They call Margaret Thatcher the “Iron Lady,” but did you know there was a Labour Party lady who, as Secretary of State for Employment under Harold Wilson, mid-wifed equal pay legislation in the United Kingdom?
Her name was Barbara Castle, and she was a force to be reckoned with. A Baroness raised as a socialist, she was fiery and firmly on the side of the working class. Barbara was as steely as they come.
In 1968, the machinists in the U.K. Ford factory at Dagenham went on strike. All were women. All worked at sewing machines making seat covers. All were paid much less than men at the factory because their jobs were listed as unskilled. The strike closed down production of Ford Escorts because no seats were available to install.
The women worked at the Dagenham factory in terrible conditions. In the heat, they shed their clothes and worked in their underwear. They considered it normal. The roof leaked so badly that they rigged umbrellas over their stations to shield them and their sewing machines from the rain. Paid 15% less than men, they struck on June 7, 1968.
Union officials from Michigan contended that corporations would never survive if they paid women equally to men. Honchos from Ford tried to pressure Castle saying they would move their operations if she did not cooperate. Instead, she met with the striking women, managed a compromise for the moment (pay at 92% of what men received), and finally got an equal pay act in 1970.
We are not there yet in this country although industrialized nations followed the U.K. lead more than 40 years ago. Amazing!
Equal pay for equal work! Why are we so far behind?
There is a movie about this that I just watched. I strongly recommend you find a way to see it. I saw it on Starz.
Made in Dagenham
Brava, Barbara and the lady machinists of Dagenham! Real-life s/heroes!
Bonus: There is a bit about bullying in this movie. By teachers. It has been known to happen.
Posted in Women's rights, women in government, Women in History, Women Leaders, Women's Issues | Tagged United Kingdom, Barbara Castle, Ford Motor Company, Dagenham, U.K., England, Labour Party, Starz | 2 Comments »
This just came in an email. Great opportunity for those in the NY metro area to see this award-winning documentary and to meet the filmmaker, Jen Lee.
This is a crowd funded event. This is a young feminist doing this screening and she needs 77 more tickets purchased for the show to go on! Ten days to go!
“If I had a magic wand and could bonk you with it, I’d spirit you to a screening of a documentary I wish were mandatory viewing in schools: It’s called “Feminist: Stories of Women’s Liberation.” Pasadena Weekly
“This is a MUCH SEE film for anyone who is interested in the women’s liberation movement. This film addresses issues of intersectionality and provides important clips of a broad cross section of women activists.” - Linda M. Perkins, Associate University Professor and Director of Applied Women’s Studies and Africana Studies Certificate Program, Claremont Graduate College
There are many ways to construct the narrative of this history, but Jennifer has put together one of the best. In one beautifully organized hour of video, she is able to cover the deep roots of women’s discontent in the postwar years, the brave and pioneering individuals who opened up to her about their women’s liberation experiences, and – most movingly – acknowledgement of the innumerable other women, the movement’s rank and file, in one of the great grass roots political developments of the era. Thank you Jennifer!” - Professor Ellen Dubois, UCLA Department of History
”Remembering and studying the women who broke the barriers before us is not just the right thing to do; we ignore their hard-won lessons at our own peril. For American women, our careless amnesia is plain poison and Lee’s film is a healthy portion of the antidote. - Amnesia: Feminism’s Poison Pill, Huffington Post, Kamala Lopez
Posted in Human Rights, Women, women in government, Women in History, Women in Military, Women in the Media, Women Leaders, Women's Issues, Women's rights | Tagged Documentaries, Feminist: Stories from Women's Liberation, Jennifer Lee, New York City | Leave a Comment »
We all heard, I am sure, The Green Eggs and Ham reading. Until tonight, when Tammy Duckworth referred to it to Lawrence O’Donnell, I was unaware of this reprehensible remark by Ted Cruz as he closed out his faux-filibuster.
It is difficult to imagine an insult more searing, ignorance more abysmal, demagoguery cheaper and slimier, and a lack of patriotic respect for history more striking.
