Weekend reading

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Female scientists asked how they would cope without men or makeup in space.

A new paper rebuts the notion of a “Ferguson effect.”

Gender inequality is not possible without abortion.

A new report looks at who runs for office in the US. 2 out of 3 candidates are white men.

New women-run site The Establishment talks to comedian W. Kamau Bell about comedy in the age of social media.

5 reasons why being poor can actually be incredibly expensive.

In honor of the great talk by Ta-Nehisi Coates I was lucky enough to attend last week, 2 throwback recommendations to his pieces on the case for reparations and the black family in the age of mass incarceration.

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Weekend reading

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At NARAL Pro-Choice California, we had some fun “welcoming” an anti-choice conference to San Diego.

What would it look like to decriminalize sex work? Just ask New Zealand.

What it’s like to live on $2 a day in the United States.

Republican’s mind blown when witness tells him some Planned Parenthood patients are mothers.

Women aren’t here to smile for you.

5 female farmworkers will be awarded $17 million after facing rape and harassment.

Only 3 of 45 House Democrats who who voted “no” on Obamacare are still there.

The secret to Connie Britton’s amazing hair is feminism.

We need poor people in Congress

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), who was once a recipient of public assistance, talks about food stamps and lawmakers' SNAP challenge. Photo via accfb.org.
Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), who was once a recipient of public assistance, talks about food stamps and lawmakers’ SNAP challenge. Photo via accfb.org.

We all recognize on some level that the circles that members of Congress run in are very different from the ones where most of us live our lives. But a new piece by Stephen Lurie over at The Atlantic shows just how stark the disparity really is:

For the first time, more than half of the members of Congress are millionaires. Nearly 200 are multimillionaires. One hundred are worth more than $5 million; the top-10 deal in nine digits. The annual congressional salary alone—$174,000 a year—qualifies every member as the top 6 percent of earners. None of them are close to experiencing the poverty-reduction programs—affordable housing, food assistance, Medicaid—that they help control. Though some came from poverty, a recent analysis by Nicholas Carnes, in his book White Collar Government: The Hidden Role of Class in Economic Policymaking, found that only 13 out of 783 members of Congress from 1999 to 2008 came from a “blue-collar” upbringing. None of them have experienced that poverty in decades; those who did did so under vastly different public-policy circumstances.

That’s less than 2% of members of Congress who have lived a “blue collar” lifestyle, compared to 54% of Americans who have held blue collar jobs as adults. It adds new meaning to the concept of politicians’ being out of touch.  Continue reading “We need poor people in Congress”

Weekend reading

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Street art about the World Cup and poverty in Brazil goes viral.

28 non-pornographic things that have been described as “porn for women.”

Poor women aren’t having babies for money, and we need to stop punishing them.

The hilarious Cameron Esposito on what it’s like to be a woman in comedy.

Fun with feminist tumblrs: Feminist Frank and Saving Room for Cats.

Ideas for how to be a male feminist.

Amy Poehler on women who don’t like to use the term feminist: “But I don’t get it. That’s like someone being like, ‘I don’t really believe in cars, but I drive one every day and I love that it gets me places and makes life so much easier and faster and I don’t know what I would do without it.’ ”

Women respond to common excuses for rape. Also, women aren’t being brainwashed into saying they were raped.

Weekend reading

A sports anchor invokes Audre Lorde in a statement supporting Michael Sam. The Daily Show made some similar points with its typical biting sarcasm. Ta-Nehisi Coates explains why the NFL will never be “ready” for an openly gay player.

There was a hung jury on the murder charge against Michael Dunn for the killing of unarmed black teenager Jordan Davis. Sadly, this list from Mother Jones of 21 things you can’t do while black is reinforced.

A tech writer engages in an experiment of only retweeting women for a year.

More on why marriage isn’t the solution to poverty.