Why is it that white men in America are paid more—on average—than women and people of color in every single state? We dig into the realities behind the wage gap with help from three all-stars. First Lilly Ledbetter explains how it feels to fight your employer for equal pay all the way to the Supreme Couty. Then, journalist Sarah L. Jaffe breaks down the myths of minimum wage. Finally, author Sheila Bapat explains the racist and sexist history behind our country's failure to pay domestic workers fairly. Tune in.
This show features the song "Workin' Woman Blues" by the fantastic Valerie June.
More ways to listen and a transcript of the show are below the cut.
I constantly find myself putting forth the argument that men get paid more for the same job as women—and although I have research, I still find that people, even women, tell me that I'm wrong and that the Census bureau takes all jobs into account and blah blah blah.
Since yesterday afternoon, the Internet has been buzzing with the news that Jill Abramson, the first female executive editor of theNew York Times, was fired—in part, implied a New Yorker article, because she confronted her higher-ups about her compensation relative to that of her predecessor, Bill Keller.
Lilly Ledbetter is an icon of the fight for equal pay. In person, she’s a very polite and friendly woman whose Alabama drawl draws audiences through complicated subjects like the politics behind the Paycheck Fairness Act and the realities of gender discrimination on the job.
• The National Center for Transgender Equality released a new report highlighting the challenges of transgender immigrants. [Colorlines]
• According to the head of animation on the new Disney princess movie Frozen, animating female characters is super hard because they need to have emotions and look pretty. Here's the quote: “Animating female characters are really, really difficult, ’cause they have to go through these range of emotions, but they’re very, very — you have to keep them pretty and they’re very sensitive to — you can get them off a model very quickly. So, having a film with two hero female characters was really tough, and having them both in the scene and look very different if they’re echoing the same expression.” [The Mary Sue]
• Ohio’s abortion restrictions are an example of the pro-life incremental strategy: pushing the boundaries of Supreme Court guidelines without technically violating them. And it’s working: only 11 clinics remain in Ohio, and some more may be forced to close. [NYT]
• Iowa is home to the nation's first telemedicine program for abortion—whereby women, largely in rural areas, can take an abortion pill while under video supervision by their doctors. But the state's Board of Medicine is now voting to ban the program. [ThinkProgress]
• Wednesday's commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington was, in part, an effort to appeal to young citizens to continue the unfinished work of the civil rights movement. So why were young speakers cut out of the program? [Code Switch]
• Etsy's long been your source for twee knit baby caps and awesome letterpress Game of Thrones art, but who knew the site also peddled rape culture? Witness the glass, sold by Etsy shop ThatGlassStore, whose bottom is etched with the message "You've just been roofied." Classy! [Huffington Post via The Frisky]
Here's all the feminist news on our radar this Monday:
• Today is the 50th anniversary of President JFK signing the Equal Pay Act. As we know, a wage gap endures, with women making just under 80 percent what men make for full-time work, but there has been some major progress: Education now outweighs gender as a determinant of wages. [NPR, New York Times]
• Last week, a story went viral about a Texas court saying it's okay to shoot a prostitute who doesn't have sex with you. But RH Reality Check says that's a misreading of the verdict. [RH Reality Check]
Today is Equal Pay Day, the day in 2013 that the average woman in America has made as much as the average man did in 2012. With women earning anywhere from 60 to 80 percent of what white men do, our fiscal year needs an extra three months to make up the difference.