The World Economic Forum released its annual report on gender equality this week, and the results are — well, it depends on how you look at it. As in, there’s been progress in closing the gender gap globally, but it is glacially slow.
When the WEF started compiling data and releasing reports in 2006, women’s economic opportunities and participation were at 56 percent of men’s opportunities and participation. They’re now at 60 percent, globally. The US ranks 20th for gender equality overall, with women’s economic participation and opportunity at 86 percent of men’s, estimated earned income roughly equal to men’s, employment in government position at 75 percent of men’s, and wages at about 66percent of men’s for similar. It’s important to note that that figure is not the same as the 76-cents-to-a-dollar figure, which refers to full-time employment only; the WEF’s figure is based on their Executive Opinion Survey. Keep reading »
On Saturday (which was National Coming Out Day, making this story even more bleak), a lesbian couple was kicked out of a UK grocery store for sharing a “light kiss.” Ugh. Annabelle Paige, a Sussex University student, stopped by a Sainsbury’s store in Brighton with her girlfriend. A security guard approached the pair and told them they’d have to either stop showing affection or “take it outside” (though the store is still attempting to deny that the couple was actually asked to leave). Paige initially thought the woman was joking, because she’d never experienced such a thing and saw plenty of straight couples in the store being equally as affectionate. The security guard apologetically told Paige that she had received a complaint from a customer who saw Paige give her girlfriend the kiss. The customer said that she was worried for the safety of her child because the couple’s actions were “disgusting.” Keep reading »
The Church of England today took a pretty large step into the 21st century, voting by a two-thirds majority to allow the ordination of women as bishops. It’s a reversal of a 2012 vote that failed by just six votes, notes Sky News, and cements the role of female leadership in an institution that has allowed women priests for two decades. Read more on Newser…
“I’d like to believe that my music opened up that conversation. There is unbelievable power in ownership, and women should own their sexuality. There is a double standard when it comes to sexuality that still persists. Men are free and women are not. That is crazy. The old lessons of submissiveness and fragility made us victims. Women are so much more than that. You can be a businesswoman, a mother, an artist, and a feminist—whatever you want to be—and still be a sexual being. It’s not mutually exclusive.”
Beyonce told Out magazine that she wanted to get us thinking about sexual liberation when she recorded her latest album. I’m still not sure how I feel about some of Bey’s messages. I hate whenever someone says that women “should” do something as a blanket statement, but I think she’s coming from the right place. And at least she’s encouraging a dialogue about feminism and female sexuality and expression. [Out Magazine] [Photos: Santiago & Mauricio/OUT Magazine]
South Carolina legislators are trying to “punish” two colleges in the state for assigning books they don’t approve of. The College of Charleston and the University of South Carolina Upstate incorporated “books on homosexuality” as required reading as part of their new student orientation. The books in question are Alison Bechdel’s graphic novel memoir Fun Home, about the lesbian author’s father and his struggle with homosexuality, and Out Loud: The Best of Rainbow Radio, which tells the story of South Carolina’s first LGBT radio show.
To exact revenge on the institutions, state House legislators have “tentatively approved” a bill to cut $52,000 from the College of Charleston and $17,142 from USC Upstate. The amount of funds being cut are meant to be similar to the amount spent on implementing the reading campaigns. Republican Representative Garry Smith of Simpsonville says he set the cuts into motion after the schools refused to offer alternative reading for students. Keep reading »
Ivan Cruz spent most of his life praying that one day he’d wake up and not be gay anymore. Instead, one day he woke up with a realization that was even more surprising: he felt ready to come out. After telling his mom, sister, and friends, he decided to make a video about his coming out story, with a special twist — the story is told through the eyes of his dog, Thor. So freakin’ cute. [YouTube]