Tuesday, January 8, 2013

NANCY & DENNIS: SUGGESTIONS FOR ACTIVISM



Awhile back someone wrote asking whether we “consider worthy to take some governmental-level measures that would secure the women the status they deserve?”

Well, YES! We feel that there needs to be government action at all levels to enhance the position of women in the workplace and in society in general. Not because we need help, but to accelerate the process of women moving into leadership roles. There is a lot of inertia against us with thousands of years of male 'leadership' and a male-imposed disdain for women's ideas and values. That has to change, and it can't change too soon. The male-run world is a mess! So, just remove the barriers, and women will take care of the rest!

Even though women don't hold a majority of political offices, our voices are strong and influential; politicians care about the female vote. It's time to help women substantially improve their status and make real social change. It's an exciting time that will see more women in positions of influence.

My husband and I were recently at a feminist workshop where attendees suggested programs that would be beneficial to women. There were many interesting and exciting ideas on how women can increase their participation in business, and how we can raise the earning power of women -- the 'wage gap' has got to go! Some things that were suggested include:

·         Continue programs that set aside a certain percentage of government contracts for women-owned businesses. We also recommend that the percentage of contracts reserved for women-owned businesses be increased

·         Develop policies that encourage private companies to set aside contracts for women-owned businesses.

·         Provide recognition for companies meeting targets for women-owned business participation

·         Provide zero-interest loans for women-owned businesses to expand or for groups of women looking to start a business.

·         Provide lower tax rates/tax credits for women-owned businesses

·         Provide tax exemption for educational activities and pursuits for women

·         Provide subsidized loans for women pursuing science and technology degrees, areas that have traditionally seen female under-representation. Forgive these loans if a woman enters and stays in the technology workforce for five years after graduation

·         Exempt women-owned businesses from corporate taxes for their first five years and gradually apply tax rates thereafter

·         Provide lower tax rates for women's earnings as a means of making up for the 'wage gap' that currently exists between men and women; women currently earn 74% of what men earn.

·         Provide incentives to businesses to have adequate female representation in their workforce as a whole and on each rung of the corporate ladder from professional to senior management. To close possible loopholes, place limits on the number of women in administrative and clerical jobs that can count against women employee targets. This would encourage the promotion of women into traditionally male, higher-level positions. It may also encourage businesses to hire men into traditionally female clerical and administrative positions, further breaking down gender stereotypes.

·         Gradually raise targets for staffing of women within a company. This would provide organizations the incentive to recruit, train, and promote women.

·         Change work rules to allow women to work part time to support both a family and a career.

·         Provide meaningful part-time work for women

·         Mandate that part-time women can return at any time to full-time employment status.

·         Require that a  woman on part-time status receive equal consideration for any promotions within her department and that she is offered any position for which she is qualified

·         Women on part-time status are to receive training and personal development opportunities as would a staff member working full time

·         If a part-time female staff member is determined to be the best candidate for a promotion, every effort must be made to have this as a part-time position if she so desires

·         Require that women on part-time status receive the same benefits and the same pay raise percentages they would were they employed full time

·         Make it easier for men to leave the workforce for homemaking to support a working wife

·         Part-time work may be available depending on the company situation.

·         The man could return to his old position and department within 10 years of taking 'working wife leave.'

·         Obtain funds from charitable organizations to launch grass roots efforts aimed at involving more women in political activities:

·         Recruit female candidates for political office

·         Develop women political activists

·         Support female campaigns

·         Organize 'get-out-the-women's-vote' activities in support of female candidates

These ideas were presented during a three-day conference. The majority of attendees were women, but there were a significant number of men who were active participants in the conference. These men agree with the Feminist agenda and want to actively support it. Lots of good suggestions that all of us are going to try to move forward. Some people thought that, while the suggestions were very exciting, it would be hard to get them into practice. They may be hard, but worth the effort. The status of women has improved since I met Dennis at a NOW meeting. Neither of us would have ever dreamed of the progress that's been made, so, who knows? We'd appreciate any other suggestions in this vein that others may have.

