The Economy of the Future Must Include Singles

Women hit the glass ceiling in academia and in business when their needs are not taken into consideration. What happens when single women are not paid equivalent to men? One guess, the loss of the ability to build a future.

Grit? Forget it. Many are born gritty, but grit will not help when those who make the budgets and disperse checks assume women can be paid less simply because they are female.

So, why do so many politicians make pleas to the “American family” when so many Americans (45% in 2014, according to the U.S. Census Bureau) are single? 
At least one state understands the plight of American singles, Ohio. Ohio celebrates “National Singles Week” the third week in September. More states should do the same. 
Question for Presidential candidates: 
How can singles reap the economic benefits of the middle class when the economy seems geared to the married middle class? 

RIP David Bowie: Killin’ It in Death as in Life — David Bowie’s Blackstar Delivers

In the late ’60s and 1970s, some of my babysitters were young men. That’s how I learned about the musician and singer David Bowie. Cool. David Bowie. Bowie’s music flowed from the streets, to our home, from our home to the college campuses we lived on or near. Music was everywhere, jazz, classical, rock ‘n’ roll, blues.

I was a toddler, and then a kindergartner, and a soon-to-be first-grader, living on college campuses with my graduate school parents. My Dad started gigging in jazz clubs when he was a pre-teen. Most people I knew played an instrument. Life was great because of my parents’ album collection, my Dad’s live bass-fiddle playing, and the ubiquitous college kids who babysat my sibling and me. Despite the trauma of the Civil Rights Era, my life as a toddler and a child of the ’60s was great because of music, including David Bowie music.

Sometimes my babysitters were young ladies, but a lot of times they were couples, and sometimes, gentle-voiced young fellows.

My babysitters introduced me to “Space Oddity,” (1969), “Starman,” (1972), “Rebel, Rebel,” (1974), “Heroes,” (1977). I remember “Rebel, Rebel,” as somewhat confusing, slightly upsetting, and therefore to be skipped due to the reference of a torn dress. It wasn’t until I was older that I even heard the refrain “Hot tramp, I love you sooooooo.”

When you are a little girl whose BFFs are college kids from all over the world, music is mother’s milk. Life does not get better than frisbee, dogs, and rock music.

In a dorm room, I encountered a poster of a red-haired someone with a flash across the eye. That’s David Bowie. “Ziggy” from Outer Space. Cool. Outer Space. The Moon? Sure.

College kids listened to songs like “Major Tom,” and “Ashes to Ashes,” with its warning “… mama said, To get things done, you better not mess with Major Tom.” I learned early on how culture trumps strategy by listening to David Bowie. What is the need for a War on Drugs policy when you have the life stories of David Bowie set to music as a warning.

When “Modern  Love” came out, I remember being confused. How could this man be Bowie? David Bowie is Ziggy Stardust from Outer Space. (I was familiar with “Changes,” but still didn’t get the whole persona-change thing until much later.)

Now, with the release of his last album Blackstar (2016), and the unfathomable announcement of his passing just days after, I cringe at the Elder David Bowie because I do not want to accept his latest change. This is selfish, on my part. This also puts me squarely in the fan category when in fact, I’ve always seen myself as a friend of David Bowie.

The Elder David Bowie, the father, husband, friend, neighbor, and theater-performer, deserves my attention. When I listen to this latest incarnation of David Bowie, I honor his right to evolve. It is my job to manage the emotional cacophony his loss provokes.

The David Bowie tributes flooding the Internet disturb me. I love them, though.

(How can I ever be a kid again?)

David Bowie’s Blackstar (2016), brings darkness to my door. It is brilliant and devastating. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

 

Gail Taylor writes, researches, takes photos, reads books, listens to lots of music, cooks for loved ones. 

From Affordable to Universal Care Because Caring is Kind and Caring for Workers is Kinder

The U.S. Department of Labor recently launched a Twitter Q & A about apprenticeship as a means to help people attain jobs. I like that our labor department is taking an active stance when it comes to re-thinking how people obtain jobs. Now, I hope the department will also consider contingent faculty working at colleges and universities as apprentices who could matriculate to full-time status. One main benefit of transitioning contingent, or adjunct faculty to full-time faculty is benefits. A full-time worker usually is guaranteed health benefits and a retirement savings plan. While the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is a huge benefit, it is not clear that it benefits those who work less-than-half-time, and who are adjuncts. University administrators, faculty, students, and their parents, too, would do well to consider the quality of health care that is available to adjunct professors.

It is not clear to me how universities or colleges factor in the health of their contingent faculty labor pool. I know recently when I needed a doctor, I visited several only to discover that they were not included in my insurance plan. The closest doctor I was able to find who could see me was booked until the Spring, but I needed a doctor right then. If there is a doctor shortage, then I hope colleges and universities produce more doctors and medical personnel, perhaps through apprenticeship systems, at least so that there are more doctors available.

It would be great if every Urgent Care facility, public or private, would accept all forms of insurance. I wonder if those part-time, or less-than-part-time faculty giving it their all in the classroom and outside the classroom worry that their health might be at risk?

Law-makers, education administrators, and pundits could be contributing to a renaissance of caring by improving the quality of life of those who selflessly share knowledge with others. Society needs to prioritize the health of teachers.

On a personal note, preparing for two classes this Winter has been exciting because of the emphasis placed on the themes of the course. At the same time, my own body, with its will to do what it wants, reminds me of the importance of balance. Raw vocal chords, exhausted eyes, are side effects of teaching — and represent a willful commitment to learning and teaching. Reflecting on how my body feels after teaching a challenging class reminds me that health-care coverage is a quality of life issue, and for many, a matter of life and death.

