Friday, April 18, 2008


Happy Anniversary to Cara at the Curvature!

Equal Pay Day!

Blog for Fair Pay
It's Blog for Equal Pay Day, and there's already a lot of information going up all over my favorite blogs about the actual law on pay discrimination, negotiation techniques, general musing, etc. It's hard to see what I could add to the topic, so I've made a really little list of some places that might help you to find out what you should be making. I think one of the biggest barriers to pay equity (besides, oh, asshole employers), is that people are discouraged from talking about their respective pay rates. It's very difficult to find out what other people where you work make! Even if there isn't a company gag rule on salary comparison, many people feel that it's rude and an invasion of privacy to be asked.

So! Here are a couple websites that I hope will help!

From the Bureau of Labor Statistics
Job Star
Salary Scout
Economic Research Institute

Thursday, April 17, 2008

White Privilege and Responsibility, Pt. 1

It's amazing how much this topic has come up in my life lately. I mentioned in the previous post that I ended up talking about white privilege and responsibility at a recent dinner party, and just last night at work, responsibility was the watchword again. A coworker of mine is in a same-sex relationship, and she said that she can't be angry anymore. That if she spends all of her time fighting people who treat her as though she is something horrible, fighting people who want to keep her from being able to enjoy the rights that those in opposite-sex relationships enjoy, fighting people who would stamp her out of existence if they could, then all she will do is be angry all the time and it would destroy her. This came up, because I was talking about it being a responsibility to confront "isms" when they meet you, and I then had to clarify. It is not the responsibility of the oppressed group to do the confronting. They hold up that end every day by simply being who they are. It is the responsibility of the group in power to speak up and stand up. Silence is alliance. Pure and simple.

Today, Brownfemipower posted this, which I think sums up my feelings on the Marcotte debacle:

white feminists bear a responsibility (that they are NOT accepting and in fact are actively rejecting) to negotiate power and create spaces (while working alongside or a step behind marginalized communities) in which power is de-centralized

Of the blogs that I love, very, very few of them have responded in a way that I think comes close to addressing the issue here. Feministing has to be my favorite blog ever, and I was crestfallen at the response by the bloggers over there. By continuing to focus on plagiarism, which was never, ever, the issue, they dodge any real responsibility. Is Marcotte a plagiarist? No. Was that the problem? No. Anyone who paid attention to what BFP was saying would know the issue was responsibility and feminist community. We failed her. Miserably. And now there is one less brilliant feminist in the world. We turned our backs on a woman who needed us, choosing instead to give Marcotte a pass. I understand that Marcotte with the same publisher as a lot of feminist bloggers. I understand that she's a colleague. But, why wasn't BFP a colleague?

I also have a lot of trouble with all of the patting on the back that white feminist bloggers are getting for half-assed non-responses that were posted after the fact. BFP has pointed out that without community, there is no movement. When you don't stand by your fellow feminists, when you don't take on the responsibility to back the underdog, you collapse any sense of community there was, and you collapse the movement. I see here that we are repeating the same mistakes that we call earlier generations of feminists out on and it's heartbreaking and embarrassing. I can't imagine the level of betrayal felt.

If I haven't said it enough: Responsibility, Responsibility, Responsibility. If you have power. Any kind of power. And you don't use it to stand in solidarity with those who don't? You are a coward. You uphold racism. You perpetuate it. You reap the benefits of it. I'd like to echo Melissa McEwan here: You can't shirk this responsibility and be progressive. And you damn sure can't shirk this responsibility and be a feminist.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

White Privilege and Responsibility

Ooookay, so it's been months since my last post, and I have, like 4 people who ever read this blog, but I have stuff to say now, and I hope those 4 people will enjoy it. :-)

I'm going to be writing a few posts on race, b/c with the recent events in the feminist blogosphere concerning BFP and Amanda Marcotte and Seal Press and the WOC bloggers who are justifiably nonplussed by the kid gloves with which the situation is being handled by some of the big blogs, combined with Traister's recent article that really articulates some of my issues with the Obama campaign, to ABW's call for allied posts, and Jay Smooth's reaction to Alicia Keyes' comments, and a conversation I found myself having at dinner the other night (no link for that one, I'll be discussing it later), I just think it's important to be talking about this. I mean, holy cow that's a whole lot of linkage right there that's happened in the last few days!

So, I have to be getting to work right now, but I wanted to get these links up there so that any of you 4 (and I do love that I have even 4), who missed any of this can get caught up, and then discussion can begin.

See you soon,