If April showers bring May flowers, what do Mayflowers bring? A June full of feminist news for the Lydia Lexicon to track, discuss and deliver straight to your eyeballs.
One Year Since Wendy
The end of the month officially marked one year since Wendy Davis, a state senator from Texas, carried out her 13-hour filibuster at the state’s legislature in attempts to stymie a law that would significantly limit access to abortions. Although the law passed later on, Davis has gone on to run for governor and her proactivity in the fight for women’s rights continues to make an impact. For more, check out Salon’s article on what she meant to making movements matter. Also, pink running shoe sales have skyrocketed (or so we at Lydia would like to think).
CFO, See Her Go
The Wall Street Journal’s annual salary survey of chief financial officers in America came out last week, and for the first time since starting the practice in 2010, a woman tops the list as the highest paid CFO in the country. Safra Catz of Oracle, Inc. made about $43.6 million last year, but she wasn’t the only femme de finance on the list — Accenture’s Pamela Craig came in at no. 8 with a paycheck of $2.9 million in 2013, a year where the position in general came with cuts in pay and few bonuses.
Meanwhile, In Silicon Valley
It’s no secret that women aren’t treated too well by the technical sector. Horror stories of female employees denied raises, stuck in lower-level positions and even being bullied out of their jobs make it inconceivable why any woman would want to become part of such a misogynistic sector. But saying “just don’t join” is like saying “just don’t do what you love” for many of the computer geniuses who happen to be women and dream of snagging that corner office at Google. Good luck at that, because the search-engine-slash-world-dominator released its diversity statistics, and they’re not exactly encouraging. Just 30 percent of its employees are women. Facebook’s results are only 1 percent better.
A lack of women and terrible treatment of the few who do make it is exactly why nine female tech employees from wrote a new Feminist Manifesto uncovering the despicable behavior of their coworkers and recommending what can be done to encourage a better environment for female employees of the future.
Tony, Not Toni
Don’t think that Broadway is safer than Silicon Valley. The theater community’s Oscar night (i.e. Tonys) recognized this year’s best of the stage. But just because the theatre tends to see itself as higher brow than the movies doesn’t mean it’s not as guilty of sexism. The Atlantic presented a curtain-opening analysis of how many Pulitzer-winning plays written by women don’t make it to New York’s main stages, as well as how not one female playwright was nominated at the Tonys this year.
Is Anywhere Safe?
We’d like to think so, but the pessimist in all of us says there isn’t, even around the world. Women are still subjected to being objects of beauty, rarely being admired for their professional prowess alone. Except for maybe the Philippines.
Journalist Esther Honig sent her picture to photo editors around the world asking them to turn her untouched image into a portrait of a beautiful woman. She used the simple request “Make me beautiful” to gauge what more than 25 editors from different countries would do — and the results were amazing. Her entire project is available on her website so everyone can see how the Moroccan editor dressed her in a hijab, one American editor made her hair blond and, perhaps most interestingly, the Vietnamese editor did minor touchups while the Filipino editor dressed her in a professional blazer and collared shirt.
Did we miss anything? Have you bought your ticket to Manila yet? If you’re not jetlagged or stuck in an airport with poor Wi-Fi, leave your comments and be sure to check back at the end of July for another feminist news roundup.
Kate Everson is a Chicago journalist and University of Missouri alumna. By day she is an associate editor for four HR industry magazines. By night, she reviews films, outlines fiction novels with tough female leads and dreams of being the first person to win two Oscars in the same night for Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Original Screenplay. When her fingers aren’t getting exercise bouncing across her keyboard, she’s reading Palahniuk and Vonnegut, practicing her Batgirl skills in the dojo or waiting by the mailbox for her Hogwarts letter. As Katharine Hepburn said: “Life is to be lived. If you have to support yourself, you had bloody well better find some way that is going to be interesting.”