What News is Good News?

In today’s increasingly-heated political climate, a lot of the political discourse and rhetoric has grown more and more extreme.  Hot-button issues like abortion, marriage equality, and stem cell research continue to divide us and stir us up.  As a result, hot-button issues dominate the news headlines day in and day out.  News organizations like FOX News and MSNBC capitalize on the division of our country with often-extreme views and coverage that reflects them. 

However, it is important to realize that most of America’s major news outlets, which include FOX, MSNBC, CNN, various talk radio stations, websites like Yahoo! News and newspapers like the Wall Street Journal, among many others, are major corporations that own the vast majority of American media outlets, and they are out to make money.  Because they want to make money, these news organizations tend to disproportionately cover hot-button issues that provoke and incite the public, and they often do so from extreme viewpoints.  It makes sense: the more people talk about these issues, the more they will use the news media to try to keep informed.  But, from these news outlets’ perspectives, readers/listeners/viewers are all consumers.  Therefore, news outlets capitalize on the divisiveness of issues that often do not have any significant impact on everyday life.  Additionally, depending on the news source, the coverage is often biased.

So, what do we do about it?  Frankly, outside of massive boycotts that are not likely to occur, we can’t do much to stop it.  But, we can take measures to inoculate ourselves against it.  A great way to start is by relying on multiple news sources, not just one.  If you read a story on CNN, try to find a story on the same topic from, say, FOX and Yahoo! too.  Cross-referencing like this will help you gain a more complete understanding of an issue, and from there you can make a better judgment.  Another tactic you can use is to look at news organizations that are either from other countries like the BBC, or nonprofit news organizations like NPR.  Since these organizations are not major American corporations, they have a lot more leeway to be less biased, and in my humble opinion, they usually are.

I am not saying that outlets like CNN, MSNBC, FOX News, or Yahoo! are evil or not worth utilizing.  I’m only saying that you should never rely on one of them by themselves.  Think of it in another way: if you wanted to buy a 72” HDTV, would you visit only one store and pay whatever their price is, knowing that store really wants your money?  I personally would compare prices among a few different stores, and then make a decision based on a more complete set of information.  News in America is the same way: if you always do your due diligence and check multiple sources, you’ll find that you are much better informed and that you can make a better judgment.


Parental Alienation Syndrome

This week I am blogging about a subject of interest to someone close to me and one that has become quite controversial lately called Parental Alienation Syndrome. Some believe it does not exit, but I believe my family has been suffering from it for the past few years. A close family member of mine that went through a divorce has been suffering from this. He is a great dad and did not cause the divorce at all, but the mother has totally turned the daughter against her dad for no reason, even to go so far as to lie to her about her father and make her feel guilty for spending time with him, when he has done nothing wrong. She as a child does not want her mother to abandon her so complies with everything her mother tells her. She wants to please her mother so she turns against her father when there is no other reason to do so. When my parents got divorced my father did this to my brother and I but not to the extreme in the case of my family member. He made us feel guilty about spending time with my mother and constantly tried to turn us against her. I couldn't see it then, because I was only a teenager but now looking back I see how wrong the situation was.

There are different levels of this syndrome you can find here with descriptions. I know it is thought by some organizations to be used as a legal defense for fathers in abuse cases, but I do think it is a credible syndrome that deserves to be recognized.


30 Things Every Woman Should Have And Should Know by 30

I have seen this list dozens of times and always wondered where it originated from and was thrilled to see it reprinted! The below Huffington Post article explains the background and of course gives us access to this list of 30 things all women need before they are 30! What do you think about the list? What would you add, what would you take away?!?!?!

