November 4, 2008

Maddow on New Poll Tax

Posted in activism, oppression, politics, social justice at 2:22 am by LB

Well, it’s been a while since my last post. I must say, I have been absolutely swamped with teaching (being the first time, and all), not to mention misc. things that have come up in the last month. I’ve had much to say, and not enough time to say it. Teaching, especially, has given me many blogging ideas from the kinds of questions and concerns my students have. I hope to rectify this soon…so readers, don’t go away!

I have also become somewhat of an election junkie, so I have been absorbed in the news. So many apologies, and I hope to be back to blogging regularly soon. So don’t forget to vote tomorrow!

Today my student asked me if I thought that a professor would let her leave class early to vote since she has class all morning and has to work immediately after. I told her what I thought, and I really felt for this student, who at 18 had the desire to vote, yet to do so meant hurting her at work or school. I teach at a community college, known for having significant percentages of students who work and attend school full time, and many are mature students returning to school for a better job. These student lead very complex, full lives and schedules.

I had that conversation in my head as I watched Rachel Maddow’s Live Sunday special (thank you, DVR!). I was incredibly moved by Maddow’s scathing characterization of the long, long early voting lines as a poll tax. I was moved because of the way that Maddow pleas with the audience–as voters, employers, public officials–to persevere to vote in this historic and all-important election, and then demand that we, as a nation, fulfill our democratic values and eliminate what is effectively a poll tax. I couldn’t agree with her more.

Watch her assessment here


May 1, 2008

A Humorous Critique of Voting One’s Identity

Posted in exnomination, gender, intersectionality, oppression, race and racism, U.S. politics at 8:26 pm by LB

A (humorous) reminder that women and black Americans (not to mention black women!) actually vote for who they think is the most qualified candidate– shocker, I know. And what a f*cking insult that the media persists in insinuating they don’t. And funny, no one appears to be asking white men voting for John McCain if they’re voting their gender or race. Oh that’s right, McCain gets to be an unmarked “candidate” while Senators Clinton and Obama are marked as sexed and racial ‘others.’

via feministing

(Cross-posted to The Reaction)

April 28, 2008

The Next Steps for Redressing Unequal Pay

Posted in economics, gender, oppression, patriarchy, social justice, U.S. politics at 9:58 am by LB

I don’t normally blog on equal pay. It is for sure not an area of expertise. I did a short post two weeks ago for Fair Pay Day, because I was so struck by the tangibility of the day in April where men’s and women’s wages would be equal, and how that day is so close to Tax Freedom Day. But it really isn’t an area I’m extremely knowledgeable about (as far as studies go), and I know that the notion of “equal pay” is often contested– studies often come to conflicting conclusions, people often don’t make their terms clear, and there are many different opinions as to who should get equal pay and what counts are equal pay.

These debates are not what this post is about. This is about the Fair Pay Act–the one that on the 23rd a motion to advance it was passed by a majority in the Senate, but didn’t get enough votes to have a debate and vote scheduled on the bill itself. It’s called the Lilly Ledbetter Act, and Suzanne Reissman has an excellent explanation about the history of the bill and what this bill is actually about–check it out here.

Regardless of whether you ‘believe’ that pay discrimination as a result of sexual identity exists or not, there is no reason not to support this bill–because the bill addresses the terms by which pay discrimination can be redressed–and if there is no pay discrimination, then the law won’t need to be utilized!

The next steps for advocating this bill is to contact your Senators. See the National Women’s Law Center for more information on pushing your Senator to get a debate and vote on the bill scheduled.

March 28, 2008

GOOD READ: Marginalized groups don’t have the same experiences, but that doesn’t make their fights invalid

Posted in Fat Acceptance, oppression, social justice at 6:18 pm by LB

Excellent post at Alas, A Blog about why comparing fat activism (or any other “lesser” discrimination) to anti-racism (or any other more “legitimate” discrimination) is misguided-that the fact that oppressions are different doesn’t make any fights against oppression invalid.

But so what? Being Black is not like being fat is not like being female is not like being queer is not like being disabled is not like being Asian is not like being trans is not like being poor is not like being…

No marginalized group’s experience is exactly like any other’s. No one’s experiences are interchangeable. But the legitimacy of fat activists’ complaints doesn’t depend on us showing our experiences are exactly like the black experience, or the lesbian experience, etc..

Read the whole post here.

(NOTE: Nothing more after the jump)