December 6, 2010
It’s been a while since I put up one of these, but the time has come. I don’t have time to tackle all these and they deserve attention.
1) Bristol Palin‘s run on Dancing With the Stars. First, we wondered who the hell nominated her. Then it was her body and her dancing. Then people accused the Tea Party of rigging the votes in her favor. Now Margaret Cho says Sarah forced Bristol to do it. What are the political implications of all this? What are the ramifications for women?
2) What’s going on with the Bush Tax Cuts? Some people say repeal, some say don’t. It’s an economic clusterfuck. Whatever happens, it will have a big impact on everyone. So will Unemployment Extensions–or the lack of them.
3) So, apparently 2010 was The Year of the Woman. We weren’t informed of this, but apparently it is so. What the fark are they talking about, and does it hold water? And, with 2010 drawing to a close, are women now out of luck for the next 2,010 years? Or are we embarking on a new decade or awesomeness?
If you know of a topic that should be addressed but you don’t feel up to doing it yourself drop us a line and we’ll add it to the Assignment Desk.
Tawk amongst yourselves.
October 5, 2010
From first glance at recent covers of Newsweek, Time, and The Atlantic, it appears a gender war has erupted— instead of coddling men, women are taking their jobs! And beating them at their own game! Oh no!
A slew of magazines published this year claim that times are a-changin’. Newsweek sensationally trumpeted the arrival of a “war on boys,” in which men must adapt by “embracing girly jobs” such as nursing and modeling themselves after Brad Pitt. In a later edition, conservative journalist George F. Will decried equal pay for women as sexist discrimination against the “weaker sex” (huh?) The article featured this zinger of a quote, from conservative scholar Diana Furchtgott-Roth: “contrary to what feminist lobbyists would have Congress believe, girls and women are doing well.” It appears Will included her on the popular notion that any commentator with a vagina cannot possibly be sexist, and can act as an authority on all women. To top things off, Time magazine waxed poetic about how “for the first time in history the majority of workers in the U.S. will be women — largely because the downturn has hit men so hard.” The Atlantic chimed in with “The End of Men,” a cover-story which claimed, “Man has been the dominant sex since, well, the dawn of mankind. But for the first time in human history, that is changing—and with shocking speed.”
read more »
September 14, 2010
Mosaic: Babies aren't cheap
This headline made me stop in my tracks: “Forget the Job Hunt. Have a Baby Instead.” I read on, not sure what to make of the argument within:
Hey, girls! Here’s an idea for what to do if you’re unemployed: Have a baby. Your first reaction is probably that this is a throwback to the 1950s. But it’s not. This is the most up-to-date career advice you’re going to get for dealing with a down-in-the-dumps job market.
Penelope Trunk wants you to know that having a baby is way better than the usual means of escapism (read: grad school), that you can avoid leaving a job to have a baby if you don’t have a job to leave, and that “The biological clock trumps career aspirations.” Her arguments are facile, necessarily brief for this short column. She says grad school isn’t worth it, there’s no wage gap anyway(!), and, really, the clock is ticking so you better get baby-making right now.
read more »
July 10, 2010
MomsRising.org has a petition urging Senators to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act.
From the letter:
The Paycheck Fairness Act, which has already passed the House, would deter wage discrimination by closing loopholes in the Equal Pay Act and barring retaliation against workers who disclose their wages. The bill also allows women and men to receive the same remedies for sex-based pay discrimination that are currently available to those subject to discrimination based on race and national origin. In addition, the bill would improve the collection of pay information by the Department of Labor and the EEOC to enable those agencies to evaluate pay disparities; facilitate class actions in Equal Pay Act claims to ensure that the rules that apply to civil rights lawsuits generally also govern the Equal Pay Act; and spark the development of salary negotiation skills training.
Fair pay is especially critical in this tough economy because more and more women are the sole breadwinners in their families. On the whole, women working full-time, year-round make an average of 77 cents to every dollar that men make. This means that the average woman loses $700,000 in pay due to gender discrimination in her lifetime. For women of color, this number can be even higher. That’s a lot of money that would come in handy right now for America’s women and families.
Sign the petition, pass it on, and check out MomsRising.org.
July 3, 2010
From the US National Archives
Women now make up more than half of the country’s workforce.
It’s a quiet piece of news. The major outlets aren’t running away with it, no lip-service on cable TV, nothing. There’s no way to add spice to the news. We’ve certainly heard a great deal about media sexpot Debralee Lorenzana, the employee from Citibank who alleges wrongful firing from that company — but the country’s been strangely mum about the triumph of its silent female majority.
But now there we are, representing half the workforce. It’s a start, but there’s so much more to do. We can ask our young girls to consider specializing in science and math fields. We can urge them to read widely and well. We can encourage them to keep a healthy body image so that they have the peace of mind to go and do whatever they’d like with their lives.
We’ve got a ways to go; for instance, women are still not well represented at all in upper management and they’re underrepresented in academia, but I feel that that is a generational issue; give the world a couple of decades — and we’ll see the landscape of the world radically altered by the scope of female achievement.
In twenty years, girls will look up into the sky and wonder what that stupid glass ceiling thing was all about.