Turning 30: 30 Things Every Woman Should Have And Should Know 
Huffington Post
April 24, 2012

In 1997, Glamour magazine published a story titled "30 Things Every Woman Should Have and Should Know by the Time She's 30." The list, written by Pamela Redmond Satran, was so popular that women started emailing it around, misattributing it to various female luminaries including Maya Angelou and Hillary Clinton. Noting what a phenomenon it had become, the editors of Glamour created a book around it, featuring essays from (mostly) famous women on each of the items on the list. The book, released today, includes meditations from Katie Couric on work and love, Portia de Rossi on accepting your body, and one from the list's original author, who is also a Huffington Post blogger, on how to live alone.
Because the list still makes us so, so happy, we asked Glamour's permission to reprint it here:
By 30, you should have ...
1. One old boyfriend you can imagine going back to and one who reminds you of how far you’ve come.
2. A decent piece of furniture not previously owned by anyone else in your family.
3. Something perfect to wear if the employer or man of your dreams wants to see you in an hour.
4. A purse, a suitcase, and an umbrella you’re not ashamed to be seen carrying.
5. A youth you’re content to move beyond.
6. A past juicy enough that you’re looking forward to retelling it in your old age.
7. The realization that you are actually going to have an old age -- and some money set aside to help fund it.
8. An email address, a voice mailbox, and a bank account -- all of which nobody has access to but you.
9. A résumé that is not even the slightest bit padded.
10. One friend who always makes you laugh and one who lets you cry.
11. A set of screwdrivers, a cordless drill, and a black lace bra.
12. Something ridiculously expensive that you bought for yourself, just because you deserve it.
13. The belief that you deserve it.
14. A skin-care regimen, an exercise routine, and a plan for dealing with those few other facets of life that don’t get better after 30.
15. A solid start on a satisfying career, a satisfying relationship, and all those other facets of life that do get better.

By 30, you should know ...
1. How to fall in love without losing yourself.
2. How you feel about having kids.
3. How to quit a job, break up with a man, and confront a friend without ruining the friendship.
4. When to try harder and when to walk away.
5. How to kiss in a way that communicates perfectly what you would and wouldn’t like to happen next.
6. The names of the secretary of state, your great-grandmothers, and the best tailor in town.
7. How to live alone, even if you don’t like to.
8. Where to go -- be it your best friend’s kitchen table or a yoga mat -- when your soul needs soothing.
9. That you can’t change the length of your legs, the width of your hips, or the nature of your parents.
10. That your childhood may not have been perfect, but it’s over.
11. What you would and wouldn’t do for money or love.
12. That nobody gets away with smoking, drinking, doing drugs, or not flossing for very long.
13. Who you can trust, who you can’t, and why you shouldn’t take it personally.
14. Not to apologize for something that isn’t your fault.
15. Why they say life begins at 30

What's on your personal list of things to have and know -- and possibly do -- before turning 30?
List excerpted from Glamour's "Thirty Things Every Woman Should Have and Should Know By The Time She's 30."

Read and excerpt from the book here.


Use YOUR Voice

It's officially spring which means it is time to take it to the streets!

We remember a few months back around Christmas time when the right wing media declared a "War on Christmas". It appears that the same media sources have declared a "War on Women". A simple google search yields several public statements that critique women's rights to income, maternal health, and their children's education. The criminalization of of women's rights are being brought to the forefront in our courts, our legislators' office, and our television. All of which are meant to protect and educate us and are funded by our dollars and time. The only means to create change is for the grassroots to utilize our voices and demand the change that we are entitled to as our rights, as women - together.

One week from today is the UNITE WOMEN CT RALLY. This is YOUR chance to Stand up! Speak out! Vote! Music, dance, and speakers will entertain you and your children at Bushnell Park (by the Capital) from 10-2.

For More Information: http://now-ct.org/local-events-and-ways-to-get-involved/


Interview with Lilly Ledbetter

In honor of Pay Equity Day, which was on Tuesday, here is an interview with the woman who has been out there fighting for equal pay for us women. If you go to the article, you can hear the interview with her.

Equal Pay--Will We Ever Get There? An Interview with Lilly Ledbetter

Posted: 04/15/2012 4:35 pm

by Martha Burk,
Money Editor, Ms. magazine; director, Corporate Accountability Project, National Council of Women's Organizations

April is the month every year when the paychecks of women working full-time, year-round catch up with what men earned by the previous December 31. This year it's April 17.