N

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

I believe that there are slightly more women than men in America. If women were to organize a political party or at least an agenda, they could develop the political clout needed to bring about real changes. And they would certainly have the support of at least a small segment of male voters. But they must first put aside political differences which traditionally distinguish the Democrats from the Republicans.

Kathy said...

This posting is all about what is wrong with America. The modern woman does not want or need special treatment from her government. Kathy

Khorina said...

Ms Nancy -

Thank you for your post and your very interesting ideas! As you mention, many of them require effort BUT the fact of mentioning them is a first step.

I think another approach, less direct but I think that it could be very effective, is that of promoting that men do more house/family activities. I think traditionally men have been focusing ONLY in work (being the providers) and that was enough ... I don't think that should be enough anymore, I think society is already moving towards men participating more at home, but I need that moving that notch more and more will level the field. For example, I think this would make more men want part-time jobs, and that would level the field for women that want to work part-time. Men would like to learn more about parenting, and that will level the field for women that don't want to leave their children.

Hopefully this makes sense, but of course your opinions are much more valuable and experienced on this.

Thanks!

Khorina said...

Ms Nancy -

Not related to this post, but I have a question on the best way to approach a feminist and offer help?

I'm going to a Technology conference and I know there's a group of women that are promoting Women in Tech, and I want to make sure to offer them my support without sounding weird, but also making sure they understand it's not lip service.

I have no other interests. Over time I've approached some people and offered my help, but few seem to think of that as a sincere offer. And I haven't gone further because I thought it would be weird.

What is the best way to approach a woman and offer help?

Anonymous said...

Tell the president to nominate a woman to head the FCC; http://www.change.org/petitions/the-president-should-nominate-a-woman-to-be-chair-of-the-federal-communications-commission-2?utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=url_share&utm_campaign=url_share_before_sign

Nancy and Dennis said...

To first anonymous - There certainly are women's agendas out there, and politicians, regardless of their gender, are paying attention. The women's vote and women's issues are of concern to politicians and will continue to be. Women do not need to have a majority, but we do have to make our concerns known. When we do, we are a powerful political force.

As for your comment that we "certainly have the support of at least a small segment of male voters," women's issues and agenda have broad support from men. A great many men, although many won't admit it, are tired of patriarchy and want to do away with it as much as do women. My husband says that when patriarchy is finally overthrown men, will be the biggest beneficiaries. Patriarchy forces behaviors, attitudes, and limits that many men don't want a part of.

N

Nancy and Dennis said...

For Kathy - The entire point of programs like set-aside contracts for women -businesses and scholarships for women entering predominantly male fields is to overcome thousands of years of stereotyping women's roles in society. Once women have the opportunity to demonstrate their capabilities, then such programs will not be needed. It's one reason that many such programs have a sunset provision; there is an expectation that these are a temporary expedient.

There are many barriers yet to be addressed, including under-representation of women in government, at the executive levels of major companies, and in the sciences. And I'm sure that the "modern woman" is confident in her abilities but does not want to take another thousand years to attain parity. You're more than welcome to turn down "special treatment" but many women are grateful for any help they can get on the hard climb up.

Kathy said...

Discrimination to make up for past wrongs is still discrimination. It is still wrong.

In today's world every special interest group has some type of a claim as to why they should be given a preference of some type.

Regardless of race, national origin, or gender it is my beleif that everyone should be given equal opportunity.

As a way of life I beleive very much in the idea that some men are happier living under the authority of a female. It is my beleif that society should be more acceptant of these relationhips.

Femdom 101 is dedicated to the idea that femdom is both a natuarl and healthy way for many people to live. However, as much as I may try, I can not justify the idea
that government regulations should foster any type of female dominant culture in broader areas of society.

