Spirit Airlines jumps of the bandwagon of the recent leak of celebrities private photos

Bare Fare

I wish it was Friday so I could use this as a Feminist F*ck You!  This image above is from an email I received just this morning from Spirit Airlines.

I have flown Spirit Airlines once before. My review: it was pretty darn awful. From high priced baggage fees to zero leg room, there is nothing comforting about the flight. The ticket prices can be somewhat affordable and the airport where Spirit flies out of is close to my house. After my flight I thought, “I guess if I don’t need a carry on and the price of the flight is right, I will fly it again.” Now? Never.  Read More »

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Will Crowdfunding Propel Our Female Scientists?

Coral reefs everywhere are waiting for Alexis to meet the Zeiss. The Zeiss Ultra55 is an electron microscope and Alexis Weinnig is a 25-year old marine scientist specializing in coral conservation. They haven’t met yet, and that’s pretty bizarre because Alexis works on uncovering the elemental composition of corals, a procedure that relies on the use of the Zeiss.

Last year Alexis developed a procedure for gaining insight into the lives and community structure of a particularly wide-spread subcategory of corals, the octocorals. Sea fans, sea whips, and sea pens are all examples of this incredibly diverse and colorful group of sea animals. Alexis’s research promises to be a game- changer in her field, but she’s at the limits of her ability and it’s for one reason: she has no money.

You see the Zeiss costs $20 per hour to operate and Alexis needs at least 50 hours on the machine. Add in the additional costs to mount her specimens and she’s looking at a cool $1,500.00 that she doesn’t have.

I met Alexis at a public science program in San Francisco last month. With a pint of IPA in her hand and a glimmer in her eye she told me all about her research subject: octocorals are beautiful, they’re crucial members of reef communities, they’re often thousands of years old, and once a community is destroyed it is unlikely that they will rebuild themselves within a human lifetime. It’s a story too often told by marine scientists: of ecosystems lost and never regained. What’s even worse is that although Alexis has the passion and talent to help save corals, her hands are tied without $1,500.00.

In terms of funding, Alexis’s story is far from unique. As the co- founder of a startup that helps women in science and tech find funding, I meet countless scientists that have the same problem: they have the talent to solve the problem, but they can’t without funding. One of the exceptional aspects of Alexis’s struggle (and the thousands of other innovative female scientists trying to publish their results) is that compared to their male counterparts, their struggle to find funding is much harder. Too often these struggles make the difference between choosing to stick with science or tapping out. They make the difference between settling for a Bachelor’s degree or going for a Ph.D.  Read More »

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Celebrity Photo Leak: Sexism Surfaced

Beyonce Feminist

August just couldn’t end on a good note. After the severely troubling and still continuing issues in Ferguson, the internet ran amok with nude photos – stolen photos – of multiple celebrities, a crime that swept the front pages of every news site I’ve come across and filled my twitter feed with responses ranging from angry to frighteningly gleeful. Many have protested but others have celebrated, bringing to light the ever present rampage of sexism in our modern world and society’s obsession with stripping celebrities of their dignity as human beings.

Honestly, I hesitated to write this post, hoping that we could look past this incident with enough disdain to discourage it from happening again. At least we could show the world that this was no big deal to us and deflate the enthusiasm regarding this topic. It is now apparent that this will not happen. As it stands, this cannot be ignored, but how can we speak about the issue without drawing further attention to it? What might we do to voice our disgust without making yet more people aware that these photos exist, are out there, and are easily accessible?  Read More »

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The War on Women: Alive & Well

It may be the 21st century, but don’t kid yourselves: the war on women is alive and well. And it’s about time that we stop ignoring it. Of course, the majority of people who read this will write it off as another “feminist rant,” or perhaps a list of outliers. But you see, that’s the problem. This isn’t a series of extreme cases: this is the reality that women around the world experience. Whether it’s cat-calling, rape, sexual violence, workplace harassment, the payment of a dowry, slut-shaming, widow cleansing, female genital mutilation, or virginity tests (and the list goes on), women around the world are made to feel ashamed, embarrassed, and “less-than” for being female.

On August 25, 2014, two sixteen-year-old girls in India took their lives because the shame of being women, and victims of ongoing sexual harassment was too much to bear. “Every day a new man would come and chase us. They would pass lewd remarks and offer us phone numbers. The people around us would stare as if we had done something wrong,” Madhu wrote in her suicide note.[1] “I am ending my life because I cannot take this daily tension,” wrote Nikita in her suicide note.[2] Two children have ended their lives because of the harsh realities that women face. The shame and feelings of total expendability were too much to overcome. And for that, the world should feel ashamed.

Here in the United States, Brigham Young University (BYU) requires its students to take a pledge that they won’t engage in premarital sex, a “crime” punishable by expulsion. This rule is not only an attempt at regulating women’s bodies, but what’s more disturbing, it views rape and consensual sex as equally reprehensible. Keli Byers, a member of the Mormon Church and student at BYU, recalls her experience of being sexually assaulted by a recently returned Mormon missionary: “I told my parents and our bishop, and I was banned from church for a month. I was punished because a man had touched me.”[3]  Read More »

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What Would Make Labor Day So Much Better? Schedules That Work!

By Liz Watson, NWLC Senior Counsel, and Elizabeth Johnston, NWLC Fellow. Cross-posted from NWLC.org.

Melody Pabon and her four-year-old son MasonLabor Day memorializes laborers’ courageous fights throughout our nation’s history for fair working conditions, starting with battles over long hours, low pay, child labor, and unsafe working conditions in the 1800s and 1900s that led to major advances in all of these areas.

And today, workers are still on the frontlines – fighting for livable wages and for an end to abusive scheduling practices, which are increasingly common in the American workplace. All too often, employers require that workers have completely open availability to be eligible for full-time hours, and cancel and assign shifts at the very last minute. Too many part-time workers simply cannot get enough hours at their jobs to make ends meet.

Workers are fighting to establish protections from these abusive scheduling practices. And these protections are especially needed by workers in low-wage jobs which are among the fastest-growing in our economy today and where these practices are often rampant. Women are hit particularly hard—because women make up two-thirds of those in low-wage jobs, and they also shoulder the lion’s share of caregiving responsibilities. Employer scheduling practice leave too many scrambling to arrange child care at the last minute, struggling to pay their bills, unable to hold a second job, and forced to put their dreams of going to school to get a leg up on hold.

Take Melody Pabon and her four-year-old son Mason, pictured here, for example.

When Melody, who works at Zara in New York City, asked to transfer to an earlier shift so that she could get back home to see Mason before he went to sleep at night, her hours were cut from 35 to 25 over the course of a few weeks. As a result, she had to pull Mason out of his child care center where he was learning and thriving. Paying for a full week of care (as is often required) when Melody could not get a full week of work was simply not doable. Now Mason is shuttling between family and friends, depending on who Melody can find to watch him after she gets her schedule – often just two days’ ahead of time.  Read More »

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