Keeping Score: Impeachment Inquiries, Emmy Speeches and New Numbers on Women Voters

In every issue of Ms., we track research on our progress in the fight for equality, catalogue can’t-miss quotes from feminist voices and keep tabs on the feminist movement’s many milestones. We’re Keeping Score online, too, in this weekly round-up by digital editor Carmen Rios.


Lest We Forget

+ The Emmys were a feminist fête this year—kicked off by a powerful speech from “Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” star Alex Borstein with a call to action as a conclusion. “Step out of line, ladies. Step out of line!”

+ In a powerful speech Monday before the United Nations General Assembly, 16-year-old Greta Thunberg sounded off on the need for urgent action on the climate. “This is all wrong. I shouldn’t be up here. I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean. Yet you all come to us young people for hope? How dare you.”

+ Legendary feminist leader Gloria Feldt shared her hard-fought wisdom with Ms. readers this week in a Q&A. “This is the moment we have been building to for centuries, you could say, but certainly for the last two centuries. I want everyone reading this to know you have the power in your hands right this minute to achieve gender parity in position and pay, in law and in daily life. For good: our own good, the good of the world and forever.”

+ Rep. Terri Sewell scolded Director of National Intelligent Joseph Maguire in a congressional hearing Thursday for failing to act properly when he first was confronted with the whistleblower complaint in question. “You remained silent. I’m not sure why, but I think that adds to the chilling effect.”

+ Rep. Val Demings did the same—noting that he also went first to the White House, which she thought was obviously inappropriate. “I’ve had an opportunity to investigate numerous other criminal cases—and never once, just for the record, Director Maguire, did I ever go to the suspect or defendant or the principal in those cases to ask them what I should do.”

How We’re Doing

+ Nike made four times as much from apparel revenue during this year’s Women’s World Cup than it did in 2015. Overall sales in its women’s business increased 10 percent “on the back of an incredible summer celebrating female athletes,” according to the CEO.

+ According to a report released Thursday by Tuft’s Institute for Democracy and Higher Education as part of its ongoing National Study of Learning, Voting and Engagement, nearly 40 percent of students who were eligible to vote in the 2018 elections headed to the polls—marking a massive increase from the 2014 election, when only 19 percent did. The new data, which was compiled using a database of 10 million students from 1,000 college and universities, also found that students across lines of race voted in higher proportions than they had previously in 2018. These numbers could shape the 2020 elections, and so could the organizing happenings on campuses nationwide.

+ New polling data from POLITICO and Morning Consult found that 53 percent of voters think the government isn’t doing enough to address pay equity. Among the respondents, 61 percent of women said the government needs to do more to ensure women get equal pay for equal work, and 65 percent of women declared that they think men receive raises faster than women. (Only 43 percent of men think the same, which could explain why only 44 percent of men think the government should be doing more.)

+ More than 2,000 women voters were surveyed for Leading the Change: Women Voters on Gender Equality in Our Society, Work and Politics, a comprehensive study conducted by Breakthrough Campaigns and released by Supermajority Education Fund. Respondents across all demographics said the economy is not fair and is not working for them; half said the economy under the Trump Administration has hurt them. According to the study, three in ten women have been unable to afford a health care bill or medication in the last two years, and 28 percent of women are working two or more jobs to make ends meet. One in three reported being sexually harassed at work, 37 percent reported being paid less than a male coworker to do the same job, 24 percent were passed over for a promotion because of their gender and three in ten feel they’ve been held back at work for starting families.

+ According to the annual State of Women-Owned Businesses Report by American Express, the total number of businesses led by women climbed 21 percent in the U.S., to nearly 13 million, between 2014 and 2019. Revenues generated by women-run businesses also ballooned 21 percent, to nearly $2 trillion, and they created 9.4 million jobs. Both growth totals exceed the national averages for companies headed by executives of any gender.

Milestones

+ Megan Rapinoe is FIFA’s Women’s Player of the Year. She deserves this. She deserves everything.

+ Rolling Stone reported Monday that the Department of Homeland Security has added white supremacy to its list of domestic terrorism threats, marking the first time the agency has ever put domestic threats on equal footing with dangers posed by activity from overseas.

+ Mattel is releasing a new line of gender-neutral Barbies titled “Creatable World.” The dolls will be available in different skin tones and each will come with hair options and clothing options that span typical notions of gender and race.

+ The world’s first Vagina Museum will open this November in London. (We’ve previously interviewed its founder!)

About

Carmen Rios is the Managing Digital Editor at Ms. and has spent over a decade raising hell in feminist media. Her work has been published by outlets like the Atlantic's CityLab, BuzzFeed, ElixHER, Feministing, Girlboss, Mic, MEL and Everyday Feminism; and she also spent six years writing and editing for Autostraddle, was a founding blogger and activist with the SPARK Movement and was the inaugural managing editor of THE LINE Campaign blog. Carmen is additionally a co-founder of Webby-nominated Argot Magazine.