It is almost hard to put into words what it was like to be under one roof with 5,000 Pennsylvania women who are motivated for change. The energy was electric. Yesterday, a group of us including Georgia Berner, Georgia's friend Linda, Lindsay Patross, Lindsay's friend Breen and I staffed a booth for MomsRising.org at the PA Governor's Conference for Women.
We were there, as we have posted, to tell people about the fact that in Pennsylvania it is legal to ask someone in a job interview if they are married or if they have children. Our mission was to help propel these 5,000 Pennsylvanians into action. From a booth with a great "MomsRising" red carpet and a beautiful MomsRising.org banner, we distributed The Motherhood Manifesto, the MotherHood Manifesto DVD and a fantastic handout. We even had a raffle for a 'Steelers' basket - which, in Pittsburgh, is always a hit. Mostly we talked, and talked and talked.
The thing is NOBODY at the conference knew anything about this Pennsylvania problem. Not a soul. And that's the predicament we're in here in PA: the legislation Kiki fought so hard to get introduced gets stalled time and time again because of a misperception out there that this practice was banned long ago. So, the lawmakers think nobody cares.
Unfortunately it is still legal to discriminate against mothers, and, unfortunately, Pennsylvania still functions in the dark ages.
Well, a whole bunch of voting, engaged women in Pennsylvania know all about this state's problem now. If I was an employer who feels that mothers aren't hiring material, I would be afraid, very afraid. The awesome women we talked to pledged to make some noise and then some. They are so fired up! The pot is stirring, friends. Let's keep it cooking -- now it's time to really get to work. Tell everyone you know. Sign the MomsRising Pennsylvania petition, make calls, send emails and keep spreading the word, because Pennsylvania is just the start.