arty kj

A study, to appear in the Fall 2014 issue of the academic journal Perspectives on Politics, finds that the U.S. is no democracy, but instead an oligarchy, meaning profoundly corrupt, so that the answer to the study’s opening question, “Who governs? Who really rules?” in this country, is:
 
“Despite the seemingly strong empirical support in previous studies for theories of majoritarian democracy, our analyses suggest that majorities of the American public actually have little influence over the policies our government adopts. Americans do enjoy many features central to democratic governance, such as regular elections, freedom of speech and association, and a widespread (if still contested) franchise. But, …” and then they go on to say, it’s not true, and that, “America’s claims to being a democratic society are seriously threatened” by the findings in this, the first-ever comprehensive scientific study of the subject, which shows that there is instead “the nearly total failure of ‘median voter’ and other Majoritarian Electoral Democracy theories [of America]. When the preferences of economic elites and the stands of organized interest groups are controlled for, the preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy.”
 
To put it short: The United States is no democracy, but actually an oligarchy.

US Is an Oligarchy Not a Democracy, says Scientific Study | Common Dreams

If we had a truly independent and adversarial press in my country, this would be a big news story, but they still haven’t found that plane, so … whaddayagonnado right?

(via wilwheaton)

(via knowledgeequalsblackpower)

sorayachemaly:

Girls and women can contort themselves into any “do better” “try harder” “lean further” “talk harder” shape they want and it will make no difference until we name sexism and misogyny for what they are. The Confidence Gap exists because we tell girls they are worth less and then they start believing it. This is not rocket science.

To become a woman, especially a woman of color, in our culture is cognitively dissonant, and girls respond differently to that experience. Girls, like boys, feel fully human, but culture tells them that they are not.

Teen Girls, Anger and Powerlessness http://huff.to/PmOvtH

misandry-mermaid:

bebinn:

Um. WHAT.
Supreme Court Justice Scalia’s wife is on the board of a crisis pregnancy center, a name for organizations that use lies, manipulation, and delay tactics to prevent people from getting an abortion. Their page on the risks of abortion is full of junk science, decades-old studies, and logical leaps, and their resources for pregnant women are virtually all deceptive crisis pregnancy centers.
No wonder Scalia defends anti-abortion harassment masking itself as “sidewalk counseling.” The Supreme Court is currently hearing a case on buffer zones outside abortion clinics, which would keep protestors a respectful (and safe) distance from patients and staff. Justice Scalia is clearly biased and should recuse himself from the case. This is ridiculous.


America in a nutshell.

misandry-mermaid:

bebinn:

Um. WHAT.

Supreme Court Justice Scalia’s wife is on the board of a crisis pregnancy center, a name for organizations that use lies, manipulation, and delay tactics to prevent people from getting an abortion. Their page on the risks of abortion is full of junk science, decades-old studies, and logical leaps, and their resources for pregnant women are virtually all deceptive crisis pregnancy centers.

No wonder Scalia defends anti-abortion harassment masking itself as “sidewalk counseling.” The Supreme Court is currently hearing a case on buffer zones outside abortion clinics, which would keep protestors a respectful (and safe) distance from patients and staff. Justice Scalia is clearly biased and should recuse himself from the case. This is ridiculous.

America in a nutshell.

(via sorayachemaly)

BREAKING NEWS: Kansas Eliminates Due Process for Teachers, Expands Privatization

eviltessmacher:

justinspoliticalcorner:

The teacher-hating GOP extremists backed by ALEC/Koch Brothers are destroying education in this country. 

They are destroying the whole country, one issue at a time…

And we are stupid enough to keep voting them in office and letting them do it.

We get what we deserve.

(via knowledgeequalsblackpower)

wilsoncenter:

