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Wednesday Reads: Equal Pay Day

Morning everyone, today is Equal Pay Day. Yes, it is something we feel strongly about here at Sky Dancing. I mean, getting paid equally will only help us down the line when we need to stock up on that catfood. Anyone else find it ironic that Obama is going to give a speech today which will probably be the final nail in the poor/middle class coffin. There are lots going on so here are some links for you to get to it. First off, for more information on just how far we have not come, just let your index finger go to work: Equal Pay Day –  This website is the official site of the NCPE, National Committee on Pay Equality. Women Deserve Equal Pay –  This is the days page on the NOW website. According to Now:

Facts About Pay Equity

  • In 2007, women’s median annual paychecks reflected only 78 cents for every $1.00 earned by men. Specifically for women of color, the gap is even wider: In comparison to men’s dollar, African American women earn only 69 cents and Latinas just 59 cents. 1
  • In 1963, when the Equal Pay Act was passed, full-time working women were paid 59 cents on average for every dollar paid to men. This means it took 44 years for the wage gap to close just 19 cents — a rate of less than half a penny a year. This narrowing of the gap has slowed down over the last six years, with women gaining a mere two cents since 2001. 2
  • Women’s median pay was less than men’s in each and every one of the 20 industries and 25 occupation groups surveyed by the U.S. Census Bureau in 2007.3 Even men working in female-dominated occupations tend to earn more than women working in those same occupations.4
  • According to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR), if equal pay for women were instituted immediately, across the board, it would result in an annual $319 billion gain nationally for women and their families (in 2008 dollars). Over her working life, a typical woman could expect to gain a total of $210,000 in additional income if equal pay were the norm (these numbers include part-time workers).5
  • When The WAGE Project looked exclusively at full-time workers, they estimated that women with a high school diploma lose as much as $700,000 over a lifetime of work, women with a college degree lose $1.2 million and professional school graduates may lose up to $2 million.6 Not only are these inequities enormously detrimental to women and their families, wage inequities follow women into their retirement years, reducing their Social Security benefits, pensions, savings and other financial resources.
  • A study by the American Association of University Women (AAUW) examined how the wage gap affects college graduates. Wage disparities kick in shortly after college graduation, when women and men should, absent discrimination, be on a level playing field. One year after graduating college, women are paid on average only 80 percent of their male counterparts’ wages, and during the next 10 years, women’s wages fall even further behind, dropping to only 69 percent of men’s earnings ten years after college. According to the AAUW report, even after “[c]ontrolling for hours, occupation, parenthood, and other factors normally associated with pay, college-educated women still earn less than their male peers earn. . . . A large portion of the gender pay gap is not explained by women’s choices or characteristics.7
  • Women still are segregated into “pink-collar” jobs that affect their wages, according to an AAUW report. Their analysis of Department of Education data found women “overwhelmingly clustered in low-wage, low-skill fields.” For example, the report showed women comprising 87 percent of workers in the child care industry and 86 percent of the health aide industry.8
  • A far greater proportion of women cut back or interrupt time in the paid workforce to deal with family responsibilities. Over a 15-year period, “the more likely a woman is to have dependent children and be married, the more likely she is to be a low earner and have fewer hours in the labor market. The opposite holds true for men: marriage and dependent children make it much more likely that a man has higher earnings and works longer hours,” according to IWPR.9
  • Time out of the workforce can directly impact women’s earning potential. AAUW reports that “Women who are not working . . . can be expected to have lower wages when they return to the labor market . . . Research shows that mothers who maintain employment after childbirth have higher earnings than do mothers who leave the work force.”10
  • It is important to note that women’s choices regarding work are not made in a vacuum. Factors that impact women’s decisions include: workplace discrimination, either experienced or anticipated; a lack of women-friendly policies and resources in the workplace; persistent stereotypes that steer women and men toward different education, training and career paths; different societal expectations for wives compared to husbands and mothers compared to fathers; and myriad forms of sexism, both subtle and blatant.

Presidential Proclamation–National Equal Pay Day | The White House –  This is a self-explanatory link… Marlo Thomas: Another Equal Pay Day? Really? –  That Girl wrote this article for Huffington Post. Ms. Thomas writes:

If one more person points to Meg Whitman or Arianna Huffington as proof of women’s earning power, I’m going to scream. That’s like saying Tiger Woods and Will Smith are slam-dunk proof that black Americans have broken into the ranks of the über-rich. 2011-04-09-59Cent.jpgWhich brings us to National Equal Pay Day. I can’t believe we’re having another one. I still have my little green button from 1970 — with “59¢” emblazoned on it — tacked to my bulletin board. I remember how we all wore that button on our t-shirts as we marched to protest the gender pay disparity of that time. Now we’re at 77 cents. Forty years and 18 cents. A dozen eggs has gone up 10 times that amount. There are people who undermine the pay gap by citing the women who make 98 cents on every dollar a man makes. But this is an elite group. According to the National Women’s Law Center, the vast majority of American women — working “full-time, year-round” — are still stuck in that shameful 77-cent zone. The gap, says the National Women’s Law Center, translates into “$10,622 less per year in female median earnings.” Those are real dollars that could cover real expenses — like food and school and clothes and health care and childcare.

