If that day comes, the rape of an intoxicated woman, or a girlfriend, or an ex-girlfriend, or a man, will finally be considered “real” rape. There will be no such thing as “gray rape” or “acquaintance rape” or “date rape.” It will all be called by its proper name, the only name: Rape.
If that day comes, victims will no longer be blamed for the crime another person perpetrated against them. Faculty and students will be taught to recognize the signs of dating violence and domestic abuse. The officials who adjudicate disciplinary decisions will receive training appropriate to understand the complex psychology behind the cycle of abuse, rather than being told – as one disciplinary committee member was at my college – that “it’s pretty much common sense anyway.”
The reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) has the potential to begin a journey on which each “if” will turn into a “when.”
But right now, the VAWA bill is languishing in Congress, the surprising target of an effort to turn the issue of violence against women – a problem that everyone should agree merits action – into a partisan battle. On Tuesday the National Task Force to End Sexual and Domestic Violence Against Women rallied on Capitol Hillin a renewed effort to push the reauthorization bill through Congress before the end of the summer. Read more »
We all have one. And some of us have more than one. That distant family member, who you only see at weddings and funerals. That sort of a friend-of-a-friend from college, who you don’t really remember, but he must be ok because you have friends in common. Or that old neighbor who you used to babysit for and help shovel snow.
So when the friend request pops up on your computer, you don’t feel like you have much of a choice. Saying no makes you feel like one of the jerky kids on Forrest Gump that deny Forest a seat on the bus. So instead of saying “taken” you take the plunge and say “accepted.” Who doesn’t want more “friends?”
But now you have a problem. That “friend” of yours sees all of your posts and you see all of theirs. So one day as you are just shooting the breeze checking out random pictures of babies and puppies, you come across posts that deny that the wage gap for women exists. Every progressive bone in your feminist body wants you to respond. But what if you don’t say the right thing? To provide some good solid back-up, here is a list of what the “haters” have been saying and how you can respond:
What the haters say: The wage gap doesn’t exist. The 77 cents number is wrong.
How you can respond: It is a fact that fact that the typical woman’s earnings—when she works full time, year round—are just 77 percent of her male counterpart’s earnings (i.e., the 23-cent wage gap). This number comes from calculations based on the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey data. This wage gap results from several factors including systemic discrimination, caregiving responsibilities, occupational segregation, and workplace discrimination. Court cases continue to demonstrate that wage discrimination persists. The wage gap persists in nearly every occupation and research shows that even controlling for factors such as education, hours on spent the job, and time taken off work for caregiving responsibilities, a significant portion of the wage gap is unexplained. It is critical to address the factors that contribute to the wage gap and women’s overall economic insecurity.
For nearly 50 years, federal law has banned the payment of unequal wages to women and men who perform the same job. Yet women today still make only 77 cents for every dollar paid to their male counterparts – an improvement of only 18 cents over the last several decades. And for women of color, the gap is even larger.
In recent weeks, opponents of the Paycheck Fairness Act have put forth rhetoric that downplays the wage gap and mischaracterizes the commonsense proposals in the bill. To restore some reality to the debate, I’ve unpacked five absurd myths that have emerged as the Senate prepares to consider the Paycheck Fairness Act next week. Read more »
When I heard Alex Castellanos on “Meet the Press” contend that the wage gap is a myth a few weeks back, I choked on my green tea.
Data show that it persists across nearly all demographics and sectors of society. And equal pay for equal work seems like a non-partisan issue of fairness to me. But Castellanos wants to wave a wand and make those facts disappear.
Compared to my friends graduating this year, I feel pretty lucky that I have another two years before I enter the full-time job market. Bleak statistics on job placement for recent grads has me anxious about my future. Top that off with my soon-to-increase student loan rate (you’re welcome millionaires, enjoy your continued tax breaks) and my hope to continue my education beyond undergrad and my financial security is, well, nonexistent. Oh, and since I’m a woman, my new degree is very likely to earn me less than my male peers with the same degree starting year one, even though I’ve done everything right. Trust me, if I had a magic wand, I’d make the wage gap a thing of the past – but I don’t, and I’m worried. Read more »
That’s bad enough, but the justification offered for seeking this change in the UI funding structure is even more frustrating: The current structure, in the words of Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC), “[is] discouraging people who can go back to work from going to work … [T]he program needs to be reformed to encourage people to get off it instead of encouraging them to stay on it.” It doesn’t take much to get what Senator DeMint is implying – that UI recipients are lazy, unmotivated, and would rather depend on government benefits for as long as possible than go back to work. As Senator Franken (D-MN) put it at today’s Senate hearing on long-term unemployment, this characterization is “offensive.”
Donna began her working life at age fourteen, when she began working summer jobs to earn spending money. Since that time, she and her husband Rick have done everything right. They paid their mortgage, put money away for retirement in a 401(k), and provided for their daughters. In April 2010 Donna was laid off and has been unable to find work. Read more »
Right now, Congress is up against a critical deadline to extend unemployment insurance (UI) benefits. If they fail to do so, 6 million people could lose their UI benefits in 2012, with nearly 2 million people losing them in January alone.
A failure to extend the program that provides these benefits would be devastating for women and their families. To bring attention the need for Congress to act swiftly, the HERvotes coalition has organized a blog carnival. Today, HERvotes coalition members will be blogging about the importance of UI benefits for women and need for Congress to extend UI benefits. We have links to some blog posts listed below the jump to get you started reading, and be sure to check out the full list of posts here.
That was the size of my weekly unemployment insurance benefit from the District of Columbia. Two hundred ninety-seven dollars and zero cents. I signed up to start receiving UI benefits shortly after being laid off on Monday, November 15, 2010, appx. 10:30am.
Every week for nearly four months, I logged in online to my benefits claim system to declare that, yes, I was still unemployed; no, I had not worked this week; yes, I was still looking for work. Every week I’d receive $297.00, deposited directly into my checking account. And every week, I’d watch as the total fund allotted to me as an unemployed person dropped, fearing what would happen if I reached the day that balance hit $0.00. For every day of my unemployment, this was my lifeline – and I was watching it run out before my eyes. This benefit afforded me $1,188.00 each month, but $1,100.00 of that went directly to my rent. Trying to pay for your food, gas and electric bills, and metro fare on $88.00 a month isn’t easy. It’s practically impossible. Read more »
Welcome to December! As usual, we’ve got another end-of-the-week roundup for you. This week: stories on teen pregnancy rates in the U.S. and sex education, pondering whether or not Apple’s Siri is pro-choice or anti-choice, ways to find a mentor, some new videos in the NWLC library, and this week’s HERvotes blog carnival.
As you may have heard, the Catholic Bishops are urging the Obama administration to expand the religious refusal clause concerning contraceptives. This could allow religiously affiliated institutions that are not churches – such as hospitals, universities, Catholic Charities, and others – to refuse to cover birth control without co-pays for their students and employees. That’s even though birth control constitutes “preventive care” under the Affordable Care Act, which is mandatorily covered at no cost by insurance plans. And as we’ve been telling you, denying contraceptive coverage is harmful to women.
There's been a lot in the news about sexual harassment as of late, and much of the time the news hasn't been encouraging. With that in mind, the members of the HERvotes Coalition are banding together today for a blog carnival on sexual harassment on the job and in schools. After the jump, we'll have a collection of blog posts for you from the NWLC and our coalition partners on the issue.