Things That Matter

The U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team Demanded Equal Pay, Instead A Court Just Rejected Their Case

Women have been fighting for decades to achieve equality in the workplace: from being free from harassment or from being overlooked for promotions and new positions simply based on gender. But few fights have been as hard-fought and as important as the right to equal pay.

And few battles for this right have gone as mainstream and widespread as the fight being led by the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team – who have been fighting for the same pay as the U.S. men’s team. However, their battle just hit a major roadblock, but the team says they’re still moving forward.

A district judge in California has dismissed the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team’s claim of unequal pay. 

The reigning World Cup champion U.S. women’s soccer team is vowing to fight on after a judge dismissed their claim of unequal pay with their male counterparts. The judge said that their claims are not enough to warrant a trial.

The court caught many off guard with its May 1 ruling, which rejected before trial the team’s class claims under the Equal Pay Act and its pay bias claims under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The women say they’re paid less than the U.S. men’s team players because of their sex.

A spokesperson for the players, Molly Levinson, released a statement and said, in part, we are shocked and disappointed with today’s decision, but we will not give up on our hard work for equal pay. A couple of the prominent players, including Megan Rapinoe – tweeted, we will never stop fighting for equality. Tobin Heath said, this team never gives up, and we’re not going to start now.

According to the judge who handed down the decision, the women’s team actually makes more than the men’s national team.

Judge R. Gary Klausner said undisputed evidence shows the women were actually paid more per game than the men during the period at issue in the suit. And the women’s argument they would have made more if paid performance bonuses equal to the men’s was undercut by the women having negotiated a separate pay scheme with salaries and other fixed compensation instead of accepting the exclusively “pay-for-play” agreement the men play under, Klausner said.

The pay discrepancy is because of pay agreements that differ greatly between the two teams.

Credit: Robert Cianflone / Getty

The women’s and men’s teams ended up with substantially different agreements. The female players agreement allows the women to be compensated largely through salary guarantees, with additional opportunities for performance-based bonuses. On the men’s team, players do not earn salaries, but only bonuses, and therefore the men are only paid when they play.

The judge writes, “merely comparing what each team would have made under the other team’s CBA (collective bargaining agreement) is untenable in this case because it ignores the reality that MNT (men’s national team) and WNT (women’s national team) bargained for different agreements which reflect different preferences, and that the WNT explicitly rejected the terms that they now seek to retroactively impose on themselves…In May 2016, USSF offered the WNT a pay-to-play proposal similar to the MNT, but the WNT rejected it preferring an agreement that involved some element of guaranteed compensation.”

Though to be clear – that’s not how the women’s national team sees things and is why they’re pushing forward with their fight.

However, that’s not the way the women see it. On CBS This Morning, team co-captain Megan Rapinoe contradicted the judge’s assertion that the women turned down the men’s deal, “We asked to be under the men’s contract, and it was repeatedly refused to us, not only in the structure but in the total compensation. If we were under that contract, we would have earned at least three times higher.”

The women’s team still has substantial public support for their equal pay case. Joe Biden tweeted that if he becomes president he will not provide World Cup funding unless U.S. Soccer provides equal pay.

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An ICE Nurse Says That Migrant Women Are Having Hysterectomies Performed Without Their Consent While In Detention Centers

Fierce

An ICE Nurse Says That Migrant Women Are Having Hysterectomies Performed Without Their Consent While In Detention Centers

Janis Christie / Getty Images

On Monday, news broke that an ICE detention center in Georgia was performing mass hysterectomies on migrants without their consent. The allegations came from a nurse at the facility along with numerous detained migrants and left many people shocked.

However, the U.S. has a long history of forcing people – especially people of color – into unwanted sterilization, which is a human rights violation and a form of eugenics.

Of course, when it comes to undocumented immigrants, who are regularly referred to as “unwanted” “aliens” by the current president, it’s not so surprising that these practices went unreported for so long. One immigrant in the complaint put it best: “This place is not equipped for humans.”

An ICE nurse and several migrant women allege that a doctor is removing women’s reproductive systems without their consent.

According to the complaint filed Monday by Project South, an Atlanta-based non-profit, a high number of detained immigrant women held at the Irwin County Detention Center (ICDC) in Ocilla, Ga., are receiving hysterectomies, as well as other “dangerously unhealthy practices” at the prison amid the Coronavirus pandemic.

Dawn Wooten, who worked full-time at the detention center until July, when she was demoted to work as needed, said she and other nurses questioned among themselves why one unnamed gynecologist outside the facility was performing so many hysterectomies on detainees referred to him for additional medical treatment. She alleged about one doctor that “everybody he sees has a hysterectomy,” and that he removed the wrong ovary from one young detainee.

“We’ve questioned among ourselves like, goodness he’s taking everybody’s stuff out…That’s his speciality, he’s the uterus collector,” Ms. Wooten said in the complaint.

One detainee, interviewed by Project South, likened the center to “an experimental concentration camp,” adding: “It was like they’re experimenting with our bodies.”

“If it wasn’t for my faith in God, I think I would have gone insane and just break down and probably gone as far as hurting myself,” the woman said. “There are a lot of people here who end up in medical trying to kill themselves because of how crazy it is.”