I don’t understand why there is still a disparity between pay for a man and a woman of equal experience. Then I stop a moment and think about the current attitude toward women in general, and I realize that there will probably never be equality. As long as men, and other women for that matter, continue to impose their own beliefs on women because they feel women are too stupid to make up their own mind. I posted this link yesterday but I feel it deserves some more attention.

Ron Paul, the conservative congressman from Texas known for his small-government beliefs rooted in Libertarianism, told an audience Monday in Iowa that government should dictate what happens in the womb of pregnant women. Speaking at the Iowa Family Leader’s presidential lecture series in Sioux City, Paul, an obstetrician and a Christian, explained that he disagreed with the popular belief that to be a Libertarian means having a laissez faire attitude of “it’s the woman’s body; she can do whatever she wants.” “Life comes from our creator, not our government,” Politico reported Paul as saying. “Liberty comes from our creator, not from government. Therefore, the purpose, if there is to be a purpose, for government is to protect life and liberty.”

If a “libertarian” freak says something like this, women’s rights are really down the toilet. I mean, doesn’t this stance, “government should dictate” completely go against the Libertarian core principles? Geez…Paul goes on to say:

“As much as I talk about economic liberties, and civil liberties and trying to avoid the killing overseas, I think the issue of life is paramount.”

I guess economic liberties and civil liberties are not something the female sex is worthy of. Okay, on with the rest of the day’s reads….First there is this image:

A woman holding a baby walks past soldiers in the Ivory Coast as they stare her down.

This image is very creepy to me, the expression on the woman’s face…and the attitude of the soldiers as she passes by.  Click on this link here to get some more information on conditions in Côte d’Ivoire from Amnesty International. I have some other links for you today on women’s issues. I don’t know why Pence keeps on spreading this crap that federal dollars go toward funding abortions… Mike Pence: Planned Parenthood doesn’t need federal dollars – Sarah Kliff – POLITICO.com

Pence introduced the budget amendment to defund Planned Parenthood and is also pursuing standalone legislation that would strip abortion providers of Title X funding.

Pence has stood firm against a budget that funds Planned Parenthood, pushing back against reports last week that he would consider supporting a bill that allowed the group to receive federal funds. “Why would I fight for it?” Pence told ABC’s “Topline” last week. “Let me explain. I’m pro-life. I don’t apologize for it. I also think it’s morally wrong to take the tax dollars of millions of pro-life Americans and use [them] to fund abortion providers.”

Here is another article from Sarah Kliff: Fight stokes Planned Parenthood – Sarah Kliff – POLITICO.com

Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, speaks at a

Republicans’ budget ‘really connected the personal with the political,’ Cecile Richards says. | Reuters
Online gifts to Planned Parenthood have surged by 500 percent since Republicans passed a budget amendment stripping the group of its federal funding. NARAL Pro-Choice America’s email activist list grew by 1,000 subscribers per day at the height of the budget debate.

 

With the budget battle putting women’s health issues front and center, reproductive health groups tell POLITICO they’ve seen an unprecedented surge in activism at a time when many supporters had grown complacent, less fazed by legislative threats now that a president who supports abortion rights is at the helm.

Really, a president that supports abortion rights? Did he not cave on the issue of abortion in D.C.? If a Mayor and other city reps will get arrested to protest the kind of support Obama gave the women of Washington DC, then I can safely say this president does not totally support women’s rights. More from the link:

To be sure, abortion rights advocates did not score a complete win as Obama reinstated a provision that prevents the District of Columbia from spending local tax dollars on abortion services. The president had lifted the ban shortly after taking office. But in interviews with POLITICO, leaders of top reproductive health groups said this battle was a near 180-degree turn from their lobbying experience during health reform, with a surge in activism and financial support.

Hey, you can’t be almost pregnant….and you can’t claim a success when you don’t score a complete win…I call BS on this article from Politico and the author Sarah Kliff. I do however agree with one thing Kliff said in the article, and I have emphasized it below in bold.

