Although we’ve come a long way, Jay Smooth reminds us that it’s not over yet. There’s still plenty of work to be done, so long as we’re imperfect humans, we still need to work towards all the things that will make our society a more livable and better equitable place. Check out his message.
This is where I was when President Obama was inaugurated. I watched in awe with hundreds of fellow classmates as our country made history. I feel as if it’s a new day now. I feel as if the weight of the world has been taken off my shoulders as I watched Former President George W. Bush along with Laura Bush get on that helipoter to take them away from Washington.
Watching the news yesterday has reassured me that Obama is going to do what’s right for this country. He’s already signed to have Guantanamo closed, he’s going to repeal the Global Gag Rule, and doing so with sensitively. He’s going to do right by our country, and I’m proud for the first time in a long time of what America is and what it stands for. I lost my faith in my country during the past 8 years, especially 8 years ago when Bush stole the election. But you get past it and move on and hope the country will correct the mistakes of the past, and it has now.
Yesterday also marked the day that 36 years ago Roe v. Wade was passed by the Supreme Court. This is a momentous day, because the ruling states that a woman has a right to bodily privacy, to make whatever decisions she feels is right for her to make, not her father, not her husband, not the government. I feel people forget this. I feel that certain groups in our society feel that women are incapable of making educated decisions regarding their body and that they, the government, or someone else who is not a woman knows what’s best for them. The truth is that nobody knows what’s best for someone except that person.
Because of this anniversary, there was a March in front of the Supreme Court in D.C., and man tried to ram his SUV into an abortion clinic in St. Paul. What I find most interesting though is the fact that most of the people who are against abortions and whom are violent toward abortion clinics and patients are men. It’s patriarchy doing it’s thing. It reminds me a lot of the movie I saw about the Suffragettes, Iron Jawed Angels on HBO and all the men who were against them getting their voting privileges. Here’s a photo clip of the violence I’m talking about that was portrayed in the movie.
I’m completely convinced that this violence has everything to do with loss of power and control, just like it did back then, 100 years ago. With every little freedom a woman is given towards the right to form her own decisions regarding her life, her body, and her well-being, certain men simply freak out, and I don’t seem to understand this. I’ve always been priviledged to have my independence, and I was raised to speak my mind and take care of myself, because nobody was going to do that for me, so here I am, taking care of myself, forming my own opinions, and speaking my mind.
Another momentous thing happened in D.C. yesterday: The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act passed the Senate! Here’s what Planned Parenthood had to say about it:
Tonight the Senate passed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act by a bipartisan vote of 61 to 36, vindicating Lilly Ledbetter’s long search for redress after 19 years of pay discrimination.
“This is an important first step in our efforts to undo years of backsliding on the right to be paid a fair and equitable wage,” said National Organization for Women President Kim Gandy. “The Ledbetter bill will allow redress for workers with the energy and willpower to seek redress in the courts, but we have a long way to go before we have fair pay for women, and laws with real teeth.”
While it is too late for her to receive the compensation she deserved from Goodyear and was denied by the Supreme Court, Lilly’s determined quest for equal rights for women in the workplace led to today’s Senate passage of the legislation introduced in her name. President Obama is expected to sign the legislation next week after an expected concurrence from the House.
The Ledbetter Act, which was blocked in the Republican-led Senate last year, will essentially reverse the 2007 Supreme Court decision that required workers to file charges on a pay discrimination claim within six months after receiving their first discriminatory paycheck. The Court’s decision in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire and Rubber, which reversed the jury’s compensation award to Ledbetter, essentially gave employers the go-ahead to discriminate in pay, as long as they weren’t caught in the first six months after the onset of their illegal actions.
Earlier this month the House passed the Ledbetter Act with a companion bill, the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would close loopholes that allow employers to pay men and women discriminatorily and provides consequences for that discrimination. The Senate today acted only on the Ledbetter Act, so work on passage of the companion bill begins tomorrow.
