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Around the Water Cooler: Feminist Tchotchkes

Posted by | Posted on: August 28, 2015 at 11:55 am

To wrap up our blog series, we thought we’d take a tour through our office to see what cool feminist tchotchkes our coworkers were using to decorate their workspaces. We found everything from cool political buttons to vintage posters to funny mugs and dishware! Take a look for yourself:

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The Culture of College Parties

Posted by Haley Eazor, Intern | Posted on: August 17, 2015 at 11:29 am

It’s Saturday night, and one of my friends comes running up to me at a college party. She tells me she is going home with someone. I ask the same question I always do:  

“Are you sure?”

Sometimes I probe further: “Who is he?” “Do you know in which dorm building he lives in?” “Promise to text me later?” On occasion, I’ve interrogated the boy directly. But even on nights when I only ask my friend, “are you sure?” I’m still overcome with worry. Is she safe?

I’ve watched my boyfriend speak to his male friends before they head out with a girl. The language is completely different. There are no hints of apprehension or fear in his conversation, no worry of safety.

Because there doesn’t have to be.

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Connecticut Ends Discriminatory Limit on Infertility Coverage

Posted by Dania Palanker, Senior Counsel | Posted on: August 14, 2015 at 01:51 pm

Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, insurance plans offered in Connecticut will no longer discriminate against women and men over 40.

Connecticut is 1 of 15 states that require health insurance plans to cover some infertility services. While the Connecticut law expanded women’s access to infertility services, it also allowed issuers to limit infertility coverage to women under age 40. As we detailed in our State of Women’s Coverage report released earlier this year, five issuers offering plans in 2015 through the state’s health insurance marketplace, Access Health CT, discriminate based on age by limiting infertility coverage to women under age 40. According to data by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, over 23 percent of assisted reproductive technology services [PDF] used by women are used by women over age 40.

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Happy 80th Birthday, Social Security

Posted by Joan Entmacher, Vice President for Family Economic Security | Posted on: August 14, 2015 at 09:11 am

It was eighty years ago today that President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act. But it’s more than its age that makes Social Security an American classic.

  • We built it—and it represents our shared values. Generation after generation, working Americans have contributed to create our Social Security system—to provide income and security for themselves, their families, and their neighbors when they need it.
  • We built it to last. Through wars, recessions, and natural disasters, Social Security has delivered the benefits workers have earned for themselves and their families—on time and in full.
  • We made Social Security better. President Roosevelt himself said that the law he signed “represents a cornerstone in a structure which is being built but which is by no means complete.” We’ve added protections for spouses, surviving spouses, divorced spouses, and children; for workers with disabilities and their families; extended coverage to more workers; provided automatic cost-of-living adjustments; and eliminated sex discrimination in the award of benefits.
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Doctors Can Continue to Practice Modern Medicine After Court Ruling

Posted by Rachel Easter, Fellow | Posted on: August 12, 2015 at 04:04 pm

Yesterday, a state court issued a fantastic decision protecting women’s health. And no, it wasn’t in California or Washington. It was in Oklahoma!

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The New Proposed Overtime Rule, Explained by the Golden Girls

Posted by Katherine Protil, Intern | Posted on: August 11, 2015 at 09:05 am

In May, the Department of Labor proposed a new rule that would update how overtime pay works. If the rule becomes permanent, it would be a great thing for hardworking families across the country.

Overtime is simple, right? If you work more than 40 hours a week, you get time-and-a-half for those extra hours. Employers are incentivized not to overwork their employees, employees can pick up a few hours if they need to make some extra money, and things work out for everyone. What could go wrong?

But as it turns out, there’s a large group of employees who aren’t entitled to overtime pay. Employees with annual salaries over a certain threshold, who work in managerial or professional jobs, don’t have to be paid for their extra hours. In theory, this is fine—managers and other professionals might work more hours, but if they get paid enough, it all evens out.

Unfortunately, that’s not quite the case.

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Menstruation Stigma Has Got to Go. Period.

Posted by Katie Hegarty, Online Outreach Associate | Posted on: August 11, 2015 at 08:37 am

An unexpected cultural debate was revived by the first Presidential debate of the 2016 election cycle. When Donald Trump didn’t like the way moderator Megyn Kelly framed her questions, Trump said she had “blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever.” By now most of us have heard the explanation that he meant her nose. Obviously.

What the public has understood the comment to really mean is that Kelly’s behavior was a result of her menstruating — an occurrence that, despite its mundanity, is still tied to stereotypes of surging hormones and emotional instability in people (not just women) who menstruate.

It feels a little maddening to be having this conversation in 2015, but this particular stereotype is just that strong. Let’s state for the record: even if Kelly had been menstruating, attributing any behavior to that fact would still be an attempt to use a woman’s own body to discredit her. Can you imagine ignoring a man’s comments at work because he had, I don’t know, athlete’s foot? Or you could see his five o’clock shadow coming in? But more importantly, stigma around menstruation is a serious threat to girls and women around the world. We can’t afford to further that threat by giving these myths a national profile.

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Sadness, Frustration, and Hope After Michael Brown's Death

Posted by Fatima Goss Graves, Senior Vice President for Program | Posted on: August 10, 2015 at 01:56 pm

Michael Brown lost his life one year ago and we will never be the same. In fact, I know that we will be better. But when I think about the last year, I am filled with many competing emotions.

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