“If the federal budget proposal had simply said, ‘We’re going to eliminate family planning funding,’ I don’t think people would have been as concerned,” said Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards. “But they literally went after Planned Parenthood. For the first time, I think, the next generation of pro-choice women and men saw that the attack was real. It would affect their lives. It wasn’t hypothetical like last year’s debate; it really connected the personal with the political.”

 

Planned Parenthood’s Facebook fans surged 992 percent after the House approved the budget amendment to defund the group in mid-February. More than 810,000 supporters signed its petition denouncing the amendment — more than half of them new users who had never been active with Planned Parenthood prior to the budget debate. The social media activity also drove Planned Parenthood’s surge in online donations.

When Planned Parenthood hit Capitol Hill in the final days of the budget debate, it handed out copies of “Stories From Home,” a newly compiled book of supporters’ stories selected from more than 7,000 personal narratives submitted online. Stories came from all 50 states. “I have pages and pages of women saying Planned Parenthood found early-stage cervical cancer, and they got me to a doctor,” Richards said. “This is not an imaginary issue. It’s real. It’s 7,000 stories, and that is very poignant.” The challenge now will be to keep a wave of new supporters engaged as the budget threat recedes into the background. Abortion rights groups have often had difficulty engaging younger voters, who have grown up after the 1973 Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade and have never known a country in which abortion is illegal.

That really is the important thing to take away from this recent “fight” over funding for Planned Parenthood.  People must continue to be engaged in the religious rights war against women…the younger generation has to find their voice in defending the rights women do have. Take a cue from the mama’s of my generation, Dakinikat’s generation and Boston Boomer’s generation…it takes work to fight the PLUBs organized and systematic war on women…but it needs to be done. No doubt about it. It looks like Jon Stewart is at it yet again: Jon Stewart Rips Sen. Jon Kyl For Lying About Planned Parenthood (VIDEO)

On Monday night’s “Daily Show,” Jon Stewart picked up where he left off last Thursday: the (narrowly avoided) government shutdown over budget cuts. One of the biggest points of contention, federal funding for Planned Parenthood, was the item that got Stewart the most frustrated. Despite the fact that federal money already cannot be used for abortion services at the women’s health clinics, Republicans used abortion as the primary reason they wanted funding taken away. On top of that, Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl made false statements that abortions make up “well over 90% of what Planned Parenthood does.” “I’d love to see that statistic checked by, uhh… Anyone,” Stewart said. The reality is that abortions make up closer to 3% of what Planned Parenthood does. So why did Kyl say 90 perent? CNN got a hold of him and relayed his response: apparently it was “not intended to be a factual statement” and was supposed to merely illustrate that Planned Parenthood subsidizes abortions. “So if I was to say that Jon Kyl spends 90 percent of his time in the Senate drooling and farting…” Stewart began. Watch the full segment below, and click over to the “Daily Show” website to watch Wyatt Cynac’s follow-up analysis.

This next link has an error on the date of Equal Pay Day, just ignore it… ACTION ALERT! Tell the Wall Street Journal you Demand Balanced Coverage of the Wage Gap! – blog

As many of you know, today is Equal Pay Day. April 12 symbolizes how far into 2011 women must work to earn what men did in 2010 in the US. Today, the Paycheck Fairness Act is also being reintroduced by Senator Barbara Mikulski and Representative Rosa L. DeLauro in the U.S Senate, and media outlets across the nation are covering the wage gap. The wage gap was recently recalculated by the United States Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, showing that women still earn 77 cents for every dollar that men earn. Then why did the Wall Street Journal choose to run this anti-fair pay Op Ed by Carrie Lukas against fair pay for equal work on their Editorial Page, without at least running a balanced opinion piece along side by anyone on the National Committee on Pay Equity  – ON EQUAL PAY DAY!?

From Care2.com: Happy Equal Pay Day! Today You Have Now Earned As Much As a Man Did Last Year

Spring is here, the snow has melted, flowers are blooming and women just today have finally earned as much as their male counterparts did by December 31, 2010. Yes, it’s Equal Pay Day, the day it takes for women to finally earn as much as men earned in one calendar year.  And after all, it only took an extra 15 weeks to get there. Ms. Magazine celebrates the day with the top four myths about women and pay and why they are completely wrong.  From declaring women make less because they choose more flexible careers so they can be with their families to stating that the gender wage gap is over and done with, Ms. breaks down each myth, including the most recent new tale — the recession actually hurt men more than women.

The recent economic recession was dubbed a “mancession” because the male-dominated construction industry took the first major blow. But now it’s women’s jobs that are disproportionately on the line as cuts to professions such as education and nursing are becoming more frequent. Even as the unemployment rate has dropped again, to 8.8 percent for the general public, it’s still 12.3 percent for women who maintain families.