In today's world women are taking the lead in their work life as well as their home life. Overall, it is my belief that this new feminie culture will be good for society. However, it should happen naturally. It should not be superimposed on the world by a small group of ultra feminists.

Love, Kathy



Anonymous said...

I think that the ideas of promotion and privileges women-owned businesses are the logic result of the realization of the women's rights policy. Needless to say that the manhood who suppressed the women within the centuries should carry the main burden in the cause of fairness restoration. Nancy's thesis that women's earnings must be provided with lower tax rates in order to make up 'wage gap' is absolutely true. The discrimination caused by the men must be eliminated by the using the money of those who are guilty of it for the state needs. The same with the practice of paying to men higher wages for the same work than the women and considering their contribution to be more significant. It could be broken down by the practice establishing women’s salary to be higher than the one of a man colleagues occupying the similar position in a company.
X

Anonymous said...

I think poverty and child poverty would be very much reduced if we had a policy of paying the highest paid male worker in a concern 1 pence less than the lowest paid Female worker.

The problem of single male parent families would have to be addressed. But in the majority of single parent families it is the Womyn that is the parent.

Two Womyn parented families would benefit even more. Currently two males together are more advantaged because males earn about 17% more than Womyn.

And we would have to address the problem of using such a tactic in capitalist exploitation by making this policy one in which to drive wages lower.

Femsup

Anonymous said...

I agree with Ms. Kathy.

Discrimination is always wrong. I think that as more women move forward in society, we will be better off. And I don't think they need unfair tax policies, unfair lending practices, and other special treatment to be able to continue moving forward.

It's comical how you can have posts talking about how "Women are taking over the world... but we still totally need a TON of government help if we can possibly move forward."

Give me a break.

Nancy and Dennis said...

Femsup -

Your suggestion about the relationship of male to female pay is fanciful but not practical. I have seen proposals for salaries within a work group or department that would have a woman receiving the highest pay and a man the lowest. This speaks to structure as much as what is paid.

N


Anonymous said...

As a single man (UK) I have discovered a way of serving the cause of Female Empowerment that does not involve political activity (much as I support all the ideas expressed here) In brief I seek out or create situations that will place females in power positions over myself. For example a year ago at a largely female gathering I loudly expressed the opinion that `the Female mind is not attuned to the game of chess!` This soon got the required result; a Lady present issued a challenge - not to play her, but her 16 year-old daughter who had only just learned the game. The girl - and her female school friends and all the Ladies present then watched while I proceeded to lose three games in a row with all appropriate signs of confusion and panic. I left the house with their triumphant (and mocking) laughter still ringing in my ears. I am sure the tale will spread among the girl`s school friends and the Ladies acquaintance and help - in some small way - in the demolishing of the image of the arrogant patriarchal male.

Nancy and Dennis said...

To Anonymous ("a single man in the UK") --

Interesting, but you haven't demolished the image of the arrogant patriarchal male at all. You've shown that that's really how most men are. What you've shown is that men are more bravado than action and that men can be put in their place.

N

Anonymous said...

Thank you N - as a single male I am a bit lost and am grateful for the insight of a superior mind.

Stephen Vallandingham said...

Madam and Dennis,

My wife and I are new to the lifestyle. Can you provide some tips to a newly surrendered man, and a completely newly dominant woman? Also we are looking for groups like us, such as the one you sometimes speak of, where all the females are superior and worshipped as they should be. However there is limited information available on these groups. All help is greatly appreciated.

-Brittany and stephen

Mark Remond said...

Dear Brittany & stephen -

What a wonderful voyage of adventure you are embarking upon! I have forwarded your reqeuest on to dennis (his preferred lower-casing), but pending his reply, let me just suggest that you read through the archives here -- there are 7 years' worth! And especially the postings by Nancy and dennis, where Ms. Nancy lays out exactly the kind of information you are seeking, dealing with the essentials of a mutually beneficial FLR. Congratulations to you both! And I personally would welcome progress reports, either as comments to this blog or via email to markremond@yahoo.com