There are a number of causes for the pay gap, including job segregation (so-called "men's jobs" pay more than "women's jobs") and the fact that working moms are often seen as less serious or less reliable, despite solid evidence to the contrary.

But plain old sex discrimination plays a big part. Lilly Ledbetter found out the hard way after 19 years at Goodyear, when she learned she had been underpaid all along compared to men doing the same job. She sued -- and won in lower courts. But the Supreme Court overturned 40 years of precedent when it ruled against her in the now-infamous Ledbetter v. Goodyear case, saying she should have complained earlier -- even though she didn't know about the discrimination.

The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act restoring the previous standard (a victim has 180 days to complain beginning when she learns about the discrimination) was the first law President Obama signed. Ledbetter's new book Grace and Grit chronicles her struggle and the aftermath. I interviewed her this month for my radio show Equal Time With Martha Burk.

MB: When did you go to work for Goodyear?

LL: I was hired in 1979. There were 5 of us in the group, 2 female.

MB: How did you find out after 19 years that you were making less than the men doing the same job and in some cases with less seniority?

LL: An anonymous note -- a little piece of paper with my salary and 3 male co-workers. I knew it was correct, because my numbers were there to the penny. The first thing that hit me was devastation, humiliation. Then I thought about how many hours of overtime I had worked and not been compensated for what I was legally entitled to, and how hard it had been on my family struggling to pay the mortgage, education, doctor bills. We had done without quite a bit. And this was not right. I didn't know how I could through my 12 hour shift.

MB: Did you leave the plant and go home?

LL: No, I finally got my composure. Halfway through my night shift it hit me. My retirement, my 401(k), and someday my Social Security all were dependent on what I was making -- and that's another tremendous loss.

MB: Did you go to the company and complain?

LL: I had already been to the company recently, because there were rumors, and I wanted to know where I stood. They told me "you're just listening to too much B.S.. Your salary is fine." Later my lawyer found out that for many years I had been paid below the minimum for the job I was doing.

MB: It had to be a hard decision to file a suit, and risk retaliation or even getting fired.

LL: Yes, I thought about it. But I decided I could not let a major corporation do me this way, and not stand up for myself. I went straight to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission closest to my home.

MB: You've said that one of the most important pieces of advice you can give to women in this situation is "don't hold back, tell the investigators as much detail as you can, and document as much as you can."

LL: That's absolutely correct. It's very hard -- you feel like you're being a complainer and a whiner, and that's actually the reputation you get when you do file a charge. But you should open up and tell everything. I was shunned by co-workers.

MB: You were transferred to another job where you had to lift heavy tires all day. You were over 60 years old. Wasn't that retaliation for filing the charge, which is against the law?

LL: Yes, but I lost that part and also an age discrimination complaint.

MB: The State of New Mexico has a rule that any company applying for a state contract has to file a gender pay equity report showing pay statistics for men and women in each job category. Would that have helped you?

LL: Absolutely. I thought because Goodyear was a federal contractor they would be following the law. But that turned out not to be the case, and I couldn't find out.

MB: What would your advice be to women who might be considering filing a complaint?

LL: Do your research on salaries in your area. Do not take anything for granted, and document everything. Discrimination is alive and well today. You cannot afford to work any length of time accepting less money, because you can never catch up.


Women and the Economy: Looking Back and the Road Ahead

Interesting article on the Huffington Post.

When it comes to discussing the American economy, gender is not something that naturally springs to the front of the conversation. The status of job creation and small businesses is less than fantastic, and women are typically not included in the general dialogue. On April 6th, women from all walks of the business world joined together to engage in a conversation organized by the White House Council on Women and Girls. In attendance were numerous women business owners and academics, and President Barack Obama delivered remarks on his involvement in promoting programs that positively effect women in the economy.

