Five former NFL cheerleaders for the Buffalo Bills are suing the team for alleged violation New York State labor laws by paying the woman less than mandated $8 minimum wage.
The ex-cheerleaders, called the Jills, said the team “exploited the women” by not paying them/underpaying them for events like game day performances, practices two times a week, and up to 35 corporate events. The Jills are also required to attend six annual events on behalf of the team. Their work for most of those activities was uncompensated, the lawsuit alleges, calculating that Jills worked for free up to 20 hours per week — or 840 hours of unpaid work per person per year. Some women took home as little as $1,800 in pay a year from their Jills job! Yet they still had to pay for their own uniforms, out-of-town travel, hair and nails.
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Last week, ABC News reporter Claire Shipman and BBC World News American anchor Katty Kay published an essay in The Atlantic called “The Confidence Gap” about the divide in confidence between men and women. The piece is promoting their new book, The Confidence Code: The Science And Art Of Self-Assurance — What Women Should Know. The basic gist is that although women have proven themselves just as competent as men in higher education and in the workplace, we struggle with confidence in our abilities (even while men who lack those abilities are assuredly overconfident).
Predictably, these statements have set off a flurry of response pieces. On Al-Jazeera, Alice Driver criticized the book for setting the male status quo as the standard for women (as did Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In). Amanda Hess took a similar tack over at Slate’s Double X blog. Over at Jezebel, Tracy Moore argued there there’s no confidence crisis at all: “It’s just sexism.” Keep reading »
It’s about time human mothball Phyllis Schlafly got tucked away in the attic of history. But somehow, someway, the anti-feminist and founder of the uber-conservative Eagle Forum is still sharing dumb, archaic ideas that were rejected by society over half a century ago. Her latest batch of craziness is an op-ed in the Christian Post about how the “pay gap” is a bunch of bunk. Women just don’t want to work as hard as men, you see! Men work at harder jobs! Oh, and also, what do ladies need money for anyway? Don’t we know paying our own bills ourselves scares away the menfolk? Keep reading »
Fat people can’t win in popular culture. Either they are the subject of reality TV shows about often-extreme weight loss (“The Biggest Loser,” “Heavy, “I Used To Be Fat”), they’re headless bodies in news segments about obesity (or chunky cheerleaders), or they’re the butt of some hack’s lame joke. Fortunately, one new documentary currently raising funds on Kickstarter is looking to add something more thoughtful into the cultural discussion about size. “Fattitude,” an independent documentary by Lindsey Averill and Viridiana Lieberman, will explore the warped sizeism within our culture, from TV shows and movies to Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign. It will also address misunderstandings around health and BMI (body-mass index) and misinformation surrounding the “obesity epidemic.” Watching the trailer for “Fattitude,” it occurred to me that even being someone who is generally aware at how society privileges thinner bodies, there is still so much prejudice against larger people that I don’t even notice. If this project sounds as important to you as it does to me, consider giving it your support. [Kickstarter]