Wednesday, February 12, 2014

What To Read Today On Women

1.  I recommend  the hashtag #BlackFemStory.  It's full of information about the history of black women and about the past achievements of individual black women.

2.  Yet another study finds mammograms of more limited value than we all would wish.

3.  A new survey on ending "Mad Men"-era workplace policies has been conducted.  I haven't checked the survey for leading or biased questions which means that I cannot judge its results.  But within the framework of that survey, I found it fascinating to check which groups don't support more "family-friendly" policies and which do:
Fresh on the heels of President Obama’s State of the Union call for an end to outdated “Mad Men”-era workplace policies, a newly released poll shows that a majority of American voters support “family friendly” policies like an increased minimum wage, fair pay for men and women, affordable child care, paid sick days, and paid family and medical leave.
The poll of 1,000 likely voters, commissioned by American Women, the National Partnership for Women & Families and the Rockefeller Family Fund, found that nearly two-thirds of those surveyed supported such family policies, including majorities of men and women, majorities of whites, African Americans and Hispanic voters, majorities of young and old voters and majorities of voters in different regions of the country.
Nearly 90 percent of Democrats, who tend to believe that government should play a role in solving social issues, were in support of the family friendly policies, as were 54 percent of Independents.
Nearly half, 46 percent, of Republican voters surveyed likewise signaled support. Among Republicans, who tend to favor voluntary policies or tax incentives for businesses rather than government mandates, 54 percent of GOP women were in favor of the call for more family supportive policies, as were 36 percent of men.

The write-up also has interesting data on what other countries are doing differently.  The US is the odd one out when it comes to renovating the labor market.  The US model is still largely based on the idea of a male breadwinner who has support staff at home to take care of everything else but paid work.

4.  The conservative government of Spain is trying to get a new and unpopular law on abortions passed.  If they succeed, most abortions in Spain will become illegal.  The Catholic church supports the proposed law, but, most interestingly, there's also an economic argument for it:

Last month, the Spanish government published a memo indicating that the renewed restriction on abortions, by allowing more births, could boost the country’s economy. Some academics believe the new abortion law stems from anxieties among conservatives about the falling birth rate in Spain, which is currently one of Europe’s lowest, and on the growing unpopularity of conservative ideals in Spanish society.

It's always the whip for women, never the carrot, when conservatives dictate policy.  If women don't have "enough" children, just force them.  No need to try to understand why the Spanish have fewer children than before, no need to try to support families, no need to look for those "carrots" which would make having children easier. 

5.  This video is about how it might feel to be a man in an upside world, the kind some misogynist sites believe already exists: an extreme matriarchy, run exactly on the same premises as an extreme patriarchy might be run.  The video is not recommended to those who find depictions of sexual violence triggering. 

The best way to watch the video, in general, is to remember that it is a condensed story of the kinds of events that can happen to women, not an argument that every single day of a woman's life would match the events in it.