Halloween has passed, the World Series is over, and it's firmly in the 40s and 50s where I live. (I was hoping I'd find some Christmas music on the radio on Wednesday, but no luck yet.) As usual, I've been absorbed by the news, so much that it often feels overwhelming. Between news of senseless violence and the tidal waves of stories of abuse and harassment (#metoo), and learning that yesterday was Latina Equal Pay Day, i.e. it takes Latinas until November 2, 2017 to earn what a white man earned in 2016. It was also announced that one of my favorite voices speaking truth to power, Teen Vogue, is going to stop publishing in print, but it's apparently going to continue on the web only. The highlights of my week were going to a Hillary Clinton book signing on Monday and having the chance to chat with Secretary Clinton, and getting to see lots of kids in costume on Halloween. Here are a few other things that have been on my mind this week:
1 ) LEGO Women of NASA are here! Creator Maia Weinstock told us about designing them, how she chose the women who are included, and how the set was chosen for production. Mine should be arriving later today, and I can't wait! Congratulations, Maia!
2) Birth Control Access: Contraception is expensive when you have to pay out of pocket, most women who need contraception use is, and the burden for paying for it largely falls of women. Since the passage of the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies have been required to fully cover it, making birth control more accessible to more women. A few weeks ago, the President rolled back that mandate. The consequences of this for many women will be devastating. Birth control could become unaffordable, and without reliable access to contraception, they will no longer be able to determine if and when they want to become pregnant. That will have a negative impact on America's economic growth.
3) Daylight Saving Time ends this weekend, and I'm always ambivalent about it. On one hand, it's rough to see the sun set at 4:30 in the afternoon where I live. On the other hand, I always relish the first week or two, because with the clocks set back, it either feels like I get to sleep in extra late, or I'm getting an early start on the day, because 8 o'clock today will be 7 o'clock on Sunday. I constantly read articles on "how to become a morning person," but for me, getting up too early just ruins my day. I don't feel like I'm getting a jump on things; I usually just feel physically ill. When I came across this essay, describing exactly what I experience when I have to wake up too early, it was so validating! Some of us just aren't wired for early mornings...
4) Have you all seen the "Mother Before" Instagram? I can't get enough of it. Women submit photos of their moms before they had children, along with a few sentences about them- personality, hobbies, career, partners, all kinds of things. Most of my friends have kids now, and I sometimes wonder if those kids will ever have a sense of the girls I knew growing up or the adults they were before kids.
5) And last, but certainly not least, Washington, D.C. fifth grader and Girl Scout Alice Paul Tapper writes, "I'm 10. And I Want Girls To Raise Their Hands." (Tapper's Girl Scout Troop sounds its own Feminist Fight Club, and I love it.)