Veterans Affairs Tries to Change How It Treats Women Veterans

From the article:

It should come as no surprise that an institution dominated by men where top officials refused to address pervasive issues of sexual harassment and assault of women for years has a problem with sexism and with prioritizing and meeting the health care needs of women. (The issues are not only limited to veterans—a recent BuzzFeed report found that women who are currently serving in the military regularly have their health concerns “brushed off, misdiagnosed” and are “provided the wrong treatments by U.S. military doctors around the world.”) The Department of Veterans Affairs recognizes, if belatedly, that it needs to change. As the Times reported, the House Veterans Affairs Committee plans to create a task force specifically addressing the health care needs of women veterans.

Source: Veterans Affairs Tries to Change How It Treats Women Veterans

This is fucking shameful.

Workplace discrimination is illegal, yet it persists. Here’s why. – Vox

From the article:

Each year, the EEOC and its state and local partner agencies close more than 100,000 cases — but workers receive some form of assistance, such as money or a change in work conditions, only 18 percent of the time. Employees seeking help are even less likely to get it now than when Law went to the agency.

No group of workers alleging discrimination — age, gender, disability, or otherwise — fares well. Race claims, however, are among the most commonly filed and have the lowest rate of success, with just 15 percent receiving some form of relief, often compensation.

Source: Workplace discrimination is illegal, yet it persists. Here’s why. – Vox

This is not shocking. When you complain to HR, they were there to protect the company, not you. When you file a discrimination case, it is very unlikely it will go through, unless it’s so egregious that they can’t do anything else.

I worked for an agency in the DoD, and filed a discrimination case against a woman who waited until I went out for surgery related to my being transgender. She sent emails to my other supervisors stating I was “crazy” because the surgery was going to make me crazy. She talked to my audit client that we work for, outing me and telling them I was not to be trusted for my work. (They didn’t believe her because I do good work.)

I called the Federal number, and filed, and the guy on the phone literally spent an hour telling me he could not help me, and would find nothing on this if I pursued it. I tried in house, and my investigator was a super conservative Mormon guy who literally told me if she didn’t say one of ten phrases on his list, it wasn’t harassment or discrimination.

I left, because fuck that. I don’t have to work in that kind of toxic discriminatory sludge pile of shit.

I have heard of so many folks encountering the same across the board in the US. This article does a good job of illustrating this.

After #MeToo, whole industries have been blacklisted by insurers for sexual harassment liability coverage / Boing Boing

From the article:

A new report from Betterley Risk Consultants, shared with The Intercept, reveals that many of the world’s largest insureres will no longer conside whole industries for “employment practices liability insurance” (EPLI), which covers liability from “sexual harassment, sex discrimination, and other employee claims.”

Ten of the 32 largest insurers will no longer write EPLI policies for financial firms (brokers, investment banks, VCs, etc); eight will no longer sell EPLI coverage to entertainment and media companies. Also blacklisted are law firms, car dealerships, and other industries where “superstars” or “celebrities” or “high-billing rainmakers” have historically been able to get away with bad behavior so long as they continued to perform for the firm.

Source: After #MeToo, whole industries have been blacklisted by insurers for sexual harassment liability coverage / Boing Boing

When your industry has so much rampant sexual harassment that insurance companies won’t touch you? That is an issue.

In this US city, women are using paper towels & tissues because they can’t afford tampons / LGBTQ Nation

From the article:

In the study, posted in the current issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology, 183 interviews and three focus groups collected the experiences of women in the St. Louis area. In addition, 18 community organizations were surveyed to discover what sort of access they provide to menstrual hygiene products.

Researchers found that 64 percent of the women who participated were unable to afford menstrual hygiene products in the past year, with a fifth of these women facing this issue on a monthly basis. Additionally, 46 percent of those surveyed had to choose between food and menstrual hygiene supplies.

Source: In this US city, women are using paper towels & tissues because they can’t afford tampons / LGBTQ Nation

I’m surprised this isn’t in more news articles. This is a huge issue. The fact that we tax menstrual supplies like it’s a luxury is stunning to me. This is a basic need, and should be accessible.

I remember hitchhiking before I transitioned. I made $4000 or less that year, and had been using a ripped up old flannel shirt for my needs. When I had to hitchhike, I made it a priority to buy two boxes of tampons. It was such a luxury for my half homeless status. I was terrified I’d get my period while on the road trying to get to Arizona. I was so scared I preferred to not eat then not get the tampons.

There is such misinformation about women’s periods with some of these lawmakers. Just do some basic googling, and there are some hilariously bad screen shots of men saying women should just hold it. . . Like that’s even possible.

There are so many men, even ones in positions to make actual decisions that could change this, that have literally no biological grounding in how biology works.

Government Shutdown Means the Violence Against Women Act is Expired 

From the article:

The government shutdown officially began at midnight, which means the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) has expired and programs that assist survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault will be left without funding.

Source: Government Shutdown Means the Violence Against Women Act is Expired 

This article dates from when the shut down started, but damn. This only has funding until February 8th. I doubt this will be a priority, what with wall building still keeping the government shut down.