Among the facts included in the White House report "Keeping America's Women Moving Forward: The Key to an Economy Built to Last" is that 16,000 women-owned small businesses received funding totaling $4.5 billion in loans from the Small Business Administration and its intermediaries.

As President Obama said:

Today, more than ever before, women are playing a central role in the American economy.

American women own 30% of small businesses... consequently, when women still face barriers to participation in the workplace and marketplace, that is not just a women's issue... when women entrepreneurs continue to have a harder time accessing the capital they need to start and sustain their businesses, create new jobs, sell new products, that hurts our entire economy. According to the second annual State of Women-Owned Businesses Report, commissioned by the American Express OPEN Forum, It is estimated that there were more than 8.3 million women-owned businesses in the United States, generating nearly $1.3 trillion in revenue and employing nearly 7.7 million people. The growth in the number (up 54 percent), employment (up 9 percent) and revenues (up 58 percent) of women-owned firms over the past 15 years exceeds the growth rates of all but the largest, publicly-traded firms.

The numbers tell the story. Yet the most compelling storytellers are the women entrepreneurs themselves. One after another spoke of the trouble they encountered accessing capital, of the benefits of mentorship and networking and of the pride they take in serving as role models for their children. There were women who were about to take the companies they founded public and those who were opening a second or third location, as well as sole proprietors eager to find appropriate growth strategies. From the CEO of a shoe company to the head of a group of bed and breakfasts to online specialty retailers, jewelry makers, chocolatiers, bag makers, party hosts and distribution and construction company owners, they were there to share their experiences and learn from one another. Strategies varied, but the truth was the same: as far as we've come, there is so much more to do.


Beauty Paradox?

Ashley Judd is fighting back, standing up to her critics, calling attention to their terrible comments regarding her "puffy face" and I am so glad she did! To someone not in the spotlight, I cant imagine having my every move tracked, let alone being photographed while sick and puffy from my medicine, seriously not my idea of a great day. I can't blame her for being angry!

But more importantly, thanks to her Ashley turning the tables, this situation has brought attention to a much larger issue, as women are we our own worst enemies when it comes to beauty, are we responsible for this movement of perfection in society by feeding into it? Have we set ourselves up to constantly face an airbrushed version of ourselves, that we think we should look like, but realistically cant attain? Are young women afraid of aging, afraid of keeping wrinkles and losing that image of perfection? Even worse, were the women journalists who accused Ashley Judd of going under the knife, more at fault than their male counter parts, lending to the perfection beauty craze even more? The below article by Dr. Vivian Diller takes a look at how this beauty paradox is effecting women in our perfection obsessed culture. how do you feel about the beauty paradox?

Ashley Judd And The Beauty Paradox: A No-Win Situation For Women?

Huffington Post

Vivian Diller Ph.D.

Amazing how the face of one beautiful woman can set off a firestorm, igniting a torrent of emotions far beyond simply "has she or hasn't she?" Welcome to what I call the "Beauty Paradox."

Ashley Judd's recent response to the media frenzy regarding her "puffy face" was as intriguing to me as the thousands of comments that her allegedly altered appearance provoked. As a psychologist who writes about women in contemporary culture, I heard her very public angry reaction (as well as the "nasty, vitriolic" comments that started it all) -- as more complicated than meets the eye.

In an interview on NBC's Rock Center, Judd attributed her puffiness to steroids, prescribed to treat an unyielding sinus infection. She described how women like her can't win; they are accused of having 'work' done when they look good and criticized when they don't. She said she had enough of what she called a "pointedly nasty, gendered and misogynistic" conversation about femininity in our culture. Exasperated by what she described as "incessant," and "physical objectification," she pleaded with women to stop being their own worst enemies.

But was her outrage just about being misperceived? Doth she protest too much -- is she possibly ashamed? If not of herself, then of her peers? Maybe even afraid of being caught? As for those rising to judgment, what do women really feel when celebs today get 'work' done -- or choose not to? Curiosity? Disappointment? How do women feel when they don't have the same cosmetic choices as celebs do? Longing? Envy? Perhaps we also protest too much?

