From the pay gap to the Tardis

// 27 May 2007

The American Association of University Women has posted a press release about a sex-discrimination case recently won by a geriatric physician at the University of California campus in Los Angeles. Among other things, Janet Conney’s case uncovered the fact that the university kept a secret stash of money which it dished out only to male employees.

Conney says her supervisor was overly critical of her work and made disparaging comments about her to others in the department. She also says that two other male colleagues—physicians at her rank—made suggestive comments to her about her appearance. Little was done by the administration in regards to Conney’s complaints about harassment and pay inequity, and in 2002, her contract was terminated.

She’s been awarded just over $4 million in compensation.

AlterNet reports on how women in states with restrictions on abortion access do not identify with other women getting terminations.

Though there were some expressions of sympathy, we also heard disparaging remarks about women who were too careless about contraception and were obtaining abortions too “easily.” “I am a Christian; I am not doing this casually,” one woman said, with the clear suggestion that others in the waiting room were not so thoughtful or moral. Perhaps the starkest example of isolation came in one woman’s response to the question of whether she would “ever consider being part of a group that supports people who get abortions?” Her answer was an emphatic “no!” As she put it, “I wouldn’t support them (other abortion recipients) because … it [might become] a habit for everyone.” The speaker was a 20-year-old mother of one, who was about to have her second abortion.

Over in France, the new right-wing president Nicolas Sarkozy has appointed seven women to cabinet posts, very slightly diminishing the disappointment of him winning. One of these women is Rachida Dati, the new justice minister, and first person from an ethnic minority to gain a top cabinet post.

Meanwhile, Angry Black Woman applauds Dr Who for its diverse cast.

The Observer prints this feature about how the journalist bonded with his daughter over goth music. As well as being a generally interesting read, it’s great to hear at least one 13 year old say:

My idea of a good song can be very complex. Perfection to me would be an edgy female singer, some crazy guitar riffs, a bassist that gives the song a texture and some insane flourishes from the drummer.

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