I was going to write a post today about my daughter's performance at her meet yesterday (she got her first 36 score, and came in FIRST in the All Around!!!), but the following email from Cooper Munroe has me seeing red:
A quick update on an issue, and maybe you can help me get the word out? Recently I saw the documentary film, The Motherhood Manifesto, and through the film I learned that in Pennsylvania, where I live, it is legal to ask someone in a job interview if they are married or have children. Yep, dark ages. As you can guess, this hurts mostly moms and single moms. PA is one of 28 states that is in this predicament, and we, and the other states, aren't covered by the federal regs either.
I have been working with Joan Blades (co-founder of MoveOn.org) and others at MomsRising.org, as well as women in Pennsylvania to help get legislation passed (it has been stalled in the state house and senate -- for 6 years!) that would make this practice illegal.
I wrote an article about it that ran today in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, please read it if you get a chance, it explains the problem: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06260/721997-109.stm
Anyway, if Pennsylvania can do this, it means so much to moms everywhere, and could create momentum for many critical issues involving moms and families, and on this type of discrimination. PA could start a chain reaction, and we need to drum up some noise. Momsrising has create a web page for this, and we have been blogging over there too. We have information, links to PA legislators phone/email info and a petition. You don't have to be from PA to send a message that this is important.
I followed the link to read Cooper's article, and I'm outraged. It is hard enough to be a single mom and have to struggle for pay equity, but to be shut out of the job market altogether because employers don't want to pay health insurance on families is unbelievable. Of course, the problem is much bigger than discrimination against women (who bear the brunt of this -- I bet they don't ask men if they are married and have kids right off the bat). We need universal health coverage in this country. The current system is broken, the custom of leaving health coverage to business is making us less comnpetitive (think of all the recent long strikes, which have been less about labor and more about workers trying to keep their benefits packages).
The problem is big and won't be solved easily - but we can take small steps, and the first one is to show the legislators that we are not going to roll over and allow them to marginalize us, that we have a voice and more important, a vote -- and that allowing this kind of discrimination is not just wrong, it's BAD BUSINESS.