Forbes magazine, supposedly dedicated to profit, business and the American Way, has published a feminist call to action, written by Dina Bakst, demanding legislation to prop up women in the workplace.
The article starts out with celebration of victories, such as chasing men out of college and the workplace:
Going into a new decade, women have many things to celebrate: They now earn close to 60% of all college degrees, run more than 10 million businesses with combined annual sales of $1.2 trillion and, for the first time in history, make up half of all workers on U.S. payrolls.
Followed, of course, by the obligatory whine about the “glass ceiling”:
Yet the struggle for women’s equality is far from over. Despite remarkable advancements, the glass ceiling remains securely in place for American women–even with 18 million cracks in it.
How do we smash that glass ceiling? Well, we need laws. Lots of ‘em!
The time has come to update our laws and policies. First and foremost, Congress should expand access to family-friendly employee benefits, including paid family leave and paid sick days.
Congress should also expand access to workplace flexibility and fair work schedules by reforming the Fair Labor Standards Act and passing a law that guarantees workers the right to request flexible work. Flexible work arrangements (e.g., part-time work, flexible workday schedules and telecommuting) are crucial for many workers with multiple responsibilities.
In the current recession, claims of pregnancy discrimination and other forms of family responsibilities discrimination have increased, yet the gaps in our existing framework of civil rights laws leave many workers without a valid claim. In addition, Congress should strengthen our fair pay laws and ensure that part-time workers are afforded pro rata pay and benefits. Many federal laws explicitly exclude or authorize the denial of benefits to part-time workers.
And what else? Money:
Then there’s Social Security, which needs major revisions. Our national social insurance system has never been updated to provide economic support to workers who reduce their hours or exit the paid workforce to care for family members.
I never knew Forbes was a major supporter of government regulation. Does feminism actually trump profit now? My, how our country has changed…