Bi-weekly Brief: April 27, 2017
Brought to you by Women's Campaign Fund
Bill O’Reilly out at Fox News
On the heels of sexual harassment news regarding Donald Trump, Billy Bush, Roger Ailes, and others, Fox News recently dropped its biggest ratings-getter-slash-bully ever – host Bill O’Reilly – after paying out roughly $13 million in settlements to women who accuse him of sexual harassment. Not to mention another $25 million to O’Reilly in severance (ugh). Ironically, that THR video of Bush and Trump was used as an example of what sexual harassment looks like in sexual harassment seminars at Fox. All of this smack of systemic sexism to you? You’re not alone.
Tiny girl terrifies grown man
Remember something I shared last month about a statue of a little girl staring down the “Charging Bull” on Wall Street? Well, the artist who created the bronze bovine “is accusing New York City of violating his rights by allowing the ‘Fearless Girl’ statue to stare down his artwork.” The best part might be “Fearless Girl” artist Kristen Visbal’s response. Read full article – he himself placed the bull statue illegally. What a bunch of silliness!
Who is a friend to women (?)
^ might be, or have been, a fair characterization in some circles, but a recent executive order signed by President Trump undid workplace protections for women nationwide – think wage gap and sexual harassment. This isn’t a partisan issue. It’s a spouse, mother, daughter issue. And it’s outrageous. Plus, it makes instances like this one easier to sweep under the rug. *Facepalm*
In which women, families, husbands lose our choice
Down goes Title X and, with it, the right to choose for women in certain states. A new law lets each state choose whether to take federal funding for Planned Parenthood. The debates around PP swirl with misinformation and misrepresentations of caring for women and children, so here’s a voice from the front lines about the reality.
A bit of contrast
Let’s take a look at the work that Republican Representative Martha McSally is championing. Despite the reality of the Republican actions to diminish women’s rights and protections, the chairwoman of the Women in the 21st Century Workforce working group and her two-dozen-plus constituents aim to tackle gender issues in a party that, recently, hasn’t done much for them. An uphill battle, to be sure, but the underlying point is: common ground is found by women helping other women.
A familiar tune
I saw a sign at the Women’s March months ago that said, “Don’t play politics with my body”. Playing politics with our bodies occurs in so many ways; including failing to offer paid maternity leave. It ain’t easy being poor and pregnant, and trying to make a living, to create a home for the new little life. Maya Warren has a story in this nation that does so little to support working mothers (and parents, generally). In fact, this WaPo piece points out that “the United States is the only industrialized nation not to guarantee any paid time off to new parents.” Paul Ryan supports “measures that would allow workers to accumulate time off in lieu of overtime pay,” though I’m not sure how time off can pay the rent or put food on the table. Can Senator Gillibrand’s bill pass – offering 12 weeks of paid time off at two-thirds of worker’s pay? Better than nothing! And who knows what Ivanka will come up with!
Violence Against Women Act: we must save these programs!
I believe VAWA (Violence Against Women Act) should be required reading (here’s some background), because its elimination could drastically and negatively impact women nationwide. As VAWA is funded and enforced by the Justice Department, it’s terrifying to think that we don’t have an advocate in our Attorney General (side note: what happened to “southern gentlemen”?). Sonia Ossorio, President of the National Organization for Women of New York, penned this piece for HuffPo that outlines why saving the programs of VAWA is of the utmost importance. Now that I think about it, her piece should be required reading too, and it should be required to share with at least five men immediately after reading. It is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, after all.