June 10, 2011
On this day in 1963, John F. Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act into law. Thanks, dude!
Of course, a Gender Pay Gap still exists. And economists still chalk the gap up to the choices women make in our careers (like when I refuse stay late at work because I need to go pick up my daughter from after-school care) as well as discrimination (like when one manager pointed out one of my mistakes to the whole office via e-mail and then my manager said it wasn’t my fault because i hadn’t been trained in that area, and then another manager publicly praised him for the “manly” way he handled the situation).
But anyway, just go ask your gramma (or Lilly Ledbetter), things are lookin’ up for us American ladies!
Also, this whole “women are cheaper than men” situation is less maddening if you don’t really care too much about money. Or if the men you hang out with are also poor. Or if you live in a state like Oklahoma full of cheap laborers.
Seriously, though, I can read and write and make enough money to eat healthily and sleep in a comfy bed and feed my dogs and keep my kid healthy and drive a safe car and buy music and art and wear flip-flops and tank tops and drink beer with my friends in the summertime! Barely enough is enough for me!
July 17, 2009
so, with the sotomayor hearings going on, all of the ridiculousness we’ve been hearing from fearful white conservatives, i thought the comic below was especially appropriate. i found it on feministing.com paired with an article about a rachel maddow interview with pat buchanan.
i think this is a fantastic explanation of the phenomenon of the backlash against any movement, like affirmative action, that seeks to promote diversity in a workplace or group. i’ve always thought it was funny (not funny haha, but funny as in ODDLY CONVENIENT for them) that conservative thinkers in particular like to get all up in arms about forced racial and gender equalization of the workforce. i understand that people are afraid that the best person for the job will be overlooked in favor of a woman, a racial minority, or (GASP) a woman who is a racial minority… but why is it so impossible that that woman, non-white man, or (GASP) non-white woman could actually BE the BEST PERSON for the job?
furthermore, the term “reverse racism” is highly problematic itself, and i think its usage reveals the speaker’s (conscious or unconscious) personal issues. the australian author of “Reverse Racism? Positive Discrimination, Affirmative Action, Reverse Racism–What’s in a Name?” gets to the point i’m eager to make here:
If our current definition of racism is so limited that its name has to be changed depending on the colour of the user’s skin, then surely the definition itself is a racist one. So, we need to simplify things by looking at the literal definition. “-isms” are beliefs. “Race” is an outmoded seventeenth century myth of biological difference invented to justify slavery and imperial expansion. So, racism is the belief in the existence of separate human races.
By that rationale most of Western society, whose structures and cultures are built upon the myth of racial groups determined by arbitrary physical characteristics, is a racist society.
Reversed, sideways, upside down – that’s just wrong, no matter which way you look at it.
we are a racist society (EDIT: except for stephen colbert, who does not see color!), and that is not good. in a racist society, the only way to give a hand up to racial minorities is to do just that, openly, blatantly. yes, giving a hand up in this way is racist. but it has to be because we are a racist society. until we are not–and how we get there and how long it will take, i don’t know–this is the best and most fair solution.
i don’t know if i’m being as precise as i’d like to be; i think this entry could still use some work, but these are my thoughts as i’m processing them now.
in addition, i’d like to point out henry louis gates, jr.’s, arrest for disorderly conduct at his home on july 16th, 2009. as kim coleman states in the article, “we are not in a post-racial society.” this incident and the public responses to it indicate the need for a deeper public awareness and practiced consciousness of race in the U.S. the ACLU provides fact sheets to help us understand that affirmative action helps protect fairness and equality and provides a working definition of affirmative action. the ACLU also provides a page presenting news updates concerning racial justice and affirmative action, if you’re interested in reading about current cases/issues. the second entry listed on the site is from april of 2008 and focuses on oklahoma:
Equal Opportunity Foes Move to Pull Own Petition in Oklahoma, Calling It a Waste (4/4/2008)
Equal opportunity foes were dealt a blow last Friday when the proponents of an anti-affirmative action initiative in Oklahoma filed a motion to withdraw their own proposal, stating that the measure likely did not have enough valid signatures to make it onto the ballot. Proponents of the so-called Oklahoma Civil Rights Initiative – backed by millionaire California businessman Ward Connerly and his so-called American Civil Rights Institute – were put on the defensive when local civil rights advocates, in collaboration with the American Civil Liberties Union and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, began looking into the OKCRI’s fishy signature-gathering process earlier this year.
May 26, 2009
CNN has a good article up about Sotomayor’s nomination by President Obama, “Partisan Confirmation hearings expected for Sotomayor.” Highlights from the article include the following:
*Republicans say they need time to examine record of Obama’s high court nominee
*Conservative group calls Sonia Sotomayor “liberal judicial activist”
*Sotomayor’s confirmation virtually certain in Democratic-majority Senate, analysts say
*Obama has said he wants Sotomayor confirmed before August congressional break
I agree with Tara, who said that Sotomayor is not as left-leaning as she’d prefer the nominee to be but that Sotomayor is still a very exciting possibility.
The National Organization of Women released this earlier today:
NOW Cheers President Obama’s Reported Nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to Supreme Court
Statement of NOW President Kim Gandy
May 26, 2009
This morning we will celebrate, and this afternoon NOW will launch our “Confirm Her” campaign to ensure the swift confirmation of the next Supreme Court Justice.
Nominated to serve as the third woman and first Hispanic on the Supreme Court in the history of the United States, Judge Sotomayor will serve the nation with distinction. She brings a lifelong commitment to equality, justice and opportunity, as well as the respect of her peers, unassailable integrity, and a keen intellect informed by experience. President Obama said he wanted a justice with “towering intellect” and a “common touch” and he found both in Judge Sotomayor.
What more do women want? We want a swift confirmation in the U.S. Senate, and Associate Justice Sotomayor to join Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Court before the Senate’s August recess.
To ask your congresspeople to support Sotomayor, check out NOW’s take-action page over the next couple of days as they launch their “Confirm Her” campaign.