What do Rwanda, Afghanistan, and Iraq beat America at? Having women in congress/parliament
Countries with better representation of women in government than the United States (hat tip to our Women in Public Service Project):
Rwanda - 56%
Andorra - 50%
Cuba - 45%
Sweden - 45%
Seychelles - 44%
Senegal - 43%
Finland - 43%
South Africa - 42%
Nicaragua - 40%
Iceland - 40%
Norway - 40%
Mozambique - 39%
Denmark - 39%
Netherlands - 39%
Costa Rica - 39%
Timor-Leste - 39%
Belgium - 38%
Argentina - 37%
Mexico - 37%
Tanzania - 36%
Spain - 36%
Uganda - 35%
Angola - 34%
Serbia - 33%
Nepal - 33%
Germany - 33%
Macedonia - 33%
Ecuador - 32%
Slovenia - 32%
New Zealand - 32%
Algeria - 32%
Guyana - 31%
Burundi - 31%
Switzerland - 29%
Portugal - 29%
Trinidad and Tobago - 29%
Austria - 28%
Ethiopia - 28%
Afghanistan - 28%
France - 27%
Lesotho - 27%
Tunisia - 27%
Belarus - 27%
South Sudan - 27%
El Salvador - 26%
Bolivia - 25%
Iraq - 25%
Laos - 25%
Canada - 25%
Australia - 25%
Sudan - 25%
Lithuania - 25%
Vietnam - 24%
Namibia - 24%
Kazakhstan - 24%
Singapore - 24%
Liechtenstein - 24%
Croatia - 24%
Poland - 24%
Kyrgyzstan - 23%
Latvia - 23%
Bulgaria - 23%
Philippines - 23%
Pakistan - 23%
United Kingdom - 23%
Malawi - 22%
Mauritania - 22%
Czech Republic - 22%
Eritrea - 22%
Uzbekistan - 22%
Luxembourg - 22%
Peru - 22%
Italy - 21%
Boznia and Herzegovina - 21%
China - 21%
Greece - 21%
Cape Verde - 21%
Estonia - 21%
Dominican Republic - 21%
Cambodia - 20%
Israel - 20%
Moldova - 20%
Bangladesh - 20%
Honduras - 20%
Monaco - 19%
Tajikistan - 19%
Mauritius - 19%
Slovak Republic - 19%
Indonesia - 19%
Sao Tome and Principe - 18%
United States - 18%
(source: World Bank)

wilsoncenter:

What do Rwanda, Afghanistan, and Iraq beat America at? Having women in congress/parliament

Countries with better representation of women in government than the United States (hat tip to our Women in Public Service Project):

  1. Rwanda - 56%
  2. Andorra - 50%
  3. Cuba - 45%
  4. Sweden - 45%
  5. Seychelles - 44%
  6. Senegal - 43%
  7. Finland - 43%
  8. South Africa - 42%
  9. Nicaragua - 40%
  10. Iceland - 40%
  11. Norway - 40%
  12. Mozambique - 39%
  13. Denmark - 39%
  14. Netherlands - 39%
  15. Costa Rica - 39%
  16. Timor-Leste - 39%
  17. Belgium - 38%
  18. Argentina - 37%
  19. Mexico - 37%
  20. Tanzania - 36%
  21. Spain - 36%
  22. Uganda - 35%
  23. Angola - 34%
  24. Serbia - 33%
  25. Nepal - 33%
  26. Germany - 33%
  27. Macedonia - 33%
  28. Ecuador - 32%
  29. Slovenia - 32%
  30. New Zealand - 32%
  31. Algeria - 32%
  32. Guyana - 31%
  33. Burundi - 31%
  34. Switzerland - 29%
  35. Portugal - 29%
  36. Trinidad and Tobago - 29%
  37. Austria - 28%
  38. Ethiopia - 28%
  39. Afghanistan - 28%
  40. France - 27%
  41. Lesotho - 27%
  42. Tunisia - 27%
  43. Belarus - 27%
  44. South Sudan - 27%
  45. El Salvador - 26%
  46. Bolivia - 25%
  47. Iraq - 25%
  48. Laos - 25%
  49. Canada - 25%
  50. Australia - 25%
  51. Sudan - 25%
  52. Lithuania - 25%
  53. Vietnam - 24%
  54. Namibia - 24%
  55. Kazakhstan - 24%
  56. Singapore - 24%
  57. Liechtenstein - 24%
  58. Croatia - 24%
  59. Poland - 24%
  60. Kyrgyzstan - 23%
  61. Latvia - 23%
  62. Bulgaria - 23%
  63. Philippines - 23%
  64. Pakistan - 23%
  65. United Kingdom - 23%
  66. Malawi - 22%
  67. Mauritania - 22%
  68. Czech Republic - 22%
  69. Eritrea - 22%
  70. Uzbekistan - 22%
  71. Luxembourg - 22%
  72. Peru - 22%
  73. Italy - 21%
  74. Boznia and Herzegovina - 21%
  75. China - 21%
  76. Greece - 21%
  77. Cape Verde - 21%
  78. Estonia - 21%
  79. Dominican Republic - 21%
  80. Cambodia - 20%
  81. Israel - 20%
  82. Moldova - 20%
  83. Bangladesh - 20%
  84. Honduras - 20%
  85. Monaco - 19%
  86. Tajikistan - 19%
  87. Mauritius - 19%
  88. Slovak Republic - 19%
  89. Indonesia - 19%
  90. Sao Tome and Principe - 18%
  91. United States - 18%

(source: World Bank)

(via knowledgeequalsblackpower)

stoptellingwomentosmile:

This video was shot and edited by Dean Peterson
Dean and I got in contact a few months ago. He liked the project, I liked his work, and so we made this video that documents the process behind creating STWTS posters. 

