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equality

Pop Culture

Here’s a paycheck for a McDonald’s worker. And here's my jaw dropping to the floor.

So we've all heard the numbers, but what does that mean in reality? Here's one year's wages — yes, *full-time* wages. Woo.

Making a little over 10,000 for a yearly salary.


I've written tons of things about minimum wage, backed up by fact-checkers and economists and scholarly studies. All of them point to raising the minimum wage as a solution to lifting people out of poverty and getting folks off of public assistance. It's slowly happening, and there's much more to be done.

But when it comes right down to it, where the rubber meets the road is what it means for everyday workers who have to live with those wages. I honestly don't know how they do it.


Ask yourself: Could I live on this small of a full-time paycheck? I know what my answer is.

(And note that the minimum wage in many parts of the county is STILL $7.25, so it would be even less than this).

paychecks, McDonalds, corporate power, broken system

One year of work at McDonalds grossed this worker $13,811.18.

assets.rebelmouse.io

This story was written by Brandon Weber and was originally appeared on 02.26.15

Image from YouTube video.

This is Ernestine Johnson.

Sometimes what people may consider to be a compliment is actually horribly offensive.

This is one of those times.


An incredible woman has the perfect response for someone who says, "You speak so well ... for a black girl."

black, inequality, offensive language

How would he react?

assets.rebelmouse.io

black in America, Arsenio Hall, artist

Ernestine claims to be an average black girl.

assets.rebelmouse.io

But that's not all. Ernestine Johnson is just getting warmed up. She has plenty more to say about what speaking, looking, and acting like an average black girl really means.

And nope, this isn't another lesson in political correctness; it's more about common sense.

She clearly explains it all 42 seconds in the video below:

Oh, and my favorite quote that I'm taking and framing?

This one.

"See, the average black girl that I know, the average black girl that I know were Egyptian queens like Hatshepsut and Nitocris who were ruling dynasties and whole armies of men, excuse me while I set fire to this poem on my pen because I am tired. Tired of the stereotypes black girls have fallen into because of American mentality. Oh, but not half as tired as Ella Baker, Diane Nash, Septima Poinsette-Clark. I am sick and tired of being sick and tired, Miss Fannie Lou Hamer, Daisy Bates, Anna Arnold Hedgeman, and Dorothy Height are far more tired than I am." — Ernestine Johnson


This article originally appeared on 01.28.15

Canva

Even the medical field has bias.

Men.

We have it pretty good. Especially when it comes to our health.

Not only do we get to write the health care legislation, but increasingly, we're getting all the good medical treatment.

We can thank lab animals for this — and the researchers who study them.


For a long time, researchers believed that male animals were better for trials of new medicine.

It was widely assumed that hormone cycles in females would screw up the results.

As a result, currently, over 75% of all lab animals are male.

animal research, studies, gender bias, disease

Lab mouse in a surgically gloved hand.

Image by Rama/Wikimedia Commons/CeCILL.

The problem is, when you test primarily on male animals, you're making medicine that's more likely to be effective for, well, men.

According to a report in New Scientist, researcher Natasha Karp and a team from the U.K.'s Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute studied tens of thousands of mice of both sexes. They found that when you switch off genes in male mice, the mice express different traits then when you switch off the same genes in female mice.

If genes express themselves differently depending on the sex of the animal, the researchers found, so do some genetic diseases.

drugs, health, politics, community

Gene therapy: rad as hell.

Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash

The team concluded that "drugs optimized for male animals may be less effective in females, or even cause harm." Of the 10 drugs that were pulled from the market between 1997 and 2001, they explained, eight were riskier for women.

Male animal-bias also means drugs that work better for women might not even make it into testing to begin with.

As with the debate over what constitutes an "essential" health care benefit (according to some hi-larious U.S. senators, mammograms shouldn't), when it comes to "who constitutes a full human," it appears men are the considered default setting, while women are an afterthought.

equal rights, equal representation, experiments, medical advancements

A bearded man looking off into the distance all manly.

Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash

It's a pretty sweet gig for us men.

The thing is, women are half of us. We like them.

As fully formed human beings with lives, free will, hopes, dreams, and so on, it'd be nice if medicine worked better on them when they got diseases.

There's been some progress toward making medical experiments more equitable, at least where human subjects are concerned.

Clinical trials (on humans) used to involve pretty much no women. Now most are 30-40% female, though that still means women are underrepresented.

Thanks to efforts of researchers like Karp and her team, we now know we need to extend that progress to the animal kingdom as well.

"Unless there’s a really good reason not to, we should be using both sexes in biomedical research," Karp told New Scientist.

Male animals, she argued, have traits just as particular as female hormone cycles that make them similarly varied from an ideal "norm."

Ultimately, more comprehensive research benefits us all — men and women.

Better studies lead to more effective medicine, which leads to less sickness and sadness all around.

That's the hope anyway.

The animals of both genders who turn out to help us out with this project deserve a hearty "thank you."

If we start with equal treatment, we might finally get some equal treatment.

This article originally appeared on 06.29.17

Democracy

How fed-up flight attendants paved the way for women in the workplace

The Stewardess Rebellion changed way more than just the airline industry.

Stewardesses from the 60s

Of course there are more glass ceilings to be shattered, but a ton of notable progress has been made for women in the workplace—from actively addressing sexual harassment, to lessening the gender pay gap, to providing better maternity support and access for women to start their own businesses.

And to think, we can largely thank a mass stewardess rebellion for that.

Back in the 1930s, when the few career options available to women were domestic in nature—like teaching or secretarial roles—working as a flight attendant, aka stewardess, promised a more glamorous and exciting life. A chance to see the world, one flight at a time.


However, the job wasn’t all perks. Airlines capitalized on advertising the stewardesses as sex objects, even using highly suggestive marketing campaigns where stewardesses would all but outright say they were available for sex work. Companies would also exclusively hire young (we’re talking 27 as the cut-off limit), unmarried, white women with specific body measurements to promote their elite luxury image.

The strategy worked—by the 1970s, there was a huge increase in ticket sales. But stewardesses were fed-up with discriminatory labor practices, and became one of the first groups to band together to push for change. Using Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, these women were able to not only transform the airline industry, but help women in other fields take-off as well.

Gleaning from books “Femininity in Flight: A History of Flight Attendants” and “The Great Stewardess Rebellion,” as well as personal accounts from the revolt, the video created by Vox below gives a quick overview of this often overlooked chapter in feminist history.

Please buckle your seatbelts.