Gender Equality is a Myth

For today’s Feminist Friday post, here’s an expert from The Shriver Report: A Woman’s Nation Pushes Back from the Brink. This was written by Beyoncé and published on January 12th, 2014.

We need to stop buying into the myth about gender equality. It isn’t a reality yet. Today, women make up half of the U.S. workforce, but the average working woman earns only 77 percent of what the average working man makes. But unless women and men both say this is unacceptable, things will not change. Men have to demand that their wives, daughters, mothers, and sisters earn more—commensurate with their qualifications and not their gender. Equality will be achieved when men and women are granted equal pay and equal respect.

Humanity requires both men and women, and we are equally important and need one another. So why are we viewed as less than equal? These old attitudes are drilled into us from the very beginning. We have to teach our boys the rules of equality and respect, so that as they grow up, gender equality becomes a natural way of life. And we have to teach our girls that they can reach as high as humanly possible.

We have a lot of work to do, but we can get there if we work together. Women are more than 50 percent of the population and more than 50 percent of voters. We must demand that we all receive 100 percent of the opportunities.

(Originally posted here.)

Lists, Links & Loves

lists loves and links smallerHow is 2014 treating you so far?! Today is my third (fourth?) day feeling like total crap PLUS I woke up this morning without being able to turn my neck to the left. Two seasons of Girls and an order of banana pancakes later, I’m still missing the full range of motion my neck once provided, but I guess I’m not dead yet (thanks, Advil!). Anyways, here’s what my half-mobile self was able to summon on the inter-webs for this week’s installment of Lists, Loves and Links!

 

~*SiNgLe && LoViN iT*!

As much as I am looking forward to being home for the holidays, there’s one thing I’m dreading. The questions from family/friends always begin with “What’s it like living in New York City?” or “Do you think you’ll stay?” …  then slowly turn into “How is your job going?” and “That real estate market in New York is crazy, huh?” … and always funnel down to the real point of conversation “So, are you seeing anybody?” or “Anyone special in your life?”

“Are you in a relationship?” It’s a yes or no question, but it never seems like one word will suffice. I’ve been single (or a least, not in a serious relationship) for the good majority of my life, and people have opinions about it. People will always have opinions. I didn’t meet my soul mate in high school. I didn’t meet my soul mate in college. The industries I’ve worked in since graduation are predominantly saturated with gay men. Also, I hate dating. These aren’t excuses, they’re facts. I’ve had boyfriends. I’ve gone on dates. I’ve had casual flings. Do you see me bringing someone home for the holidays? Do you see a ring on it? Nothing’s worked out. It’s Christmas day and the great woes and tragedies of my love life aren’t necessarily the things I feel like talking about right now, that cool?

I think one of the main reasons the question frustrates me so much, is because I will never be a person who is defined by my romantic relationship. I don’t fault you if you are, but that just isn’t me. I am defined by my beliefs and my morals and my successes. I moved to New York City when I was 21 — jobless, homeless, near penniless and by myself — to begin my career. Two and a half years later, I have so much more than I would have ever imagined — I have a life here — and I’m still nowhere near finished. I have a wonderful full-time job, I write this blog, I am member of an amazing women’s volunteer organization, I take writing and comedy classes, I’m working on a script, I work out, I sleep, I socialize with friends, I sometimes force myself to date. I’m nowhere near ready to settle down and have kids. I may never be ready to settle down and have kids. I’ve always been restless, driven and independent. When you add in a backdrop of the concrete jungle that never sleeps filled with the most ambitious people in the world, I thrive. And if you’ve known me for twenty-four years, you should know this too.

I guess what I’m trying to say is no, I don’t have a boyfriend. No, I don’t have a girlfriend, either. I’m single, but I have a fulfilling life. Ask me about my improv classes. Ask me about getting to see Joy Behar or Lena Dunham or Seth Meyers. Ask me about what it’s like to be one of the top Consultants in my industry. These are all questions I would welcome and love to answer. *End rant*

Iconic Feminist Moments of 2013

As the year is coming to a close, everyone brace yourself for the “most whatever of the year” and the “best *insert word here* of 2013” posts that will continue to take over the internet for the next few weeks.  But let’s be real, I’m a sucker for them too. I found “The Most Iconic Feminist Moments of 2013” while I was lurking around the interwebs this week, and not only do I really think it’s a fantastic read, but it obviously fell nicely in line with my Feminist Friday series. Check it out & and enjoy your weekend!

Lists, Loves & Links

Good evening! How was your Thursday? I spent most of my day exploring this city with my new child (read: camera that’s more expensive than my rent). As I’m winding down and web-surfing after a day of a lot of walking, I present to you some of this weeks favorite internet finds:

lists loves and links smaller

Feminist Friday: That Girl

For this week’s Feminist Friday post, I’m shining the spotlight on one of my favorite advocates for women: Marlo Thomas.

Marlo Thomas Collage

I first knew of Marlo from her portrayal of Rachel Green’s hilarious mom on Friends, but she had been playing the television circuit long before that. She’s comedian Danny Thomas’ daughter, and like her 20010 memoir suggests, she was familiar with Growing Up Laughing. After some earlier work in film, she really got on the map on 1969 when the pilot of That Girl got picked up. For those of you who don’t know, That Girl was the first television show that focused on a single, career-driven woman who didn’t live her parents. The show was Marlo’s baby, and at 25, she was the only girl besides Lucille Ball who successfully produced her own situation comedy.