It’s important for me to show the process behind creating these pieces. Each portrait is an actual woman who has a story, who goes through this treatment daily, who has something to say about it that deserves to be heard. 

I initially decided to portray the women as drawings instead of photographs because it was my natural inclination as a portrait painter. But also, drawing someone’s portrait makes you really look at them. You have to recognize their humanity not just physically but personally. And I hope that’s what comes across when people see these portraits in the street. 

I’m rambling. Watch the video. 
Thanks to Zahira and Koku for talking so candidly with me. 

-
TF

feministsupernatural:

maymay:

“Repeat Rape: How do they get away with it?”, Part 1 of 2. (link to Part 2)

Sources:

  1. College Men: Repeat Rape and Multiple Offending Among Undetected Rapists,Lisak and Miller, 2002 [PDF, 12 pages]
  2. Navy Men: Lisak and Miller’s results were essentially duplicated in an even larger study (2,925 men): Reports of Rape Reperpetration by Newly Enlisted Male Navy Personnel, McWhorter, 2009 [PDF, 16 pages]

By dark-side-of-the-room, who writes:

These infogifs are provided RIGHTS-FREE for noncommercial purposes. Repost them anywhere. In fact, repost them EVERYWHERE. No need to credit. Link to the L&M study if possible.

Knowledge is a seed; sow it.

r

(via knowledgeequalsblackpower)

underunderstood:

nowyoukno:

Now You Know (Source)

This is an important event in history, especially Canadian and feminist history. So I’m going to tell you more about it.
1) The shooter had been rejected from Ecole Polytechnique prior to the shooting. He blamed this on these female students, claiming that they were feminists who ruined his life.
2) In the first classroom he entered, he demanded the men leave before shooting at the women. No man attempted to stop him as they left. Take that as you will. (Later on, several men did get injured trying to stop him in the hallways.)
3) In his suicide letter, he believed that feminists were attempting to be more powerful than men, and were trying to take men’s rights away.4) Feminists were actually blamed by some for the massacre. The line of logic was “if feminists didn’t make women’s rights an issue, Levine wouldn’t have wanted to kill feminists!” Victim blaming at its finest.
5) The mainstream news media often did not publicize the outrage from women’s groups, and often preferred those who took a calm approach. Ironic, that.
6) Despite him literally having a hit list of feminist icons in his final letter, several newscasters questioned whether or not the shooting was a sexist act, some even denying the idea outright.
8) Many memorials for the victims have been created, and rightly so; however, some prominent ones were erected in poor neighbourhoods where many Native women were killed every day in the same time period as the shooting (see: Marker of Change, Vancouver) (see: Missing Women, Vancouver). Basically, white feminism happened. 
The entire event was nothing short of a tragedy, and I recommend that everyone read up on it and the resulting aftermath. It’s… interesting to see how the media tried to turn it into a random act of psychopathy instead of what it was (we know better now, luckily). The reactions (memorials, etc) to the deaths of these 14 White, middle class women as compared to the deaths of 60+ Native, lower class women are also “interesting” to compare. (By interesting, I mean infuriating.)

underunderstood:

nowyoukno:

Now You Know (Source)

This is an important event in history, especially Canadian and feminist history. So I’m going to tell you more about it.

1) The shooter had been rejected from Ecole Polytechnique prior to the shooting. He blamed this on these female students, claiming that they were feminists who ruined his life.

2) In the first classroom he entered, he demanded the men leave before shooting at the women. No man attempted to stop him as they left. Take that as you will. (Later on, several men did get injured trying to stop him in the hallways.)

3) In his suicide letter, he believed that feminists were attempting to be more powerful than men, and were trying to take men’s rights away.
4) Feminists were actually blamed by some for the massacre. The line of logic was “if feminists didn’t make women’s rights an issue, Levine wouldn’t have wanted to kill feminists!” Victim blaming at its finest.

5) The mainstream news media often did not publicize the outrage from women’s groups, and often preferred those who took a calm approach. Ironic, that.

6) Despite him literally having a hit list of feminist icons in his final letter, several newscasters questioned whether or not the shooting was a sexist act, some even denying the idea outright.