This is not the first time a female celebrity has been outspoken about the negativity provoked by being in the public eye. Kate Winslet, Rachel Weisz and Emma Thompson took a stand against their images being overly photoshopped. Eager to separate themselves from those more than willing to have their wrinkles and age spots airbrushed away, they started a movement called the "Anti-Cosmetic Surgery League." While many supporters agreed -- digital alteration had gone too far -- it created strong and mixed reactions. Some said that only young and beautiful women could afford to take such a stand. Cynics were convinced these celebs would have a change of heart as they aged in front of the camera. And there were many on the other side of the camera who were not convinced that people used to seeing beauty as perfection in the media would be receptive to the idea.

Remember how the blogosphere was filled with mixed emotions when Jane Fonda confessed to another round of plastic surgery a couple of years ago? That ambivalence was felt by the actress as well. On her own blog she wrote, "I got tired of not looking like how I feel," and admitted, "I wish I'd been brave enough not to do anything." Fonda had sworn off more such alterations, but clearly her resolve wore down as she exclaimed "Jowels Away!" Far from feeling victorious, Fonda's means of dealing with looking older seemed to evoke feelings of failure. In her biography, "The Private Life of a Public Woman," her five decades of struggle for success are described as a mirror for the complicated feelings facing a generation of women.

Anger, surprise and more were felt when Rush Limbaugh once touched on the topic of Hillary Clinton's looks on his radio show. During her run for the Democratic presidential nomination, Limbaugh asked, "Will Americans want to watch a woman get older before their eyes on a daily basis?" The comment incensed those who questioned how far we had really come if being fit for office required a youthful appearance. On the other hand, many wondered if Limbaugh had a point. Would our media-driven political world be more focused on her aging process than her policies? We saw how things worked in the opposite direction when Sarah Palin was nominated -- some believing her youthful good looks kept her in the race longer than many believed was deserved.

And how comfortable would Clinton have been had she actually made it to presidency? Many wonder how she deals with that scrutiny now. Not even the Secretary of State is immune to the feelings provoked by constantly being in the public eye. Comments about her face, hair and clothes are non-stop. In "Waiting for Dr. Hoffman" a play by Michele Willens, a character awaiting a face lift says, "Every time I see Hillary, I think how much better she would look if she had some work done. Only then do I think what a great job she's done." Hearts go out to Clinton as she bears not only the burden of wars waged against unfriendly nations, but the one she wages against our beauty obsessed society.

Yet, how would we really feel if Hillary decided to experiment with a nip and tuck during a break from her worldly duties? Or if we found out that Michelle Obama routinely used botox to keep her skin looking smooth. What if Meryl Streep revealed that she had her eyes lifted -- the surgical procedure her character fled from in "It's Complicated." Would we be disappointed? Surprised? Angry? Or resigned, as in "sure, just like the home runs hit by those men on steroids." Being in the public eye means these complicated questions will be raised.

Take the admission by British actress Helen Mirren, who openly shared her thoughts about going under the knife. She said, "if I wasn't on camera, I would have done it years ago, I'd think about it even more if I was in a different profession... it's the full-on for me. Suck it all up, tie it up and cut it all off." Women all around the world had strong emotional responses. Some were relieved -- even Helen thinks about cosmetic surgery! Some were disappointed -- no, not her too! Many thought that her very consideration had let down an entire generation of women hoping she would be one of the last holdouts.

So this is my point. If you choose to be in the public eye, as does Judd, you chose to reflect the complicated feelings that lie behind those many eyes. Judd called it a double bind. I call it the "Beauty Paradox" and it is wreaking havoc not just among celebrities, but with everyday women as well.

We are a generation brought up to be true to ourselves and to be proud of our accumulated years of experience. Yet we're encouraged to hide those years when they show up on our faces. On one hand, we criticize those who choose surgical intervention, often dismissing them as weak and inauthentic, as if they have personally betrayed the lofty goals we worked so hard to achieve. As a culture, we have begun to applaud those who go 'au-natural,' even root for them as they struggle against pressures to look young and perfect. On the other hand, it's this very same culture that sends the opposite message; be authentic and you risk losing your job, your mate or even worse, you may become invisible! It's a catch 22.

