Tag Archives: women

Unknown heroes: Harriet Elizabeth Brown

brown2From the Zinn Education Project:

Harriet Elizabeth Brown was a Calvert County (MD) school teacher in the 1930s. In 1937, she became aware that white teachers were making almost twice the salary of black teachers who had the same level of education and experience. She contacted NAACP attorney Thurgood Marshall who worked with her to sue the county based on a violation of the 14th amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

On December 27, 1937, the case was settled. The result was that the Calvert County Board of Education agreed to equalize the salaries of white and black teachers. The case helped pave the way for the Maryland Teachers Pay Equalization Law and eventually changes in the state and country.

Harriet Elizabeth Brown (February 10, 1907 — January 1, 2009) is a member of the Maryland Women’s Hall of Fame.

Photoof Harriet Elizabeth Brown courtesy of the Maryland State Archives.

Post-Hobby Lobby, expect these cases in the courts

personhoodThe Supreme Court agreed that some companies can refuse to cover contraception. Bestowing more personhood on entities devised to mitigate personal liability than on actual women baffles me, but there it is.

The next challenges to Obamacare coverage on religious grounds are listed right in the dissent by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg:
Continue reading Post-Hobby Lobby, expect these cases in the courts

The War on Women, redux

New-Soft-War-on-WomenOne of the problem with the term War on Women is that it all seems to be about sex. And talking about sex seems to make some people uncomfortable.

And it’s even not all about sex, though having access to birth control is part of the issue. I’m still mortified by what happened to Sandra Fluke in 2012 after she testified about the need for contraceptives in context of overall women’s health. Part of her testimony:
Continue reading The War on Women, redux

Equality, rape culture, and the war on women

I’ve been think about the rights of women a LOT lately. There are so many examples of what’s wrong – and to be sure a couple that are right – that it’s overwhelmed me. (And it’s taken at least a couple weeks to write this piece.)

In New York State, “The Women’s Equality Agenda will safeguard women’s health, extend protections against sexual harassment in the workplace, help to achieve pay equity, and increase protections against discrimination in employment, housing, credit and lending.” Sounds wonderful, of course. The big hangup for some is over abortion rights, a huge issue.

But I think the conversation about whether there is a “war on women” had been framed too much on abortion and birth control – sometimes reframed by the talking heads, to be sure.

Though there does seem to be a sexual component in all of this. In his review about Fiona Apple’s song Criminal, MDS writes: “Let’s just admit something up front right now Continue reading Equality, rape culture, and the war on women

WTF? Cavemen in America

I try not to write about politics too much, I really do, mostly so that *I* don’t make myself crazy. But a series of related events, which I would not have imagined would be part of the public discourse in the USA in 2012, ARE front page news.

First, the Republican-led Congress convened a panel of “experts”, most of whom railed against employer insurance plans covering birth control. Interestingly, they happened to be mostly a bunch of guys. The odd thing is that many of these same insurance plans with contraceptive coverage that the panel was railing against will cover Viagra and similar products that will be a sexual aid, even for (gasp!) unmarried men.

So some Democrats allowed Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke to testify from a different perspective, e.g., a woman’s, regarding women’s reproductive health care; LISTEN to her opening statement. Note that Fluke’s comments were primarily about use of contraceptives for other purposes, such as to avoid ovarian cysts. A windbag Continue reading WTF? Cavemen in America

H is for Her, in charge

A whole JEOPARDY! category of WOMEN IN CHARGE (#6081, aired 2011-02-07)
$200: From 1966 to 1977 & from 1980 to 1984, she led the world’s largest democracy
$400: Vigdis Finnbogadottir led a theatre co. for many years before becoming this country’s president in 1980
$600: In 2010, before her term as president ended, Michelle Bachelet oversaw earthquake relief efforts in this country
$800: In 2009 Vilnius-born Dalia Grybauskaite became president of this country
$1,000 (Daily Double): President of the Philippines from 1986 to 1992, she passed away in 2009
Questions at the end of the post.

Countries that have had:
(yellow)Female heads of government
(dark orange) Female heads of state (including female representatives of heads of state (Governors-General and French Representatives of Andorra), excluding monarchs)
(light orange) Female heads of state and government (including female representatives of heads of state, excluding monarchs)

How many women are currently in the United States House of Representatives? How about the US Senate? I had to look it up. It’s 73 and 17, respectively, which puts the country 71st in terms of the number of women in national parliaments.

I’m a firm believer that progress in equality, whether it be gender-, ethnicity-, or sexual orientation-based is not truly achieved until one can no longer keep track of the achievement.

And how many US Presidents who were female have we had? Lessee – take the square root of…oh yeah, that would be zero. Not even Petunia Pig.

This is fascinating to me because Continue reading H is for Her, in charge