8) Many memorials for the victims have been created, and rightly so; however, some prominent ones were erected in poor neighbourhoods where many Native women were killed every day in the same time period as the shooting (see: Marker of Change, Vancouver) (see: Missing Women, Vancouver). Basically, white feminism happened. 

The entire event was nothing short of a tragedy, and I recommend that everyone read up on it and the resulting aftermath. It’s… interesting to see how the media tried to turn it into a random act of psychopathy instead of what it was (we know better now, luckily). The reactions (memorials, etc) to the deaths of these 14 White, middle class women as compared to the deaths of 60+ Native, lower class women are also “interesting” to compare. (By interesting, I mean infuriating.)

(via gothsummer)

star-anise:

So some dudes were complaining lately, “Women are telling guys to stop telling them how to dress, but not all guys are total misogynists!  Women do it to each other too!”
So. People.  Let me tell you a thing.
This is a picture of a panopticon. It’s a kind of prison.  See, it’s a giant circle, with all the cells around the rim.  The tower in the middle is where the guards are.  The guards can see into all the prisoners’ cells, but the prisoners cannot see each other, and they have difficulty seeing the guards.  Each prisoner knows that at any time, they are being watched, and if the guards see them behaving incorrectly, they will come with truncheons and beat the prisoner up.  They learn to feel that gaze on them, all the time; every movement makes them think, “What if this breaks the rules, and they see, and they come and punish me?”  Soon, prisoners don’t need guards standing over them all the time to follow the rules; they do it themselves, because that gaze is omnipresent.  Even when the guard house is empty, they still think, “What if someone is watching me?”  (This is all from Michel Foucault.  You want more on this, go read Discipline and Punish, enjoy the descriptions of medieval torture.)
The panopticon is a metaphor.  In our society, we are constantly watched, tracked, disciplined, and punished, from childhood. The school says you skipped class today.  The babysitter says you wouldn’t follow the rules.  The police saw you at the park with your friends.  We are held to valid rules, and to bullshit rules; some of them are necessary to make our society safe, and some of them just make us easier to exploit.
You are held to rules.  I am held to rules.  They vary.  As a woman, I am held to rules that say be small be pretty defer to someone else and I’m punished in different ways if I don’t obey.  My brother is held to different rules, that say be strong don’t feel dominate the situation.  We end up policing each other; we meet and he says, “Looking good,” and I remember: people are watching how I dress and how I look.  If I disobey, they will notice, and I could be punished.  I meet him after his job and ask, “Do you think you’ll be promoted soon?” and he remembers: people pay attention to whether or not I’m in charge, and if I’m not dominant, I could be punished.
Sometimes the guardhouse is empty.  Sometimes nobody is paying close attention to what I’m wearing.  Sometimes the guards don’t come to punish me, so whether or not I am pretty or attractive does not affect whether I get to own property.  (It used to: whether or not my ancestresses were married affected their legal and economic statuses hugely)
Feminism is about the work of dismantling the prison when it comes to bullshit rules.  It’s about saying that we shouldn’t be held to stupid rules based on gender.  So it’s about the work of getting rid of the cells and the watchtower, and getting rid of the guards with truncheons.  We can stop telling each other these stories about all the rules we’re held to, and we can stop punishing each other for breaking them.  My brother stops telling me, “You’ll never get a date if you dress like that.”  I stop telling him, “You need to be strong and work hard so you come out on top.”
So no, feminists don’t believe that all men everywhere are 100% misogynistic.  It’s just that a lot of women are conditioned to think that 100% of the time, there is a risk that someone is watching us, and we will be punished if the break the rules.  It is really hard work to break the social structures and the internal attitudes that imprison us.
And yes, women can enforce the panopticon.  Hell, I’ll even tell you a womanly secret: I cannot count the number of times I’ve received cruelty at the hands of fellow girls for the way I looked or dressed.  My entire middle school experience was basically that and algebra. We’re working on fixing that!  Please, do not doubt that we’ve been working on that among ourselves as a gender.  Women have spent a lot of blood, sweat, and tears trying to change how we treat each other.  Now we’re asking you to pitch in.

star-anise:

So some dudes were complaining lately, “Women are telling guys to stop telling them how to dress, but not all guys are total misogynists!  Women do it to each other too!”

So. People.  Let me tell you a thing.