The fact is, being a woman in today's youth and beauty obsessed culture is challenging. We need to allow ourselves -- as well as those in the public eye -- to come to terms with it all in our own way. With a little less criticism, judgment, shame and disappointment, we could make the journey easier on us all, turning a no-win situation, into one where we feel victorious simply for dealing openly and honestly with a complicated cultural phenomenon.

What do you think about the double bind women face today? Do you see a way out of it?


Can you negotiate like Mad Men's Peggy Olson?

This article analyzes one of my favorite scenes from last Sunday's episode of the television show, Mad Men. When I watched it, I thought to myself: Yeah, that's how you do it. It was a good lesson on how to seize an opportunity to empower yourself-- in whatever way you want to. The article below makes some interesting points. Power to us Peggy-s!

Mad Men's "Peggy Olson"

In the last episode of Mad Men, Peggy is asked to work through the weekend on a copywriting project for a client.

Roger, ever the acerbic piranha, tosses 10 bucks her way for her, um, effort, and the lie he wants her to tell.

Peggy seizes the opportunity to exact a better deal.

That is, 400 bucks.

Here’s how it went down:

Peggy: Hold on a second. You want me to work up an entire corporate image campaign for 10 bucks?

Roger: I can make you do it for nothing. I’m the boss.

Peggy: You’re right. The work is $10. The lie is extra.

Roger: Incredible. What do you make a week, sweetheart?

Peggy: Oh, you don’t know. That’s helpful…

Roger; You know, I could fire you.

Peggy: Great. There are some portfolios in Joan’s office. You could find someone tonight.

Roger: Why are you doing this to me?

Peggy: Because you’re being very demanding for someone who has no other choice. Dazzle me.

Roger: Fine. How much do you want?

Peggy: How much you got?

Roger: $400.

Peggy: Give me all of it.

Roger: Jesus. (Hands $$ to her) This better be good.

Peggy: You want me to take your watch?

Boy, Peggy’s come a long way baby.

To put this in perspective, $400 in 1965 would be worth about $2800 today using the consumer price index inflation calculator.

That means Peggy increased Roger’s chump-change offer of around $75 by a factor of 37.

I call that a good ol’ boy negotiation.



Some might call it unladylike and unprofessional.

A little flirting, pressuring, threatening and extorting.

If the tables were turned, however, Roger would be called a baller, and he’d have a new accolade to add to his collection.

Peggy didn’t have negotiation training. It’s been clear from the start that she’s learned everything she needs to know about competing in a man’s world by the seat of her pants.

It’s that experience that has given her, by season four, such hard-won confidence in her abilities.

Still, in the same episode in which she so masterfully turns the tables on Roger, she worries about being “manly.”

She knows she can be replaced, albeit not on a Friday night, and not by someone who has her chops and institutional knowledge.

Opportunity was the mother of her invention, and negotiation made it worth her while.

Was Peggy secretly always this good?

Here’s another negotiation scene from season two in which Peggy uses irritation coupled with self-promotion to escape the office she’s been forced to share with a Xerox machine.

Peggy: I don’t know if you’re aware, but I brought in the popsicle account today. On my own [...]. I need my own office.

It’s hard to do business and be credible when I’m sharing the office with the Xerox machine. Freddy’s office has been vacant for some time and I think I should have it.

Roger: It’s yours.

Peggy: Really?

Roger: You young women are very aggressive.

Peggy: I didn’t mean to be impolite.

Roger: No it’s cute…there are 30 men out there who didn’t have the balls to ask me.

Season Two Peggy voiced her concerns about her “place” at the advertising agency out loud.

Season Four Peggy makes demands without apology, only later, after a few too many drinks with one of the new secretaries does she worry about being too “manly.”

