national-women's-law-center

This week marks the 42nd anniversary of Title IX, which prohibits sex discrimination in educational programs that receive federal funds. Title IX opened doors for women and girls in school to pursue sciences and sports, and also protects women from sexual harassment and violence — although there’s still a lot of work to do to eradicate sexual violence on campus. 

Happy birthday, Title IX. Here’s to continuing to make school a more equal place for women.

(h/t National Women’s Law Center)

From the National Women’s Law Center

ABC’s “Work It” should be Fired Immediately

Posted on December 15, 2011

One of the best cures for the post-holiday blues is the crop of new TV shows in January. One new show on ABC, “Work It”, is definitely going to boost us out of any blues – by making us see red.

According to ABC, “Work It” is:

 “A high-concept comedy about two unrepentant guy’s guys who, unable to find work, dress as women to get jobs. Lee Standish is a quick-witted and likable family man. His best friend, Angel Ortiz, is a hotheaded ladies’ man with no filter. The two of them worked at Pontiac – Lee as a top salesman and Angel as head mechanic – until the company went out of business. Out of work for a year, their job prospects don’t look too bright. They’ve learned the hard way that the current recession is more of a “man-cession” and their skills aren’t in high demand. Then the almost-broke Lee finds out that Coreco Pharmaceuticals is looking to hire sales reps – female sales reps. He takes a chance and goes into the interview dressed in heels, a skirt and make-up. The transformed Lee gets hired – as a woman.”

One measly paragraph and we already know this show will be infuriating. Let us give you five reasons why:

  1. The facts are wrong: While men lost more jobs than women during the recession, women have lost jobs during the recovery while men have gained.
  2. Workplaces can’t just refuse to hire someone based on gender – it’s illegal. Hello, Title VII?
  3. It has offensive ethnic stereotypes: The white guy is “quick-witted”, “likable”, and “a top salesman” while the Latino is a “hotheaded ladies’ man with no filter” and the “head mechanic”? Really? We mean, really?
  4. It has offensive gender stereotypes: They are “guy’s guys” - which seemingly means insensitive and uncaring – like their drinking buddy, Brian. And the women in the office are (1) naïve, (2) a party girl, (3) icy, (4) the boss. At least there is a female boss – about the only redeeming thing in this show.
  5. It is offensive to trans people: Individuals who are painfully, hopefully, courageously living their authentic identity and who are discriminated against because of it, particularly in the workplace, deserve applause, not laugh tracks.

We’re not worried that this show will be successful – we don’t think America can stomach this – but it is infuriating that it has even seen the light of day. Somehow we’re not so sure this show will be the “smart, funny and relevant look at male and female relationships at work, at home and socially” it claims to be. But don’t just take our word for it – watch the promo clip here: http://tinyurl.com/7k7jopa


Original article here: http://tinyurl.com/7k7jopa

[Link to video in question]

What Transgender People Really Think About Sarah Silverman’s Fake Sex Change

The National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) has a new campaign called the Equal Payback Project, which, under the guise of “crowdfunding the wage gap,” seeks to raise awareness about the very real disparity between how much women get paid compared to men in the U.S. They launched the fundraising effort with a new video starring comedian Sarah Silverman, who is facetiously preparing to undergo a sex change so that she can earn as much as a man does.

The video has gotten rave reviews from mainstream outlets. E! Online praised the ad as “humorous” and “thought provoking.” Us Weekly joked that Silverman found the “perfect solution” for beating the “vagina tax.” Even Time Magazine highlighted the “risqué” ad, describing its plot as Silverman deciding that “it’s easier to just get a penis.”

Transgender people — those who might actually weigh the decision to undergo transition-related surgeries — had a very different reaction to the clip. Many have been criticizing the video on Twitter, and a few shared their thoughts with ThinkProgress about why they feel its shtick trivializes their experiences as transgender people.