This is a picture of a panopticon. It’s a kind of prison.  See, it’s a giant circle, with all the cells around the rim.  The tower in the middle is where the guards are.  The guards can see into all the prisoners’ cells, but the prisoners cannot see each other, and they have difficulty seeing the guards.  Each prisoner knows that at any time, they are being watched, and if the guards see them behaving incorrectly, they will come with truncheons and beat the prisoner up.  They learn to feel that gaze on them, all the time; every movement makes them think, “What if this breaks the rules, and they see, and they come and punish me?”  Soon, prisoners don’t need guards standing over them all the time to follow the rules; they do it themselves, because that gaze is omnipresent.  Even when the guard house is empty, they still think, “What if someone is watching me?”  (This is all from Michel Foucault.  You want more on this, go read Discipline and Punish, enjoy the descriptions of medieval torture.)

The panopticon is a metaphor.  In our society, we are constantly watched, tracked, disciplined, and punished, from childhood. The school says you skipped class today.  The babysitter says you wouldn’t follow the rules.  The police saw you at the park with your friends.  We are held to valid rules, and to bullshit rules; some of them are necessary to make our society safe, and some of them just make us easier to exploit.

You are held to rules.  I am held to rules.  They vary.  As a woman, I am held to rules that say be small be pretty defer to someone else and I’m punished in different ways if I don’t obey.  My brother is held to different rules, that say be strong don’t feel dominate the situation.  We end up policing each other; we meet and he says, “Looking good,” and I remember: people are watching how I dress and how I look.  If I disobey, they will notice, and I could be punished.  I meet him after his job and ask, “Do you think you’ll be promoted soon?” and he remembers: people pay attention to whether or not I’m in charge, and if I’m not dominant, I could be punished.

Sometimes the guardhouse is empty.  Sometimes nobody is paying close attention to what I’m wearing.  Sometimes the guards don’t come to punish me, so whether or not I am pretty or attractive does not affect whether I get to own property.  (It used to: whether or not my ancestresses were married affected their legal and economic statuses hugely)

Feminism is about the work of dismantling the prison when it comes to bullshit rules.  It’s about saying that we shouldn’t be held to stupid rules based on gender.  So it’s about the work of getting rid of the cells and the watchtower, and getting rid of the guards with truncheons.  We can stop telling each other these stories about all the rules we’re held to, and we can stop punishing each other for breaking them.  My brother stops telling me, “You’ll never get a date if you dress like that.”  I stop telling him, “You need to be strong and work hard so you come out on top.”

So no, feminists don’t believe that all men everywhere are 100% misogynistic.  It’s just that a lot of women are conditioned to think that 100% of the time, there is a risk that someone is watching us, and we will be punished if the break the rules.  It is really hard work to break the social structures and the internal attitudes that imprison us.

And yes, women can enforce the panopticon.  Hell, I’ll even tell you a womanly secret: I cannot count the number of times I’ve received cruelty at the hands of fellow girls for the way I looked or dressed.  My entire middle school experience was basically that and algebra. We’re working on fixing that!  Please, do not doubt that we’ve been working on that among ourselves as a gender.  Women have spent a lot of blood, sweat, and tears trying to change how we treat each other.  Now we’re asking you to pitch in.

(via piggyjelly)

etspiritusvitae:

rosiesays:

Oppression is cooking being “women’s work,” while the overwhelming majority of top restaurant chefs are male.

Oppression is fashion being a “silly girl thing,” while the top earning designers and CEOs in fashion are male.

Oppression is reducing women to consumers profiting a male system, even in fields that we supposedly dominate.

this is so fucking important.

(Source: regular-snowflake, via sorayachemaly)

thespithouse:

Some collab drawings between myself, Alabaster, KJ Martinet, Sam Alden, AT Pratt, and others (I lost track, sorry)

(via artthugs)

sorayachemaly:

