Friday, September 17, 2010

Health Care Reform Will Help Everybody

Enjoy this Guest Blog by Barbara O’ Brien

Many Americans assume the new health care reform act will benefit mostly the poor and uninsured and hurt everyone else, according to polls. As Matt Yglesias wrote, “Basically, people see this as a bill that will take resources from people who have health insurance and give it to people who don’t have health insurance.” Those who still oppose the reform say that people ought to pay for their own health care.

We all believe in the virtues of hard work and self-reliance, but these days it’s a fantasy to think that anyone but the mega-wealthy will not, sooner or later, depend on help from others to pay medical bills. And that’s true no matter how hard you work, how much you love America, or how diligently you take care of yourself. The cost of medical care has so skyrocketed that breaking an arm or leg could cost as much as a new car. And if you get cancer or heart disease — which can happen even to people who live healthy lifestyles — forget about it. The disease will not only clean you out; it will leave a whopping debt for your survivors to pay.

And the truth is, we all pay for other peoples’ health care whether we know it or not. When people can’t pay their medical bills, the cost of their health care gets added to everyone else’s bills and insurance premiums. When poor people use emergency rooms as a doctor of last resort, their care is not “free.” You pay for it.

Another common fantasy about medical care is that the “free market” provides incentives for medical companies to develop innovative new drugs and treatments for disease without government subsidy. It’s true that private enterprise is very good at developing profitable health care products. But not all medical care can be made profitable.

For years, the U.S. government has been funding medical research that the big private companies don’t want to do because there is too much cost for the potential profit. This is especially true for diseases that are rare and expensive to treat. An example of a recent advance made possible by government grants include new guidelines for malignant pleural mesothelioma treatment developed by Sloan-Kettering mesothelioma cancer researchers. Another is a blood screening test developed by mesothelioma doctors like thoracic surgeon Dr. David Sugarbaker. The health reform act provides for more dollars for such research, from which even many of the tea party protesters will benefit.

The biggest fantasy of all was that people who had insurance didn’t have to worry about health care costs. But the fact is that in recent years millions of Americans have been bankrupted by medical costs, and three-quarters of the medically bankrupt had health insurance. And yes, insurance companies even dumped hard-working, law-abiding patriots. But the health care reform act will put an end to that, and now America’s hard-working, law-abiding patriots are more financially secure, whether they like it or not.

The Zaftig Redhead. All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Rhode Tackles "THE BEAUTY BIAS: The Injustice of Appearance in Life and Law" in New Book

•Why, when over 1/6 of the population lacks access to basic health care, are cosmetic procedures the fastest growing medical specialty—with women accounting for 90% of the procedures?
•Why have beauty pageants for girls between the ages of 5-10 evolved into a billion dollar industry?
•Why, in representative surveys, have over half of young women reported that they would prefer to be hit by a car than be fat, and two-thirds would rather be mean or stupid?
Because we live in a culture of severe BEAUTY BIAS.

Deborah L. Rhode -- Legal Momentum Board Member and Ernest W. McFarland Professor of Law and the Director of the Center on the Legal Profession at Stanford University -- explores the answers to these questions, and addresses many other costly, time-consuming, and even deadly trends in THE BEAUTY BIAS: The Injustice of Appearance in Life and Law. In this sobering look at aesthetic demands in America, Rhode surveys the pervasive discrimination against people—many times women—over issues ranging from hairstyle to weight and beyond. "The kind of attention people once gave to the state of their souls," Rhode writes, "they now give to the state of their bodies. And too often, the result is far from constructive."

Drawing from both research and first-hand experience, Rhode tours the cut-that-throat-and-tighten-it effects of beauty obsession. We learn that:
•Attractive students receive more attention from teachers and classmates
•Overweight individuals are often assumed to have poor work habits
•Short males are penalized in hiring, promotion, and earnings
•Minorities spend billions in plastic surgery for Anglo-European features
•Waitresses can be restricted to specific weights, hairstyles and shoes, when it is rarely the case for their male counterparts

THE BEAUTY BIAS is a call to action, demanding we treat appearance "not just as an aesthetic issue, but as a legal and political one as well." Here, Rhode not only points out the flaws in current discrimination law, but offers a plan to temper America's ever-growing and destructive addiction to "beauty."
To learn more about the book, please visit THE BEAUTY BIAS: The Injustice of Appearance in Life and Law.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Unemployment Among Single Mothers Remains at Highest Level in Over 25 Years

(Washington, D.C.) -- Analysis by the National Women’s Law Center of August jobs data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) this morning reveals unemployment among single mothers remains at the highest level since the recession began.