The health care debate is a gendered issue. I wonder whether gender gets enough attention when it comes to healthcare, gender, and contingent labor. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Women’s Bureau has wonderful statistics¬†on the kinds of work women do and the pay discrepancies by job and gender. I look forward to learning more about labor and the quality of health care that women may access through their employer and through health plans that are designed to get everyone access to care. Now that we have the access, what is the quality of care, and how easy is that care to obtain? For example, is there easily obtainable access to health care at one’s school, one’s job, and/or near where one buys groceries or lives?

We should care enough to ask these questions. Caring is kind and caring for workers, even kinder.

This Month in Racism, Rape, Killings, and Torture

How, not when?

How will America solve the problem of inhumanity? What can humanities scholars do to change the culture of abuse?

Is this really only America’s problem? Or is the apparent fact that dozens of countries allowed the U.S to place secret torture prisons in their counties a matter of a global abuse of power?

Hollywood. This problem of global state-sanctioned torture needs a big finish.

The culture of abuse, reflected in our institutions, endangers what we hold so dear, freedom.

The higher education community must pay attention to the alarming societal trends of marginalization, ostracism, and brutality at the root of rape-killing-torture culture. This culture, eerily Fanonian, with ties to state violence, must change. Before change happens, the American education industry must reflect on its ties to state violence, as this Chronicle of Higher Education article on a sociology professor whose dad was a Nazi, reflects.

Fanon writes:

“The Negro enslaved by his inferiority, the white man enslaved by his superiority alike behave in accordance with a neurotic orientation.”

As, Fanon notes in Black Skin, White Masks, societies react strangely when confronted by the Other. Think of the revelation of weeping CIA agents witnessing intentional violent acts perpetrated against other humans suspected of wrong. These acts, outlined in the 500-page summary of the “enhanced interrogation” (torture) of those held in U.S. custody post 9/11, reveals tears shed by those hired by the U.S. government, with US. tax dollars. Weirdly, the salaries of good people who give a damn about others may have funded international state-sponsored torture produced by psychologists trained at U.S. institutions of higher learning.

We must ask: Does the American Psychological Association approve of the state-sponsored torture carried out by PhD-holding psychologists? Are college students being taught the “enhanced interrogation techniques” that were detailed in the #TortureReport?

If anything of what we have learned from the U.S. Senate Torture Report is true, then let the tears rain down; all of us should weep. Then, and only then, can the work begin to repair the damage caused by the neuroticism of segregated society.

How can we expect America’s youth to thrive in a system that is only just beginning to come to terms with a legacy of trauma?

How?

How can we expect America’s talented to thrive in any man-made system that dismisses them simply due to circumstance of birth?

What Can Hollywood do?

This problem of gross abuse of power may be solved by the Hollywood entertainment industry. Hollywood exports culture. Hollywood can export reconciliation.

Hollywood power players may atone by exemplifying the qualities of humility and empathy desperately needed today.

Hollywood can integrate.

How can Hollywood become more inclusive and accepting of others so as not to perpetuate racist, sexist, classist, and segregationist tropes? Look at the recent Sony e-mail hack to see racism on display.

How can Hollywood address rape and celebrity culture?

Bigwigs of America, PhDs of Academe, your silence and your secrecy is killing us. It is time for you to take responsibility.

Yes.

America’s elite must solve the problem of rape, racism, killings, and torture. Self-reflection, truth, and reconciliation matter.

Elites must work to repair society.

When elites start working they will ask themselves how is it that they have allowed PhDs to run secret torture chambers, or “enhanced interrogation techniques” programs, then maybe we will have the kind of change desperately needed, today.

Stop Racist Praxis

Racism infects American politics, as this article in The Atlantic outlines.

Time for change led by the perpetrators of ostracism has come. Society is fed up with dumb rationale for promoting the bullshit of bigotry, whether it manifests in rape, torture, state violence, or Sony executive-emails.

Gender and Education

Boys and girls of color are often singled-out by teachers when discussion of tone, attitude, and classroom behavior becomes their issue of concern. As this New York Times article suggests, girls sometimes need to go to court to fight against tyranny.
Rape and black man’s subjectivity

One article by The Times Picayune’s Jarvis DeBerry even referred to the Cosby rape allegations and the struggle for black men’s sovereignty in the same article.

Race and income inequality

Here is a link to a Pew study on income inequality.

When Torture is What It Is: Torture

Human Rights Watch reports specific definitions of torture.

Jenna McLaughlin of Mother Jones reports that what ever ideas the public may have had about what it takes to land a job as a CIA interrogator, in the end, all it takes is an a attitude of carelessness.

Scholars who torture in the name of America must be interrogated, not tolerated. Hollywood executives who delight in social exclusion must realize the limitations of their own humanity and practice empathy through reparations. Law officers reduce their self-worth when acting with malice. Educators dismissing students for no reason perpetuate the cycle of hopelessness familiar to the ostracized.

How much of this inhumane treatment will the average person tolerate? Elites must prepare themselves to answer this question.

Society does not need elite guilt as much as it needs elites to assume responsibility and rectify problems for which they are responsible.

Smoking Advertisements in July 2014 Vogue

Shocked and saddened by the advertisements for smoking in Vogue this month (July, 2014). Publishers of women’s fashion magazines risk alienating healthy-lifestyle advocates by publishing such advertisements.

Women’s health, and the health of men and children needs more attention.

Vogue, it’s about: Priorities.

20140701-013154-5514289.jpg

20140701-013156-5516942.jpg

20140701-013155-5515539.jpg

20140701-013158-5518391.jpg