Call out the media on sexist commentary

Sexism Sells But We\'re Not Buying It Video CompilationThink sexism sells? Think it affects political commentary? So does the Women’s Media Center.

For the past few months, the center has monitored media comments made during the 2008 presidential campaign. What has it found? Outright sexism.

Along with partners such as the National Women’s Political Caucus and Media Matters, the Women’s Media Center put together a video compilation of some of the most sexist remarks that aired recently on television.

The center calls the video “Sexism Sells, But We’re Not Buying.” View it now.

Then join the center’s campaign against sexism in the media. 

Does quality education for girls put boys at risk?

Whose education is at risk — girls’ or boys’? Does ensuring a quality education for girls put boys at a disadvantage in the classroom?

The answer to those questions, according to the latest report from the American Association of University Women released today, is no.

The findings of Where the Girls Are: The Facts about Gender Equity in Education show that girls’ successes do not come at boys’ expense. Rather, when girls do better in school, so do boys.

While the 124-page report finds no evidence of a boys’ crisis, it does uncover large disparities in educational achievement by race/ethnicity and family income.

The AAUW report is the most comprehensive analysis to date on trends by gender, race/ethnicity and income in education.

The report received front page coverage in The Washington Post. You can also read it in the following publications:

Upcoming television programs that will feature the AAUW report include the “NewsHour with Jim Lehrer” and “To the Contrary” on PBS. The shows will  feature interviews with Linda D. Hallman, CAE, AAUW executive director.

Blogs featuring the AAUW report so far include Education Week’s Eduwonkette, the American Council on Education and Best Education Today.

Copies of Where the Girls Are may be downloaded free from the AAUW Web site. Read more about the issue on AAUW’s blog, Dialog.

PD writer goes public with rape story

In newspaper coverage, rape victims usually remain anonymous. But one woman, a Plain Dealer reporter, has gone public with her story.

Kudos to the Cleveland Plain Dealer and its editor, Susan Goldberg, for the paper’s outstanding 16-page special section on reporter Joanna Connors’ story, “Beyond Rape: A Survivor’s Journey ,” published Sunday, May 4.

The section includes the story of Connors’ 1984 rape and its after effects. It also includes facts about rape and details about where to find help.

Here’s how Connors’ story begins:

“I am Joanna Connors, and I am telling the story I kept private for 23 years. I’m doing it for all of the others who have survived sexual assault in silence, ashamed and afraid to tell their stories.”

Read more.


More on feminism, according to Jessica Valenti

Jessica ValentiDid you miss Jessica Valenti’s appearance on campus as part of Women’s History Month events in March? You can read more about it online.

Kiera Manion-Fischer, a staff writer for Kent State University’s feminist publication Artemis, read about Valenti’s visit to Akron on And she showed up to cover the UA Women’s Studies event.

You can read her story, “Rallying Feminist Bona Fides,” in the spring issue of Artemis, which is posted online. In it, Manion-Fischer gives Valenti’s take on online activism, the future of feminism and why it still matters.

Voinovich among 56 who voted against Fair Pay Act

Six Senate Republicans deserve a vote of thanks. They broke ranks with their party to join Democrats in supporting the Fair Pay Act last week. Ohio Senator George Voinovich was not among them.

He was one of 56 senators who voted against the legislation on April 23. Send him an e-mail to tell him what you think of his vote.

Of the three presidential candidates, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama supported the act. Republican John McCain was not present for the vote, but said he would have voted against it if he had been. While you’re at it, give him a piece of your mind, too.

Failure of the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act means it is still nearly impossible to enforce the provisions of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that guarantee equal pay for equal work.

We have the Supreme Court to thank for that. Last year, in the case of Ledbetter v. Goodyear, the court ruled that complaints of pay discrimination must be filed within 180 days of the first discriminatory paycheck.

And since it usually takes someone longer than six months to discover pay inequity,  the court’s ruling penalizes employees who aren’t paid fairly, while rewarding employers for keeping pay data hidden.

The Fair Pay Act would restart the 180-day clock with each discriminatory paycheck.

Read more about Ledbetter’s struggle. Read an opinion piece about the Senate’s failure in the New York Times.

Get details of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.