“For millions of women and their families, there is no recovery yet,” said Nancy Duff Campbell, Co-President of the National Women’s Law Center. “Unemployment among single mothers has almost doubled since the recession began and is at the highest level in decades. Yet critically needed help for these vulnerable families will expire unless Congress acts soon.”

While the BLS data show little change in the unemployment rate among women and men overall for the past few months, a closer look reveals significant changes for some groups of women. Unemployment for women who head families increased to 13.4 percent in July and August from 12.1 percent in June. The 13.4 percent rate is almost twice the pre-recession rate of 6.9 percent in December 2007, and the highest unemployment rate for this particularly vulnerable group in over 25 years.

The picture for women of color is also bleak. Unemployment among African American women increased to 13.2 percent in August, up from 12.9 percent in July and 11.8 percent in June. Unemployment among Hispanic women dropped from 12.1 percent in July to 11.6 percent in August, but is still higher than the 11.0 rate in June.

Before leaving for the August recess, Congress extended enhanced unemployment benefits through November to help workers unemployed for six months or more and approved additional funding to states and localities for health care and education that will help stem further job losses and deeper cuts in public services. But Congress has yet to act on a more substantial jobs measure, the Jobs for America Act, additional funding for child care assistance, restored funding for child support enforcement, and an extension of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Emergency fund, which has allowed states to create jobs and provide emergency assistance to families.

“Families across the country are in crisis. Yet some members of Congress have been blocking measures to create jobs and help vulnerable families but urging the extension of costly tax breaks for millionaires,” Campbell said. “Congress needs to get its priorities right.”

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Since 1888, AAUW Has Provided More Than $80 Million to 11,000 Fellows, Grantees

WASHINGTON – AAUW will award $3.2 million in 2010–11 in support of 215 scholars, research projects, and programs promoting education and equity for women and girls. Building on its rich tradition of opening the doors of higher education and opportunity to women, AAUW has provided more than $80 million to 11,000 fellows and grantees from around the globe since awarding its first fellowship in 1888.

"In these tough economic times, when many nonprofits are cutting back on giving, we are proud that we can continue our generous support of exceptional women and worthwhile projects that benefit communities locally and abroad," said AAUW Executive Director Linda D. Hallman, CAE. "We are equally proud of the accomplishments of our outstanding former fellowship and grant recipients, who have impacted our nation and world in remarkable ways."

Past recipients of AAUW fellowships and grants include:

•Mahzarin Banaji, Harvard psychologist whose research on unconscious bias was featured in the 2010 AAUW report Why So Few? Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics
•Jenny Bramley, who was the first woman to receive a degree in physics from a U.S. institution and who went on to design cathode ray tubes, including those used in color televisions and early computer terminals
•Joyce Brothers, eminent psychologist
•Marie Curie, who received a $156,413 grant in 1920 to purchase one gram of radium for her experiments
•Judith Resnick, Challenger astronaut
•Susan Sontag, author, literary theorist, and political activist
This year's awardees represent an outstanding group of accomplished women scholars, researchers, and nonprofit and community leaders from more than 25 states and a dozen countries around the world.

AAUW fellowships are among the most competitive and offer one of the largest funding pools available exclusively for graduate-level women. Specifically, AAUW:
•provides vital financial support to graduate women preparing research for publication, advancing their careers, reentering the workforce, or changing careers to enhance their professional credentials and marketability in the academic world and the global workplace;
•targets funding to advanced studies in the traditionally male and higher-paying fields of science, technology, engineering, and math and supports women of color in fields in which they have traditionally been underrepresented;
•responds to the global development needs of women by awarding financial support to women from around the world to enable them to gain access to academic training and contribute to the economic and social development of their countries; and
•supports nonprofits and individuals in their efforts focused on women's and girls' educational and economic development, with a preference for STEM-related programming.
AAUW's fellowships and grants programs were highlighted on, which included AAUW on the 2010 Top-Rated Women's Empowerment Nonprofits List.

