The Common Good

10 Reasons Why I Don’t Know What Century I’m In

Women illustration, Sandi Villarreal / Sojourners, Photos via Shutterstock.com
Women illustration, Sandi Villarreal / Sojourners, Photos via Shutterstock.com

No, I didn’t hit my head. I’m not suffering from amnesia. I’m just really confused. I’m sorry — what year is it again? Running through my handy list o’ headlines, it’s a little bit difficult to tell. 

I give you the 10 reasons I don’t believe that it’s really 2012.

1. Paycheck Fairness Act Fails

Yes, I realize Democrats knew the GOP was not going to let this pass. They knew it would make them look like idiots for voting against paycheck fairness. But guess what — they were right. 

According to the National Organization for Women, women make 78 cents for every dollar that men make. (Some figures pin it down at 77 cents.) The gap is wider for minority women. 

If you don’t think a woman should be allowed to inquire whether she is being paid unfairly without risking termination, you have more than a PR problem.

Maddow gets me:

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

 

2. Women Writers Look Like Sexy Santa

Part of my job is picking out the photos that run along with our blog posts. A few weeks back, I ran a story on male v. female writers. First, I searched for “male writer.” Most photos that popped up were pretty boring: man in suit behind a laptop, man hitting writer’s block illustrated under piles of paper, emo man in plaid and boat shoes walking through a park with his moleskin. 

Then I searched for “female writer.” Big mistake. I didn't include the NSFW ones, but let me just say as a woman writer, I promise you that we are usually fully clothed when working.

Please take a look at "The REAL Women of Journalism & Writing: Pulitzer Prize Winners, 2011-2012" compiled by our own Web Editrix and writer, Cathleen Falsani.

3. This chart:

See larger version HERE. On women's issues, media overwhelmingly ask men to comment. Basically, see main image for this post. 

4. Violence Against Women Act Only Protects Some Women

The GOP version of VAWA reauthorization that passed a couple of weeks ago is straight-up discrimination. The new version could, in effect, discourage women from reporting domestic violence and rape. Read more HERE.

5. Glamour’s ‘30 Things Every Woman Should Have and Should Know by the Time She's 30

The backlash to this particular article — reminiscent of that Mad Men era of “waiting for him to call” and “never leave home without your lipstick” — speaks for itself.

But, y’all, I turn 30 this year. I didn’t realize a black lace bra was still the gold standard for reaching true adult womanhood. Also, I have a joint bank account (as a writer, numbers give me panic attacks), and I don’t yet know how I feel about kids. (Sorry, mom.) Apparently this makes me ill-equipped to enter a new decade of life.

6. A Book About S&M is Topping the New York Times Bestseller List 

It’s a book about female submission. I mean, I’m not going to say I won't read it. I read everything. I'm THIS girl.

But, y'know, food for thought.   

7. Women Are Called Sluts for Speaking

Yes I’m again talking about Rush Limbaugh and Sandra Fluke, but only because it’s the most egregious and still-ire-inducing example of a culture that kind of thinks that it’s OK. 

8. You Can Sell People in the Classifieds

I see what you did there, Village Voice Media. Oh, and so does everyone else. But the real problem with your Backpage.com's Adult Section is that people are using it for child sex trafficking. And you're not doing anything about it.

9. This Happened. 

Too lazy to click the link? Well, in short: apparently, you'll have a better football team if the coach's wife is hot. This, according to Vanderbilt's head football coach who told a radio station that he won't hire assistant coaches until he meets their wives.

From the report, James Franklin said,"I've been saying it for a long time, I will not hire an assistant coach until I've seen his wife. If she looks the part. ... then you got a chance to get hired. That's part of the deal."

I mean, if Connie Britton has taught us anything, it's that this is a fact.

10. The Church Remains Mum

Not always, of course, but too often the church not only fails to address these issues, but they unwittingly encourage them. From the Vatican's slap on the wrist of American nuns for spending too much time caring for the sick and poor (instead of campaigning against same-sex marriage and abortion) to misinterpreting what it means to submit in a marriage, the church sometimes gets it wrong. (For a true biblical take on the latter, Rachel Held Evans is doing a whole series this week on mutuality in Christian marriage.)

The devolving of our treatment of women is a social justice issue. Church leaders should be on the forefront, speaking out against discrimination, abuse and denigration of women. 

Or we might continue to see more things like THIS. (Yes, it's an entire Huffington Post page dedicated to sideboob.) 

Sandi Villarreal is Associate Web Editor at Sojourners. Follow her on Twitter @Sandi.

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