Independent Women's Forum RSS feedhttp://www.iwf.orgThe RSS feed for the IWF. News, Commentary and Blog posts from the Independent Women's Foundation.(...)IWF RSS Women's March isn't about uniting women. It's about hating Trump<p> What unifies participants in the Women&rsquo;s March isn&rsquo;t that they are women, but that they share a dislike of President Trump and support for liberal causes.</p> <p> Saturday marked the fourth annual Women&rsquo;s March in Washington, D.C., and cities around the country. Unlike the first Women&rsquo;s March in 2017, which tried to brand itself as representing all women, this march was explicitly political.</p> <p> In addition to a march in the streets, the march in the district&nbsp;<a href=""><u>included a week of sessions such as</u></a>, &ldquo;Why Women Lead on Climate,&rdquo; &ldquo;Reproductive Rights, Health and Justice &amp; The 2020 Landscape,&rdquo; and &ldquo;Solidarity and the Immigration Justice Movement.&rdquo; A session on Iran, &ldquo;No War With Iran!&rdquo; is described as &ldquo;Women&rsquo;s March and our allies are joining together to demand that Congress stop Trump from going to war with Iran, and we need your help.&rdquo;</p> <p> <a href=""><u>Signs read</u></a>, &ldquo;Trump is a dope and a baby,&rdquo; &ldquo;Trump/Pence out now,&rdquo; and &ldquo;See you at the voting booth,&rdquo; among others. Protesters stopped outside of Trump International Hotel.</p> <p> The Women&rsquo;s March started in the wake of Trump&#39;s election and became symbolized by pink pussy hats in response to&nbsp;<u><a href="">his infamous comments about women.</a></u></p> <p> This was before the #MeToo movement and could have marked the beginning of a women&rsquo;s movement that cut across politics on the treatment or advancement of women.</p> <p> Instead, energy is down for the Women&rsquo;s March. The 2017 march gathered hundreds of thousands of people in Washington,&nbsp;<a href=""><u>while the permit</u></a>&nbsp;for this year&rsquo;s march allowed for up to 10,000 people. Personally, I didn&rsquo;t even hear about this year&#39;s march until the week of the event.</p> <p> <a href=""><u>In an article in the&nbsp;</u><em>Washington Post</em></a><em>,&nbsp;</em>participant Joann Edmunds said, &ldquo;This is the last Women&rsquo;s March we&rsquo;re going to need because Trump is going to be gone by this time next year.&rdquo;</p> <p> This comment summarizes the focus of the Women&rsquo;s March effort these days. The Women&rsquo;s March isn&rsquo;t about finding common cause among women to benefit all women. If it was, then Women&rsquo;s March leaders might be talking about issues such as ending sex trafficking, stopping the practice of female genital mutilation, or improving education. There are plenty of unifying issues. Wouldn&rsquo;t it be more productive to try to get the president to move on these issues?</p> <p> Next time you hear someone talking about the Women&rsquo;s March, you should remind them that it isn&rsquo;t, in fact, a march for women but instead a Liberal Women&rsquo;s March or Anti-Trump March. Either of those names would be more accurate for a movement that only welcomes one set of views.</p> AgnessMon, 20 Jan 2020 11:01:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumMs. Monopoly’s Feminism Isn’t Good for Anyone<p> Hasbro announced a new version of a classic board game,&nbsp;<a data-saferedirecturl=";source=gmail&amp;ust=1570102223721000&amp;usg=AFQjCNETfjKb33zDThKNtTP33GfaWS7eXg" href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Ms. Monopoly</a>. The game may be new, but it is peddling a tired old narrative that has been a feminist staple for years.</p> <p> In Ms. Monopoly, players buy inventions by women (think chocolate chip cookies, bulletproof vests and solar heating) instead of properties. American women could get behind a game centered on women&rsquo;s inventions and one that celebrates female entrepreneurs. It is inspiring to learn about innovators. But this is not all that is changed in the game.</p> <p> Selling for five dollars more than Monopoly, this version seeks to instruct players about the so-called wage gap. To start the game, men get $1,500, while women get $1,900. That is supposedly to make up for the real world where women are routinely paid less than men. And Ms. Monopoly&rsquo;s pay difference doesn&rsquo;t end there. Each time a player passes go, women collect $240, while men only collect $200.</p> <p> Someone should have warned Hasbro that it is perpetuating a flawed pay gap narrative, one that disempowers women. Equal pay for equal work is the law in America. The 1963 Equal Pay Act made sex-based discrimination in pay illegal, while Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 made workplace discrimination based on sex illegal.</p> <p> Ms. Monopoly&rsquo;s money differential is likely based on the&nbsp;<a data-saferedirecturl=";source=gmail&amp;ust=1570102223721000&amp;usg=AFQjCNHnveBx3u5ymeB1B89mQo-ZNefJNA" href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics</a>&nbsp;data that measures median earnings of women and men in full-time wage and salary jobs, which is described in shorthand as the &ldquo;wage gap.&rdquo;&nbsp;<a data-saferedirecturl=";source=gmail&amp;ust=1570102223721000&amp;usg=AFQjCNFyACoAI1tRkvo9nDSJSfVcckF9lA" href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">In 2018</a>, for example, women earned 81.1 percent of what men earned as full-time wage and salary workers. That statistic simply compares the overall earnings of women and men, not two people in the same job who work the same hours with the same responsibilities.</p> <p> Different choices that men and women make, such as what industries they choose, type of education and hours worked, lead to different outcomes, including these differences in earnings. Among full-time workers, men worked 8.2 hours per day compared with 7.9 hours for women, according to the 2018&nbsp;<a data-saferedirecturl=";source=gmail&amp;ust=1570102223721000&amp;usg=AFQjCNEEOPrYb3B_CrAKlN4fBeOaWyLDWg" href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">American Time Use Survey</a>&nbsp;by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Is it really surprising, or unfair, that they earn more money for that extra time?</p> <p> If Hasbro wanted to accurately imitate the labor market and pay, it would make the financial aspect of the game more reflective of choices. Those who picked college majors with more earning potential would earn more each time they passed go. And those who work longer hours, for example, would get more money.</p> <p> Even worse than misusing data to drive a political point, Hasbro is promoting a message that women are somehow inferior to men when it comes to board games, so they need an unfair advantage.</p> <p> After all, this game isn&rsquo;t likely going to be routinely played by two working adults, but will often be a sister playing against her brother. Does Hasbro really want to send the message that the girl needs a leg up?</p> <p> Feminism and the modern women&rsquo;s movement should focus on ensuring equality for women. When you give women an extra $400 to start and extra $40 by passing go, it makes the game unfair. This is exactly what feminism was supposed to be against &mdash; having the deck stacked against one sex.</p> <p> Women can compete on their own and do so. What modern feminism seems to be uncomfortable with is the fact that different choices lead to different results.</p> <p> Feminism shouldn&rsquo;t be about pushing women to make one set of desired choices, but about promoting equal opportunity for men and women to build the lives they want. In some aspects they may be similar, but different in others. Women, and men, having the chance to design their own lives to maximize happiness should be the top priority, not promoting misleading data to spread a false narrative and get women the upper hand.</p> <p> I&rsquo;ll stick with classic Monopoly.</p> AgnessWed, 2 Oct 2019 09:10:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumIf Women Want to Earn More, They Should Choose Different Majors<div> <p> New college students have lots of important decisions to make, from what activities to get involved in and classes to take, to how to decorate dorm rooms. But here&rsquo;s one decision that students&mdash;and particularly college women&mdash;should make very carefully: picking a college major. That&rsquo;s a decision that will impact their future job prospects and earning potential.</p> </div> <p> According to&nbsp;PayScale&rsquo;s College Salary Report, Petroleum Engineering is the highest paying major followed by Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. In fact, some type of engineering major held six of the top 20 spots for highest earning potential. Women&rsquo;s Studies is ranked 695th&nbsp;and Gender Studies is ranked 772nd.