Longtime AAUW member Bets Brown wrote, "Just over 30 years ago, I was fortunate enough to receive from AAUW an American Fellowship for my doctoral dissertation. This grant allowed me to focus on my research without having to have a full-time job and, thus, shortened the time it took to complete my degree by one year. AAUW grants have impact. As the only woman in my graduate school class in marine sciences, I was impressed by the positive responses of professors and others when they learned of my having the AAUW grant. AAUW elevated my stature professionally."

To view the directory of fellowship and grant recipients, visit

To reach an award recipient, contact AAUW at 202/728-7602 or For information about sponsorship and endowments, contact

To apply, visit For application questions, contact

The Zaftig Redhead. All Rights Reserved.

Honor the Dead, Fight Like Hell for the Living: Front Pages from 9/12/01

Read and remember, via front pages from September 12, 2001, via the Newseum.

USA Today (“'Act of war'”)

N.Y. Times (“U.S. ATTACKED”)

Washington Post (“Hundreds Dead”)

N.Y. Post (“ACT OF WAR”)

N.Y. Daily News (“IT'S WAR”)

Chicago Tribune (“'Our nation saw evil'”)

L.A. Times

The (London) Times

The (London) Daily Telegraph “War on America”

Copyright 2010 (text only). The Zaftig Redhead. All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Young Women Now Less Likely to Work in Same Jobs as Men Wage Gap Continues Due to Occupational Segregation

WASHINGTON, DC - A new briefing paper from the Institute for Women's Policy Research charts occupational segregation since the early 1970s. Women continue to enter some high paying male-dominated professions, for example, rising from 4.0 percent to 32.2 percent of lawyers between 1972 and 2009, yet overall progress has stalled since 1996, according to one common measure, the Index of Dissimilarity. Slowing progress, women continue to dominate professions traditionally done by women, which typically pay less, accounting for over 95 percent of all kindergarten teachers, librarians, dental assistants and registered nurses in 2009.

A few occupations have witnessed a sharp reversal in desegregation, with women's share falling from over one-third to less than 21 percent of computer programmers since the late 1980s, and women's share of civil engineering declining from 13 percent in 2005 to just over 7 percent in 2009. Most troubling, young women experience more segregation today than they did a decade ago; since 2002, their Index has worsened by 6 percent, erasing nearly one-fifth of the improvement since 1968.

IWPR's Briefing Paper "Separate and Not Equal? Gender Segregation in the Labor Market and the Gender Wage Gap" analyzes data from the Current Population Survey on women's share of occupations from 1972 to 2009. Based on 2009 earnings data, it examines the relationship between median earnings and the gender composition of occupations, differentiating between occupations that are predominantly male, have a relatively even gender balance, and are predominantly female -- for low-skilled, medium-skilled and high-skilled fields.

“It is very likely that the stalled progress in integrating the labor market is contributing to the failure of the wage gap to close,” says Heidi Hartmann, President of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research.

Working in traditional female occupations can come at a steep price. Women are now proportionately more likely than men to have some years of post-secondary education. Yet, whether an occupation requires college level education or medium-level skills or is low-skilled, typically occupations that are predominantly held by women have lower median earnings than occupations with a more even gender balance or occupations predominantly held by men. There are important exceptions, particularly among medium-skilled occupations: dental hygienists, an occupation almost exclusively held by women, have higher weekly median earnings ($956) than occupations almost exclusively held by men such as electricians ($856) or carpenters ($665). Yet, while over 80 percent of dental hygienists have at least an associate degree, only one in five electricians, and even fewer carpenters, have similar levels of education. To achieve similar earnings, women have to acquire more formal education than do men.