Illustration by PolicyMic’s excellent Tran Vo for this article that Liz Plank and I wrote in PolicyMic and HuffPo.
IF SOMEONE SAYS TO YOU: “THE WAGE GAP IS A MYTH” Don’t let them get away with it… 
            Today is Equal Pay day, ladies!  This is the day that our wages catch up with our male peers’ 2013 earnings!  Another way of thinking about this is that, American men could have stopped working on January 1st and not have had to start until today to make what we will make working the whole year. Harsh, I know. Seems unbelievable, but, c’est la vie!   
            This gap costs the typical American woman $400,000 during the course of her lifetime. What could you do with that money? Would you save up to buy a home? Put it in a college fund?  Buy food to feed your family? Pay doctors bills?  Dump an ancient car and finance a new one?  Elizabeth Plank and I set up a tumblr asking just that question (go post what you would do if you got a 25-45% raise today). 
            The Bureau of Labor Statistics catalogs 534 job types.  Men make less than women in precisely seven of them. Last week, Tennessee Republican Lamar Alexander demanded to know what gender gap legislation would do to help them.  If we had the time, we could have a super interesting and nuanced conversation about why patriarchy and justice are incompatible. But, sadly, we don’t. Instead, I when I’m done here, I will go read about fear responses in conservative amygdala and try to finish embroidering, “Patience is a virtue,” on the backside of a Notorious RBG bag for my daughter.
             The back-and-forth conversation about equal pay, in which we have been saying mainly the same things for more than the ten years of no narrowing of the gap, sounds like a fight between two four-year olds.  The commonly cited .77 cents to the dollar number oversimplifies a gap that reflects several factors impossible to encapsulate in a sentence, for example, sex segregation in the workplace and the long-term impacts of working part-time or full-time.  When skeptics express their objections to the notion that a gender gap in pay exists, and that it has practical impact on women’s day-to-day lives, what they are saying is, “employers are not blatantly sexist and paying the average female employee only 77% of what they pay men doing the same job.” (Which, actually, happens all the time, but we’ll move along.)  Technically, their responses to this statement are legitimate in that that number, 77%, is a reflection of median earnings of ALL full-time employed women against the earnings of full-time employed white men. Stating it this way is useful, because it simplifies a lot of data, and misleading, because it simplifies a lot of data. The commonly cited .77 cents to the dollar number oversimplifies a gap that reflects several factors impossible to encapsulate in a sentence, for example, sex segregation in the workplace and the long-term impacts of working part-time or full-time.  The gap differs by occupation, by race and ethnicity and within ethnic groups.
It is indisputable, however, despite the fiction of a “debate.” White men, the $1.00 benchmark earners that we measure everyone else in the United States against, make
13% more than Asian women
21% more than White women
34% more than Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander women
36% more than African American women
40% more than American Indian and Alaskan Native women and
47% more than Hispanic and Latina women
Within each racial and ethnic category there is a gender gap, the widest being that between white men and white women, 78%.
Here are ten facts we don’t often hear but should talk about. Certainly when someone is saying to you, “the pay gap isn’t real.” Or, better yet, as was suggested in Politico, you’re probably lying.
 The United States gender pay gap is among the worst in the developed world.   We rank 67th for “wage equality for similar work” among 135 countries that represent 90% of the world’s population.
General wage inequality is inseparable from gender wage inequality. Any solutions proposed for fixing the first problem that are not informed by the latter one, will fail.  And yet, amazingly, you can often read entire summations of the wage gap problem in our country with nary a word about this.
This gap hurts everyone, but women and children materially suffer the most.  It particularly hurts low wage, part-time working women who are unable to save. This has intergenerational effects.
The structures that perpetuate it penalize women (and their dependent families) who seek genuine equality (which includes economic autonomy) and who, oddly, seek relationships not defined by financial dependency. 
The wage gap is part of a larger gender-based wealth transfer evident in an even larger and more meaningful wealth gap.
It’s global.  Every country in the world relies on the unpaid, unrecognized, unaccounted for domestic care work done primarily by women. The reality that this work needs to happen, and that women absorb the vast bulk of its costs (children, home life, and the elderly) is a major element to the gender wage gap.
It hasn’t narrowed in ten years and it will not unless we adapt our structural biases to meet modern needs, something that takes collective will.  The number of people willing to vote for politicians who say, as a Wisconsin state senator did last year in the process of blocking fair pay legislation, that “money might be more important for men,” or that “women are too busy” to deal with fair pay through the law, indicates that we have a long way to go on the will front.
The wage gap, and the structural reasons that perpetuate it, are why the US, which in 1990 had the 6th highest female labor participation rate among the 22 most developed economies in the word, had fallen to 17th twenty years later. The United States is the only country that has not pursued family/work policies that encourage women to work or facilitate their being able to achieve leadership positions.
Sex segregation in the workplace, a second major component of the wage gap, will not end until we integrate gender equity objectives into our educational objectives.
Sexism pays well.  Men with traditional views on gender roles are paid more than men with egalitarian beliefs. Their wives’ unpaid labor at home is a financial asset for in a workplace optimized for the ideal, single income, male worker. The fact that 50% of marriages end in divorce doesn’t seem to register for too many women. This American “father knows best” workplace environment, affects all women’s lives every day. We just don’t recognize the lifelong sexism of it.


