The Kiddie Wage Gap

We all (hopefully) know that women earn less than men for doing equivalent work. (There are debates about how much less, but that’s a digression.)

But did you know the same goes for little kids?

As this excellent article explains, numerous studies have shown that:

  1. Little girls spend an average of two more hours per week doing chores than little boys do; little boys spend those two hours playing.
  2. In households where children are financially compensated for doing chores, little girls are paid less than little boys, and traditionally female chores are given lower monetary value than traditionally male chores.
  3. 75% of little girls are expected to complete housework chores, versus 65% of little boys.

Compounding the issue, as traditionally female chores tend to take place inside home (like folding and dishwashing) whereas traditionally male chores take place outside the home (like mowing the lawn and taking out the trash,) work done by women is often unseen, and consequently undervalued.

Those disparities carry into adulthood all over the world.

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Gay Men’s Sexism and Women’s Bodies

It’s one of those days on which I don’t have a time to write a lengthy intro to this article, but if I did, it would have the word ‘intersectionality’ in it.

It’s called Gay Men’s Sexism and Women’s Bodies, it’s on the wonderful GoodMenProject.com, and it talks about some of the very common and oft unacknowledged ways that misogyny manifests in platonic relationships between women and gay men. (Homophobia shows up in these relationships as well, that just isn’t the subject of this particular article.)

I do have time to write this… Someone/something can be sexist/misogynist and not be based in sexual attraction or fit our conventional picture of what sexism or misogyny look and feel like.

Great article. Please read, discuss, & share.

“You’re never going to be a looker”

While you wouldn’t know it from the media coverage, Andy Murray was not the only person to win a Grand Slam title at Wimbledon this weekend – Marion Bartoli did it too. (No, not Mario Batali. I did the same thing.)

During her match, BBC sports reporter John Inverdale mused, 
“Do you think Bartoli’s dad told her when she was little, ‘You’re never going to be a looker? You’ll never be a Sharapova, so you have to be scrappy and fight?'” 

Response to Bartoli’s win on social media was rife with complaints and even threats of violence because fans didn’t find her physically attractive.

Suffice it to say, the same discussion was not had about the relative attractiveness of the male competitors.

The excellent Twitter account @EverydaySexism shared Bartoli’s response.

Fifty Shades of Infuriating

Ok, this PISSES ME OFF.

The two candidates for US Senate in
New York are women. During their debate on Wednesday night, both were asked if
they’d read ‘Fifty Shades of Grey.’

Kirstin Gillibrand graduated magna cum
laude from Dartmouth, speaks Mandarin Chinese, and is an attorney who clerked for
the Second US Court of Appeals. She heads the Women’s Leadership Forum for the
DNC and served as special counsel for the Secretary of HUD during the Clinton administration.

In 2006, she beat a 4-term Republican incumbent to represent her district in
the US House of Representatives, and was reelected in 2008. When Hillary
Clinton was appointed Secretary of State, Gillibrand was appointed to fill her
US Senate seat, and won the 2010 special election to keep it. She was the first
member of Congress to publish her official schedule, earmark requests, and
personal financial statement. In 2008, she became the sixth woman to have a
child while serving in Congress, and worked up until the day of her delivery.

Wendy Long has never served in public office, so there’s
less information available about her. But she studied at Dartmouth,
Northwestern, and Harvard. She’s also an attorney who worked for two Senators
and for two courts, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York, and
Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

So why ask these two candidates, these particular two, if
they’ve read this book? I’ll tell you what I think the answer is. Because we as
a society are still unable to de-sexualize women long enough to take them
seriously as professionals. Because we are both titillated by reminding women
of this, and ashamed of ourselves for feeling that way. We want them to say yes
so we can think of them as dirty, and we want them to say no so we can think of
them as ‘good’. We are collectively caught up in a cultural ‘madonna/whore’
fantasy that leaves us with a political process that’s about as mature as an
episode of Beavis and Butthead.

I dearly hope some renegade debate moderator in the next
week asks two male candidates somewhere if they read Penthouse, and brings this
shit up when people freak out.

http://thinkprogress.org/alyssa/2012/10/18/1043261/kristen-gillibrand-wendy-long-fifty-shades-of-grey/

Sexual assault in the military, Part 2

On Saturday, we talked about the military’s failure to address the staggering issue of sexual assault among service-members. 

Now let’s talk about their failure to respond to military sexual assault once it’s happened.

– As we’ve discussed before, military health insurance (or
TRICARE) does not cover abortion, even in cases of rape. In many military
medical facilities, especially in combat zones, abortion services are
unavailable even to women willing to pay out-of-pocket. The Shaheen Amendment
would fix this, but House Republicans have blocked it. Google “Shaheen
Amendment” or click here to learn more.

– Sexism is baked into the benefits process. PTSD can
qualify a veteran for disability benefits, and the amount of the benefit is
determined by Veterans Affairs Department. Marine Capt. Anu Bhagwati, executive
director of the Service Women’s Action Network, says “Women were more likely
to receive a 10% to 30% rating and men were more likely to receive a 70% to
100% disability rating.” 

From 2008 to 2010, only 32% of PTSD claims stemming from
military sexual assault were approved for benefits by the Department of
Veterans Affairs – that’s compared to 53% of all other PTSD claims. Part of the
problem is that victims are required to prove the attack happened during their
service in order to receive benefits – hard to do if the person you’d have to
report to was your attacker.

“Lady”

So this happened today.



“She… was much more ladylike (in 2006), but in the debate on Friday she came out swinging, and I think that’s because she feels threatened.” – Todd Akin re Claire McCaskill’s debate performance

It also happened last year.



“You have proven repeatedly that you are not a Lady, therefore, shall not be afforded due respect from me!” – Allen West re a speech made on the House floor by Debbie Wasserman Schultz, July 2011

And the year before that.

“I’ll treat you like a lady. Now act like one.” Arlen Specter, re Michelle Bachman interrupting him, January 2010

I’ve decided to stop looking.

Here’s an interesting exercise. Google “not a lady” and “not a gentleman” (with the quotes.) Take note of how many results, comparatively, are personal attacks.