Posts Written by Sheila

How Louis C.K. helps the domestic workers’ movement by showing that parenting is work

Ed. Note: This is a guest post by Sheila Bapat. Sheila is a former employment attorney who now writes about gender and economic justice. Her book about the U.S. domestic workers’ movement will be released by Ig Publishing in 2014.

I saw American Hustle on New Years Day. I was pleasantly surprised when comedian Louis C.K. popped onto the screen. In the film he plays the role of police chief Stoddard Thorsen who spars with an overzealous cop Richie DiMaso (played by Bradley Cooper).

This role comes just months after C.K. showed up in Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine. Meanwhile, his critically acclaimed FX television show, Louie, is about to begin its fourth season.

Louis C.K.’s cultural capital is rising alongside a social movement that is also taking off right now: the domestic workers’ movement in the United States. Few would think to connect the comedian with an immigrant women-led movement focused on improving labor protections for workers who care for children, clean homes and serve as companions to elders. Most of these workers are women of color who toil in private homes, and whose labor for decades has barely earned them a minimum wage. The movement has secured a domestic workers’ bill of rights in three states — New York, Hawaii and California – as well as reversed longstanding Fair Labor Standards Act regulations that excluded home care workers from minimum wage and overtime pay.

While its policy objective is to improve ...

Why Chris Rock is a feminist

A SYTYCB entry.

Feminist theory has never been exclusively about women. The beauty of the many strands of feminist theory is that they break through convention generally — convention that values hierarchies, normalizes the white male experience and leaves women, people of color, people who are poor or people who are queer voiceless/marginalized/impoverished/irrelevant.

So why do I think Chris Rock espouses at least some feminist cred, even when in his HBO specials he has said that he “would never hit a woman, but he would shake her,” or that “men lie the most but women tell the biggest lies.” Or that women with children should stop clubbing and get back to their children. ?*

It’s something that requires a great deal ...

A SYTYCB entry.

Feminist theory has never been exclusively about women. The beauty of the many strands of feminist theory is that they break through convention generally — convention that values hierarchies, normalizes the white male experience ...

Record number of woman running for Congress? Big deal.

A SYTYCB entry

More evidence that the 2012 election is getting really mcreally: nearly 300 women have filed to run for House of Representatives’ seats. As Kimberly Killen pointed out earlier today, many are in a tizzy over this record breaking high of women candidates.

Exciting stuff? Maybe, for Americans. But international stats on gender parity in politics put us to shame: The US actually ranks 79th in the world for its number of women in legislatures. Cuba, South Africa, Uganda, Nepal, Sweden all have more women in their Congressional bodies than the US. And Rwanda kicks every other country’s butt, with a record 56 percent women serving in the Rwandan parliament.

In fairness, Rwanda has quotas ...

A SYTYCB entry

More evidence that the 2012 election is getting really mcreally: nearly 300 women have filed to run for House of Representatives’ seats. As Kimberly Killen pointed out earlier today, many are ...