Hmmm… posted on September 25, 2013 at 12:42pm EDT
Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz compared his 21-hour speech on the Senate floor against Obamacare to the infamous Bataan Death March that killed hundreds of American troops at the hands of the Japanese during World War II. Cruz was speaking Wednesday at the conclusion of his remarks thanking staff who stayed up through the night for his speech.
“Now in 31 minutes we will be concluded,” Cruz said. “I don’t want to miss the opportunity within the limited amount of time is imperative that I do, which is to thank the men and women who have endured this, this Bataan Death March. And I want to take a little bit of time to thank by name. I want to start by thanking the Republican floor staff and cloakroom. I want to thank Laura Dove for her fairness, for her dealing with crises and passions on all sides and for her effectiveness in the job. And this is an interesting occurrence to occur so early in her job and I thank her for her service.”
Read more and watch the CSPAN video if you don’t believe me >>>>
No number of apologies can alter the fact that these words came from his lips. Those words tell you all you need to know about Ted Cruz, his respect for our veterans, troops, and history, and his means to reach his goals. How revolting! How sorry a figure in our government.
Posted in Uncategorized, US Congress, US Senate | Tagged Andrew Kaczynski, Buzzfeed | 8 Comments »
Rush Limbaugh simply cannot resist Karen Finney! Now he wants her to be his nurse and put him in a straitjacket! Oooohhhhh the fantasies abound!
Rush’s crush on Karen took on new dimensions on Thursday when he implied that she, in defense of her honor and the rights of women, had put him in some imaginary male version of a chastity belt. He may just have graduated from the fourth-grade pig-tail-in-the inkwell level to the sophomoronic “words I need to know for the SAT” niche.
By David Edwards
Thursday, September 26, 2013
Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh on Thursday slammed a Washington women’s forum because he said that MSNBC host Karen Finney and the other “testicle lockboxes” were attacking him.
At the “Fair Shot: A Plan For Women to Get Ahead” event last week, Finney had noted that many elected Republicans were afraid to speak out against Limbaugh or the tea party.
Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) agreed that Republicans needed to “take him on” because “people don’t support fear.”
“Women of Washington,” Limbaugh said on Thursday. “I mean, how many testicle lockboxes do you think were at this forum? Washington women? Ha!”
“She doesn’t come across as friendly,” he said at the time. “She doesn’t — she, you know, she’s like — my favorite name for her is Nurse Ratched.”
Read more >>>>
Well, not friendly to you, Rush! For reasons obvious to all.
Now I am not exactly sure of what a “testicle lockbox” is, but when it comes to Rush, I am pretty certain his should be in one. Clearly he has an obsessive case for Karen (understandably – she’s gorgeous and brilliant) as he did/does for the woman who he claims precipitated the term (Karen’s former boss Hillary You-Know-Who, also gorgeous and brilliant).
I sort of wished I had Karen’s phone number when I read this, but it would have been a waste because you shouldn’t call somebody just so that both of you spend all of your air time laughing too hard to speak.
You can catch Karen, and her gracious response to Rush’s grab for attention (should she choose to acknowledge it) at 4 p.m. ET on Saturdays and Sundays on MSNBC. She really deserves a better spot.
Posted in Karen Finney, misogyny, sexism, Uncategorized | Tagged Karen Finney, MSNBC, Rush Limbaugh | 6 Comments »
Congratulations to Jennifer Lee whose documentary is receiving a great deal of praise! If you live in the L.A. area, here is your chance to see her work.
SheHeroes, a organization that inspires girls by introducing them to female role models, will be hosting a screening of “Feminist:Stories from Women’s Liberation” at 7:30 pm on Thursday, October 17 at the Laemmle Music Hall in Beverly Hills. I will be there for a Q+A. Click for tickets.
SheHeroes is hosting the film as a fundraiser. You have a choice to buy a ticket for $10.00 and/or contribute to SheHeroes through different “levels of giving.” Please come and join us! We would love to see you.
