The Rewind: On ReproHealth, Wages, Harassment & Trumping Trump

rewind graphic 2015 9.18Welcome to the Fem2 Friday Rewind – your source for fast facts in feminist news – for Saturday, September 12-Friday, September 18!

In Feminist News this Week:

BREASTFEEDING ON BASE:  Fort Bliss in El Paso, TX, recently installed a lactation room with comfy chairs, refrigerators to store breast milk and a sink.  Tara Ruby, former active duty Air Force who is now a photographer, requested to invite breastfeeding mothers serving on base and their babies to a photoshoot in uniform.  She wanted the photos to decorate the room and show support for military mothers.

The base (and 10 mothers) agreed to the shoot, and the resulting photo had overwhelming positive support – 4k shares in less than 24 hours.  Ruby said, “Sometimes, you hit a point in your military career where you have to choose between being a soldier and a mother, and a photo like this helps mothers so they don’t have to choose.

WAGE GAP REALITIES: Census Bureau’s report on Income, Poverty and Health Insurance came out this Wednesday.  The National Women’s Law Center looked beyond the stats to reveal realities for women the Census Bureau references.

The wage gap for women (78 cents to every man’s dollar for white women, less for women of color) continues to be a detriment to women’s economic security. This gap exacerbates discrimination, difficulties of balancing caregiving responsibilities with employment, and occupational segregation.  Worse still, the wage gap has barely budged for nearly a decade.  NWLC wants legislation that strengthen equal pay laws, help prevent and remedy caregiver and pregnancy discrimination against women workers and for employers to provide fair schedules and paid family leave so that workers with caregiving responsibilities are not unfairly disadvantaged.

HARRASSED DESPITE THEIR HIJAB:  Women in Iran deal with sexual harassment on the street daily, despite the law requiring them to wear a hijab.  With the absence of clubs, bars, or other places to socialize, men use parks, streets, & public transport as a ‘playground’ for ‘flirting’ (i.e., catcalling, hissing in women’s ears as they pass, smacking their lips, inviting them to get in their cars).

In Iran, “girls and boys are separated from primary school to the end of high school. They never have a chance to interact and when they suddenly do, they can’t just make normal conversation. It’s like any interaction is implicitly on sexual territory.”

Many women are overwhelmed with feelings of helplessness and incapacitation.  “It gives you a feeling of powerlessness because it seems that, since they aren’t physically attacking you, you don’t have a right to do anything to them.”

CARLY FIORINA TRUMPED TRUMP: No matter your political affiliation, one can’t help but admire Carly Fiorina’s stellar performance at the GOP debate on Wednesday.  She walked onstage with 10 male counterparts, and ultimately proved that she could offer the Republican party a way to reach female voters. Though Donald Trump had some unnecessary comments on her appearance (he had said previously she was ‘too ugly’ to be president), she took the moment for her advantage at the debate, succinctly pointing out the asinine and sexist qualities of his remarks.

Though I do not agree with the majority of her policies, I can agree with her words here: “We ought to recognize that women are not a special interest group.”

PLANNED PARENTHOOD: Today, the US House is voting on the bill to defund Planned Parenthood.  The White House has already threatened to veto the passage of any such bill. Though it’s hard to find any humor in our elective representatives pushing to cut off important reproductive healthcare for millions of women, I couldn’t help but smile when I realized that some GOP candidates, when asked what woman they would put on the $10, selected a Planned Parenthood board member: none other than the renowned Rosa Parks.

BREAKING NEWS UPDATE – HOUSE VOTES TO FREEZE FUNDING FOR PLANNED PARENTHOOD: 2:15pm 9/18/15

The bill to defund Planned Parenthood passed the House floor this afternoon with a vote along party lines to the dismay of reproductive rights supporters nationwide.

Two democrats voted along with the Republicans to pass the bill.  Democrats who voted against the bill spoke out to counter the graphic abortion stories from bill supporters that echoed across the House floor.

 “Planned Parenthood does not sell any body parts for profit. That is a fact,” said Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Calif.).

“No wrongdoing was shown. There’s no criminal charges, there’s no charges at all, pending against Planned Parenthood,” Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Col.) said.

The White House has threatened to veto the bill.  To follow the conversation and show your support for Planned Parenthood, take to twitter and facebook with the hashtag #StandWithPP.

Announcements:

It was incredible to have such an amazing panel of women at the inaugural Seize the Conversation: Creating a 21st Century Women’s Movement on Wednesday at turner4D HQ.  We’ll be blogging a re-cap of the event next week!

Make your voice heard: September 22 is national voter registration day.

Week Without Violence: YWCA USA’s annual event is October 19-23. They will be sharing the stories of survivors of domestic violence in a series of blog posts. Follow the conversation using the hashtag #EndDVNow

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