We watched with bated breath last night during the SOTU…and were happy to find that women’s equality issues came up a lot (deservedly so, of course). But for those of you who tuned out somewhere around the ISIS part or maybe missed the speech altogether, these were the five feminist items that stuck out the most to BUST editors. Drum roll please…
1. The pay gap has got to go. Congress is responsible for passing a law that ensures “a woman is paid the same as a man for doing the same work.” With a slightly disgusted laugh, the President stated, “It’s 2015. It’s time.”
Nearly two-thirds of the minimum wage workforce is made up of women. To help close the pay gap, minimum wage needs to go up. “To everyone in this congress who still refuses to raise the minimum wage, I say this: If you truly believe you could work full time and support a family on $15,000 a year, try it. If not, vote to give millions of the hardest working people in America a raise.”
2. Women’s access to healthcare is a priority. Obama called out Congress again, touching on the fact that while some members are still unwilling to honor a woman’s decisions about her own body, all can agree that every individual deserves the basic right to health care. “We still may not agree on a woman’s right to choose, but surely we can agree it’s a good thing that teen pregnancies and abortions are nearing all-time lows, and that every woman should have access to the health care she needs.” Truth.
3. Sexual assault is not yet a State of the Union talking point. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand from NY brought Columbia student Emma Sulkowicz as her guest in the hopes that the president would address the issue of female sexual assault on campus. Sulkowicz has been making headlines carrying her mattress with her to all of her classes until her rapist is expelled from school. Unfortunately, Obama didn’t bring it up, continuing to sweep the issue under the rug. No points on this one, B-Rock.
4. Childcare is not just a women’s issue. Obama acknowledged that it is often a financial necessity for both parents to work—and because of this, that affordable, high quality childcare is vital to America’s economy. His proposal includes a tax cut of up to $3,000 a year per child to help families cover childcare expenses. “It’s not a nice-to-have. It’s a must-have,” stated the President. “It’s time we stop treating child care as a side issue, or as a women’s issue, and treat it like the national economic priority that it is for all of us.”
5. Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s amazing Nefertiti collar. She is so stinking great. End story.