</p> <p> The&nbsp;National Center for&nbsp;Education&nbsp;Statistics&nbsp;found that in the 2016-2017 school year, women earned 17 percent of Bachelor&rsquo;s degrees in Petroleum Engineering, while they made up 92 percent of Women&rsquo;s Studies majors. Women made up just 20 percent of Bachelor&rsquo;s degrees conferred in engineering and engineering technologies. But they made up 78 percent of Psychology majors, which is ranked 584th&nbsp;in terms of earnings.</p> <p> Women pursuing lower paying majors contributes to the so-called &ldquo;77 cent wage gap.&rdquo; But that&rsquo;s not always a reality that female students want to hear.</p> <p> During a speech I gave at the University of Pittsburgh a few years ago, I discussed equal pay and the infamous statistic used in the narrative that women get paid 77 cents for every dollar a man makes.&nbsp;The&nbsp;Bureau of Labor Statistics&nbsp;creates that data point by comparing median weekly earnings of women and men in full-time wage and salary jobs. In 2018, women earned 81.1 percent.&nbsp;But the statistic doesn&rsquo;t compare two people in the same job or people who make the same labor choices, such as hours worked or college major. Women&rsquo;s choices in majors and their decisions to spend less hours at work contribute to why they earn less.</p> <p> During the speech I asked the students to share their majors. One female student said Gender Studies. The student next to her looked the other way. I asked if she was rejecting my question, and she said yes. She can reject my question, but she can&rsquo;t reject the fact that different majors have different earning potential.</p> <p> During the Question and Answer session, another Gender Studies major said she didn&rsquo;t think it was fair that women were &ldquo;led&rdquo; to lower paying majors. When asked if she was empowered enough to choose Gender Studies herself, she said she was. But she didn&rsquo;t think other people were.</p> <p> That&rsquo;s a terribly disempowering message for women. The patriarchy isn&rsquo;t making women choose low-paying majors. College women are smart enough to choose their majors, even lower paying majors if that&rsquo;s what they prefer. They should just understand the trade-offs and be willing to live with the consequences.&nbsp; After all, earning potential isn&rsquo;t the only factor that is important to most people when it comes to jobs. Fulfillment matters too.</p> <p> As college women select their majors this fall, they would be wise to include in their decision-making process not just factors such as class times and professors, but what the job prospects are upon graduation and in the years that follow. A young woman might decide she cares more about other factors, which is fine, but she should make the trade-offs knowingly.</p> AgnessMon, 30 Sep 2019 11:09:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumWomen won the right to vote conservative, too<p> August kicks off the yearlong centennial celebration of women winning the right to vote in America. It is an opportunity for the nation to unite to honor the heroic women (and men) who fought for equality, but also a somber reminder of what still needs to be done to fulfill the 19th Amendment&rsquo;s spirit.</p> <p> With the 2020 presidential election looming, there is a great risk this historic milestone will be politicized, with the anniversary&rsquo;s true meaning lost in the process.</p> <p> While women voting&nbsp;is not controversial today, it took 72 years of organized effort for women to win the right. In 1848, the first women&rsquo;s rights convention was held in Seneca Falls, New York, at which attendees signed a Declaration of Sentiments modeled on the Declaration of Independence. This document outlined specific grievances, including the lack of voting rights.</p> <div> <p> In 1919, after much campaigning, the United States Congress passed an amendment to the Constitution&nbsp;giving&nbsp;women the right to vote. In August 1920, after ratification by the states, this legislation became the 19th&nbsp;Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.</p> <p> Suffragists would be proud to know that 100 years later, female voters are critically important in each election. In fact, in the last presidential election, more women voted than men. More women have voted in every presidential election since 1964. There are nearly 10 million more registered female voters than male (81.3 million women compared to 71.7 million men reported they are registered voters as of 2018).</p> <p> It&rsquo;s worth celebrating not just that women can vote, but that women legitimately can make up their own mind about candidates and vote for different candidates. Sometimes that even means not voting for a woman candidate.</p> <p> Unfortunately, the message women receive today is often that women have an obligation to vote for female candidates, particularly Democratic female candidates. That was a sad and ironic aspect of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton&rsquo;s historic campaign for the Presidency. Certainly it was a tremendous achievement that Clinton was the first woman to win a major party nomination for president. Clinton&rsquo;s supporters, however, promoted a fundamentally sexist message, that women had a duty to vote for her because she is a woman. Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright made the case for Clinton at a campaign rally in New Hampshire in these terms, &ldquo;Hillary Clinton will always be there for you. And just remember there&rsquo;s a special place in hell for women who don&rsquo;t help each other.&rdquo;</p> <p> In spite of this, exit polls showed 54% of women voted for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and 41% voted for now President Donald Trump. Women were not a monolithic voting bloc.</p> <p> After the election, liberal women promoted an even more nefarious idea &mdash; that women didn&rsquo;t vote for Clinton only because they were uneducated or influenced by a man. In this worldview, certain women, conservative women, no longer have any agency. Clinton attributed&nbsp;her election loss in part because she said white women face an &ldquo;ongoing pressure to vote the way that your husband, your boss, your son, whoever, believes you should.&rdquo;&nbsp;Former first Lady Michelle Obama said, &ldquo;Any woman who voted against Hillary Clinton voted against their own voice.&rdquo; And&nbsp;Barbra Streisand said, &ldquo;A lot of women vote the way their husbands vote; they don&rsquo;t believe enough in their own thoughts.&rdquo;</p> <p> It is as if women who didn&rsquo;t vote a certain way no longer are considered fully formed human beings, capable of making their own decisions. But instead are infantilized.</p> <p> This treatment is unfair. Society doesn&rsquo;t expect men to vote the same way, so why would we expect women to do so? Our culture shouldn&rsquo;t make assumptions about female voters or create a narrative designed to pressure women into accepting one political perspective. Voting differently isn&rsquo;t a sign that some women lack intellectual capabilities or agency.</p> <p> <cta-atoms-container-inline></cta-atoms-container-inline></p> <p> To honor the centennial of women gaining the right to vote, take a moment and thank a female friend who you know votes differently than you. Or at least don&rsquo;t assume the worst of her.</p> </div> <div id="module-position-SDe4ZsX-jak"> &nbsp;</div> AgnessWed, 28 Aug 2019 08:08:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumThe Clintons’ new feminist book might ignore conservative women, but we shouldn't<p> Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and daughter Chelsea Clinton are writing a book,&nbsp;<em>The Book of Gutsy Women: Favorite Stories of Courage and Resilience.&nbsp;</em>Their book will be&nbsp;<u><a href="" target="_blank">released October 1</a></u>, and feature more than&nbsp;<u><a href="" target="_blank">100 women</a></u>&nbsp;of note.</p> <p> Of the famous women, family members, and friends the Clintons will likely promote in their book, it is doubtful that many &mdash; or any &mdash; will be conservative women.</p> <p> When the Clinton pair thinks of gutsy women, they might think of the far-left Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. The New York Democrat made history as the youngest woman elected to Congress last year, and embraces the &ldquo;democratic socialist&rdquo; label with pride. They might also admire more mainstream Democratic women like Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.</p> <p> But what about Rep. Elise Stefanik of New York, who is shaking things up by leading an effort to get more Republican women elected? Or former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley? She certainly embodies the term &ldquo;gutsy,&rdquo; but something tells me Haley won&rsquo;t be featured in the Clintons&rsquo; book.