In 1972, Marlo released Free to Be…You and Me, a project promoting individuality and acceptance. This inspired a children’s book, an Emmy-award winning TV special, an album and a stage show. From that point on, she continued to work in television, Broadway and film, but was definitely focused on her love of activism.

She currently serves as the National Outreach for St. Jude’s Hospital and runs her website: MarloThomas.com (now via Huffington Post), where she actively promotes women’s rights, healthy-living and equality for all. I haven’t met Ms. Thomas in person, but our aligned interests combined with her contributions to television and activism prove that she’s a fantastic role model. Thank you for being a continued source of inspiration, Marlo!

“Shrinking Women”

THIS. It was posted in April, but just recently went viral and is causing quite a stir of opinions over in the YouTube world. I almost envy the people who have nothing better to do with their lives than post harshly worded, spiteful comments about others’ content they put on the internet. I digress.

Regardless of your views on gender roles in todays’ society, Lily Myers presents an eye-opening insight on how differently men and women often view and portray themselves.

Ahhh, and Feminist Friday lives on! Have a great weekend, guys and dolls. Mine’s looking chilly and filled with work. Try not to be too jealous. ;)

Feminist Friday: Human Trafficking

Human trafficking is the third biggest crime operation in the world, only after illegal drug and gun trade.

It grosses approximately $32 billion dollars each year.

The two main types include slave labor (about 20%) and sexual exploitation (80%).

More than 70% of these trafficked individuals are women.

According to the FBI, 83% of domestic victims are not undocumented immigrants or even qualified aliens, but United States citizens.

The average age in which someone is generally sold into the sex trade is 12-14 years old.

Do you have goosebumps yet?

The punishment for engaging in human trafficking is less harsh than the punishment for engaging in illegal drug trade.

Every 30 seconds, a new victim is brought in.

The facts speak for themselves. These people are not criminals, they are victims. Human trafficking is one of the biggest human rights issues of our generation, especially for women and children. I’m not going to go into more detail on why this is such an important battle to engage in, because I’m thinking it should be pretty black and white. Press on this issue has picked up since Obama’s been in office, but the fight’s far from over. Here’s what you can to do help:

  • Raise public awareness.
  • Find out your Slavery Footprint and realize the importance in engaging in fair trade.
  • Volunteer. Most of the victims come from broken homes. By spending time with at-risk youth and serving as mentors, you can directly impact their lives by showing them they have other options.
  • Encourage local organizations to offer non-judgemental support.
  • Advocacy. Contact your Senator and demand increase anti-trafficking and business transparency laws.

Justice is what love looks like in public.

Friday Inspiration

Happy Friday! I thought I’d end wind down this week with a few of my favorite inspirational quotes from some even more empowering ladies:

Eleanor Roosevelt: A woman is like a tea bag; you can’t tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water.

Oprah: Forget about the fast lane. If you really want to fly, just harness your power to your passion.

Tina Fey: Maybe what bothers me the most is that people say that Hillary is a bitch. Let me say something about that: Yeah, she is. So am I and so is this one. [Points to Amy Poehler]      Amy Poehler: Yeah, deal with it.     Tina Fey: You know what, bitches get stuff done. That’s why Catholic schools use nuns as teachers and not priests. Those nuns are mean old clams and they sleep on cots and they’re allowed to hit you. And at the end of the school year you hated those bitches but you knew the capital of Vermont. So, I’m saying it’s not too late […], bitch is the new black!

Ellen DeGeneres: I work really hard at trying to see the big picture and not getting stuck in ego. I believe we’re all put on this planet for a purpose, and we all have a different purpose… When you connect with that love and that compassion, that’s when everything unfolds.

Amy Poehler: Great people do things before they are ready.

Lily Tomlin: The road to success is always under construction.

Marissa Mayer: I always did something I was a little not ready to do. I think that’s how you grow. When there’s that moment of  ‘Wow, I’m not really sure I can do this,’ and you push through those moments, that’s when you have a breakthrough.

Beyonce: Power’s not given to you; you have to take it.

Tina Fey: There are no mistakes, only opportunities.

Mother Teresa: Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.

Have an inspiring weekend!

Beers, Birthdays and Blurbs on Feminism

Happy Friday to all, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY to one of my dearest friends, Jorge! May the next quarter of a century present as many adventurous and prosperous fortunes to you as your first!

Jorge HoustonJorge and I (along with a few other friends) stumbled into this fantastic West Village beer garden called Houston Hall last Sunday, and needless to say it was a very pleasant surprise. The restaurant/pub opened earlier this year, and apparently the location was converted from a functional parking garage. Their beers were hoppy, their grilled cheese menu was one of the best I’ve seen, and their atmosphere and ambiance was truly unique. Having so many options of restaurants and bars in the city, I often don’t frequent the same place twice, but I can honestly say I can’t wait to head back here.

Houston Hall collageP.S. I didn’t forget Feminist Friday! My intentions are not to always take the easy way outs, but for this week, here’s a great interview with Anna Holmes, the founding editor of jezebel.com, who strongly believes that this f-word doesn’t deserve the negative connotations it often carries.

Enjoy the last few days of summer this weekend!