But tonight NOW salutes Lilly Ledbetter and promises to continue working for passage of fair pay legislation with real teeth, so that her long journey through the courts and the halls of Congress will not have been in vain, and all workers will be able enjoy a fair, safe and equitable workplace where they can do their jobs and support their families.
Little by litte we are working our way to equality. Little by little women are being freed from the oppressions they face that hold them back from achieving the great things we all know they’re capable of.
It’s been a big week indeed!
I had to repost this article because I can’t believe that Agnes Scott College would allow something like this to happen on their college. I can not understand why they would open their students up to this kind of harassement, ridicule, and objectification. As if it isn’t hard enough to get away form the social stigmas of just being a woman, but these intelligent women decided to attend a woman’s college probably to have a safe space where they don’t have to deal with the types of social issues you get at co-ed institutions, like the sexism, the objectification, etc. Instead, now it’s being thrown in their face and they’re basically being forced into situations they probably don’t want to be a part of. This part of the article really just gets under my skin:
The students were also subject to horrendous stereotyping as the film crew shot the “Lesbians Until Graduation” scene which only eroticizes lesbianism as nothing more than an experimental “choice” made in the absence of men and, in the movie industry, sells women and their sexual identity as a heteronormative gift for men.
…the scene involved the male protagonists
stumbling upon the room full of these “making-out lesbians” (to
presumably “convert” them?). When we expressed offense, the recruiter
said she was warned about encountering uncooperative students who were
“really into being women” (versus into being objects?).
Other incidents of objectifying the students at Agnes Scott were documented, including reckless behavior of extras working in the movie. One student reported being told that she was so attractive, she should be careful of being raped. Another student, carrying a cup of coffee, was asked by an extra to get him one as well. [emphasis mine]
I find that bolded portion to be absolutely disgusting and would consider that a threat that should be brought up to the school, and if the school doesn’t listen, the authorities. These people should not be allowed this open door policy at this institution especially in light of this nasty behavior they’ve displayed towards the students. The students are there to learn, not to be harassed and told what they should or should not be doing, be objectified and forced to watch things that are demeaning. This is misogyny at it’s worst.
I’m really upset over this. Not that they rejected the appeal, I’m ecstatic about that, but the fact that some guy from New Jersey has the audacity to bring a lawsuit against Obama claiming that he is ineligible for the presidency because only his mother is a US citizen at the time of his birth and is completely negating the fact that Obama himself was born on US soil. What this man is saying by making this claim is that the mother’s citizenship does not count, and why is that? Is it because she’s a woman? Is it because his father is from Kenya and practiced the Muslim faith? Are we back to “otherizing” people who are not like us, because I feel this is exactly what this lawsuit was trying to do. I may be completely off in my thinking, but what this article implies is that the woman’s citizenship doesn’t matter, and since the father is not a citizen, and is (OH NO!) Muslim, then it shouldn’t count.
From what I remember from my elementary school civics class is that so long as you are born on US soil, you are a citizen and are eligible for the presidency, so long as you meet all other requirements as well, including age. So to make this claim is absurd and insulting to women, to people of different faiths, and different ethnicities.
I’m so torn about this because prostitution is a good way for a woman with no skill to earn a living, but the problem that I see that is most prevalent is that prostitution equates women to objects that can be bought and this mindset can trickle over to women who are not prostitutes. It’s a way of perpetuating patriarchy and I really don’t find it in the least empowering. Most importantly, it also causes problems like enslavement and trafficking of women and children.
It’s great that they’re giving women a legal, semi-protected way of practicing their trade, but how protected is it really? In countries as rich as, say, the United States, women and children are being enslaved for the purposes of sexual services, and yet here’s Amsterdam trying to promote prostitution in a safe, legal environment. How many of those women in the red light district are there because they’re forced? I think that if they were to implement other social programs that would help them out of their situation and get them into a job where they don’t have to sell themselves, that this would be money better spent.