</p> <p> Luckily, young women have a chance to make sure that all women, not just liberal women, get attention this year.</p> <p> This August marks the beginning of the centennial celebration of women winning the right to vote with the passage of the 19th Amendment. In honor of this history, the Network of enlightened Women, of which I am president, is running an&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank"><u>essay contest</u></a>&nbsp;to give women the opportunity to reflect on the importance of this right and the many women who have made a difference.</p> <p> To enter the essay contest, high school seniors and college women must respond in 600 to 750 words to the following&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank"><u>prompt</u></a>&nbsp;by Aug. 16:</p> <div style="clear:left;"> <div> <div> This year, we begin celebrating the 100th anniversary of women gaining the right to vote in America. Women around the world still don&rsquo;t have some rights that we exercise regularly here in America. What woman do you think has made the biggest difference in the history of America? Why? What can women in America and around the world learn from her? How can American women help support other women around the world?</div> </div> </div> <p> Celebrating the 19th Amendment should include honoring the women who came before us &mdash; across party lines, not just on one side of the political spectrum. The right to vote is for all women, not just women who vote a certain way or support a certain set of candidates.</p> <p> Students who submit an essay between Aug. 12-14 will have the chance to win a shirt with the slogan &ldquo;Conservative Women Vote&rdquo; as a reminder that the right to vote is not just for progressive women.</p> <p> Conservative women can and should vote too.</p> <p> We don&rsquo;t know who the first female president will be, but conservative women certainly shouldn&rsquo;t be written out of contention.</p> AgnessFri, 9 Aug 2019 09:08:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumHow Occupational Licensing Reform Helps Women<p> Arizona Republican Gov. Doug Ducey recently signed into law a bill that makes the Grand Canyon State the nation&rsquo;s first to broadly recognize occupational licenses from other states for people licensed for at least a year in another state. The change is a win for working women and everyone who wants the option of moving to another state and finding a job.</p> <p> &ldquo;House Bill 2569 is a common-sense reform that will help expand economic opportunity by making it easier for people to move to Arizona to further their careers,&rdquo;&nbsp;<a href="">said</a>&nbsp;Paul Avelar, managing attorney of the Institute for Justice Arizona office. Under traditional state licensing regimes, individual states require people to meet certain, specific requirements in order to get a license to practice an occupation, so moving across a state line requires a new license.</p> <p> Thanks to Arizona&rsquo;s new law, workers licensed in one state will have an easier time if they move to Arizona. The law applies to athletic trainers, barbers, cosmetologists, funeral directors, massage therapists, nurses, and real estate agents, among others.</p> <p> This is simply good policy&mdash;after all, massage therapists don&rsquo;t forget how to give massages when they cross state lines, and presumably passing state requirements in one state is enough to protect the public health and safety in another.</p> <p> This blow against needless red tape is a win for economic mobility. Occupational licensing requiring education, training, exams, and/or fees makes it more costly to move to another state and continue working.</p> <p> For those who don&rsquo;t have a choice, it means they have to give up work.</p> <p> Take active duty military spouses, 93% of whom are female. Military families move an average of&nbsp;<a href="">once every three years</a>. Careers that demand families move on short notice or move frequently make it hard for anyone to maintain a career. For those who work in careers that require licenses, the cost can be prohibitive and make working next to impossible.&nbsp;<a href="">Some state legislatures have addressed this</a>&nbsp;issue for military spouses through temporary licensure or just requiring a current license in another state and fees.</p> <p> But this step is not enough. Unnecessary occupational licensing requirements should be repealed.</p> <p> Occupational licenses are justified as a means to protect the public health and safety. In some cases, they serve this purpose. But often, occupational licensing requirements are primarily barriers to entry meant to limit competition to existing workers and businesses.</p> <p> Occupational licensing is increasingly common. Today, occupational licensing covers&nbsp;<a href="">nearly 30% of the U.S. workforce</a>, up from 5% in the 1950s.</p> <p> Some licensing requirements are clearly ridiculous.</p> <p> <a href="">To become an interior designer in Louisiana</a>, for example, an applicant must: complete six years of post-high school education and training, such as graduating from an interior design program of four years and completing two years of &ldquo;interior design experience;&rdquo; pass the National Council for Interior Design Qualification exam which costs more than $1,000; and pay a $150 licensing fee.</p> <p> <a href="">Sixty-nine percent</a>&nbsp;of interior designers are women. No one is going to get hurt by an interior designer picking the wrong couch pillows. But strict licensing does keep the competition out.</p> <p> In contrast,&nbsp;<a href="">Louisiana only requires</a>&nbsp;EMTs pay $110 in fees, complete 110 hours of education, and pass two exams to get a license. It&rsquo;s clear that it isn&rsquo;t public safety that is dictating licensing policies in Louisiana.&nbsp;</p> <p> If a woman who is talented in design can&rsquo;t become an interior designer, she might try to become a florist, but that&rsquo;s not an easy task in Louisiana either. Louisiana is the only state that requires florists to obtain a license. The state eventually ended the practical part of its exam, which as&nbsp;<a href="">Shoshana Weissmann and C. Jarrett Dieterle</a>&nbsp;explained in USA Today, involved subjective judgment of bouquet-arranging. DATA USA found&nbsp;<a href="">71%</a>&nbsp;of workers in the retail florists industry group are women.</p> <p> In addition to being unfair to individuals seeking to find employment or start a small business, overregulation through state occupational licensing negatively affects the economy. Overall, occupational licensing may cost the economy more than $183 billion each year in misallocated resources, according to a&nbsp;<a href="">2018 Institute for Justice report</a>.</p> <p> Rolling back state occupational licensing doesn&rsquo;t have to be a partisan issue. In April, former Vice President Joe Biden&nbsp;<a href="">said,</a>&ldquo;Why should someone who braids hair have to get 600 hours of training? It makes no sense&hellip;They&rsquo;re making it harder and harder in a whole range of professions, all to keep competition down.&rdquo;</p> <p> Amen.</p> <p> Arizona&rsquo;s move should be the first step in rolling back licensing requirements that are needlessly costly, time-intensive, and, in many cases, have no demonstrative purpose besides keeping competition out.</p> <p> This is a women&rsquo;s empowerment agenda that everyone should get behind.</p> AgnessThu, 13 Jun 2019 14:06:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumKamala Harris Should Review The Equal Pay Evidence<p> Sen.&nbsp;<span data-behavior="rolloverpeople"><a data-nid="347914" href="">Kamala Harris</a></span>&nbsp;(D-Calif.) is an experienced attorney, having served as the district attorney of the city and county of San Francisco and as California&rsquo;s attorney general. When it comes to explaining equal pay, this U.S. senator and presidential candidate needs to review the evidence, or risk misleading the American people. &nbsp;</p> <p> Harris recently&nbsp;<a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">announced</a>&nbsp;that she is rolling out a plan to ensure women earn equal pay to men: &ldquo;I am going to announce the first-ever national priority on closing that pay gap and holding corporations accountable for transparency and closing that gap,&rdquo; warning, &ldquo;There will be penalties if they don&rsquo;t.&rdquo;</p> <p> Why is this national priority needed?&nbsp;<a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">She posted to Facebook</a>, &ldquo;In America today, women are paid 80 cents on the dollar,&rdquo; implying that women are shortchanged for equal work.</p> <p> Harris needs to check her facts. Otherwise, she risks misleading the American people and championing bad policy.