. Notably, a majority of white women favored the Republican. But Clinton still benefited from an overall gender gap, and young women supported her by a margin of 32 percentage points.
For many of those rooting for Clinton to break the glass ceiling her campaign repeatedly invoked, her loss, painful as it was, could be an even greater mobilizing force than a victory might have been.
“It’s incredibly ironic,” said Alexandra Melnick, a 22-year-old from Florida who recently decided to run for a spot on a local school board after she obtains her master’s degree in education. “But to think this could inspire women like me to run for office — it’s the only belief one can have without losing hope.”
For Hernández, the ascent of a man she sees as menacing to her full inclusion in American society as a Latina — and menacing to the safety of her undocumented friends — has changed everything.
Her focus had not been on electoral politics. She considered herself an activist, concentrating on rent and eviction issues in her home town of San Jose. She used to spurn city council members and state legislators, politicians against whom she had “spent so much time fighting.” But the election convinced her that these offices wield unparalleled influence, and it made clear to her the scope of the power she could exert and the scale of her responsibility.
Michele L. Swers, a professor of government at Georgetown University who specializes in gender and policymaking, said this response has historical precedent.
In the early 1990s, televised hearings brought the Senate debate over the nomination of Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court into living rooms across the country. The all-male Judiciary Committee’s treatment of Anita Hill, who accused Thomas of sexual harassment, helped motivate women to run for office, Swers said. In 1992, four successfully ran for the U.S. Senate, increasing the number of women in that body threefold. They were Patty Murray of Washington, Carol Moseley Braun of Illinois and Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer of California, all Democrats. Their electoral success branded 1992 the “Year of the Woman.”
“You had people who decided they didn’t like what they saw,” Swers said. “In general in politics, anger is a very motivating factor.”
Swers said this year’s election may be another pivotal consciousness-raising event for women “deciding the only way to change things is to get into the halls of power.”
The volume of calls and the amount of cash coming in to Emily’s List, a political action committee that seeks to elect Democratic women, testify to this effect, said the organization’s spokeswoman, Marcy Stech.
“We have heard from women across the country who are raising their hands to be part of the solution,” she said.
Although women remain underrepresented at all levels of government, Stech said, young women searching for role models can look to the slate of Democratic women who found success on Election Day. She pointed in particular to Stephanie Murphy, who unseated Rep. John L. Mica, a Florida Republican nearly twice her age, to become the first Vietnamese American woman elected to Congress. Women like Murphy, Stech predicted, will play a major part in the evolution of the Democratic Party as it aims to represent the growing diversity of the electorate while making renewed overtures to working-class voters forfeited to Trump.
“We’re going to have to fire on all cylinders,” Stech said.
More than 1,000 miles from Santa Cruz, where Hernández watched the election returns in her dorm room, Emily Sheridan, a student at the University of Colorado at Boulder, sat in a crowded theater and watched Trump notch a victory in Florida. Then she saw Pennsylvania begin to take on a red tint.
It was then she decided she would stay in Boulder after graduation and run for a position at the county level.
“I wanted desperately to be able to do something but I couldn’t. . . . I felt so powerless as something so historic for all the wrong reasons was happening,” said Sheridan, 21, who studies evolutionary ecology and biology and serves as president of the campus’s college Democrats.
Many young people are motivated but directionless, Sheridan said. They’re angry but lack an outlet for that anger; they flocked to Bernie Sanders but disengaged from the election after he failed to win the Democratic nomination. Sheridan said the election’s outcome could be a wake-up call.
“I’m hoping the revolution starts the day after. That’s what Bernie said,” Sheridan said. “What I’m hoping is that the biggest thing that comes out of this is a change in the idea that it’s not cool to be in politics.”
It wasn’t concern for her social capital that kept Lindsay Fletcher, 30, away from politics. It was the sleepless nights staying up with her two children. After four years in the Air Force, Fletcher now cares full-time for her children — a 6-year-old daughter and 2-year-old son — at Sheppard Air Force Base in north Texas, where her husband is stationed.
She feels called to politics, which she sees as an extension of her responsibilities as a parent. After the election, she started a list on her phone of military spouses who have run for office.
“I want to show my little girl that you stand up for what you believe in,” she said. “I’ve never been involved in politics. My focus has been on my home. But my kids are getting older, and I’m getting antsy. I’m ready to get out and do something.”
In a year and a half, Fletcher and her family will relocate. Once they’re settled, she plans to explore local races, perhaps starting at the city level. Fletcher said she would like to focus on women’s issues — from parental leave to health care — as well as the treatment of veterans.
Years from now, she sees herself competing for a seat in the U.S. Senate, she said, in the model of Elizabeth Warren, the liberal firebrand from Massachusetts whom she admires.
For young women with more long-standing political ambitions, the election results solidified their plans — while also laying bare the obstacles they may face.
It has been Aurea Bolaños Perea’s dream to be a congresswoman virtually since she immigrated to the United States from Mexico about a decade ago. On Wednesday she set a deadline: A graduate student at California State University at Chico, she plans to run for a local position in the San Joaquin Valley or San Diego area in the next four years, before ultimately moving to the federal level.
She sees her life story as a refutation of Trump’s rhetoric. For immigrants who fear for their safety under his presidency, she said, “there needs to be someone in power who will understand. That has to be me.”
But she now knows how difficult her path will be.
“You see men who do not internalize failure like women do,” Bolaños Perea said. “If before I thought I would need to prove myself five times over, now I see that it’s more like 10 times.”
In this documentary, The Times’s Mona El-Naggar follows three women in Saudi Arabia as they run for office — even though they can’t drive or travel without a man’s permission.
WATCH! Powerful and Emotional Speech (she wrote herself!) by Michelle Obama on Trump’s Abuse of Women
Spoken from the heart, and brilliantly, Michelle totally obliterated Trump without even mentioning his name. EVERYONE needs to hear this speech; even if you are a Trump supporter and you have no intention of changing your mind, you still need to listen to Michelle’s speech.