Rachel See, a transgender lawyer in Virginia, told ThinkProgress that “being used as the punchline of a fundraising campaign by a group that should be our ally made me sad.” Though the ad suggests Silverman’s salary would go up, See explained that “transgender people routinely face discrimination for transitioning. Many lose their jobs, or find that they have a harder time getting a job.” Indeed, the National Transgender Discrimination Survey (NTDS) found that in 2011, transgender people were four times more likely to be living in extreme poverty than the general population and faced double the rate of unemployment. As activist Janet Mock quipped on Twitter Wednesday, tagging the NWLC and Silverman, “Sex reassignment doesn’t help one advance in workplace. Ask one of the most underemployed populations: trans people.”

GLAAD President Sarah Kate Ellis similarly chided the video Thursday afternoon. Ellis acknowledged that the humor was probably “well intended,” but suggested that it “missed the mark” by not acknowledging that “for transgender people, the workplace is usually a very hostile environment. And that’s not really funny at all.”

It’s nonetheless true that many skeptics of transgender equality accuse transgender individuals of transitioning for selfish reasons. Sarah McBride, Special Assistant for for LGBT Progress at the Center for American Progress, notes that there are “widespread societal prejudices and misconceptions” that people transition for “some sort of sexual or financial advantage.” But as See points out, many trans people do not even undergo surgery because they cannot afford it. The NTDS found that no more than a quarter of trans people had undergone some form of genital surgery. Though about 43 percent of trans men had had chest surgery and another 50 percent wanted it, only 2 percent had undergone phalloplasty (the construction or reconstruction of a penis), and 72 percent of them didn’t even want it.

Likewise, See points out that the video problematically defines gender by reducing it entirely to a person’s genitals. In response, she posed the question, “Is a transgender person who has not yet had genital surgery any less of a man or a woman? That’s what the NWLC is implying in their ad.”

But that’s not to say that transgender people don’t have something compelling to add to the conversation about the gender wage gap. McBride told ThinkProgress that transitioning was an “eye-opening experience” because she learned not only about prejudice against transgender people, but the effects of sexism as well. “My qualifications and talents did not change when I transitioned, yet in the eyes of many people, they did,” she explained.

Likewise, trans men do acknowledge that they experience male privilege after transitioning. Lou Weaver, a trans advocate and educator in Texas, said that after transitioning, he could ask for more money to do my job. “Before [transitioning],” he recalled, “I did not get paid as much as my male counter parts even though I had as much experience.” But the advantages he has a man only persist so long as he doesn’t reveal that he’s trans. If he outs himself, he’s told that he will “always be female” and that he is “not a ‘real’ man.” When faced with such detractors, Weaver counters, “I do not need a penis to be a man.”

NWLC did not respond directly to a ThinkProgress request for comment, but did post a response to the controversy Thursday afternoon. The statement from NWLC Co-President Marcia D. Greenberger notes that “our work includes all women” and highlights some of the financial challenges transgender people experience. As to the content of the ad, however, the statement seems to defend its premise as comically “ludicrous,” arguing, “The Equal Payback Project uses Silverman’s brand of absurd humor to draw attention to this ludicrous situation — it was not our intent to make light of the serious issues transgender people face.”

Greenberger does not explicitly apologize for the ad, but she does include a promise to do better by transgender people: “We will share statistics about job discrimination faced by transgender people as part of the Equal Payback Project. And we commit to using some of the resources raised by this project to bring awareness to the discrimination faced by transgender women and men.”

The Equal Payback Project has raised just over $80,000 as of Thursday afternoon, but nowhere on its page does it currently mention transgender people.

articles.philly.com
Poverty weighs greater on lesbians
Maria Aviles believes she's poor because she's a lesbian.

Lesbians are hampered in part by something that affects all American women: “Women earn less than men,” said Gloria Casarez, appointed by Mayor Nutter as director of LGBT affairs for Philadelphia. “And in a household headed by two women, you’d earn less than heterosexual- or gay-headed households.”

Women working full-time are paid 77 cents for every dollar paid to their male counterparts, according to the National Women’s Law Center in Washington.

Women in same-sex couples have a median personal income of $38,000 compared with $47,000 for men in same-sex couples and $48,000 for men in heterosexual couples, the Law Center says.