</p> <p> Harris is likely relying on Department of Labor data to claim that there is a 20-cent gender pay gap. The Bureau of Labor Statistics&nbsp;<a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">reported that</a>women who were full-time wage and salary workers earned 82 percent in median weekly earnings compared to men in 2017. In 2018, women earned 81 cents.</p> <p> But the data don&rsquo;t compare a woman and man working in the same job, or with the same experience. The statistics compare what women and men make in the economy on average.</p> <p> This is not a good measure of equal pay because it doesn&rsquo;t take into account workers&rsquo; labor choices, such as profession, education, hours worked, or many other work preferences &mdash; preferences that we should want people to be able to express and take into account when selecting work. This statistic isn&rsquo;t a signal of systematic sex discrimination in our economy.</p> <p> Under Harris&rsquo;s plan, companies with 100 or more employees must disclose pay data to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and prove that any pay gaps were based on merit, performance or seniority, not gender. Companies would need to earn an &ldquo;equal pay certification.&rdquo; This policy is based on the idea that greater transparency will reveal widespread pay discrimination, rather than different preferences.</p> <div> Furthermore, this plan comes with costs &mdash; costs that will be paid, in part, by working women.</div> <p> In 2017, the White House decided not to move forward with an Obama administration rule requiring businesses to report pay data based on sex, race, and ethnicity, citing major costs. Collecting and reporting the equal pay data would impose an annual burden of more than 1.8 million hours on filers, costing more than $53 million, according to an&nbsp;<a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Equal Employment Opportunity Commission</a>&nbsp;estimate. That&rsquo;s money that would not be spent on raises or new hires.</p> <p> Harris&rsquo;s plan also would extend the federal government further into employee-employer relations, giving the EEOC an incredible amount of power to reevaluate business decisions on pay. How will businesses prove pay differences aren&rsquo;t based on gender? By submitting employee evaluations? There is something distasteful and dystopian about an economy where businesses must turn over employee evaluations and pay decisions for review by the federal government.</p> <p> Out of fear of discrimination charges, employers are likely to respond by offering a uniform compensation package, rather than offering customized benefits to fit the needs of their employees. Compensation that is the same across the board presumably would look fair to the government. But many people, especially working moms,&nbsp;<a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">might prefer more flexibility</a>&nbsp;to more pay if given the option. Businesses would be less willing to offer more customized compensation packages under Harris&rsquo;s plan, which is a big loss for working moms.</p> <p> Let&rsquo;s not forget about the paid leave component of Harris&rsquo;s proposal. Penalties generated from Harris&rsquo;s policy would be used to pay for universal paid family and medical leave. But this is a silly arrangement: if the goal is 100 percent compliance with the equal pay requirement, the result would be an unfunded universal paid family and medical leave program.</p> <p> I am for equal pay. But Harris, and all of us, can do better than this plan. This presidential candidate should not present misleading evidence to justify expanding government&rsquo;s role in the economy.</p> AgnessMon, 27 May 2019 22:05:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumEmpower women on Equal Pay Day by rejecting its faulty narrative <p> Women don&rsquo;t pay a 20 percent tax in the workplace based on their sex.</p> <p> The Gloria Cordes Larson Center for Women and Business at Bentley University in Massachusetts handed out free &ldquo;Equal Pay for Equal Work&rdquo; shirts to be worn Tuesday on April 2.</p> <p> The day has been labeled Equal Pay Day or the day that supposedly represents how much longer women must work to earn what men did the previous year. This day isn&rsquo;t just celebrated on campus. In Texas, the Women&rsquo;s Fund is hosting an&nbsp;<a data-cms-ai="0" href="" target="_blank"><u>&ldquo;Unhappy Hour&rdquo;</u></a>&nbsp;to mark the occasion, for example.</p> <div> <div cnx-creative-type="VideoMonetization"> <div id="cnx-adUnit-overlay"> Additional equal pay legislation has been introduced in Congress in recognition of Equal Pay Day. I write &quot;additional,&quot; because we already have the 1963 Equal Pay Act (which made sex-based discrimination in pay illegal) and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (which made workplace discrimination based on sex illegal). We all want equal pay for women.</div> </div> </div> <p> Rather than being told that they are victims of systematic discrimination, young women should understand the statistic behind Equal Pay Day and the claim that women only make 77 cents (or&nbsp;<a data-cms-ai="0" href="" target="_blank">now 81 cents</a>) for every dollar a man makes.</p> <p> The&nbsp;<a data-cms-ai="0" href="" target="_blank"><u>Bureau of Labor Statistics</u></a>&nbsp;data measure median weekly earnings of women and men in full-time wage and salary jobs. In 2018, women earned 81.1 percent of the median weekly earnings of what men made in full-time wage and salary jobs. Thus, the Left claims that women pay a tax for being women. What&rsquo;s missing is that the statistic does not compare two people in the same job, but instead just overall earnings of women and men. It also does not compare two people making the same labor choices, such as hours worked or education.</p> <p> This Equal Pay Day, women should do something truly empowering: reject the Equal Pay Day narrative.</p> AgnessTue, 2 Apr 2019 07:04:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumLet's build a bipartisan women's rights agenda<p> This Women&rsquo;s History Month, let&rsquo;s honor our past by working together to help all women. When it comes to improving women&rsquo;s opportunities, if we put aside political acrimony, there is the possibility of tremendous bipartisan agreement.</p> <p> Last month,&nbsp;<span data-behavior="rolloverpeople"><a data-nid="365123" href="">Ivanka Trump</a></span>&nbsp;<a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">announced</a>&nbsp;the Women&rsquo;s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative to help 50 million women in developing countries advance economically by 2025. Under the new national security initiative, President&nbsp;<span data-behavior="rolloverpeople"><a data-nid="261287" href="">Donald Trump</a></span>&nbsp;directed the U.S. Agency for International Development to invest $50 million in a fund to encourage workforce and vocational training for women, to foster entrepreneurship, and to eliminate &ldquo;legal, regulatory and cultural barriers&rdquo; to participation in local economies.</p> <p> While the Trump administration deserves credit for making the empowerment of women around the world a priority, the initiative continues the tradition of the Obama administration, which championed a&nbsp;<a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">global strategy</a>&nbsp;to empower adolescent girls in 2016. This should be an area where Democrats and Republicans can come together to encourage better treatment of, and create more opportunity for, women around the globe.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p> Another area of potential bipartisan agreement would be to eliminate the loophole in U.S. immigration law that allows adults in the United States to petition for immigration benefits for child brides. A recent&nbsp;<a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">bipartisan investigation</a>&nbsp;led by Sen.&nbsp;<span data-behavior="rolloverpeople"><a data-nid="188264" href="">Ron Johnson</a></span>&nbsp;(R-Wis.), chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, found that during the past 11 years, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services granted more than 8,600 immigration petitions for spousal or fianc&eacute; entry involving a minor. In 149 approved petitions involving an adult spouse or fianc&eacute; and a minor, the adult was older than 40. And more than 4,700 minors in the United States on spousal or fianc&eacute; visas received green cards during that period.</p> <p> News of the child bride loophole evoked condemnation across the political spectrum.&nbsp;<a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Chelsea Clinton tweeted</a>&nbsp;it was &ldquo;horrifying,&rdquo; and&nbsp;<a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Ann Coulter called it</a>&nbsp;simply &ldquo;sick.