Women are also less likely to have jobs that come with important fringe benefits such as paid sick days and employer-sponsored retirement benefits. Without such benefits, women’s ability to save money for a rainy day is hindered, leaving them more economically vulnerable when they lose their jobs.

This next one pissed me off: Pre-Owned Vehicle = Non-Virgin Woman? | Mother Jones

Oh dear. Another day, another questionable advertising decision. Via Sociological Images, this Canadian ad for used cars compares them to women who aren’t virgins. “You know you’re not the first” the ad reads. “But do you really care?” The message seems to be it’s okay for cars to be used (and for women to have more than one lover) if they’re very aesthetically pleasing. Oy. Firstly, it’s a bit sexist to assume every man wants to be a woman’s first. Virginal sex can = awkward sex. Secondly, naturally women are being judged on their “number” and not men. Thirdly, just because it looks good on the outside doesn’t mean there’s nothing wrong under the hood, so to speak. (Side note: during a routine HIV test, I once had a nurse tell me I was the “perfect” vehicle to transmit the virus because I was so “clean” and “wholesome”.) And finally, why? Just… why? I don’t understand how these things actually make it to print without someone saying along the way, “Hey, maybe we should rethink this because it could turn off half of our customer base.”

I love what Jen Phillips says at the end of her article:

Hot Deals, Cool Wheels!” Okay, okay, I get the idea of describing cars like women, but the ad seems to take it a tad too far. “She’s a beaut!” is quite a bit different from “She’s not a virgin, but she still looks great! How much do you want to pay for her?”

This next link is from New Deal 2.0: Created Equal? Founding Era Tensions on Economic Fairness » New Deal 2.0 Here is a bit:

In 1776, rowdy Democrats fought for equality. But their notions didn’t suit early elites. ­ “All men are created equal,” the Continental Congress famously announced in the document that came to be known as the Declaration of Independence. These are powerful words — and reflecting on America’s founding struggles over money and finance can give the familiar phrase new resonance. For even as Thomas Jefferson was drafting the Declaration in a small, hot room in Philadelphia in the summer of 1776, the democratic popular finance movement was blooming in America. Throughout the country, ordinary people placed all hopes on America declaring independence from England. Equality was indeed their goal. And by this, they meant economic fairness: A newly level playing field where they could compete for prosperity.

I know that today’s post did not touch on any new updates regarding the major news stories we have been following lately. Look in the comments for current news of the world…I am sure that we will have a live blog going during the Catfood Commission speech later today…hope to see you there! So what are you reading about today? Let’s get the party started…comment section is below, get to it. I will end this post with a few images that should make you smile. Here is a perfect example of just how tough a Mama cow can be, who says these girls don’t have the balls to make it in a bull’s world. Enjoy! From: Links 4/11/11 « naked capitalism

Antidote du jour: Via email: “interesting photos from a ranch in the Kettle Valley, BC area where every year they have to deal with some pretty weird stuff. This year a bear had been bothering the herd and I guess enough was enough. Read on!” A couple of evenings ago, Wayne went out to check the cows and saw a very strange sight and was able to photograph the event. A black bear approached our cow herd which turned out to be a very big mistake on his part. sore bear 1 The blonde and white Simmental cow we know as I-12 went right for him. sore bear 2 She is a very good cow, a very attentive mother and about 12 years old. She’s in her prime and knows that bears are bad news. She tried her best to mash him into the ground. sore bear 3 sore bear 4 There are a couple of photos where the bear is biting I-12’s leg and clawing her face but she is not giving up. Her stiff tail shows how agitated she is. sore bear 5 Wayne said all the cows were bawling, the bear was squealing, the calves were running around with their tails in the air. A younger cow, R-55, an Angus-Cross cow, age 7, is helping her out as best she can. sore bear 6 It is an incredible photo to see two cows at once trying to crush the bear. sore bear 7 I looked up the calving records of both cows who are so aggressive in these photos and they are both good, calm cows around us and have given us no troubles whatsoever. I’ll have to add in my notes that they have a very distinct dislike of bears. We’ll be watching I-12 over the next few days to see if she needs treatment for infection. I don’t know how willingly she’ll come to the corrals for treatment, but she might not have a choice. Finally, the bear decided to vacate the area. sore bear 12 We thought he’d be dead for sure, but there was no sign of him the next day. We’ll have to keep an eye out for eagles in the trees or flocks of ravens flying up. We’re sure he’s got some broken ribs out of the deal at the very least. Wayne couldn’t believe his eyes when he witnessed this ruckus. This is another once-in-a-lifetime photography event to add to all the others he managed to document this summer. It is amazing.

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