Science (of) Fair


Bi-weekly Brief:
 May 26th, 2016
Brought to you by Women's Campaign Fund 

A great flood
Congresswoman Cheri Bustos puts it bluntly: Congress is sexist. How else to explain why it’s not making progress on issues like equal pay for equal work or sexual assault on college campuses and in the military? Bustos, who serves as vice chair of the Democratic Congressional recruitment committee, says the only solution is to flood Congress with female legislators. I couldn’t agree more. Help WCF get more women over the levies and into office by donating today.

Drumpf cards
Lately Donald Trump has been accusing Hillary Clinton of “playing the woman card,” saying, “Frankly, if Hillary Clinton were a man, I don’t think she’d get 5 percent of the vote.” Apparently Trump thinks that in a country where women make up just 19% of Congress, 18% of mayors, and 12% of governors, being female makes it easier to get elected. Normally I’d say something clever about how he’s so, so wrong, but the face of New Jersey first lady Mary Pat Christie during his comments already said it for me.

The orange elephant in the room
Trump’s misogyny is a problem for all women, but it’s especially bad for women in the Republican party. In addition to his long history of lewd workplace behavior, women running in down-ticket races are worried about their chances with him as their party’s nominee, and a businesswoman who dared to criticize Trump’s anti-female rhetoric has been removed as a delegate to the GOP convention. Even if you usually vote blue, these stories will have you seeing red.

No more Mr. Vice Guy?
It’s looking more and more certain that Hillary Clinton will clinch the Democratic nomination, meaning people are already speculating about who she’ll pick for vice president. When pundits questioned whether she would pick another woman, former White House communications director Anita Dunn had the best response: “There is some precedent for having a running mate of the same gender.”

Fed up 
Elizabeth Warren has a posse: specifically the 116 Congresspeople and 11 senators who signed her letter calling for more diversity at the Federal Reserve. As the letter notes, “When the voices of women, African-Americans, Latinos, and representatives of consumers and labor are excluded from key discussions, their interests are too often neglected.” Yet 83% of the board members of the regional Federal Reserve banks are white, and almost three-quarters are men, so Warren's right: it's about time to mend the Fed.

Party to fight for your rights
The UK’s Women’s Equality Party may be less than a year old, but its London mayoral candidate, Sophie Walker, got 5.2% of all votes cast in the recent election, and just as importantly it got other candidates to take women’s issues more seriously (the new mayor, Sadiq Khan, now calls himself “a proud feminist”). Walker says this election was just a dress rehearsal, and her party will continue to campaign to make London the first gender equal city and encourage other politicians to mind the (gender) gap.

Bitter sweets
To draw attention to gender inequality in Romania, a chain of bakeries is selling pie charts-- well, technically delicious cake charts-- illustrating statistics that are hard to swallow. These unjust desserts include the Salary Gap Cake, the Extremely Rich Cake (showing that only one of the country’s 25 wealthiest people is a woman), the Startup Exclusion Cake (just 13% of Romanian entrepreneurs are female), the Misrepresentation Cake (which shows that 88% of the country’s parliament is male). Right now, they’re only available in Romania, which might be for the best-- if all the grim stats I’ve read on gender inequality came in cake form, I’d be well on my way to Type 2 diabetes.

Science (of) fair
ThinkProgress has a really great article looking at recent research in psychology, political science, and economics into what happens when more women are elected to public office. The studies show that female leaders can help close gender achievement gaps simply by providing much needed role models for younger women, who are then more likely to run for office themselves, thus inspiring the next generation of girls... In other words, I think science has finally discovered a perpetual motion machine. Or at least a perpetually awesome one.

Monument women
President Obama recently designated the former headquarters of the National Women’s Party as a national monument. I’m glad that these suffragists are being recognized, but it’s a little disheartening that the designation doubles the number of U.S. monuments specifically commemorating women. Yep just two of 121 national monuments (and nine of our 411 national park sites) honor women’s history. Someone should commemorate the monumental sigh I let out when I read that.

Queen Bee
Hopefully you’ve already checked out former Daily Show correspondent Samantha Bee’s new show Full Frontal. If not, the New Yorker has a look at what you’re missing out on. Turns out the only lady late night host-- who has taken on the backlog of untested rape kits and defended the girl scouts-- is also possibly the funniest.

Sleeping bravely
For parents who are sick of children's stories full of damsels in distress, there’s a new fairy tale book that trades the princesses for real life superheroines. Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls features 100 women who have changed the world, each illustrated by a different female artist. As they listen to stories about the Brontë sisters, Frida Kahlo, Serena Williams and Ruth Bader Ginsburg at bedtime, it will be impossible for little girls not to dream big.


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