It’s about damn time.
The United States is one of only a few countries in the world that does not provide any sort of paid maternity leave. In fact, it’s the only industrialized nation not to do so. All that could change with the Family And Medical Leave Insurance Act, a bill introduced today by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D -
CT NY) and Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT).
The Family Act, as it’s being called for short, proposes an insurance plan that would provide paid family leave and paid sick leave for all workers: public or private, self-employed or full- or part-time. Workers could take time off for their own illness or that of a child, parent or spouse; it also includes both newborn and adopted children coming into the home. As described in The New York Times, the funding would be from both employers and employees. The benefits would be capped at $4,000 per month, covering 12 weeks/60 “caregiving days,” a year.
In other words, it is three months paid leave. Keep reading »
One of the most intriguing characters on “Scandal” is First Lady Mellie Grant. She’s not just a WASP sent from Central Casting, or a put-upon wife of a philanderer. Mellie gave up her Yale and Harvard-bred ambitions for the full-time job of photo ops and glad-handing as the First Lady. Just like Lucy Ricardo always wanted husband Ricky to just give her one opportunity to be in a show, Mellie Grant wants to influence policy and make big moves wherever she can. At every turn, she is stopped, often angrily, by her husband the President and his apoplectic Chief Of Staff. Both men remind her, every episode it seems, that the First Lady is supposed to be pretty sidekick, not a policy wonk. In one episode, Mellie is witheringly informed her job is to be “ornamental.”
Watching Mellie Grant on “Scandal” has made me look at Michelle Obama differently for sure. It’s not hard to imagine she, too, feels a bit trapped in a golden cage. We don’t exactly know whether Michelle Obama feels like her intellect is being wasted, but we do know from Jodi Kantor’s book, The Obamas, a portrait of the Obama marriage, that Barack’s high-level staff has bristled in the past at Michelle’s involvement. But also we know that Michelle dedicated her first year as First Lady to acclimating her two children to their new home and school and has spent many years since promoting healthy eating and exercise. All this has been summed up by Michelle Cottle, a Daily Beast scribe in a piece for Politico Magazine, as a feminist failure. Keep reading »
“I hope we have a woman president in my lifetime, and I think it would be a good thing for the world as well as for America. But I do not know if she’s going to run, and there is no such thing as a sure thing in politics. … If that’s what she wants to do, I will support her. But if she decides for whatever reason she doesn’t, I will support that.”
– Former President Bill Clinton spoke in China this weekend and made his wishes clear in his wife’s “will-she-or-won’t-she?” game. Because you know when he says he wants the woman president, he isn’t talking about Sarah Palin … or Kirsten Gillibrand … or Michele Bachmann … or Liz Cheney … or anyone other than his wife. [Raw Story] [Photo: Splash News]
Yesterday, the Senate voted to take up the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, a bill to ban employers from discriminating against LGBTQ workers or job applicants based on their sexual orientation or gender identity (i.e. being transgender).
This is the first time ever that ENDA, which has struggled in Congress for almost 20 years, includes protections for trans folks. Workers are already protected by federal law from discrimination based on race, gender, religion and age.
The Senate is expected to vote on ENDA this week with bipartisan support. However, it still must work its way through the House of Representatives and faces some Republican opposition. Here are five things to know about this very important bill! Keep reading »