ChoiceWords Blog

Posts Tagged: economy

An Ode to Equal Pay Day

Dear Equal Pay Day, Oh how I wish this wasn’t necessary. It’s 2016, 53 years after the Equal Pay Act was signed by Kennedy in 1963, and we’re still having this conversation. This isn’t your fault, of course, but the fault of systemic misogyny, sexist societal views, and racism. You’re just here as a way for us to organize and act; as a way to help us get together and fight this oppressive system. I know, I know. This can be a lot to handle. I mean, as someone who has personally worked at an establishment that paid female employees less than male employees, it is immensely frustrating. Not only was I paid less hourly than my male counterparts ($2 less hourly than men who had the same job as… Read more »

Public Assistance is Reproductive Justice

Recently, my home state of Kansas passed a law that places several restrictions on the usage of benefits received from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program (TANF), commonly referred to as welfare. Among other things, the bill prohibits TANF benefits from being used at swimming pools, movie theaters, cruise ships, and tattoo parlors. Also, the bill limits ATM withdrawals from the TANF account to $25 per day. On top of these new restrictions, Kansas also requires recipients of TANF benefits to be working or looking for work, and has instituted a drug testing policy for those who qualify. And Kansas isn’t the only state to be fighting this “problem” of the luxury of being poor. Missouri lawmakers have been pushing for a bill greatly restricting what type of groceries… Read more »

To Shop or Not to Shop?

With Thanksgiving only a week away, people are already starting to talk about their opinions on Black Friday. Much has been said about Black Friday shopping from people on both sides of the issue. There are some people who would prefer that we restrict whether stores can be open on Thanksgiving day or the next day, saying people deserve to have that time off of work. There are others who insist that Black Friday is a great day for our economy, touting record numbers of sales that day. Both sides have legitimate arguments, so let’s take a look at the reasons given for each position. Reasons not to Shop 1. Consumerism There has been a movement to make Thanksgiving and Black Friday two days where it is socially unacceptable to… Read more »

Gender, Race and the Executive Order for Equal Pay

There’s been a lot of talk about equal pay and the gender wage gap the past week and half. It was widely reported last week and the days leading up to it, that President Obama would sign an executive order that would ensure equal pay for a large sector of the workforce. According to NPR, the executive order will 1) prevent federal contractors from retaliating against employees who discuss their salaries with each other and 2) federal contractors would also be forced to give the Labor Department data about their employees’ pay along with their race and gender, under new rules the president is instructing the agency to adopt. This executive order is important. The gender wage gap exists and it’s hurting a lot of women and families. This order… Read more »

Making the Leap From Student Organizer to Progressive Professional

Searching for your first (or second, or third) job out of college is not easy. You want to do something challenging and rewarding, but you don’t have the years of experience many employers require. Translating the skills you’ve developed as a student leader to the “getting paid to do what you love” world isn’t easy, but it’s possible. To help you out, I’ve compiled some how-tos for applying for your dream job – it’s a combination of common mistakes, advice, and things I wish I’d known during my last job search. To give credit where it’s due, this post was inspired by this tip from Katie Parrish at the New Organizing Institute. I highly recommend signing up for their daily tip emails. Step 1: References

Interns in the United States: Unpaid and Unprotected

No benefits, long hours, random tasks, and all for the sake of “experience” on our résumé. As if unpaid internships weren’t already terrible enough. It’s basically free labor for employers in a competitive job market where purse strings are tighter than ever. The pressure to accept an unpaid internship is way too familiar for college students and youth attempting to remain competitive in a dog-eat-dog job market. Besides lacking benefits that paid employees receive, unpaid interns are now denied basic workplace protections.

Here’s Hoping Janet Yellen is Good for Youth Employment

So, Janet Yellen was nominated by President Obama on October 9 to be the next chair of the Federal Reserve. That sound you hear, it’s the glass ceiling cracking. Before President Obama nominated Janet Yellen, he was considering Larry Summers. The Larry Summers who thinks ladies and their lady brains can’t cut in STEM fields. When I thought a guy who’s not only  sexist but also not a very good economist might be in charge of our central bank, I was all:

4th Annual Women 2 Women Conference: Engaging and Supporting Farmworker Women

Last Saturday I had the pleasure of attending this conference, the 4th of its kind, and hearing about it is nothing compared to actually being there. From the moment I entered the church where the event was housed I heard hearty laughter and bustling conversation, it was never dull, and was truly the best way I’ve spent my Saturday in a long time. The conference was put on by the Florida Farmworker Association of Florida  (FWAF) and Maria Santana, director of the Women’s Studies Program at the University of Central Florida (UCF). Through contributions and donations they were able to provide both lunch and a full dinner to the attendees, but what was most spectacular about the day was the variety of workshops offered, and how the event seemed to… Read more »

Sugar Babies: Victims or Opportunists?

My school, The University of Central Florida is known for its size –  58,000 currently enrolled. But it’s becoming notorious for something else recently…sugar babies. For those of you that don’t know what sugar babies are, no we’re not talking about those tasty caramel movie candies. These types of sugar babies are young people, mostly female, that get their expenses paid for by older individuals – their “sugar daddies.” Why I decided to write about this now? Easy, UCF recently became the 4th fastest growing “sugar baby” school according to sign ups on a site called Seeking Arrangement. I wanted to know just how this site markets them and went on the startup page to see why people are so interested. The site claims to be one of the best at offering… Read more »

The Fiscal Cliff: Not Sexy but a Big Problem for your Sex Life

This post is part of a series from Campus Progress There is nothing sexy about the fiscal showdown in Washington. It’s a complicated mess. Despite that, it’s imperative that our Representatives hear from young people, and critical that they see the connection between sexual and reproductive health and the fiscal cliff. The fiscal cliff is more than a witty metaphor. Plummeting over the fiscal ledge will result in enormous cuts in Title X family planning services, benefits from the Affordable Care Act, funding for comprehensive sex education programs, and maternal health programs. And in a political climate where these programs already hang in the balance, we can’t afford to stand this one out. As young people, we already face a lot of unique barriers when it comes to accessing services and living sexually… Read more »