Some stories that caught our eye this week:
What Can You Do to Broaden Your Worldview? Have Dinner with Your Muslim Neighbor “One participant at the dinner suggested that it shouldn’t be the duty of the oppressed to educate the oppressors, but Saab dismissed that, explaining that it is one of the pillars of Islam to stand up for all people and to advocate for any marginalized people.”
The hotly contested Olympic medal table of sexism “Detailed commentary setting female gymnasts up against one another and reducing them entirely to their leotards, including references to how “dainty” or “ultra-feminine” they were and even comparing them to Disney fairies.”
Leslie Jones, we’ve got your back! “Racism is not new, but it’s happening in new and different ways. Hateful people have a huge platform to spew their racist hate, and they have no remorse.”
And finally, a little musical parody to entertain you:
Some news stories that caught our eye this week:
California Now Has the Strongest Equal Pay Law in the Nation “All too often, women don’t know they’re being paid less than their male counterparts and lack access to the information they need to assert their right to receive equal pay for substantially similar work.”
Abuser and Survivor, Face to Face Banks ignores critics who say her program would be too traumatic for survivors. “These are people who have gotten up and lived through abuse every single day,” she says. “They’re strong.”
Judge Jails Domestic Violence Victim For Failing To Testify “I understand how frustrating it is…but the solution is never to threaten or bully the victim. She’s scared to testify. And that judge sealed the deal — she’s never calling 911 again…. If she dies, it’s on that judge’s watch.”
What’s the deal with so-called male feminists? You know who I’m talking about. Men who say they support women, call for equal pay and wear Pro-Choice tees and then get caught for sexual harassment. Or the guy that’s shocked by the “obvious misinterpretation” of what he’s doing and is like “But I love women! Look at my t-shirt—solidarity, sister! We’re cool, right?” WRONG.
Here’s the thing. There are a lot of great dudes out there. Some who truly understand feminism and act on behalf of the rights of women. What does that dude look like? Here are my thoughts:
- He makes space to amplify the voices of the women in the room. This means consciously not talking or offering his commentary on everything the women say, even if it’s supportive. We don’t need your constant approval, dude.
- He refrains from making sexist jokes and remarks (which means he knows what would constitute a sexist joke or remark), and he lets other dudes know that it’s not cool when they do.
- He makes space to include women in places where they are absent in ways that are not patronizing or disrespectful.
- He offers support to women-centered organizations, asks how he can help, and does not take the lead.
I’d like to see more dude feminists step up. And being a feminist does not mean declaring it from the mountain top—actions speak much louder than words. When men support women to be heard and respected, abuse of women will have less and less space to exist. It won’t be tolerated. It will be stopped before it gets dangerous. There will be powerful social consequences for abusers. I’m looking forward to that.
I have a confession; I don’t have a perfect voting record. I looked it up and there it was, in my face, elections in which I simply did not cast my ballot. This sent me down a spiral of self-criticism, I mean, what was wrong with past me!?
But today is Election Day and I have another chance. Women have a lot of reasons for why they are voting and guess what? Voter turnout for women is high, and it’s no wonder. Reproductive rights, equal pay, access to quality education—there is a lot at stake.
Here in Washington State we have dueling gun safety initiatives and key state legislative and congressional seats that are up for election. By voting I participate in making sure dangerous people are prevented from accessing guns, and I get to choose representatives who will fight for essential services for struggling families and survivors of domestic violence. I get to actively influence the political structure and decision making, all of which impacts my current life, my future, and my beloved community.
I’m sure I had a lot of excuses for not voting in the past, but really what matters is that I voted today. I voted because I believe we should be paid the same as men, that we should be able to make decisions about our own bodies, that survivors of violence shouldn’t be more vulnerable because it’s too easy for their abuser to illegally get a gun, and that services are available to those who need them the most. This is #WhyImVoting. So get out there and vote too, because your voice matters!
Some news stories that caught our eye this week:
A local abortion clinic receives a bomb threat, but it turns out the culprit was not an anti-abortion activist.
When you’re on your way to the emergency room, do you stop and find out if the hospital you’re heading towards is Catholic? If you are a woman, you definitely should.
Did you know that medical doctors are one of the lowest paid and least valued careers in Russia? Why? Because they think of it as women’s work.
Yesterday was Equal Pay Day—the day symbolizing how far into 2013 women must work to earn what men earned in 2012.
Oh for crying out loud. This is still a thing? Yes, it is!
Over dinner I was telling my 6-year-old son about it. I asked him to imagine that he and his sister were doing the same job for a day and that at the end of the day I paid him more than her for the same work just because he was a boy. I asked him what he thought about that. At first he said, “Well, that doesn’t seem fair.” And then he said quietly, “I wish Martin Luther King, Jr. was still alive.” When I asked why, he said “because he would do something about it, and change it.”
Well then we started talking about legacies, and after I explained that a legacy was something you leave behind, I asked, “Do you know what Dr. King’s legacy is?” I explained that it’s that we all could realize that we are somebodies who can do something about injustices. And that I was somebody. And that he was somebody. And that his sister was somebody. And that we could all work to change things. After a pause and some deep thinking he responded, “Cool.”
And then we moved on to how cool robots and dinosaurs are. Because they are. And wouldn’t equal pay for equal work be cool too? Let’s get on it!