Welcome back to Lady Things, the column where we kick the balls of lady freedom down the field of American dreams. This week: What's in the news that lady-types should care about?
Let me first acknowledge that Lady Things is very late this week. It's true and that is because the lady author of Lady Things took a lady vacation to the very ladylike state of California. For this trip, I got my nails done in color changing gel polish at Finger Bang in Portland:
My nails are absolutely unrelated to the following round-up of LadyNews and yet I wanted you to see what they look like because they are amazing.
Now, onto the top news you should maybe care about, just on the off-chance a man asks you if you know any news things. Don't let yourself get gotcha'd!
Gold-Digging Soccer Moms
First, those soccer balls! Did you know that the U.S. Women's soccer team is quite impressively good at soccer? There have been seven Women's World Cups ever. The U.S. team has won three of them and been in the top three of every single one. There have been 19 Men's World Cups ever (just called the "World Cup" but I think we can all agree it's time to amend that slightly). The U.S. Men's team has won exactly zero of those World Cups. In 1930, the U.S. Men finished third in the first ever World Cup, and in 2002, they made it to the quarter finals and lost. Not exactly a stellar record.
My brother, Mike Acker, a sports expert, put it this way:
The Men’s team is miles away from even fielding a decent team, and some people talk about the goal being to win the actual World Cup, which is an absolutely insane idea. Basically USMNT should be trying to be JV level internationally And then compare that to the fact that the USWNT’s (the women’s team) existence is why women around the world even play soccer. The US Women’s national team might be one of the historically most important soccer teams of all time.
Now, the women's team is asking for something kinda crazy: They want to get paid as much as the men. WHAT?! Who are these uppity ladies? Don't they know they should just feel grateful to get to run around kicking balls when they should be home cooking meals for their men?!
According to a statement published on ESPNW (because this won't be of interest to regular ESPN viewers/readers): "…despite the women's team generating nearly $20 million more revenue last year than the U.S. men's team, the women are paid about a quarter of what the men earn."
Oh, lady soccer players. I truly and sincerely hope this goes all the way to the Supreme Court and somehow it is finally made illegal to pay women less than men for doing the same job—or, as in this case and in many others, pay women less than men for doing a much better job than their male counterparts are doing. But I've been an adult in the workforce for 10 years. I'm not holding my breath.
Little Girl Reporters
Hilde Kate Lysiak is the 9-year-old publisher of Orange Street News. She's a kid with ambition, optimism and energy who is publishing her own paper, so of course she's headed for a terrible, horrible downfall. One would hope she could at least have until puberty to believe the world wasn't a dark hole of disappointment, but alas, in 2016, dreamers must grow up fast.
Last week, according to a post she wrote for The Guardian, Lysiak reported a murder that hadn't been reported elsewhere. Then, she says, "many residents of Selinsgrove began making negative comments about me on my website and other social media sites…these negative comments were not so much about the homicide I was covering, but the fact that I – a nine-year-old girl – was covering it at all."
Have these people never read Harriet the Spy? Are they monsters? The answers, obviously, are "no" and "yes."
Apparently, readers of Lysiak's site called her work "trash" and told her she should leave journalism to the pros. She was also told she should stick to tea parties and playing with dolls.
Hey, Hilde, girl, I just want you to know that I've been there, sister! People frequently tell me I should leave it to the pros—and I am, technically, a pro. You are 9, which is too early to learn the truth, which is that you, as a self-possessed female person who is not interested in being "cute" but instead wants to do something meaningful with your life, are terrifying to certain male people and scared female people, who think your ambition will somehow expose their fear. Stay strong, Hilde. And send good vibes to the U.S. Women's soccer team.
Lazy Welfare Leeches
This week, San Francisco became the first city in the United States to require employers to offer six weeks of fully paid leave for new parents. I moved away from San Francisco after living there for eight years, partly because I was like, "What if I want to have children? I certainly could never do such a thing here!"
Joke's on you, Lizzy. In California, employers are already required to pay 55 percent of wages for up to six weeks of paid family leave. In Oregon, the best we get is that your employer can't fire you if you take up to 12 weeks of family leave.
People are always freaking out about how Portland is becoming more and more like San Francisco, with high rents and culture wars. Can we have this one, too?