Job Bias Bills Pass the House: The House on Friday passed two bills related to sex discrimination and workers’ pay. From The New York Times:
One, approved 247 to 171, would give workers more time to file lawsuits claiming job discrimination.
The bill would overturn a 2007 decision by the Supreme Court that enforced a strict 180-day deadline, thwarting a lawsuit by Lilly M. Ledbetter, a longtime supervisor at the Goodyear tire plant in Gadsden, Ala. Three Republicans voted for the bill.
The other bill — passed 256 to 163, with support from 10 Republicans — would make it easier for women to prove violations of the Equal Pay Act of 1963, which generally requires equal pay for equal work.
President Bush threatened to veto both bills, saying they would “invite a surge of litigation” and “impose a tremendous burden on employers.”
The sentence that follows the Bush quote is the best: “Congress will not give him the opportunity.”
That’s because in less than two weeks there will be a new president in town who is enthusiastic about signing both bills.
Plus: Jill Miller Zimon has a good wrap-up and points to this NWLC page, from which you can contact your senator and urge support for these bills.
Health Issues at the Top of the List: Women’s eNews looks at the to-do list of the Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues. In addition to reintroducing a bill to address heart disease in women, the Caucus intends to focus on human trafficking, sexual and domestic violence against women, women in the military and the backlog of DNA evidence in rape cases.
Lesbian Health Day & Summit: Jan. 5 was Blog for Lesbian Health Day. In response, Jane, a community health nurse and nurse practitioner student who blogs at Fallacy Findings, wrote an excellent post that includes discussion of “lesbian neglect” — which “refers to the fact that many lesbians fail to get Pap smears, do not get them regularly, and/or do not think they need to get them” — and lesbian health as a much-needed topic in nursing and medical schools.
The blogging event was organized as a lead-up to the National Lesbian Health Summit 2009 taking place March 6-8. Organized by the Lesbian Health & Research Center at the University of California, San Francisco, among other groups, the summit “approaches health issues from the perspective of those who face disparities and discrimination and who also generate health and resilience everyday. We will engage in deep thinking and extended discussion to create new responses and innovative programming that reflect our lives.”
Should a TV Doctor be Surgeon General?: Well looks at what health and science blog are saying in response to the news that Sanjay Gupta, a neurosurgeon and CNN’s chief medical correspondent, is Obama’s pic for U.S. surgeon general. Rachel weighs in with some concerns. Here are more links from Shakesville.
The Easy-Bake Oven in My Vagina: Over at Womanist Musings, a reflection on motherhood, race and class includes this gem:
How many of you have run across the vagina equals Betty Crocker syndrome? If you have not, then you probably soon will. The education system seems to think that this is still 1950 and that mothers are at home with tons of time on their hands to participate in bake sales. This request is never gender neutral, even though Daddy has two perfectly good hands himself. Why is this still the norm when most women work a double day? Even if a woman is a stay at home mother how does a vagina translate into the ability to bake? Do I have an easy bake oven stashed somewhere in my vaginal opening that I was not aware of?
Pull Up a Chair: On my to-do list was to write about the blog The Kitchen Table, a dialog between Princeton University professors Melissa Harris-Lacewell and Yolanda Pierce. Miriam beat me to it and sums up why it’s an essential read.
In this post, Harris-Lacewell discusses violence against gays and lesbians, in the context of the movie “Milk” and the brutal gang rape of a woman who may have been targeted because she is openly lesbian. She writes:
As much as I appreciated Milk, the story has the unfortunate effect of reinscribing an image of gay identity as primarily white, male, urban, and childless. The American imagination of “gay people” as childless, white, men living in cities can render invisible lesbian mothers of color like the woman attacked in Richmond. [...]
Harvey Milk understood that “straight folks” needed to feel our interconnections with gay men and lesbians. We have to know that our destinies our intertwined. We cannot be a great and free country while we sanction violence against and degradation of our neighbors. I consider it a sacred and politically necessary task to speak out for the rights and equalities of others, because they are not truly other. We are all one.
Information on sending contributions or cards of sympathy and solidarity is also provided. Four suspects in the case were arrested last week.
Eye-Rolling Quote of the Week: Ann Coulter refers to single motherhood as “a recipe to create criminals, strippers, rapists, murderers.” Remind me again why she is considered a suitable interviewee?
The Deeper Truth: A new study that looked at the five most popular women’s magazines in Canada found that articles commonly portray cosmetic surgery as an empowering option that improves women’s emotional health, even though there’s no scientific consensus that it does anything of the sort. Here’s Reuters’ take, and the abstract:
Content analyses show the articles tend to present readers with detailed physical health risk information. However, 48% of articles discuss the impact that cosmetic surgery has on emotional health, most often linking cosmetic surgery with enhanced emotional well-being regardless of the patient’s pre-existing state of emotional health. The articles also tend to use accounts given by males to provide defining standards of female attractiveness.
Inside the Medicine Cabinet: Chicago Tribune health writer Julie Deardorff lists essential items to keep in your medicine cabinet (courtesy of the American College of Emergency Physicians) and chemicals found in personal care products that you might want to consider keeping out.
Look Your Best in the New Year: Writing in The New Yorker, Amy Ozol reveals her secrets to “a trim and attractive physique” in just nine easy steps. She spent years perfecting this system, as you can tell. A sampling:
Step 5: Surround yourself with thin people. This will naturally encourage you to emulate their healthy habits. Weigh your friends on a regular basis, then weigh yourself. Do you have a friend who weighs less than you? If so, consider gastric bypass surgery.