Timothy Mapes Harassment Scandal (LINK)
Does the #MeToo movement still matter? Haven’t we talked about this enough? Surely everyone knows and understands how unacceptable sexual harassment in the workplace is by now!
If you’re like many Americans, you’ve heard these questions. Maybe you’ve even asked them yourselves! Harvey Weinstein is facing charges for sexual harassment and assault. Al Franken was forced to resign! There’s only one, not two, US presidents facing allegations of sexual assault (Bye Kevin Spacey!). Surely this means we’ve made progress!
Well, if you’re wondering if the #MeToo movement is still relevant, just look at the news coming out of Illinois. Timothy Mapes, ex-chief of staff to IL political powerhouse Mike Madigan, is out of a job after a sexual harassment scandal and all he has left to his name is a $130,000 buy-out and a $134,000 lifetime pension. Hard luck for him but you’ve got to pay the piper, friend-o. In fact, if the charges are proven in court (and when has a case of sexual harassment against a powerful politician ever failed?!), he could face a hefty $5,000 maximum fine. Talk about consequences!
No one could look at this case and think that they could get away with similar behavior. It’s nice to know we are finally starting to hold these powerful abusers accountable.
Iceland makes historic move for gender equality.
Iceland is starting 2018 off right with a move to mandate equal pay for equal work, regardless of the gender of the employee.
Unfortunately, here in the USA, we’re far behind. Although the gender gap in wages has been shrinking, wages aren’t expected to equalize until 2119, over 100 years from now. Furthermore, that wage gap also varies greatly dependent on race. A white woman could expect to earn, on average, $0.77 for each $1.00 her white male counterpart made for the same job. An African-American woman could expect to earn $0.63. A Hispanic or Latina woman could expect to earn just $0.54 compared to the dollar of her white male co-worker. This doesn’t even begin to factor in the additional obstacles face by women (especially women of color) in the LGBTQIA+ community.
Why does this matter to a domestic violence agency?
Aside from the obvious issue that an unequal society is bad for all of us, domestic violence is often connected with our capitalist system. Financial abuse is common and a lack of financial resources is frequently listed as one of the top reasons that victims of abuse stay in dangerous relationships.
When women have access to equal resources, equal support, and equal pay, they are more likely to be able to leave an abusive relationship. We need shelters like Safe Passage, but we need so much more than that. We need legislation like Iceland passed. We need guaranteed childcare and healthcare. We need paid parental leave. We need services and legislation that protect the rights of women and femmes everywhere so that they can be safe.