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Some beauty pageants, like the Miss America competition, have done away with the swimsuit portions of the competitions, thus dipping their toes in the 21st century. Other aspects of beauty pageants remain stuck in the 1950s, and we're not even talking about the whole "judging women mostly on their looks" thing. One beauty pageant winner was disqualified for being a mom, as if you can't be beautiful after you've had a kid. Now she's trying to get the Miss World competition to update their rules.

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Little Rock, Arkansas Expands Anti-Discrimination Protections

Cities in Arkansas are stepping in to show that recent anti-gay laws do not represent the whole state.

Photo by Benson Kua via Wikimedia Commons

Yesterday, the Little Rock, Arkansas Board of Directors passed an ordinance banning discrimination against gay and transgender people in municipal hiring. This idea—assessing potential employees or business partners by the content of their character rather than who they love, or their gender identity—might seem like a no-brainer to some, but the new policy is a big deal in a state where social conservatives have been desperately trying to keep discrimination against LGBT people legal.

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Arkansas Refuses to Allow Non-Discrimination Bans Protecting LGBTQ Citizens

The Arkansas Legislature passed a measure that prohibits cities from expanding state anti-discrimination laws.

Image via Wikimedia Commons.

Arkansas legislators are apprently FED UP with being told who they can or cannot discriminate against. Right before they left for the weekend, the Arkansas House of Representatives voted to pass SB202, a bill that slyly declares its intention to promote uniformity in anti-discrimination laws. It does this by banning cities from enacting laws that expand on the state’s anti-discrimination laws, which in their current state do not prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender. The bill effectively allows businesses to deny services to LGBTQ people.

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Obesity Discrimination and the Gendering of Health Care

Obesity discrimination affects women more than their male counterparts.


When Jess Zimmerman reported for her annual gynecological exam last February, her doctor was interested in assessing more than just her vaginal health—he wanted to talk about her weight. "He asked what I ate, but he didn’t wait for an answer," Zimmerman writes. "I had to exercise more, he said, having no idea how much I was exercising. I also needed to eat less [of] whatever it was I was eating." When it came time for another checkup, her experience of being bullied by a doctor who "made incorrect guesses about my habits based on my body" made her think twice about making another appointment. "Something as mild as a pre-smear dressing-down can seriously wreck your trust in doctors for a while," Zimmerman says.

In 2007, researchers from Yale University asked more than 2,000 men and women to report the weight-related stigma they've experienced in their everyday lives. Across a range of BMIs, women were more than twice as likely as men—10.3 percent to 4.9 percent—to report “daily or lifetime discrimination due to weight/height." This discrimination comes from all sides—employers, teachers, family members, even doctors. And heightened health care discrimination against overweight women has been shown to deter them from seeking needed medical help.

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