WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
God Blocks Gender Equality in Nigeria
Lawmakers using religion as an excuse to block laws? Sounds weirdly familiar as an American, but it looks like the Midwestern United States has a friend in Nigeria. A Nigerian bill aimed at promoting gender equality was voted down in the country’s Senate on Tuesday. The law’s purpose was to combat discrimination in politics, education, and the workplace, and would have prohibited domestic and sexual violence against women (It’s like it makes too much sense, am I right?). Senators in opposition thought the millennium-old ideas from the Bible and Sharia were incompatible with a progressive 21st-century law. Rape and sexual violence are abound in Nigeria, where 39% of girls are married before age fifteen. Job discrimination is also prevalent, with many employers explicitly expressing preference for male candidates. Perhaps if women were included in Nigeria’s education system, legislators wouldn’t be fumbling around in the book of Genesis for legal guidance.
Maybe that Nigerian Prince who keeps emailing me can help?
Chicago Absorbs Taxes on Tampons
All women have ever asked for is to bleed 25% of the time—so it makes complete sense that we pay luxury taxes to do so (Heavy luxury tax with that heavy flow? No thanks.). Finally, thanks to the Chicago City Council, tampons and pads will now be considered medical necessities, reducing their cost by 1.25%. Although the savings may seem small, they have a magnified impact on those with limited budgets, including low-income women struggling to feed their families. The move will also have symbolic repercussions in signaling an end to legal inequity. To those wondering why such laws were enacted in the first place, President Barack Obama explained, “It's because men were making the laws when those taxes were passed.” So far, only five states have abolished taxes on menstrual products, though others are well on their way. Meanwhile in Indiana, you can’t get menstrual products tax-free, but you can enjoy all the tax-free barbecued sunflower seeds your heart desires.
Pro Tip: If you layover at O’Hare make sure to bring an extra suitcase.
Study: When Women Enter a Field, Wages Go Down
Attention those that identify as females: your very existence may be lowering the pay status of your occupation. A joint study by researchers at NYU, UPenn, and Israel’s University of Haifa have concluded that, “when women moved into occupations in large numbers, those jobs began paying lesseven after controlling for education, work experience, skills, race and geography.” Researcher Paula England suggests that the implicit notion that women are less skilled at certain jobs makes the jobs themselves seem less valuable. (Just look at the evidence: Enron, the recent recession, global warming—definitely caused by women’s incompetence and mismanagement.) Leading in wage decreases, researchers point to recreational fields like working in parks or leading camps, for instance, wherein median wages declined 57 percentage points in line with a shift from male to female. Last time I checked Leslie Knope did a lot more for Parks and Recreation than Ron Swanson, so shouldn’t salaries be going up rather than down?
This sounds like a case for Burt Macklin.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Far away, in a land long forgotten by gender equality, sits a man stealthily signing away reproductive rights. It’s once-hopeful presidential candidate John Kasich, enacting anti-abortion legislation at every opportunity. (Remember him? Polite mannered, amiable Governor of Ohio? He’s kind of overshadowed by more flagrant characters these days.) Michael Gonidakis, president of anti-abortion group Ohio Right to Life, has credited the state’s “golden era” of anti-abortion activism to Kasich. (It seems there can be a golden era for anything, apparently.) Since he entered office, half of the state’s abortion clinics have stopped providing abortions. Throughout his candidacy, though, Kasich has struck a moderate tone, shying away from pro-life rhetoric and focusing instead on his centrist-to-liberal views on Medicaid expansion, climate change, and immigration reform. We see you, Johnny, and we’re not fooled.
Just what we need: another rich white man telling us how to behave. James Altucher, hedge fund manager and entrepreneur, has written an article titled “How to Break All the Rules and Get Everything You Want,” which basically reads like a manual on white male entitlement. Skip lines, pretend to know people, use others’ reserved space. His motto is “Don’t break the laws. Don’t kill people. Don’t steal. But most other rules can be bent.” Which must be easy—unless you happen to belong to a group that lives with a real threat of being killed yourself (or harassed, raped, arbitrarily incarcerated, etc.). In other words, we’re thinking this is definitely recommended reading for wasted white dudes spring breaking in South Beach, but also worth a good eye roll or two if you’re while you’re on break at work.