Workplace performance expectations of women, by women and for women are still bollixed up with mixed desires to be winning, competitive, helpful, productive and strong without the gender “blow back” most women experience when they’re self- rather than other-serving.

Women suffer most by not asking in the first place. We suffer again when we fail to ask for reciprocity in exchange for extraordinary efforts.

Over time, this can make very attractive doormats of us.

To be sure, most of us, man or woman, would be on shaky ground “extorting” our bosses for cash. Then again, the boys on the golf course do it to one another all the time.

So, what do you think would be a fair exchange in today’s workplace for a desperate Roger-request?

Do you worry that your negotiating style will brand you as the word that rhymes with witch?

What “unreasonable” requests have you made lately?


The Wage Gap + Women's Political Agenda

How the Wage Gap Thwarts Women's Political Agenda

Bryce Covert
, Contributor

The gender gap in voting is the latest hot topic after a USA Today poll showed Obama leading women voters over Romney by 18 points in key swing states. But there’s another gender gap when it comes to election season, and this one doesn’t work in women’s favor: women are being completely outspent by men in campaign contributions.

This isn’t a new trend. While women have been slowly working on increasing our numbers in Congress – even though our representation is far, far from equal – there hasn’t been equal progress in women donating to Congressional candidates, the Center for Responsive Politics reports. Campaign contributions have long been a boy’s club, although women made advances when both Clintons made their runs.

The problem isn’t just limited to Super PAC spending, however. The Chronicle reports, “Overall, women, who make up slightly more than half the population, account for about one-third of contributions to candidates, parties and political action committees.” For example, in the 2010 midterms women were only about a quarter of donors to House Democrats and 28 percent of those to Senate Dems.

Why this huge gulf in spending? Do women just care less about politics? Given the immense power the gender gap in voting has given Democrats in recent cycles, that seems unlikely. The real problem is pretty simple: we just have less money to spend than men do. Women are still making 77 cents to a man’s dollar. They also rarely make it into the top paying ranks of American companies. They only account for 7.5 percent of top earners in Fortune 500 companies. That’s in part because they are so underrepresented in the C-suite: they are only 20 percent of executive officers and board members at those companies and a measly 3.6 percent of CEOs. Not to mention that we get charged more for products from deodorant to health care, so that money doesn’t stretch as far.

Our spending numbers are also likely depressed in this cycle because of the battering we’ve taken during the recovery. Women have only gotten about one-third of the roughly 200,000 jobs added in January and February, and just as recently as August they were even losing jobs. That’s why while men’s unemployment rate has improved slightly, women’s has gone up.

On top of all of this, the reasons we give are completely different. Men are giving money to gain access to politicians, but when women give we do it because of certain policy issues. A man is typically a “transaction donor,” Sherry Merfish, who spent 20 years working for EMILY’s List, told the Chronicle. “Women are very different for the reason they give. They are not giving for access, they are giving for results.”

But if we want to push our agenda, we have to wield political money like a tool. Women don’t just have a problem of representation. Our agenda – our rights, needs, and viewpoints – is far less likely to make it onto the agendas of the officials we elect to office if we don’t use money to make it important. We’ll be outmaneuvered by men if we keep being outspent.

State Officials: Connecticut Is Best State For Women To Work, Live

A recent report shows that CT is the best state for women to live and work. The report compares how women fare in all 50 states in the areas of healthcare coverage, education, economic wellbeing, parenting, support systems and the percentage of women in elected office.


Hartford Courant
2:34 p.m. EDT, April 1, 2012
HARTFORD, Conn. — State officials say data gathered from a variety of sources show that Connecticut is the best state for women in which to live and work.

The state Permanent Commission on the Status of Women and U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal are scheduled to release details of the findings on Monday at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford.

Officials say data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the National Council of State Legislatures and several other sources show Connecticut women do better overall than their counterparts in all other states in terms of health care coverage, education and economic well-being.

Blumenthal will be joined by state lawmakers and women's advocacy groups to discuss the report's details on Monday.