Monday, August 16, 2010

September 14 Will Birth The New Woman

Barack Obama - CONFIDENCEImage by springhill2008 via FlickrReshma Saujani is a remarkable, remarkable candidate. District 14 is lucky to have her contest. New York City is lucky she did not move back to Chicago like that other ma - Obama - after she got done with law school.

She started with a few different national constituencies.

The Indian Americans are the most successful ethnic group in America measured by per capita family income. An average Indian American family makes twice as much as an average white family, for example. Indians tend to have a strong sense of heritage and family values. There seems to be major onus on education, hard work and thrift. Reshma Saujani has been the number one fundraiser in that community for the Democratic Party for a few election cycles now. She has been minting money for the party like crazy. That is even more remarkable for me to watch personally because fundraising has never been one of my strengths.

When she first launched her campaign, her first 50,000 dollars came from what she calls the "auntie network," these South Asian women spread across the country who see in her the fulfillment of all that they perhaps were not able to do. They nurtured loving families, but they perhaps did not have maxed out, fulfilling careers, and they want to relive that fulfillment through Reshma's personal success.

And when I talk tech, I am not just referring to dot coms and dot bombs. By tech I also mean clean tech, bio tech and nano tech. I am talking about the jobs, companies and industries of tomorrow. Many techies I have heard talk about Reshma start out by expressing disbelief. But she speaks our language! She understands our subculture! She is on with our issues! Her appeal is bi-coastal. Actually, sad to note, but the big tech honchos on the West Coast are more excited about her than the big tech honchos on the East Coast. That is yet another sign the West Coast is ahead of the East Coast when it comes to tech.

And there are young professionals of all stripes who are taken by her sheer excellence. She is so good at what she does, you don't have to be in politics to admire her moves. Money, message and organization are the three fundamentals in politics. And she is excellent at all three.

But the constituency that is the most latent, that is the most waiting to erupt in association with the Reshma Saujani name is a symbol that I have taken to calling The New Woman.

If Barack Obama is The New Black Man, Reshma Saujani is The New Woman. The New Woman wants to, is able to, and takes equality for granted. If you think about it, equality is not really that complicated. The woman wants her education. The woman wants her career. The woman wants her health. The woman wants her life.

Equality was always meant to be something unremarkable like the landscape. It is there. You should be able to take for granted. You should not have to put together the beautiful landscape. But it has been the sorry trajectory of history that equality has been a big deal.

The New Black Man gave me culture shocks when he was someone who hardly ever talked about race. He was not being shy, he was not being diffident, what was he doing? Ends up his style is to instead pump billions into inner city schools. Grandstanding was Jesse Jackson.

You necessarily have to go past Al Sharpton to get to Barack Obama. You necessarily have to get past Carolyn Maloney to get to Reshma Saujani. That is the nature of the beast.

The biggest thing that is happening on September 14 is that this country is birthing The New Woman. Barack Obama was still around and he was still a wonderful, wonderful dude before the Democratic Convention in 2004. But the world had to wait until that convention.

There are two kinds of people, people who will have known Reshma Saujani in person or name before September 14, and those that will hear her name only after that. Which kind are you? (The First Time I Heard The Obama Name)

She is a South Asian, fine. And she breathes tech, sure she does. But the big deal about Reshma Saujani is that she is The New Woman.
Enhanced by Zemanta

No comments: