This week we’re rewinding on pandering politics, promising new paid leave and wage gap initiatives, insensitive movie star moves, finally some affordable IUD access, and, as always, the reprorights movement. Welcome to the Rewind: October 3-9, 2015.
D.C. LOOKS TO LEAD ON PAID FAMILY LEAVE: The likely-to-pass Universal Paid Leave Act of 2015 would guarantee all full and part-time workers who live in D.C. will be eligible for 16 weeks of paid leave for personal illness, to care for a sick family member, or to be with a new biological or adopted child. Similar to a state unemployment insurance pool, the plan would be paid for with a first-of-its-kind new levy on D.C. employers.
“It’s not new in the rest of the world, but it’s new here… This is something the U.S. is going to need to tackle if strong families really are a priority,” bill-supporter D.C. Councilman David Grosso said.
This is a huge step in the right direction – hopefully D.C. can set an example for the rest of the nation.
CHILD CARE COSTS SENDING WORKING MOMS BACK HOME: Child-care costs are out of control, causing many mothers who want to work out of the home to fulfill childcare duties themselves rather than place their children in daycare. Costs disproportionally affect minimum-wage workers spend at least 30 percent of their earnings on childcare. Often, this is just as much or more than a family would be paying for rent. Speaking of money…
CALIFORNIA IS MAKIN’ MORE ‘CENTS’: Like my pun? I do. That aside, I’d like to say a big “Bravo California!” Gov. Brown signed a bill this week aimed at eliminating the gender wage gap. Other states, take note. Stat.
PETTINESS & PANDERING IN POLITICS: Where to begin? The GOP continues to be hell-bent on making Hillary Clinton look bad. They did their best to drag out the Benghazi investigation, for no apparent reason other than to attack her character as a candidate. It backfired on them, however. FYI, the investigation, focused on Clinton, has now spent more than $4.6 million taxpayer dollars in one of the longest, least productive investigations in congressional history.
John Kasich, GOP Presidential Candidate, did a town hall meeting at a college in Richmond. He took questions from the audience, and upon spotting a young woman eager to ask him a question, laughed at her and told her he was sorry but he didn’t have any Taylor Swift tickets to give her. Talk about demeaning. If he wanted to display his talent for misogyny and lack of interest in young people, he certainly did a good job. It’s unclear to me why Kasich thinks she, as a young woman, has any less voting power than one of his old white-haired GOP bro chums. In the grand scheme of things, she’s certainly going to be around much longer…
POOR FORM BY MERYL & CO: Meryl Streep can’t do much wrong in my eyes, (though she recently refused to identify as a feminist, and instead chose the term “humanist”) but I cringed and asked “WHY” of my computer screen upon merely seeing the very untasteful “I’d rather be a rebel than a slave” white tee-shirt she and several other white actors wore to promote their new film Suffragette. While I will still consider seeing the film as it portrays the women’s movement during the early 20th century, this is an oversight that can’t be overlooked. To me, feminism is about equality and being an ally to other groups that have been marginalized – not overtaking another groups’ movement or suffering for your own gain (ahem, to promote a Hollywood movie, no matter the subject). It remains to be seen if the movie will depict what the suffragette movement really looked like.
NEW AFFORDABLE IUD(!): Half of the pregnancies in the US are unintended. The Liletta, a new affordable IUD option, will soon be available for as little as $50-$75. This is huge, as historically women have paid up to $1,000 for the contraceptive device.
NOAH MAKES GOP HYPOCRISY FUNNY: Trevor Noah of The Daily Show hit gold in this video as he exposes the GOP’s hypocrisy in its unwavering pursuit to defund Planned Parenthood and end abortions, given the party’s refusal to get behind gun legislation.
One of his best quotes from the video: “Imagine if we could bring some of that pro-life passion into being more, well, pro-life.”
Also, you can’t help but love his voice-overs.
IT’S WOMEN’S WORK TO PREVENT RAPE: Pardon me while I go fume for a while. Ok. Back. A new study revealed that campus ‘rape prevention’ tips are directed at women over 80 percent of the time. Men are only directly addressed in anti-rape campaigns less than 14 percent of the time. I still hold out hope that President Obama’s “It’s On Us” initiative, a campaign that presents rape prevention as a communal responsibility, will make a positive impact and be a catalyst for change. But clearly school administrations need to do much, much more to take the onus off of young women and onto potential perpetrators. Now would be a good time to remind people that 1 in 5 undergraduate women are victims of sexual assault.
WOMEN AND THE WORLD:
- Although the US has been in there for a decade and there has been 15 billon dollars of aid funneled into the country, the situation is still miserable for women’s rights in Afghanistan.
- Muslim American women are consistently faced with dehumanization and racial profiling.
- Gang violence is a huge problem in El Salvador, and women are getting caught in the crossfire. Girls as young as 15 years old are disappearing for surreal and terrifying reasons.
- In Texas, a woman has to wait up to 10 days to get an abortion, but she can get a gun in 10 minutes. Seems strange that people who are so passionate about saving lives don’t give much of a whit about potentially life-saving gun violence regulations.
LOVE HER, LOVE HER NOT: THE HILLARY CLINTON PARADOX by Joanne Bamberger book launch party is Friday, November 13th, 2015 from 6:30 PM to 9:30 PM. National Press Club, 529 14th St., NW, Washington, DC.
REST IN POWER: Grace Lee Boggs, an activist involved with the civil rights, black power, labor, environmental justice and feminist movements over the past seven decades, passed away this week.
And that wraps this week’s Rewind.