Bi-weekly Brief: December 18th, 2015
Brought to you by Women's Campaign Fund
If only there were an organization devoted to getting more women into office that you could support...
According to a new survey from The Pew Charitable Trusts, just 25% of the nation’s state legislators are women, and that figure hasn’t budged for over a decade. Glass half full people will point out that at least it’s better than the early 1970’s when just 5% of state legislators were women. But me, I’m more of a legislatures should be half full (of women) kind of person.
Unnecessary censorship, necessary bill
Maggie Gyllenhaal, Milla Jovovich, Jemima Kirke, and surprisingly even a few famous men all have one question: to get paid family leave passed in the U.S., who do we have to [bleep]? You’ll have to watch the video to find out what they actually said. The good news is it’s safe to watch at work. The bad news if you’re a recent mother is that you probably are at work instead of bonding with your new baby.
The Invisible (Wo)man
A new UN report finds that women do three out of every four hours of the unpaid labor of everyday life-- things like cooking, cleaning, and taking care of children. Combine that with paid work and, as the report concludes, “Women work more than men, even if a large part is relatively invisible.” The report mentions gathering firewood as one of the many unpaid, yet time-consuming tasks that fall on women in many countries. Luckily I can just heat my home with the red hot anger I feel when reading statistics like these.
The Internet’s best how-to-guide that shouldn’t have to exist
Feminist Frequency’s Anita Sarkeesian has faced an insane amount of online abuse, simply because she's dared to have opinions about video games. The bullying and death threats taught her a lesson… but probably not the one her harassers intended. She and other women have taken what they learned being the target of internet jerks and turned it into some awesome cheat codes for avoiding cyber mobs, stalkers, and social media harassment for the rest of us.
Year of the shero (female superhero-- duh)
After 50 years, the Italian tire company Pirelli has ditched the naked supermodels in its famous calendar, and for 2016 is instead featuring fully clad women chosen for their achievements. (Well, mostly fully clad-- apparently they didn’t get the message about wearing clothes to Amy Schumer, but the result was awesome.) We’re not sure why Pirelli did such a 180-- it sounds like they finally realized that women buy tires too-- but if it means I get to see an inspiring woman like Fran Lebowitz, Ava Duvernay, or Mellody Hobson every day for a month, I’ll take it.
Margaret Atwood is already a poet, author, environmental activist, inventor, and children’s storyteller. Not content with all that, she’s now working on a graphic novel called Angel Catbird, due out in 2016. Shouldn’t be so difficult, since she can just draw on her own experiences as a real-life superhero.
Working title: Climate Warriors
By the way, if anyone else is looking for inspirations for a superhero graphic novel, check out these thirteen amazing women who were on the front lines of the fight to save the world in real life at the recent climate talks in Paris.
Get them to the Greeks
Recently lobbyists for sororities and fraternities were planning to support a bill that would prevent universities from investigating cases of sexual assault. (Don’t worry, I had to read that twice too.) That is, until they ran into senators Claire McCaskill and Kirsten Gillibrand. I’d say someone should turn these two into comic book superheroes as well, but Marvel already beat us to it.
Help us Carrie Fisher, you’re our only hope
Carrie Fisher’s press tour for the new Star Wars movie with her dog Gary has been amazing, hilarious... and revealing. When Good Morning America asked if she was excited to be in the film she said as a female in Hollywood over the age of 40 she was excited about any work, and the statistics back her up. In the top grossing movies of 2014, there were zero women over 45 in leading roles, and women play just 30% of all speaking roles in big movies. There is a bright spot though: movies with female content creators feature more female leads. So attention, Hollywood-- hire these ladies!