The city is targeting businesses that “generate criminality,” including gambling parlors, and the so-called “coffee shops” where marijuana is sold openly. Also targeted are peep shows, massage parlors and souvenir shops used by drug dealers for money-laundering.
“It’ll be a place with 200 windows (for prostitutes) and 30 coffee shops, which you can’t find anywhere else in the world _ very exciting, but also with cultural attractions,” he said. “And you won’t have to be embarrassed to say you came.”
So basically, they’re going to target businesses that “generate criminality” and will define where you can sell yourself and your body in a way that won’t embarass the “Johns”, continuing to perpetuate crime because of the demand that is then created, whether it is on their land or someone else’s.
I could be totally off here, but sex tourism is a big problem in a lot of countries, and in many of those countries, those who are in the business of sex are enslaved, they’re children who don’t have any other choice or don’t have a say in the matter. There’s a lot of problems with this, and simply because it works in one country, as far as keeping a close eye on crime, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it works in other countries, and by legalizing prostitution you are creating the demand for sex that trickles over to other countries where it’s not legalized and becomes a big problem.
These are just my random thoughts on the situation, and I’m sorry if they’re a bit scattered, but I would love to hear input from others or be given points of view that I may not have considered.
I’m super excited because there is so much going on! The semester is over for me Wednesday. After Wednesday any studying I do is studying I want to do not have to do, like the research I would like to continue performing on sexual exploitation (more on that at a later date). But, most importantly, with the spring semester coming, I will be a part of a fabulous mentoring program called Strong Women Strong Girls. This program was started by a Miami native. She went to high school here, was accepted to Harvard and really made an impact with this program in the Boston area and is now looking to bring it to Miami. This is a mentoring program for at-risk girls in grades 3-5 where college women go to their schools and teach them various things to empower them for the future. Me and 14 other fabulous women will be the first mentors for the Florida chapter of Strong Women Strong Girls at Florida International University.
This program means a lot to me because I didn’t really have a mentor growing up and had to learn my lessons the hard way. If I could impact the life of one girl in a way that she is led down the right path and learns her self-worth, then it’ll most definitely be worth it. I wish I had someone as a kid to teach me that I was worth more than I thought I was. I wish there was someone (other than my mom of course, because who truly listens to their mom’s to begin with?!) that would have taught me that there was more to life than finding my prince charming and living happily ever after and to be able to teach me what is wrong with this way of thinking. As a kid, I was planning my future around the mystery man I would marry and I learned the hard way after a divorce at 28, that this was the wrong way to look at my future. I also learned what this way of thinking does to a woman’s self-esteem when things don’t go as planned. I have to give my mom credit though, she did teach me independence, although according to her I was always a pretty independent child and she also taught me that I would be the only one who I could truly depend on. I’m teaching this to my stepson now, and will teach it to my daughter if I ever have one, because it truly is invaluable advice.
I want girls to know that they can be whatever they want, and they can do whatever they want. If they want to grow up and be President of the United States, that’s possible. Whatever it is that they want to achieve, they can, and I would to inspire the next batch of women leaders.
I have come to love Keith Olbermann. I love his ideologies, his bluntness, and just how he tells us what’s going on. He amazes me, and he amazed me even more recently. I found this little video over at Oh, You’re a FEMINIST?! and I thought how freaking awesome it is that he could so perfectly relate my sentiments on the issue of gay marriage. Although, I did have someone very close to me who was gay. I saw “was” only because he is no longer with is, and I miss him terribly, and I feel very strongly that it was the issue of his sexuality and what he’d suffered because of whom he loved that he is no longer with us. If there’s one thing you do today, make sure it’s watching this video. Also, before you go watch the video, make sure you head on over to Join the Impact and see about the protests that will be going on all over the nation this Saturday regarding Proposition 8 in California and 2 in Florida.