Biweekly Brief: October 23th, 2015
Brought to you by Women's Campaign Fund
Help for hacks
The 2016 campaign season is officially underway, and it’s already clear that some journalists and pundits could use some help when it comes to talking about female candidates. Luckily there’s a video full of great advice for the media on what not to do when covering a woman running for president (or any other public office). Someone please forward it to Sean Hannity.
Wallets full of women
While MsRep has been on hiatus, there have already been three presidential debates. At the most recent GOP debate, candidates were asked which woman they’d like to see on the ten dollar bill-- shouldn’t be that hard and there were a few great answers, like Rosa Parks and Abigail Adams. On the other hand, only half of them managed to name a woman who is both (1) American and (2) isn’t related to them. Man, 2016 is gonna be a long year.
The other side of the aisle can’t be that far can it?
During the federal government shutdown in 2013, Time magazine wrote that “Women are the only adults left in Washington” and female senators were “setting new standards for civility and bipartisanship.” With another potential shutdown looming-- this time over Planned Parenthood funding-- it’s clear that not much has changed. Senators Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins acknowledged how important PP clinics are to women’s healthcare and offered a measure that would only defund affiliates found to have broken the law (right now there’s no evidence that any did). The effort didn’t stop many of their colleagues from voting to shut down the government unless it cut off all PP funding a few weeks ago, but you know, baby steps.
California girls are really the most (informed about reproductive health options)
California has become the first state to pass a law cracking down on deceptive practices by anti-abortion pregnancy centers. Lawmakers in the state believe that-- and this may sound a little crazy-- if these places don’t have medical professionals working there, women seeking prenatal care should know that. The state also just passed one of the toughest equal pay laws in the country. Now I wish we all could be California girls.
USA! USA! USA!
Ok, I know the Women’s World Cup happened months ago, but I’m still psyched about it. The U.S. women’s victory over Japan was the most watched soccer match in U.S. history, and it was glorious. Carli Lloyd’s 16-minute hat trick was almost great enough to make you forget that the average U.S. women’s soccer player’s salary is less than 10% of a male player's; or that FIFA awards only slightly more prize money for winning the women’s World Cup than it gave to teams who lost every game in the men’s tournament last year; or that companies spent much less money sponsoring the women. Almost.
Well done, sister Suffragette
The movie Suffragette comes out today, and I can’t wait to see it! It’s a period drama about women’s fight for the right to vote in England, and the real story is a bit more intense than Mary Poppins made it sound (think less singing and more fights with police and buildings blowing up). Unfortunately while British women won the vote 100 years ago-- oops, spoiler alert-- like us, they’re still a long way from gender equality in politics.
The old college try succeeds
There is one gender gap though that women are on the right side of: for the first time in history more women than men in the U.S. have a bachelor’s degree.
Debugging the gender gap
Speaking of movies that look great, I just saw the trailer for Code: Debugging the Gender Gap, a documentary that explores how a sexist “brogrammer” culture in tech discourages women from pursuing careers in computer science. Wonder how many of those dudes know that the whole field of computer programing was started by a woman. Which reminds me… hope you had happy Ada Lovelace Day!