The Mavericks Hired Cynthia Marshall To Fix Everything Mark Cuban Broke

From the article:

The Mavericks hired Marshall, who had never worked for a sports team, a week after a Sports Illustrated story detailed former CEO Terdema Ussery’s serial sexual harassment in the office; reporting from Deadspin’s Diana Moskovitz a month later made clear that Ussery was far from the only offender. (Businessweek soft-pedals the larger cultural problems in Dallas: Among other notable omissions, Pilon never mentions the name of team writer Earl Sneed, or the fact that after Cuban covered his legal expenses for a domestic-violence charge, Sneed started dating a coworker, beat her up too, and still wasn’t fired.)

Source: The Mavericks Hired Cynthia Marshall To Fix Everything Mark Cuban Broke

This is the problem. Hiring a woman to fix Cuban’s issues won’t fix the issues because Cuban is still an issue.


The Misogynist History Of Natural Birth – The Establishment

From the article:

I was doing what I thought I needed to do to bring a child into the world purely and unharmed. I had come to believe that my body was designed to give birth, so giving birth should be easy and, if I just studied hard enough, could be painless.

Source: The Misogynist History Of Natural Birth – The Establishment

This is actually really interesting. The men that pioneered natural childbirth were not really great men.

Before I was a nurse, I always thought it I got knocked and had a give birth, I’d do the natural childbirth thing. Then I became a nurse. While I never worked in maternity, I did my rotation and was trained. I did a total 180, and would never ever do that. The risks, and the reasons don’t really hold up.

Giving birth is one of the most risky medical events in anybodies life. It’s empirically dangerous.

I found this passage particularly noteworthy.

Amongst gynecologists, Browne represented a growing movement that recognized the importance of reducing maternal pain regardless of cost. At present, NHS hospitals in the UK aim to provide epidurals free of charge to any woman who requests one. This means that British birthing people are among the luckiest in the world; in the United States in 2016, for example, the average cost of an epidural was $2,312.

This that are the poorest, and probably most in need medically, have the least access in the US.

It’s not often I post medical related items, but this intersects with feminism, and a raw deal for the poor, so it fits.

How Sheryl Sandberg and Amy Chua Sold the Lie of Lean In | Bitch Media

From the article:

But both books said little about the very possible consequences of following their advice—nothing about the way that leaning into hostile workplaces brands women “troublemakers” and gets them fired, nothing about the fact that Tiger Mothering their children without Chua’s social and financial advantages was more likely to result in angry, resentful kids than in piano prodigies. And yet these architects of female self-doubt masquerading as self-help have not simply sold women a lie, but put them in actual danger, whether it’s compromising the security of political dissidents, or serving the political and personal interests of a compromised Supreme Court judge.

Source: How Sheryl Sandberg and Amy Chua Sold the Lie of Lean In | Bitch Media

I really like this breakdown of how Leaning In does not work. it was funky and weird that it was so celebrated when it came out.

Judge Rules Federal Female Genital Mutilation Ban Unconstitutional

From the article:

A U.S. district judge in Michigan has ruled against a federal ban on female genital mutilation, arguing that Congress overstepped its constitutional authority in passing the 1996 law.

Source: Judge Rules Federal Female Genital Mutilation Ban Unconstitutional

If you don’t think this happens here in the US, you are wrong.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 513,000 women nationwide have either been subject to female genital mutilation or are at risk of it.

The resining the judge did this? It’s like an assault, so it’s a local crime. . . . 23 states do not have a ban on female genital mutilation.

Before anyone equates this to a circumcision, because I know you assholes are out there, it isn’t even close. This is the removal of the clitoris. That’s like removing the head of a penis. Not the same. In more aggressive versions they remove the inner labia and sew the girl up with nothing but a tiny hole for peeing and her period.

This is beyond horrific.

“Who Gets to Live in Victimville?”: Why I Participated in a New Docuseries on The Clinton Affair | Vanity Fair

From the article:

Reliving the events of 1998 was traumatic, yes—but also worth it, if it helps another young person avoid being “That Woman”-ed.

Source: “Who Gets to Live in Victimville?”: Why I Participated in a New Docuseries on The Clinton Affair | Vanity Fair

There is a lot of judgement placed on victims. Monica Lewinsky haw written this article on what it means to be victimized like this.

By all rights she was too young, too naive, and too easy a target for a rich and powerful man. She might have been willing to sleep with him, but we can assuredly say she did not consent to being abandoned when it all came out, and painted by the media with a horrifying brush.

Bill Clinton is a dick. He was a dick then and he’s still a dick, if you listen to his responses to interviews about this.

He could have mitigated the damage done to this woman’s life, and let’s make it clear that the phrase damage to her life is not hyperbole.

She lives in a world where every waking moment she is perceived and treated the same way for the naive actions of a 20 year old who had feelings for her boss. She has never been allowed to move on from it.

Bill Clinton, the President of the United States of America, could have mitigated that life long harm. He could have redirected the conversation when he was being investigated and interviewed.

Hell, he could have “manned up” and said yes he had an affair. That was between him and his wife. The girl had nothing to do with it, and used his power and voice to child her.

Instead, he threw her to the wolves as a sacrifice in his privileged status. He could move on and ignore it. Monica? Never.

The only thing unique about Monica’s situation is that it captured the national spotlight, and now she is never going to be allowed to move past a blowjob from when she was 20.

Can you imagine? I’ve given ill advised blow jobs when I was that age. Yet nobody has ever based their character judgment of me on it.

This is what happens to women. They are disposable to men in power, and discarded as soon as it becomes apparent they’ve been caught out.