         Unfortunately, mainstream media does very little to help people understand these gaps with nuance.  You have undoubtedly heard along the way somewhere that Equal Pay is a myth, a political lie that progressives and feminist tell to serve their male-hating purposes. Maybe in your workplace, or at the dinner table, or in a train, or in the dentist’s office, or at a school PTA meeting, or on the sidelines of a kid’s football game. You get the point.  Every year the mendacious and money-hungry she-demons at the American Association of University Women publish wage gap research,  “The Simple Truth,” to try and help spread the word.  It is, strangely, always corroborated by other major studies.  I have never understood this. Fiscal conservatives should WANT to close the wage gap. But, it’s not about money in the end. What this particular resistance to rational change ends up being about is a certain kind of social and economic patrimony.
            Critiques almost always come down to blaming women for “individual choices.” The analysis usually stops there, which is the equivalent of swimming halfway across river and deciding you are too tired to make it to the other side, then turning back and swimming the exact same distance to your place of origin.  The logical conclusion of this approach requires believing that women of color are biologically destined to make bad decisions, the darker the worse the decision apparently, while men of paler hues are biologically destined to make superior ones, which is simple discrimination and bias.  Oh. Well.  It’s oppressive and expensive and the denialism is counterproductive.

            Women’s “choices” remain defined and constrained by institutionalized sexism and racism , implicit biases and gender and race-based stereotype threats that start at birth and never end.  Speaking of which…did you know that today, despite women’s educational achievement and ambitions, the top job for women is the same as it was in 1960? Secretaries and administrative assistant – 97% of whom are women, mostly working for men with higher wage jobs and status, who have been proven to hold attitudes hostile to women in the workplace.  This has nothing to do with genuine choice and is not very complicated. It’s everyday sexism. We don’t acknowledge for what it is and we aren’t teaching our children to either. It would help if we put the “debate” to rest and got on with the business of fixing the problem.

sorayachemaly:

Illustration by PolicyMic’s excellent Tran Vo for this article that Liz Plank and I wrote in PolicyMic and HuffPo.

IF SOMEONE SAYS TO YOU: “THE WAGE GAP IS A MYTH” Don’t let them get away with it… 

            Today is Equal Pay day, ladies!  This is the day that our wages catch up with our male peers’ 2013 earnings!  Another way of thinking about this is that, American men could have stopped working on January 1st and not have had to start until today to make what we will make working the whole year. Harsh, I know. Seems unbelievable, but, c’est la vie!   

            This gap costs the typical American woman $400,000 during the course of her lifetime. What could you do with that money? Would you save up to buy a home? Put it in a college fund?  Buy food to feed your family? Pay doctors bills?  Dump an ancient car and finance a new one?  Elizabeth Plank and I set up a tumblr asking just that question (go post what you would do if you got a 25-45% raise today). 

            The Bureau of Labor Statistics catalogs 534 job types.  Men make less than women in precisely seven of them. Last week, Tennessee Republican Lamar Alexander demanded to know what gender gap legislation would do to help them.  If we had the time, we could have a super interesting and nuanced conversation about why patriarchy and justice are incompatible. But, sadly, we don’t. Instead, I when I’m done here, I will go read about fear responses in conservative amygdala and try to finish embroidering, “Patience is a virtue,” on the backside of a Notorious RBG bag for my daughter.

             The back-and-forth conversation about equal pay, in which we have been saying mainly the same things for more than the ten years of no narrowing of the gap, sounds like a fight between two four-year olds.  The commonly cited .77 cents to the dollar number oversimplifies a gap that reflects several factors impossible to encapsulate in a sentence, for example, sex segregation in the workplace and the long-term impacts of working part-time or full-time.  When skeptics express their objections to the notion that a gender gap in pay exists, and that it has practical impact on women’s day-to-day lives, what they are saying is, “employers are not blatantly sexist and paying the average female employee only 77% of what they pay men doing the same job.” (Which, actually, happens all the time, but we’ll move along.)  Technically, their responses to this statement are legitimate in that that number, 77%, is a reflection of median earnings of ALL full-time employed women against the earnings of full-time employed white men. Stating it this way is useful, because it simplifies a lot of data, and misleading, because it simplifies a lot of data. The commonly cited .77 cents to the dollar number oversimplifies a gap that reflects several factors impossible to encapsulate in a sentence, for example, sex segregation in the workplace and the long-term impacts of working part-time or full-time.  The gap differs by occupation, by race and ethnicity and within ethnic groups.

