Friday, May 16, 2014

What We've Been Reading May 16, 2014

Happy Friday Everyone! Here is what we have been reading this week:

On Wednesday, the New York Times announced executive editor Jill Abramson would be leaving her post and would be replaced by Dean Baquet. The paper didn’t disclose a reason behind her departure, however the New Yorker is reporting Abramson found out she was paid significantly less than the former executive editor, Bill Keller. The New Yorker is also reporting she made less than a man who reported to her when she was managing editor. Immediately following the announcement, the media was fast to call Abramson “brusque” and “polarizing” but women at the paper admired her leadership qualities. This story highlights two issues affecting women across our country; penalization for demanding equal pay for equal work, and society’s
portrayal of women in high leadership positions against their male counterparts. Many women who reach the top are still paid less than their male peers. The highest paid female executives at S&P 500 companies still make 18 percent less than the men in these roles, on average. We hope successful women across all spectrums will stand up in a similar fashion as Abramson, and will push to change this inequality.

Speculation of presidential nominees for the 2016 election is already a main topic on multiple media outlets, and potential women candidates are no where to be found on the GOP roster. Republicans have failed to double their female ranks in the past three decades, while Democrats have six times the number representing them since 1980. This is a systematic problem in the GOP as studies have shown their outreach to women has been a weakness in elections mixed with a lack of qualified women running for state and federal legislature positions. The party currently has a  limited infrastructure that is designated to specifically recruit and support women. However many in the GOP believe that this is not enough. The party says they’re working to change this, but their progress has been stilted.Click here to learn more.  

According to The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza, women who look more traditionally feminine have a better chance of being elected to political office. He claims that, "Whether a female politician was going to win or lose an election could be predicted within just 380 milliseconds after participants were exposed to her face." The outcome of this research is unfortunate and proves that voters place increased importance on the physical aspects of a woman in comparison to that of a man. Such a focus on normative femininity in American politics should stand as motivation for women everywhere to prove their worth through action instead of physical appearance.

We love this article from PolicyMic entitled “Dear American Women, You Are Being Lied To”. Zerlina Maxwell of PolicyMic debunks negative stigmas that surround women in our society and serve to limit their accomplishments. She explains that, “These pernicious inaccuracies have been perpetuated by a society still steeped in the sexism of years past. But better data and forward-thinking research, not to mention the examples set by women in countries around the world, are proving these stereotypes wrong. And it's high time we started paying attention.” We agree, and continue to work to prove that such impoverished ideas must come to an end.  

In International News, the Women of the Senate officially banded together  to help find the almost 300 missing Nigerian schoolgirls.  On Tuesday evening, all 20 female senators gathered for a private dinner with Secretary of State John Kerry during which, according to several present, they pushed to have the United Nations designate Boko Haram as a terrorist organization and urged the State Department to consider assistance to the Nigerian government by providing a team of Special Forces to locate and rescue the girls; and to coordinate the search for the girls on an international front. We hope this bipartisan initiative is effective and helps to “Bring Back Our Girls.”  Our hearts go out to the families of the victims and we hope for their loved ones’ safe return.