Bi-weekly Brief: November 12th, 2015
Brought to you by Women's Campaign Fund
Proving that it’s never too early to start thinking about running for office, 10-year-old Alena Mulhern, who was adopted from China as a baby, has been lobbying the Massachusetts government to call for a constitutional amendment that would allow her to run for president as a foreign-born citizen. Hopefully it works, because she already has my vote.
“It’s not that women don’t value your thoughts, it’s just that we don’t value all of them.”
“For example, what women do with their bodies. Hush.” This video from the Late Show with Stephen Colbert, featuring Senator Claire McCaskill, might be the greatest public service announcement of all time.
The senators next door are plenty ladylike-- and plenty awesome
Also on Colbert, McCaskill’s fellow senator, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, pointed out that woman senators led some of this session’s most important bills-- like the end of the shutdown, the budget, and the farm bill-- even though we make up just 20% of the Senate. She also let slip that all 20 of them meet regularly for “civility dinners”-- now I’m wondering how I can score an invite.
Putting the sure in health insurance
It’s that time of year again: from now through January 31 is open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act, meaning if you need coverage now’s the time to get it. While the ACA made it easier for women to get decent, affordable coverage (and contains a bunch of other little-known provisions that are great for women’s health), actually using that coverage can still be confusing, especially if it’s your first time with insurance. Luckily this easy-to-understand guide from Raising Women’s Voices has your coverage covered.
Speaking of the Affordable Care Act, the Supreme Court has announced it will hear yet another challenge to the law’s birth control mandate, which remember, they partially struck down last time around. It’s times like this that I really wish there were more faces on this painting.
Who runs (in) America
A recent study from the Reflective Democracy Campaign tried to figure out why women and people of color are underrepresented in public office-- were they just more likely to lose their elections? Nope. Both groups win at the same rate as other candidates, which means-- and someone check my math here-- that if we want to fix the imbalance we need to get more women and people of color on the ballot.
Fields so good
Actually I know exactly who should check my math: Maryam Mirzakhani, who just became the first woman to win a Fields Medal (it’s often called the Nobel prize of mathematics) since the award was established nearly 80 years ago.
Well this is infuriating
According to a new report, childcare workers-- 95% of whom are women-- are paid almost 40% less than all other workers, probably because it’s a woman dominated industry. Yet even with childcare workers earning less than dogwalkers, childcare itself is still wildly expensive, meaning the women working in childcare don’t make enough to take care of their own kids. That’s some math even Maryam can’t explain.
It’s really about ethics in UN working groups
Members of the Broadband Commission Working Group on Gender gathered at the UN to present their findings on “a rising tide of online violence against women and girls” and a plan to fight back. Unfortunately-- and this will surprise no one-- social media posts about the gathering triggered even more online harassment. I suggest a new UN commission to call the harassers’ mothers.
Honoring all of our veterans
Since we celebrated Veterans Day this week, it’s a good time to point out that the growing number of women who serve in the military face unique challenges when they return home, and there are serious gaps in government programs meant to help them reintegrate into civilian life. There is good news though: one woman who might soon be in a position to fix this just released an awesomely inclusive veterans plan.
Department of corrections
And finally, MsRep is apparently a little rusty after the long summer break and forgot the link for the video on what not do when covering a woman running for president. But it’s so good I wanted to make sure you got it, since some of the media clearly still haven’t seen it.