I found this great list of the top reasons why we still need feminism in 2009. Thanks to the Blog Against Sexism Day site, which was March 8th aka International Women’s Day.
- Women are still underpaid. Women earn only 77 cents to every dollar earned by men. (Former MA democratic Lt. Gov. Evelyn Murphy is doing great things to shake this up…check out www.womenaregettingeven.org) Also, can 1 million women against WalMart be hallucinating? This is serious!
- Women are still massively underrepresented in the sciences. Despite substantial gains in the number of women pursuing graduate degrees in the sciences, women currently earn only 20% of all PhDs in computer science, less than 27% in physics, and only 17% in engineering. Studies show that women in science experience discrimination and double standards (sorry Larry Summers, but its really true.)
- There are too few female tenured professors. Despite the fact that women have been at least half of all college undergraduates since 1978, women represent only 36% of all tenured faculty nationwide, and only 13% of doctoral granting universities boast women presidents. Many women in academic settings report discrimination.
- Women are underrepresented in corporate leadership. Women have made up more than 40% of the workforce since 1977, and are currently almost 50%, yet only 9 women are CEOs of Fortune 500 companies.
- Too few women lawyers make partner. Women have been 40% of all law school students since 1995, and over half since 2001, but are only 15% of partners in law firms nationwide. Many female lawyers attest to double standards and discrimination.
- Media: Stereotypes Abound!
- Men still dominate the airwaves, music industry, film industry, etc, and are most decision makers and critics (often with a silent or not so silent male perspective.) Women make up only 11% of the national experts on Sunday morning political talk shows, and only 6% to 7% of the repeat guests. No major record label is headed by a woman. Most major film studios are headed by men, and nine out of ten music videos are produced by men. For the most part, women need to be sex objects and to be young to be successful in music and to some extent, films, TV. (Men,not so much…can you say Sean Connery? Harrison Ford? Woody Allen? David Letterman? Larry King?.) Women are chosen/allowed to direct only 5 – 7 % of major Hollywood films, and rarely are nominated for or win major awards for directing (despite some very talented female directors out there.) This is not just Hollywood insanity….it’s workplace discrimination.
- Women are poorer. Women constitute about 70% of the world’s absolute poor – those living on less than a dollar a day. In the United States in 2004, there were 20.1 million women living below the poverty level. Worldwide, women’s access to resources and education still lags behind boys/men due to double standards.
- Slavery still exists! Women and girls are the majority of the 800,000 to nearly 4 million people trafficked (bought and sold as property) internationally every year.