Putting further strain on lesbians’ finances are children. Law Center figures show that lesbians are more likely than gay men to support children - 49 percent of lesbian and bisexual women have at least one child, compared with 19 percent of gay and bisexual men.

In Philadelphia, discrimination also plays a role in keeping lesbians in poverty, Green said. “There are no state statutes guarding LGBT employees, and we can be discriminated against in the workplace,” he said.

Green said that many lesbians are “steered” to certain jobs, such as waitressing and bartending. Restaurants and bars are “more tolerant of lesbian and gay people being out,” Green said.

But service industries pay lower wages, and many don’t offer health-care benefits, keeping LGBT people in lower income brackets, Green said.

Sexual orientation can impede careers, according to Lee Carson, research associate with the Philadelphia Health Management Corp., a nonprofit institute for public health.

“If a lesbian presents as more masculine in the workplace, her employment options may be limited, because she does not dress and behave like the workplace says a woman should,” Carson said.

Lesbians will often refrain from seeking promotions for fear that higher-profile jobs will expose them to discrimination, noted Ted Martin, executive director of Equality Pennsylvania, a statewide LGBT advocacy organization in Harrisburg.

In many cases, lesbians and gays can’t advance at work because they dropped out of high school or college because of harassment and bullying, Carson said.

Indeed, among homeless young people in Philadelphia, 40 percent are LGBT people, often escaping family rejection, said Sister Mary Scullion, considered the city’s leading expert on homelessness.

Many elderly lesbians and gays can also find themselves in poverty without children to support them or spousal Social Security survivor benefits to help sustain them, experts say.

Ultimately, poverty is a hidden problem many LGBT people face - lesbians most of all, said Martin of Equality Pennsylvania.

In fact, he added, “for lesbians, it’s a double burden.”

purrfectcakes  asked:

My teacher said the wage gap between men and women exists because women often agree to be paid the first wage offer the employer makes, while men discuss a better one right away (I mean right at the beginning of the job). Is this true? Or is it just an excuse to make it sound like women are at fault for having lower wages?

The wage gap between men and women exists because women are systematically discriminated against in the workplace. The wage gap is even bigger for women of color. Your teacher is absolutely wrong. I’d recommend checking out the extensive information page on equal pay and the wage gap from the National Women’s Law Center for more detailed information.

5

It’s Equal Pay Day—a day that marks how far into 2016 women have to work to catch up with what men earned last year. 

  • Women face a well-known “motherhood penalty.” They’re less likely to be hired for jobs once they have children—unlike men, whose prospects improve.
  • Americans remain ambivalent about women working outside of the home. A little more than 30 percent of Americans still believe women should stay home full-time to care for young children.
  • In 2014, black women in the U.S. earned 63 percent of what white men in this country were paid. Latina women earned 54 percent.
  •  The National Women’s Law Center estimates that black women lose more than $877,000 over the course of a 40-year career as a result of the pay gap. Latina women lose more than $1,000,000.
  • “It’s not that women are always picking lesser things in terms of skill and importance,” a researcher told The New York Times. “It’s just that the employers are deciding to pay it less.”
  • The US Women’s soccer team earned roughly a quarter of what their male counterparts did last year, even though they generated more than $20 million more in revenue than the men’s team, according to ESPNW. Oh, and they also won the 2015 World Cup. So if these famous, on-the-radar-women aren’t given pay equity, how can the rest of us expect the same? 

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There are lots of things you can do for National Women’s Health Week, but we say be proud if you start with just a couple. And if you’d like more detail about how the Affordable Care Act could affect your birth control coverage, check out the article the National Women’s Law Center wrote for us laying it all out.

White House Cracks Down On Birth Control Mandate

In response to reports that insurers were violating the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) free birth control coverage rule, the White House has warned insurance companies that they must provide all forms of approved contraceptives to users at no cost or co-pay charge. The National Women’s Law Center and the Kaiser Family Foundation recently drew attention to the issue by publishing separate investigations that revealed not all insurance companies are following the law. Now the Obama administration is reiterating that insurance plans have to cover all forms of birth control approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).