"All workers are likely to do better if they have at least some post-secondary school qualifications. Yet while it is still possible without college to earn a decent wage in some male-dominated occupations, the same is not true in female-dominated occupations," says Ariane Hegewisch, a Study Director at the Institute for Women's Policy Research. "Almost as important as getting a qualification, however, is the field in which you qualify. A speech language pathologist--an occupation that is predominantly female--on average makes $1,153 per week, compared with a pharmacist--an occupation nearly half female--who receives median earnings of $1,841, a difference of close to $700 for a week of full-time work."

The difference in median earnings is not as big in absolute dollar terms for workers in low-skilled occupations. Yet working in a female-dominated, low-skilled occupation (the Bureau of Labor Statistics identifies nursing and psychiatric aides, maids and housekeepers and cleaners, and personal and home care aides as the largest occupations in this group) is much more likely to result in earnings close to the poverty threshold than working in low-skilled male dominated occupations (such as truck drivers, laborers and ground maintenance workers). Median weekly earnings in low-skilled, male-dominated occupations were $553 in 2009, compared with $408 in female-dominated occupations.

"Policy makers need to pay attention to the stalled progress in gender desegregation," says Robert Drago, Research Director for the Institute for Women's Policy Research. "Occupational segregation carries costs for the economy and employers by exacerbating skill shortages and causing reduced productivity. It also costs working families. Particularly in low-skilled jobs, working in an occupation predominantly held by women instead of one held by men, may be the difference between earning a poverty wage and earning a family supporting wage."

IWPR's research on occupational segregation and earnings is supported by the Ford Foundation, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, and the Rockefeller Foundation. The Institute for Women's Policy Research (IWPR) conducts rigorous research and disseminates its findings to address the needs of women and their families, promote public dialogue, and strengthen communities and societies. The Institute works with policymakers, scholars, and public interest groups to design, execute, and disseminate research that illuminates economic and social policy issues affecting women and their families, and to build a network of individuals and organizations that conduct and use women-oriented policy research. IWPR's work is supported by foundation grants, government grants and contracts, donations from individuals, and contributions from organizations and corporations. IWPR is a 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt organization that also works in affiliation with the women's studies and public policy programs at The George Washington University.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Dr. King vs Glenn Beck: An Info-Graphic

The Zaftig Redhead. All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

GO BUCKS! President Obama Gets the Buckeye Spirit

President Barack Obama helps spell out "O-H-I-O" with the Weithman family: Rachel, 9, Josh, 11, and mom Rhonda, in their home in Columbus, Ohio, on Aug. 18, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Ohio State 2010 Football Schedule

Thu, Sep 02 Marshall Columbus, Ohio 7:30 p.m. Alumni Band Day

Sat, Sep 11 Miami(FL) Columbus, Ohio 3:40 p.m.

Sat, Sep 18 Ohio Univ. Columbus, Ohio 12:00 p.m.

Sat, Sep 25 Eastern Michigan Columbus, Ohio TBA Hall of Fame

Sat, Oct 02 Illinois * at Champaign, Ill. TBA

Sat, Oct 09 Indiana * Columbus, Ohio TBA

Sat, Oct 16 Wisconsin * at Madison, Wis. 7:15 p.m.

Sat, Oct 23 Purdue * Columbus, Ohio 12:00 p.m. Homecoming

Sat, Oct 30 Minnesota * at Minneapolis, Minn. 8:00 p.m.

Sat, Nov 13 Penn State * Columbus, Ohio TBA

Sat, Nov 20 Iowa * at Iowa City, Iowa TBA

Sat, Nov 27 Michigan * Columbus, Ohio TBA

* Conference Games

The Zaftig Redhead. All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Mama Grizzlies Speak Out: Sarah Palin Doesn't Speak for Us!

"EMILY doesn't get mad....she gets ELECTED" (Gov. Jennifer Granholm [D-MI]). Check out the new rogues gallery of Palin's radical candidates -- and she called feminists a cackle of rads???

Sign the pledge today to vote in November and send the message loud and clear: Sarah, you do NOT speak for me.

The Zaftig Redhead. All Rights Reserved.