&rdquo; Reforming the Immigration and Nationality Act to bar child marriages from conferring immigration benefits would be a good starting place for a bipartisan women&rsquo;s empowerment agenda.</p> <p> Republicans and Democrats also could come together to strengthen federal efforts to prevent women and girls in America and around the world from being subjugated to female genital mutilation &mdash; the barbaric practice of removing the external genitalia of girls and young women without a medical purpose. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention&nbsp;<a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">has warned</a>&nbsp;that more than 500,000 women and girls in the United States were at risk of or had suffered from female genital mutilation in 2012.</p> <p> Last year, Judge Bernard Friedman of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan&nbsp;<a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">declared</a>&nbsp;the federal law banning female genital mutilation to be unconstitutional.</p> <p> The&nbsp;<a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">There Is No Limit Foundation</a>, a nonprofit organization working to end female genital mutilation, released a statement in response to the ruling: &ldquo;FGM continues to be a violation of human rights by global standards and a crime in many states within the U.S. This practice presents great risks to the physical and emotional well-being of women and girls. FGM has no benefits and is not a religious requirement.&rdquo;</p> <p> Michigan&rsquo;s Republican Gov. Rick Snyder signed legislation into law to make female genital mutilation a felony. Prominent Democrats, in particular, former Rep.&nbsp;<span data-behavior="rolloverpeople"><a data-nid="354956" href="">Joe Crowley</a></span>&nbsp;of New York, who was defeated by Rep.&nbsp;<span data-behavior="rolloverpeople"><a data-nid="418771" href="">Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez</a></span>&nbsp;in last summer&rsquo;s primary, have been leaders in fighting to end female genital mutilation. Ocasio-Cortez or one of her colleagues could pick up his mantle and get agreement in Congress to establish new statutory requirements to press federal agencies to do their part to prevent female genital mutilation.</p> <p> Women have come a long way, but there is more work to be done to protect women and girls from exploitation &mdash; in America and around the globe. Republicans and Democrats should commit to working together to make it happen.</p> AgnessThu, 7 Mar 2019 13:03:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumActually, ladies, it's OK to accept Valentine's Day gifts from men<p> There&rsquo;s a way to promote female empowerment without putting down kind gestures from men.</p> <div data-dy-embedded-object="true" id="dyId695cc168eddd77c5"> Dove Chocolate launched a&nbsp;<u><a data-cms-ai="0" href="" target="_blank">new ad campaign</a></u>&nbsp;ahead of Valentine&rsquo;s Day featuring a woman buying her own Dove chocolates with the message that, &ldquo;Every time a woman buys her own chocolate on Valentine&rsquo;s Day, she sets a teddy bear free to follow its heart.&rdquo; The #SetTeddyFree ad ends with a teddy bear playing a piano.&nbsp;</div> <div data-dy-embedded-object="true"> &nbsp;</div> <div data-dy-embedded-object="true"> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en"> This year, take a stand and buy your own chocolate. For you and for teddy bears everywhere. <a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#SetTeddyFree</a> <a href=""></a></p> &mdash; DOVE&reg; Chocolate (@DoveChocolate) <a href="">January 22, 2019</a></blockquote> <script async src="" charset="utf-8"></script></div> <div> This ad series includes a commercial showing three men buying flowers and raving about what turns out to be the same woman. They look like fools.</div> <div> <p> <iframe allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560"></iframe></p> <div> <div> The campaign has garnered plenty of fans, including this one:&nbsp;</div> </div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en"> I do this every year; I buy myself flowers or chocolates or both! I make my own money--I don&#39;t need a man to do it for me! <a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#SetTeddyFree</a> <a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#DontNeedAManto</a> <a href=""></a></p> &mdash; Mother of Dragonflies (@NobleDragonfly) <a href="">February 9, 2019</a></blockquote> <script async src="" charset="utf-8"></script></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> As someone who has cringed at the Vermont Teddy Bear ads, I understand wanting to end the tradition of men buying grown women teddy bears. I also buy my own chocolates regularly. But by connecting this ad to Valentine&rsquo;s Day, it unnecessarily steps into cultural commentary, sending the message that women shouldn&rsquo;t want men to buy them chocolates and show appreciation on Valentine&rsquo;s Day.</div> <div> <p> We live at a time when traditions are being broken about the role of women and men in society. One tradition that shouldn&rsquo;t be broken is men and women treating each other with respect. And one way men have traditionally demonstrated appreciation, affection, and respect is by buying overpriced flowers and chocolates on Valentine&rsquo;s Day.</p> <p> Dove isn&rsquo;t alone in trying to change Valentine&rsquo;s Day. Teen Vogue ran an article headlined, &quot;&nbsp;<u><a data-cms-ai="0" href="" target="_blank">Why Unwanted Valentine&rsquo;s Day Gifts Are Not Romantic</a></u>,&quot; painting Valentine&rsquo;s Day as a holiday that threatens women, listing out horror stories, such as, &ldquo;When my ex and I broke up right after Valentine&#39;s Day, he still drove over with the cake he made me and I had to pretend enjoy eating it with him.&rdquo;</p> <p> While there certainly are inappropriate Valentine&rsquo;s Day gifts, women gain nothing by ending the Valentine&rsquo;s Day tradition altogether. It is not somehow empowering for men to stop buying women chocolates. Women&rsquo;s empowerment won&rsquo;t be advanced by ending traditional signs of respect between women and men.</p> <p> So ladies, on Valentine&rsquo;s Day and every day, appreciate the good men in your life who do nice things for you.</p> </div> </div> <p> &nbsp;</p> AgnessThu, 14 Feb 2019 15:02:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumAt Their Summit, I Saw How Glamour Magazine Can Broaden Its Appeal by Welcoming Right Women<p> Say goodbye to&nbsp;Glamour&nbsp;magazine on grocery store shelves. The outlet&nbsp;announced it will no longer print monthly print magazines starting in 2019. Glamour&rsquo;s January print edition will be its last. Instead, the publication&nbsp;will focus on its digital brand. Launched in 1939,&nbsp;<a href="">Glamour</a>&nbsp;has amassed 9.7 million print readers, 11 million unique monthly users online, and 14 million followers across social media platforms. But that&rsquo;s not enough to keep its print operation afloat.</p> <p> Glamour&nbsp;is not the first women&rsquo;s magazine to cut back or eliminate print editions in recent years.&nbsp;Seventeen&nbsp;<a href="">cut its regular print magazines after the November/December 2018 issue.</a>&nbsp;Teen Vogue&nbsp;no longer has a print edition either.&nbsp;</p> <p> As part of&nbsp;Glamour&rsquo;s&nbsp;rebranding and retargeting effort, the magazine should expand its appeal from fashion and feelings to intellectual debates.&nbsp;Glamour&nbsp;showcases bathing suits for different body types. Why not also offer different policy ideas to its readers? After attending the&nbsp;Glamour&nbsp;Women of the Year Summit, I believe&nbsp;the magazine&nbsp;is positioned to be a leader in how women&rsquo;s magazines engage with their audiences.</p> <p> I run the Network of enlightened Women, known as NeW, an organization for conservative young women. In 2017,&nbsp;Glamour&nbsp;sent a reporter to write about our national conference in Washington, DC.&nbsp;<a href="">She disclosed early in her article</a>&nbsp;that she was a fish out of water:</p> <blockquote> <p> As a 24-year-old liberal woman who cried watching Hillary Clinton lose the election live at&nbsp;<a href="">New York&rsquo;s Javits Center</a>, this wasn&rsquo;t a room I ever thought I&rsquo;d find myself in, and my preconceived notions ran rampant&mdash;all I could think was that I didn&rsquo;t have the right clothes, let alone the bandwidth for the mental gymnastics it would take to talk to women about Donald Trump without combusting.</p> </blockquote> <p> She chatted with attendees over her &ldquo;first ever&rdquo; Chick-fil-A lunch, getting to know the women. She expected pearls, but instead noted the nose rings and hipster glasses.