This is a crowd funding platform, buying your tickets now helps make this event happen for SheHeroes. Click here: http://www.tugg.com/events/5489
Where: The Laemmle Music Hall is located at 9036 Wilshire Blvd, Beverly Hills
When: Thursday, October 17th at 7:30 PM
Here is the link to buy your tickets:
Feminist:Stories premiered at the Laemmle Music Hall in March of 2013 and won “Best of the Fest” for Documentary at the Los Angeles Women’s International Film Festival 2013.
Read more and find out how to schedule a screening near you >>>>
Posted in Women in History, Women Leaders, Women's Issues, Women's rights | Tagged Feminist: Stories from Women's Liberation, Jennifer Lee | 1 Comment »
I have been struck for some time by the similarities between Ted Cruz and Old Joe McCarthy (I even see a physical resemblance), so I was particularly pleased to see Karen Finney raise the comparison on her weekend MSNBC show Disrupt. On Sunday, Karen and guests Mark Tapscott (Washington Post), and Michelle Cottle (The Daily Beast) discussed “McCruz’s” latest campaign to sow fear of Obamacare likening this effort to the fear-stoking and resultant paranoia of Communists and spies in our government that McCarthy effected during the Cold War.
Apparently as a result of this piece, Karen was invited to call in to a conservative radio show hosted by Hugh Hewitt. When Hewitt attempted to derail Karen’s argument and refused to let her make her point, she hung up on him. Here is how Mediate described the encounter.
There is an odd excitement in the right-wing media over an exchange between MSNBC host Karen Finney and conservative talk radio host Hugh Hewitt. The right-wing talker invited Finney on his program after she linked the rhetoric of Ted Cruz to that of Joe McCarthy, an unsurprising comparison considering the Texas senator’s previous hunts for communists on the Harvard Law School faculty.
Finney’s comparison was not unique as numerous others have observed the same thing, and Cruz claimed the comparison to the disgraced senator led him to conclude he is “doing something right.”
Instead of discussing Cruz’s behavior, however, Hewitt decided to discuss the history of McCarthyism, ostensibly defending the Wisconsin senator.
“Was Alger Hiss a communist?” Hewitt asked. Finney responded, ”I think that’s distracting from the point I was trying to make.”
Finney continued, ”And the point I was trying to make was, you had Joe McCarthy was on a mission to root out communism in the government, and he did it in such a way that created a hysteria that was very unhealthy for this country. Do you really disagree with me on that?”
Read more >>>>
Long-time fans of Karen’s can remember numerous times when she, as a guest on various MSNBC shows, was prevented from making her point. Many of us tweeted at those times: “Let Karen talk!” Now that she has (finally!) her own spot, she is free to make her own points in her own time. She is also free to hang up on rude radio hosts that try to hijack her message.
Good going, Karen! Thank you for raising the topic, and thank you also for not letting Hewitt drag the discussion off course. The tack he chose to take deserved disruption.
Posted in Republican Party, Tea Party, US Senate, Women in the Media | Tagged ARI RABIN-HAVT, Disrupt, Hugh Hewitt, Karen Finney, Mark Tapscott, Mediate, Michelle Cottle, MSNBCBC | Leave a Comment »
I ran across this graphic on Facebook yesterday.
Yep, ma’am. You can bring your gun in, but not those maxi-pads!
There has been a great deal of news coverage the past week of the Zimmerman trial, and , to some extent, that has reduced the degree to which this story has been covered. Here is a report, published by Jessica Luther, from the Texas Senate Gallery. Just thought you should know.
My friend, Nancy Flores, is in the gallery for the Senate debate on HB2 and is updating her personal Facebook page. And it’s wonderful. So, with her permission, I’m going to post her FB posts here:
(started around 2pm…all words after this are Nancy’s):
Read Nancy’s account >>>>
Posted in Uncategorized, Women's Health, Women's Issues, Women's rights | Tagged Gun Law, Maxi-Pads, Tampons, Texas, Texas Senate, The War on Women, Wendy Davis, Women's Health, Women's Heath Care | Leave a Comment »