Tampons and Pads Will Be Free in New York City Schools and Prisons

Tampon (Lydia's Lunchbox)

Tampon (Lydia’s Lunchbox)

Last year, the New York City council voted in favor of providing free tampons and pads to women in public schools, shelters and correctional facilities. The measure passed unanimously, and the program will be the first of its kind.

It’s expected that the city will spend $2.4M for menstrual supplies across the public facilities. Within shelters, an estimated “2 million tampons and 3.5 million pads” will be distributed for the 23K women, costing $540K annually.

Here’s how it would work for public schools:

Dispensers will be installed in the girls’ bathrooms at 800 schools, reaching 300,000 students at an initial cost of $3.7 million and $1.9 million annually thereafter.

The bill was created by New York City Council Member Julissa Ferreras-Copeland. Regarding why the bill was important, Ferreras-Copeland said, “Menstrual hygiene products are as necessary as toilet paper and should be treated as basic bathroom supplies.”

There’s also the fact that menstrual products are a necessary expense for women of childbearing age. This expense, which has been dubbed the “tampon tax” (though it refers to all types of menstrual products), takes a chunk (around $100 per year) out of women’s already diminished paychecks. Lately, there’s been some pushback on this price of being female-bodied: Last year, five women sued the state of New York to abolish the tampon tax.

No word on when the bill will become law, and the program can begin.

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13K Women Interested in Running for Public Office

Women's March (Social Work Blog)

Women take part in a protest against Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump outside the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago, Illinois, U.S. October 18, 2016. REUTERS/Joshua Lott – RTX2PDGE

Ever since Donald Trump became the president-elect in November, women have felt compelled to act out. The Women’s Marches that took place all over the world on January 21 were a great example. Now, some women are interested in taking their civic duty further by running for office.

NY Mag‘s “The Cut” estimates there are 13K women interested in running for public office. They arrived at this number by looking to different organizations that help women run for public office: VoteRunLead has 3.5K women interested, EMILY’s List has 4K+, and She Should Run has 8K+ interested women.

As the article points out, it’s unlikely that all of these women will run. It’s also probable that other women will join these organizations later. It remains to be seen how (or even if) this will impact the 2018 midterm elections, but it certainly looks like #thefutureisfemale.

Single Women are the Most Powerful Voting Demographic

A single lady's ring finger (NY Mag The Cut)

A single lady’s ring finger (NY Mag The Cut)

Single women are a force.

Granted, they’ve always been a force to be reckoned with. But now they’re becoming a powerful voting bloc that could decide this election.

This hasn’t gone unnoticed. Author Rebecca Traister’s book All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation focused on this demographic and how its members are shaping and redefining social norms when the book was released earlier this year. One of Traister’s sources, Page Gardner, predicted that “there could be more unmarried women in the electorate this year than married women — and they vote super left.”

Single Women On The Rise (NPR)

Single Women On The Rise (NPR)

This trend gained steam in 2012. Single women comprised 53% of the voting population, and supported President Barack Obama at around 55%. Compare this to men, who supported Obama at around 45%.

And beware, these single ladies are selective with their votes: The results of the American Women Web survey in the Elle March 2016 issue found that 86% of single women, and 84% of overall women, would not vote for a candidate that was anti-women. This wasn’t partisan, since 73% of Republican women agreed with that statement.

Season 2 of Netflix’s “Jessica Jones” Will Only Feature Woman Directors

Krysten Ritter as Jessica Jones (IndieWire)

Krysten Ritter as Jessica Jones (IndieWire)

Hey Hollywood, you know all that bluster about how you can’t find female directors/writers, etc.? You know how you keep saying you want to diversify but you just can’t? Even though you’re trying really hard? Well, “Jessica Jones” is calling your bluff and raising it.

The Netflix series, which focuses on the Marvel character of the same name (played by Krysten Ritter), has been praised for its depictions of sexual assault and female friendship, among other aspects. And now showrunner Melissa Rosenberg has thrown down the gauntlet and declared that no one shall sit in the director’s chair unless their chromosomes are of the XX variety.

This isn’t the first time a TV series has hired solely women directors to direct its episodes. That would be “Queen Sugar,” co-produced and written by Ava DuVernay (who’s the first Black woman to direct a $100M movie). And that happened earlier this year.

No word yet on who’ll be gracing the director’s chair for the second season of “Jessica Jones” (and also no release date), but I can’t wait to find out.

But one thing’s for certain: Your move, Hollywood.

 

 

Texas Planned Parenthood Will Now Provide Low-Cost IUDs

IUD (NY Mag)

IUD (NY Mag)

It’s one small step forward, but it’s still a step for womankind. Earlier this month, the Greater Texas branch of Planned Parenthood announced that they would now offer intrauterine devices (or, as they’re more commonly known, IUDs) to women who would otherwise be unable to afford them. This benefit is due to a $2M donation from the Boone Family Foundation and the Harold Simmons Foundation, with each foundation donating $1M.

This isn’t the first time a large donation to Planned Parenthood has made more birth control options possible. Colorado also received a donation earmarked for providing free IUDs. The program resulted in a 42% drop in teenage abortions, and 40% drop in overall teen pregnancy rates.

Texas’ program will begin in September. The IUDs will be available on a sliding scale fee-basis for 1K women per year.

