Unitarian Universalist Women's Federation

Advancing justice for women and girls and promoting their spiritual growth

Leaping from Our Spheres

-- The Blog of UUWF's Affiliated Minister

Real Religious Freedom

harm-296x197In late March, almost exactly six years after President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law — as pointed out by Caroline Fredrickson from the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy — the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in Zubik v Burwell. This case was based on  a  number of separate law suits filed by a group of religious non-profits who believe that even filing paperwork to exempt them from  covering birth control under their insurance plans is a “sin.” They argue that, by doing so, they “trigger” alternative means of providing this to employees directly through the government and its preventive health care insurance mandate. Continue reading

Taxing Periods

tampon taxPagan Kelly, who has written a book about world changing inventions, observes that since ancient times women have tinkered with pads and tampons to better contain their menstrual flow. Everything from papyrus to absorbent mosses, to repurposed cellulose bandages. Early in the 20th century, Lillian Gilbreth, one of the first female Ph.D. engineers, questioned thousands of women in her effort to discover what an ideal sanitary napkin would look and feel like. Even still, corporate manufacturers of these products, including Proctor and Gamble, clung to “brick-like sanitary pads,” long after female consumers nixed this chafing, bulky model. Continue reading

Equal Pay for Equal Play (and all other kinds of work)

In the ecology of our marriage, my spouse can count on me to at least glance at the book review section of the paper—and the obituaries. I can count on him reading the sports section. And then we depend on each other to point out those articles and columns that might be of interest.

So it was not unexpected that he would hand me an essay by soccer player Carli Lloyd, published right before Equal Pay Day 2016. In it, she wrote that she has proudly worn a U.S. national wome528453647MW00148_USA_v_Japan’s team uniform for 12 years, and in this role had some of the greatest moments of her life—winning two Olympic gold medals and the 2015 Women’s World cup.

Which did not stop her, she wrote, from joining four teammates in filing a wage discrimination complaint against US soccer. Despite her love of the game, she was called to “do what’s right and what’s fair, and upholding a fundamental American concept: equal pay for equal play.” Continue reading

Raised by the 2nd Wave; Moving Forward With the 3rd Wave

Shaya French

Shaya French

I can’t remember a moment when I wasn’t a feminist. I grew up surrounded by feminists: my mother, her friends, my father… Growing up I attended performances of That Takes Ovaries and read a constant supply of fiction books with powerful women and girl protagonists. My dad’s copy of Our Bodies Our Selves lived in my bedroom.

Growing Up Feminist
I grew up being conscious of how my experiences were affected by gendered power dynamics. I recognized how few women were held up as important historical figures in my elementary school classes and chose to study important women on every history project I could. Continue reading

On My Honor

girl scoutsOn International Women’s Day 2016, I was in our nation’s capital meeting with a group of faith leaders who gather live twice a year to share stories of efforts across the country to protect reproductive choice and achieve reproductive justice. We met, appropriately, at the headquarters of a human rights organization. At the desk where we checked in, there were two open boxes of cookies to welcome us – at 8:20 in the morning.

Girl Scout cookies. Also how appropriate. Continue reading

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Leaping From Our Spheres

Rev. Marti KellerDon’t miss the “little gems full of both passion and facts” in the Blog of UUWF’s Affiliated Minister, Rev. Marti Keller.

UUWF’s Affiliated Ministry