Alaska’s first same-sex weddings have taken place - and they’re possibly the most remote gay weddings ever in the US.
The British Consulate General in Atlanta marched in the Atlanta Pride Parade on 12 October, becoming the first diplomatic mission to participate in the Atlanta Pride Festival’s 44-year history.
The University of Birmingham has launched a 2 year research project to ensure LGBT inclusivity on the curriculum.
"gender and sexuality are choices!"
well, yes, we should be working towards a society in which it wouldn’t matter if they were choices or not
but that will never change the fact that, no, gender and sexuality are not choices. stop screaming about how we should be able to choose for ourselves when we don’t, and that attraction and how one desires for their body to be is freely chosen. because they are not.
Sarah Silverman’s (NSFW) video for the National Women’s Law Center is intended to raise awareness about the wage gap for women, and has almost a million views in the week it has been up. As a feminist and as someone broadly committed to equality you would think I would be excited about this. But I am not, and as electradaddy's post (which spurred me to write this one) points out that while the intentions may be good, the outcome is a video that misses the mark in a big way.
The wage gap for women is very real, and very problematic. On average women earn 77% of what men do, and if they are women of color those numbers turn absolutely abysmal (64% and 55% for black or Latina women, it should be noted too that the race wage gap applies to men as well). Those are issues that need to be systematically addressed. All women deserve equal pay. All people deserve equal pay, and workplace protections.
The problem with the Sarah Silverman ad is that while its intention is humor - “hah, it is less expensive to become a man than it is to work as a woman” - it ends up coming across as insensitive and ignorant of the problems trans people face in the workplace. The reality is that trans people are twice as likely to be unemployed (regardless of their gender), are 4 times as likely to be making $10,000 or less per year than their cis-counterparts, 90% of trans people have either experienced harassment/mistreatment on the job or intentionally took steps to avoid that (ie. not coming out), and only have employment protection in 18 states (plus Washington DC). Oh, and as to financial gains from transition - while the studies are limited - the one that I have seen shows that trans women faced a 32% drop in wages post-transition, while trans men only gained 1.5%…hardly enough to overcome their 23% pre-transition wage gap. It should be noted, too, that gay/lesbian families experience poverty at twice the rate of heterosexual families.
All of the points on the wage gap in the video are striking, important, and in need of action. But focusing so much of the time and joke around a sex change (I might add, in a very trivial manner), makes this much harder to ignore - then say, if Silverman had just snapped her fingers and “become” a man mid-video. Surgery is not what defines someone’s gender identity (as the video implies), many trans people (like myself) do not seek it, and it is prohibitively expensive and inaccessible to many trans people who do want it. I have no problem with trans issues being the focus of comedy, but a group with a serious point, and especially one that is so devoted to issues of equality should have thought this one through a little bit more before going ahead with it. The NWLC did offer an apology, though not a great one, and the video and campaign still stand.
We should all keep talking about wage equality, but I hope that in the future it will not be at the expense of (needlessly) trivializing the experiences of trans people.