&nbsp;<a href="">She concluded</a>&nbsp;the women weren&rsquo;t so bad after all:</p> <blockquote> <p> On the train back to New York, I started thinking about this group of women that I&rsquo;d known nothing about and, in some ways, judged unfairly&hellip;.I started thinking about Hall&rsquo;s ideal definition of feminism, and how she believes it should be a network of women supporting each other to run for office. Before the conference, I never really thought about wanting more Republican women in positions of power; I only focused on what was happening on the left. Now having met these women, and witnessing how tough-as-nails they are, I&rsquo;ve never been more confident that the future of the Republican party is female&mdash;and in that way, they have my support.</p> </blockquote> <p> It was the individual conversations that seemed to change her mind. Not someone shouting about politics, but hearing from these women on what they cared about and how they believed their policies would make the world better.</p> <p> I had a similar experience attending the 2018&nbsp;Glamour&nbsp;Women of the Year Summit in November. At the first session, it felt just as foreign to me as a New York liberal would feel at a NeW conference.&nbsp;On the first day, I was assigned to a feminist T-shirt-making session. As I looked around the room, feminist T-shirts adorned the walls from floor to ceiling: &ldquo;Never underestimate the power of a woman,&rdquo; &ldquo;You are not the boss of v,&rdquo; &ldquo;1973,&rdquo; and &ldquo;77/100.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p> <p> We each got to make a shirt. The group favorite was, &ldquo;You See A Girl I See The Future.&rdquo; Of course, girls and women are leaders. I see girls and women as empowered to be future leaders, so this shirt didn&rsquo;t resonate with me. The second most popular option said, &ldquo;WITCH,&rdquo; an effort to take back the word for women.</p> <p> After the T-shirt making was over, we had a vegan lunch. This was my first time eating at a vegan chain restaurant. (Shitake bacon just isn&rsquo;t the same.) I sat with a mom and her adult daughter. They said they run a building management company. I mentioned I work for a group promoting conservative ideas. Immediately, the mom raised her hand to give me a high five, and the daughter smiled and said she had been keeping her head down. We became fast friends.</p> <p> My big surprise was that the women at Glamour&rsquo;s conference weren&rsquo;t militant radical feminists. Yes, they overwhelmingly leaned liberal, but they were also intellectually curious about what I, as a conservative, had to say. Sometimes this curiosity was zoo curiosity&mdash; they hadn&rsquo;t seen an animal like me. Other times, the women recognized the limits of what they had heard about an issue and wanted to learn more to decide for themselves. They didn&rsquo;t just dismiss me when I mentioned the word conservative. They asked me questions.</p> <p> During breakfast on the second day, for example, a woman who sat next to me said she was particularly interested in hearing the session on gun control and what the young women leaders on that panel had to say. I replied that I thought it was unfortunate that they didn&rsquo;t have someone on the panel discussing why some people are against additional gun control legislation. She asked me, &ldquo;Why are some people against it?&rdquo; By the end of our discussion, she agreed with me that the panel would have been better with more intellectual diversity.</p> <p> At lunch, I mentioned I attended the last hearing on Brett Kavanaugh&rsquo;s Supreme Court nomination. I expected the women there to be 100 percent against Kavanaugh. But one of the women said the hearing didn&rsquo;t sit right with her. She wasn&rsquo;t sure why. She wanted my perspective. She was interested in talking about due process.</p> <p> These were the types of conversations I had over and over, with smart women who cared about fashion and empowerment&nbsp;<em>and&nbsp;</em>making up their own mind.</p> <p> Glamour&nbsp;isn&rsquo;t afraid of tough, scary topics. The second day started with an interview of Karen Attiah, Jamal Khashoggi&rsquo;s editor at&nbsp;The Washington Post&nbsp;before he was murdered. So why was there no debate or disagreement during the two days of programming?&nbsp;The biggest moment of conflict at the summit came when &ldquo;Today&rdquo; co-anchor Savannah Guthrie compared her mom&rsquo;s realism to the cheerleading of fellow co-anchor Hoda Kotb&rsquo;s mom. That&rsquo;s it.</p> <p> Mainstream women&rsquo;s magazines have a liberal bent. Some have tried going further left. Take&nbsp;Teen Vogue&nbsp;and its anti-Trump article headlines like, &ldquo;Donald Trump Is Still Gaslighting America. I Really Care. Do u?&rdquo; Some have tried to sex-up everything, including politics.&nbsp;As part of its 2014 midterm election participation,&nbsp;Cosmopolitanran a contest asking students their plans to get their peers to vote, with the prize being a party bus to shuttle students to the polls full of &ldquo;shirtless male models.&rdquo;</p> <p> Glamour&nbsp;could stand out by taking a different tack and actually encouraging its audience to think and understand different sides by offering a multitude of views.&nbsp;For its summit and digital stories,&nbsp;Glamour&nbsp;controls the invitations and topics. How about a debate about President Trump&rsquo;s policy on trade and how that affects the cost of goods? A discussion of what state and federal laws discourage people starting businesses? Or a discussion on education reform?</p> <p> That&rsquo;s what the summit needed, and would make the brand more interesting to more people. Perhaps most of Glamour&rsquo;s readers will still be liberal, but they will leave better off for having seen or read an actual debate. They might even become more confident in their position, learning how to anticipate arguments from the other side.</p> <p> When I signed up for the&nbsp;Glamour&nbsp;Women of the Year Summit, I expected some fashion, and I got it. (Apparently bell bottoms are back in style.) I expected some liberalism, and I got that too. But what I didn&rsquo;t expect was how thoughtful the attendees were.</p> <p> The biggest compliment&nbsp;Glamour&nbsp;could pay its readers is to respect their intellect. Don&rsquo;t just give them something to buy, nod in agreement to, or laugh at. Give them something to think about.&nbsp;Smart women want smart content.</p> AgnessTue, 8 Jan 2019 13:01:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumWomen need to add babies and infertility to the 'lean in' discussion<p> Social media was flooded with adorable pictures of children at work with their parents for &ldquo;Take Your Child To Work Day.&rdquo; Even the president got in on it, inviting the children of the press corps into the Oval Office. President&nbsp;<span data-behavior="rolloverpeople"><a data-nid="261287" href="">Donald Trump</a></span>&nbsp;<a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">said</a>,&nbsp;&ldquo;Honestly, the children ask me better questions, if you want to know the truth.&rdquo;</p> <p> Along with &ldquo;Take Your Child To Work Day,&rdquo; this week marked&nbsp;<a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">National Infertility Awareness Week</a>. Women (and men) would be better off if this annual awareness week was getting the attention that &ldquo;Take Your Child To Work Day&rdquo; receives.</p> <p> Infertility includes those who aren&rsquo;t able to get pregnant after at least one year of unprotected sex. How many people does this impact? According to the&nbsp;<a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Centers for Disease Control and Prevention</a>:</p> <blockquote> <p> &ldquo;About 6% of married women aged 15 to 44 years in the United States are unable to get pregnant after one year of trying (infertility). Also, about 12% of women aged 15 to 44 years in the United States have difficulty getting pregnant or carrying a pregnancy to term, regardless of marital status (impaired fecundity).&rdquo; &nbsp;</p> </blockquote> <p> This isn&rsquo;t just a woman problem. In about a third of couples with infertility,&nbsp;<a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">there is a male factor along with a female factor</a>. And in 8 percent of cases, it is attributed to a male factor alone.</p> <p> There is no telling who it will strike. The vice president and his wife&nbsp;<a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">tried for six years</a>&nbsp;before they had their first of three children.</p> <p> One factor doctors do know contributes to infertility is age, for both men and women. A woman&rsquo;s chances of having a baby&nbsp;<a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">decrease every year after age 30</a>. About a third of couples where the woman is older than 35 have fertility problems.