 

Don Draper’s Conquests: By The Numbers UPDATED

'Mad Men' Don Draper, Midge Daniels, Megan Calvet Draper, Betty Draper, and Dr. Faye Miller (Vulture)

‘Mad Men’ Don Draper, Midge Daniels, Megan Calvet Draper, Betty Draper, and Dr. Faye Miller (Vulture)

Today’s post is an update of this post, in celebration/memoriam of last night’s “Mad Men” series finale. Now that the series has ended, we can make more definitive statements on what kind of women Don prefers. 

Everyone who watched the show knows that Don Draper (Jon Hamm) is a serial womanizer. Even when he’s married, he can’t stay faithful. It’s part of what makes him so intriguing: we know he’s wrong, but we couldn’t stop watching!

There’s been some ink spilled on the types of women he tends to bed, such as preferring docile women for marriage versus favoring strong-willed career women for affairs. But I was curious to find out if there were any other patterns, and so had some fun with Excel.

For fun, here’s what my entire Excel spreadsheet looked like:

'Mad Men' Don Draper Conquests Excel Spreadsheet UPDATED

‘Mad Men’ Don Draper Conquests Excel Spreadsheet UPDATED

If you can’t see, I listed the names of Don’s 19 partners by season, their relationship to Don, occupation, hair color, religion, and overall length of the relationship. (Some of these metrics I didn’t end up using.) Some of these things I tried finding information as accurate as possible (such as the years each relationship spanned), but sometimes had to make a close guess. So if you see an error, please correct me and I’ll recalculate.

Now, let’s find some patterns via pivot tables.

 

Don’s Relationships by Type:

I broke down Don’s relationships into three types: wife, affair and one-night-stand. I defined affair as on-going with an emotional component, whereas I defined one-night stand as purely sexual, even though it may have happened more than once (as is the case with season 4’s Candace and season 7’s Tricia).

That being said, here’s the data:

'Mad Men' Don's Relationships by Type  Excel Pivot Table UPDATED

‘Mad Men’ Don’s Relationships by Type Excel Pivot Table UPDATED

We know he’s been married twice (I’m not counting Anna Draper, as she was never a conquest), so no surprise there. I figured Don has had more casual partners than serious ones, but I didn’t realize how much it would skew. Don’s had over three times as many affairs and one-night stands combined as he has married and dated partners combined. Interesting.

 

Partners’ Occupation:

I was interested to see if Don had any particular type in terms of career. Though every woman was different, four occupations reoccurred, and all of them roughly at the same rate.

Two of the 16 women (12.5%) were housewives, which were his first wife Betty and later season 6’s Sylvia Rosen. Another pattern that emerged were two actresses, who also held other jobs when Don knew them. These two were season 4’s Bethany Van Nuys (whose other job was a supernumerary) and his second wife Megan Calvet (who began as a secretary).

Don’s partners in season 7 made a couple more occupations a trend. Tricia was the second stewardess, with the first being season 3’s Shelly. Waitress Diana came after season 4’s Doris, also a waitress.

 

Partners’ Hair Color:

Gentlemen prefer blondes, but does Don? Let’s take a look:

'Mad Men' Don's Partners' Hair Color Excel Pivot Table UPDATED

‘Mad Men’ Don’s Partners’ Hair Color Excel Pivot Table UPDATED

No, Don’s more of a brunette man, with nearly half his partners sporting the color. He prefers blondes slightly more than redheads.

 

Religion:

I initially wanted to see how each partner’s religion broke down. Several did not mention or show any religious leanings, so I referred to their respective affiliations as “N/A,” because I didn’t want to automatically put partners into a “default Christian” category.

Only two of the 16 partners (12.5%) were overt about their religious affiliation: season 1’s Jewish department store heiress Rachel Menken, and the Catholic Sylvia Rosen (season 6, though she’s married to a Jewish man).

Other partners signaled their religious leanings indirectly. Season 4’s Dr. Faye Miller (Cara Buono), referenced her Jewish heritage in passing, using a Yiddish phrase. Season 2’s Bobbie Barrett was confirmed to be Jewish by none other than show creator Matthew Weiner himself.

What we can take from this is that while religion certainly isn’t a conscious preference of Don for his partners, he has selected distinctly Jewish women.

 

Duration of Relationship:

How long did each of Don’s dalliances last? Unsurprisingly for most of them, not very long:

'Mad Men' Don's Length of Relationships Pivot Table UPDATED

‘Mad Men’ Don’s Length of Relationships Pivot Table UPDATED

I initially had assumed that some would’ve spanned more than a year, but the only partners with proven staying power have been his wives Betty and Megan.

 

Conclusion:

Delving into the metrics of Don’s sexual partners reveals some interesting findings: He prefers brunettes, doesn’t discriminate on the basis of religion or career, and has a short attention span when it comes to women.

#ThrowbackThursday: Helen Mirren’s Stripper Shoes, 2013

Helen Mirren's stripper shoes (The Cut)

Helen Mirren’s stripper shoes (The Cut)

In 2013, Academy Award-winning actress Helen Mirren showed up to the LA premiere of “Red 2” wearing an elegant emerald dress…and clear, extremely high stripper shoes. She referred to the shoes as her personal leg-lengthening trick, and has apparently owned them for years.

I love seeing an older woman who hasn’t been shoved aside and told that she’s irrelevant, and is instead living her life with gusto and enthusiasm. (Also, I love Helen Mirren.) It’s rare to see, but I always hope more people follow suit.