It is indisputable, however, despite the fiction of a “debate.” White men, the $1.00 benchmark earners that we measure everyone else in the United States against, make

13% more than Asian women

21% more than White women

34% more than Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander women

36% more than African American women

40% more than American Indian and Alaskan Native women and

47% more than Hispanic and Latina women

Within each racial and ethnic category there is a gender gap, the widest being that between white men and white women, 78%.

Here are ten facts we don’t often hear but should talk about. Certainly when someone is saying to you, “the pay gap isn’t real.” Or, better yet, as was suggested in Politico, you’re probably lying.

  1.  The United States gender pay gap is among the worst in the developed world.   We rank 67th for “wage equality for similar work” among 135 countries that represent 90% of the world’s population.
  2. General wage inequality is inseparable from gender wage inequality. Any solutions proposed for fixing the first problem that are not informed by the latter one, will fail.  And yet, amazingly, you can often read entire summations of the wage gap problem in our country with nary a word about this.
  3. This gap hurts everyone, but women and children materially suffer the most.  It particularly hurts low wage, part-time working women who are unable to save. This has intergenerational effects.
  4. The structures that perpetuate it penalize women (and their dependent families) who seek genuine equality (which includes economic autonomy) and who, oddly, seek relationships not defined by financial dependency
  5. The wage gap is part of a larger gender-based wealth transfer evident in an even larger and more meaningful wealth gap.
  6. It’s global.  Every country in the world relies on the unpaid, unrecognized, unaccounted for domestic care work done primarily by women. The reality that this work needs to happen, and that women absorb the vast bulk of its costs (children, home life, and the elderly) is a major element to the gender wage gap.
  7. It hasn’t narrowed in ten years and it will not unless we adapt our structural biases to meet modern needs, something that takes collective will.  The number of people willing to vote for politicians who say, as a Wisconsin state senator did last year in the process of blocking fair pay legislation, that “money might be more important for men,” or that “women are too busy” to deal with fair pay through the law, indicates that we have a long way to go on the will front.
  8. The wage gap, and the structural reasons that perpetuate it, are why the US, which in 1990 had the 6th highest female labor participation rate among the 22 most developed economies in the word, had fallen to 17th twenty years later. The United States is the only country that has not pursued family/work policies that encourage women to work or facilitate their being able to achieve leadership positions.
  9. Sex segregation in the workplace, a second major component of the wage gap, will not end until we integrate gender equity objectives into our educational objectives.
  10. Sexism pays well.  Men with traditional views on gender roles are paid more than men with egalitarian beliefs. Their wives’ unpaid labor at home is a financial asset for in a workplace optimized for the ideal, single income, male worker. The fact that 50% of marriages end in divorce doesn’t seem to register for too many women. This American “father knows best” workplace environment, affects all women’s lives every day. We just don’t recognize the lifelong sexism of it.

         Unfortunately, mainstream media does very little to help people understand these gaps with nuance.  You have undoubtedly heard along the way somewhere that Equal Pay is a myth, a political lie that progressives and feminist tell to serve their male-hating purposes. Maybe in your workplace, or at the dinner table, or in a train, or in the dentist’s office, or at a school PTA meeting, or on the sidelines of a kid’s football game. You get the point.  Every year the mendacious and money-hungry she-demons at the American Association of University Women publish wage gap research,  “The Simple Truth,” to try and help spread the word.  It is, strangely, always corroborated by other major studies.  I have never understood this. Fiscal conservatives should WANT to close the wage gap. But, it’s not about money in the end. What this particular resistance to rational change ends up being about is a certain kind of social and economic patrimony.

            Critiques almost always come down to blaming women for “individual choices.” The analysis usually stops there, which is the equivalent of swimming halfway across river and deciding you are too tired to make it to the other side, then turning back and swimming the exact same distance to your place of origin.  The logical conclusion of this approach requires believing that women of color are biologically destined to make bad decisions, the darker the worse the decision apparently, while men of paler hues are biologically destined to make superior ones, which is simple discrimination and bias.  Oh. Well.  It’s oppressive and expensive and the denialism is counterproductive.

            Women’s “choices” remain defined and constrained by institutionalized sexism and racism , implicit biases and gender and race-based stereotype threats that start at birth and never end.  Speaking of which…did you know that today, despite women’s educational achievement and ambitions, the top job for women is the same as it was in 1960? Secretaries and administrative assistant – 97% of whom are women, mostly working for men with higher wage jobs and status, who have been proven to hold attitudes hostile to women in the workplace.  This has nothing to do with genuine choice and is not very complicated. It’s everyday sexism. We don’t acknowledge for what it is and we aren’t teaching our children to either. It would help if we put the “debate” to rest and got on with the business of fixing the problem.