</p> <p> Yet the message women hear from the popular women&rsquo;s empowerment movement is to &ldquo;lean in&rdquo; at work and you can fit kids in there somewhere.</p> <p> At a reception a couple of months ago, a friend mentioned that she and her husband were going to start trying to have kids once she turns 30.</p> <p> I&rsquo;ve heard this narrative over and over again &mdash; that women should wait to have children until they reach a certain point in their career or age 30, whichever comes later.</p> <p> We are seeing women achieve more career success, in many cases, in part due to women postponing having children.</p> <p> Before a baby girl turns one, she will likely be dressed in a &ldquo;future president&rdquo; or &ldquo;future girl boss&rdquo; onesie. The message that women should be &ldquo;leaning in&rdquo; to work seems to be everywhere &mdash; you can even, somewhat ironically,&nbsp;<a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">buy a &ldquo;Lean In Baby Onesie.&rdquo;</a></p> <p> But there doesn&rsquo;t seem to be much room in these career success discussions for talk of babies.</p> <p> <a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">A huge majority, 9 in 10, adults say</a>&nbsp;they have children, plan to have children, or wish they had children. And women in 2013-2015 on average&nbsp;<a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">expected to have 2.2 children</a>.</p> <p> How do the babies fit in?</p> <p> It was wonderful to see the Senate rule change earlier this month allowing senators to bring children onto the Senate floor for votes. Sen.&nbsp;<span data-behavior="rolloverpeople"><a data-nid="186569" href="">Tammy Duckworth</a></span>&nbsp;(D-Ill.) was the first senator to bring a newborn onto the Senate floor for a vote and she did so at age 50.</p> <p> Unfortunately, not all women will be able to have a child at the age of 50 after reaching the top of their fields.</p> <p> True empowerment for women should be defined broader than just what they achieve at the workplace. It should be about having the opportunity to build the life they want to build, whether that is career-centered, kid-centered, or both.</p> <p> To be able to build that life, women need the facts about infertility. As part of National Infertility Awareness Week, some groups have been&nbsp;<a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">tweeting out some statistics</a>. And men and women are&nbsp;<a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">sharing</a>&nbsp;their infertility stories.</p> <p> Women will be better off if they know the facts about infertility, rather than assuming they will easily be able to have kids after their career is in order.</p> <p> <em>Karin Lips is the founder and president of&nbsp;</em><a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank"><em>Network of Enlightened Women</em></a><em>, an organization working to educate the next generation of women leaders on conservative principles. She is also a senior fellow with the Independent Women&rsquo;s Forum. Follow her on Twitter&nbsp;</em><a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank"><em>@KarinAgness</em></a><em>.</em></p> AgnessSat, 28 Apr 2018 19:04:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumQuestioning The Equal Pay Day Narrative<p> Today is Equal Pay Day, the day that supposedly marks how much longer women must work to earn what men did the previous year.</p> <p> Some women will wear red to symbolize that women are &ldquo;in the red.&rdquo; In past years, some businesses have offered discounts to women patrons. And The American Association of University Women, the National Organization for Women, and other organized feminist groups will promote the idea that additional federal legislation, such as the Paycheck Fairness Act or Fair Pay Act, is needed to ensure women are paid equally in the workplace.</p> <p> Of course, Equal Pay Day is part of the narrative that women face rampant discrimination in the workplace and in turn, positions government action as the solution.</p> <p> But women of all backgrounds and political stripes should review the facts about equal pay, and question the broader narrative.</p> <p> For starters, let&rsquo;s get some things straight.</p> <p> Everyone wants equal pay for women. This isn&rsquo;t a discussion about whether women should be paid equally or whether it is wrong for an employer to discriminate in pay against women. That&rsquo;s been the law of the land for more than a half century. The 1963 Equal Pay Act made sex-based discrimination in pay illegal. Additionally, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 made workplace discrimination based on sex illegal.</p> <p> Sisters selling the Equal Pay Day narrative argue that women make 83 cents for every dollar a man makes in the U.S. economy, thus implying that American employers are guilty of widespread discrimination.</p> <div _nghost-c33="" ng-version="5.2.0" vest-pocket=""> <fbs-carousel _ngcontent-c33=""> <div style="margin-left:auto;"> <div aria-hidden="true" data-slick-index="6" tabindex="-1"> <div _ngcontent-c33="" data-ga-track="Vest Belt 1 Click" style="margin-left:5px;"> <vestpocket _ngcontent-c33="" _nghost-c34=""><vestpocket-label _ngcontent-c34="" _nghost-c35="" data-ga-track="Vest Belt 1 Click"></vestpocket-label></vestpocket></div> </div> </div> </fbs-carousel></div> <p> But the basis for the 83-cent per dollar statistic is&nbsp;<a data-ga-track="ExternalLink:" href="" target="_blank">U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics</a>&nbsp;data that actually measures median earnings of women and men in full-time wage and salary jobs.</p> <p> This statistic does not compare two people in the same job, but overall earnings of women and men. It also does not compare two people making the same labor choices, such as hours worked or education.</p> <p> Advocates of the Equal Pay Day narrative don&rsquo;t include this fine print in their advertising.</p> <p> But who really wins when women are taught that they are victims of rampant discrimination in the economy?</p> <p> The answer: supporters of increased government intervention in businesses.</p> <p> Women should recognize the Equal Pay Day narrative as a political tool for a particular point of view about how government should affect our lives in the workplace. After all, new legislation in this area often drastically expands the role of government in employer-employee relations and business decisions. Even&nbsp;<em>The Washington Post</em>&nbsp;recognized the downsides to one popular piece of legislation offered by Democrats, the Paycheck Fairness Act, in&nbsp;<a data-ga-track="ExternalLink:" href="" target="_blank">an editorial</a>, noting that this legislation &ldquo;would allow employees and courts to intrude too far into core business decisions.&rdquo;</p> <p> This Tuesday, don&rsquo;t fall for the misleading Equal Pay Day narrative. Women don&rsquo;t pay a nearly 20 percent tax in the workplace just because they are women. Women are smarter than that.</p> AgnessTue, 10 Apr 2018 07:04:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumClaiming Economic Violence Doesn't Help The Cause Of #MeToo Or Equal Pay<p> Hollywood actresses speaking out probably stopped more women from becoming Harvey Weinstein&#39;s victims. They also sparked the important #MeToo conversation.</p> <p> This movement has exposed and taken down industry titans for sexual harassment and sexual assault. And it has served as a catalyst for reevaluating how women are treated in the workplace. We all agree that women shouldn&rsquo;t face physical violence at work, whether sexually motivated or not.</p> <p> But just months after Weinstein&rsquo;s victims started a national discussion on sexual harassment and sexual assault, the conversation is being diverted to a different issue.</p> <p> As often happens with popular causes, opportunists are now piggybacking on the #MeToo campaign to exploit it for their own purpose. What started as women (and some men) coming together to share their stories of sexual harassment and sexual assault at the hands of powerful men and calling for much-needed change is being manipulated into a movement that equates pay differences with physical violence. In a&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">guest column for&nbsp;<em>The Hollywood Reporter</em></a>,&nbsp;Tarana Burke,&nbsp;Ai-jen Poo&nbsp;and&nbsp;Monica Ramirez, three activists who attended the Golden Globes with actresses, wrote:</p> <p> The Golden Globes felt historic. Because it felt that perhaps gender equity might be within reach after decades of work to bend the arc toward justice, but we were quickly reminded that violence comes in many forms, from physical and the emotional to the economic. While Hollywood is trying to address its problem with sexual violence, we want to underscore that the failure to pay women fairly is another way of exacting violence on women workers by devaluing their worth and contributions.</p> <p> These activists are equating the idea that women get paid less than men for the same work with &ldquo;sexual violence&rdquo; by referring to it as economic violence (hat tip to&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">Emily Jashinsky</a>). But these are very different things, particularly when one understands the misleading analysis that has been used to convince many women they face widespread pay discrimination at work.</p> <p> Those who argue that women make less on the dollar that men earn frequently point to&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics</a>&nbsp;data as evidence. But the statistic at issue (<a href="" target="_blank">83 cents here</a>) measures the median earnings of women and men in full-time wage and salary jobs. It does not compare two similarly situated people. For example, it doesn&rsquo;t factor in many of the choices that women and men make&mdash;including education, years of experience and hours worked&mdash;that influence earnings.</p> <p> In&nbsp;<em>The Hollywood Reporter</em>&nbsp;op-ed, the three activists write: &ldquo;The average&nbsp;wage gap for women overall is 80 cents to the dollar,&rdquo; citing a&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">National Women&rsquo;s Law Center Fact Sheet</a>&nbsp;that also compares median earnings of full-time workers.</p> <p> Although the limitations of using this comparison as evidence of rampant discrimination has been debunked, some on the political left continue to cite it as a justification for more workplace regulations and oversight. There is a downside to more regulations, which impacts women. Greater regulations impose costs on businesses, the same businesses that women start and hire women.</p> <p> Any actual or perceived pay inequality isn&rsquo;t the same thing as physical violence. Equating the two belittles victims of violence. And it hurts the momentum to root out sexual assault by turning a cause we can all rally behind into a partisan issue.</p> AgnessTue, 16 Jan 2018 15:01:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumThe Seven Most Ridiculous College Protests Of 2017<p> There has been no shortage of political protests this year. And especially on college campuses. Here are the top seven most ridiculous college protests of 2017.</p> <p> <strong>7. University Of Pennsylvania Graduate Students Stage A &ldquo;Work-In&rdquo;</strong></p> <p> In past years, students have organized a&nbsp;<a href="" target="_self">&ldquo;shit-in&rdquo;</a>and&nbsp;<a href="" target="_self">&ldquo;cry in.&rdquo;</a>&nbsp;This year, graduate students at the University of Pennsylvania&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">protested the Republican tax bill in Congress</a>&nbsp;with a &ldquo;work-in.&rdquo; Participants were called on to sit outside the Offices of the President and Provost and &ldquo;read, or grade, or do any kind of work to demonstrate how vital our work is the Penn community.&rdquo;</p> <p> <strong>6. University Of Cincinnati Students Protest The &ldquo;State Of The Nation&rdquo;</strong></p> <p> College students today point to a myriad of school administration or national policies as &ldquo;triggers&rdquo; to protest. But some University of Cincinnati students seemed to run out of identifiable policies. So they decided to just showcase their general unhappiness by protesting the &ldquo;state of the nation,&rdquo;&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">as reported by&nbsp;<em>The College Fix</em></a>. It was a silent protest,&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">according to one student</a>, so that participants could &ldquo;force people to witness our experiences without creating room for debate or differing opinions.&rdquo;</p> <p> <fbs-ad ad-id="article-0-inread" position="inread" progressive=""></fbs-ad>Shutting down debate and diversity of opinion is the opposite of what should be happening on campuses.</p> <p> <strong>5. University Of California, Berkeley Students Protest Mid-Term Exam</strong></p> <p> At the University of California, Berkeley, four students demanded a take-home essay rather than an in-class exam,&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">as reported by&nbsp;<em>Campus Reform</em></a><em>.&nbsp;</em>These students disrupted the exam. When the professor offered to talk with the students outside the classroom, the protesters decided to complain to the Department of Ethnic Studies instead.</p> <p> <strong>4. Reed College Students Stage A Sit-In For Divestment</strong></p> <p> Reed College students&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">staged a sit-in</a>&nbsp;in the administrative building calling for divestment from Wells Fargo &ldquo;because of the company&rsquo;s ties to private prisons, &lsquo;police militarization&rsquo; and the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline.&rdquo; The students&rsquo; demands were rejected&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">in a statement</a>that recognized that, &ldquo;Regardless of any private beliefs held by the members of the Investment Committee, Reed College operates according to a long-standing principle (stated in its Investment Responsibility Policy) of eschewing any political or social justice positions that do not directly affect the fulfillment of its educational mission.&quot;</p> <p> <strong>3. Brown University Alumni And Students Protest Female CEO Receiving Honorary Degree</strong></p> <p> With a&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank"> petition</a>, Brown University community members called for the University to change course and not award an honorary degree to PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi because she &ldquo;is not only an advisor to Donald J. Trump, she makes $29.8 million a year selling junk food produced with links to child labor, human rights abuses, and deforestation.&rdquo; More specifically, the organizers complained that (1) as a member of President Donald Trump&rsquo;s Strategy and Policy Forum of business leaders, Nooyi is &ldquo;complicit in the current administration&rsquo;s racist, xenophobic, misogynistic, and anti-environment agenda;&rdquo; (2) PepsiCo &ldquo;appropriates social movements;&rdquo; and (3) &ldquo;PepsiCo&rsquo;s supply chain is riddled with irresponsibly produced palm oil.&rdquo;</p> <p> <strong>2. University Of Wisconsin-Madison Students Organize A &ldquo;Bonerfide Penis Arts Fest&rdquo;</strong></p> <p> The Cocks Not Glocks student group at the University of Wisconsin-Madison protested Young Americans for Freedom hosting Katie Pavlich to speak on the Second Amendment with a&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">&ldquo;Bonerfide Penis Arts Fest.&rdquo;</a>&nbsp;The protest entailed signs of &ldquo;dick art that has ZERO literary, artistic, political, educational, or scientific value.&rdquo; Participants were also encouraged to tie a dildo to their backpack.&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">The Facebook event page</a>&nbsp;included a picture of a protester holding a &ldquo;Time to be hard-on gun culture&rdquo; sign with a penis drawing and read:</p> <p> <fbs-ad position="inread" progressive=""></fbs-ad>Bring your favorite art supplies! We will provide a giant roll of craft paper and a megaphone. Make crappy dick art with us! Write dumb dick poems! Give us bad anatomy lessons! Facts about sexuality and sexual assault don&rsquo;t matter to Katie or YAF, so they don&rsquo;t matter to us either. Get up and present your work and we&rsquo;ll give you a free new protest dildo from Good Vibrations.</p> <p> <strong>1. Arizona State University Students Protest For Credit</strong></p> <p> Students enrolled in a &ldquo;Global Politics of Human Rights&rdquo;&nbsp;class were&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">given the option</a>&nbsp;of a group project instead of a final paper. No surprise that they chose the group project. They decided to organize a protest, forming a human &ldquo;wall against hate!&rdquo; with a political agenda.&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">As reported by the&nbsp;<em>Arizona Republic</em></a>, &ldquo;[t]he focus was opposition to many of President Donald Trump&rsquo;s policies, with deportations and a call for a new border wall the major focuses.&rdquo;</p> <p> Students were given credit for protesting Trump&rsquo;s policies. That sums up the state of affairs on campus today.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> AgnessSun, 31 Dec 2017 10:12:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's Forum