The same prison has also come under fire for its medical practices amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Credit: Samuel Corum / Getty Images

Project South said the complaint alleges “jarring accounts from detained immigrants and Wooten regarding the deliberate lack of medical care, unsafe work practices, and absence of adequate protection against Covid-19.”

It summarizes the disclosures Dawn Wooten made to the DHS’s watchdog, and quotes unidentified detainees extensively. Covid-19 complaints included staff refusing to test symptomatic detainees, failing to isolate suspected cases, and not encouraging social-distancing practices.

For their part, ICE says to take the reports with skepticism.

A U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement representative released this statement to Law & Crime News in response to the complaint: “U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) does not comment on matters presented to the Office of the Inspector General, which provides independent oversight and accountability within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. ICE takes all allegations seriously and defers to the OIG regarding any potential investigation and/or results. That said, in general, anonymous, unproven allegations, made without any fact-checkable specifics, should be treated with the appropriate skepticism they deserve.”

Women in ICE custody have long been subjected to cruel and inhumane treatment.

Credit: Getty Stock

Immigrant detention centers have long been accused of subpar medical care. However, the issue has become even worse amid the pandemic. The report filed by Project South describes how migrants are forced to live in unsanitary and unsafe conditions and even thrown into solitary if they advocate for basic human rights. But even before the outbreak, immigrant women’s bodies have always been the target of medical malpractice and cruelty.

ICE has allegedly denied treatment to detained women with cancer, brain tumors, and breast cysts, and it has a history of policing their bodies. The Trump administration has been accused of tracking migrant girls’ periods to prevent them from getting abortions, introduced a policy to deny pregnant women visitor visas, and literally ripped mothers apart from their babies during family separation. Azadeh Shahshahani, the legal and advocacy director for Project South, said women held at ICDC have said they are not given clean underwear which leads to infections and rashes.

She said detained women, who are mostly Black and brown, are in extremely vulnerable situations in which “they have no control over their bodies.” “It’s a very exploitative situation,” Shahshahani said of the hysterectomies. “There does not seem to be informed consent … they had pretty much no say in what exactly took place.”

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Best Hack To Help You Stop Saying ‘Sorry’

Fierce

Best Hack To Help You Stop Saying ‘Sorry’

IslandRepublic

Here’s a question: how often do you find yourself saying “sorry” too much?If you’ve ever found yourself apologizing for someone else’s behavior or approaching a receptionist at an office by saying: “I’m sorry to bother you but I have a question”… you might have an apology problem on your hands. Whether you’re people-pleasing, a perfectionist, feeling insecure, or just doing it unconsciously, over-apologizing is a bad habit that all women should learn to unlearn.

Fortunately, there are cures and hacks for avoiding saying “sorry” too often and Latinas are sharing them on Instagram

A recent drawing we shared on our Instagram page, not only maps out ways to stop using the word but prompted other Latinas to share their tricks as well.

Recently, an artist on Instagram shared a drawing that maps out how to stop saying sorry when you don’t really need to. The post inspired users to share similar hacks to avoid apologizing.

It also got women to open up about why they do so.

Check out some of the tricks and reasons below!

This chica who learned that the “I’m sorry” and “don’t say you’re sorry” thing can be cyclical.

“My ex used to tell me this. He said I say sorry too much. When I’d say it, he’d ask what are you sorry for, you didn’t do anything. It’s like we were raised to be sorry for even being alive.” – moneekers

“Yes! Thank you for this!! Would it be much to ask if you all made another one on ‘how to say no.’ I over apologize and I suck at saying ‘no’ whenever I don’t want to do something.” – krna.drn3

“I’m so guilty of apologizing unnecessarily.” – mandieofmiami

This headliner.

“Been difficult to unlearn when you’re raised as a latina. Everything is an apology: disculpe, me puede dar la hora? Ay que pena, mis discuppas por llegar tarde, diaculpen la pobreza.” – m_n_m1975

I have been saying this for years. Save your sorry for when you are truly sorry. We, in this society, have been so conditioned to say sorry for everything that, I feel, the word has lost its meaning.” –longbeachliferadiotv

“Literally was talking yesterday about how this is a thing that I do that I need to stop. I need to cap myself at two apologies for the same thing. Anything more and it gets weird for the other person.” – MermaidZombie

“Space them out. One in the moment (or whenever you realize you did something you need to apologize for), and one after you have some time to think. The second should show that you’re aware you messed up, you regret it, and you’re working to make sure it won’t happen again… but they should both be succinct.” –AngryAngryAlice

This apology sandwich hack.

“Apology sandwich. Apologize, explain your actions, apologize again.” –OldSchoolNewRules

“If your tone is less than “I fucked up, and I hurt you, and it will never happen again” type of thing, then maybe an apology isn’t appropriate at all. “Thank you for being flexible” rather than “Sorry I couldn’t drive you to the airport,” for example.” –CowboyBoats

Try replacing “sorry” with “thank you”

“Genuinely the best advice for this. My girlfriend says sorry for things like the weather or a bad driver. She’s started replacing it with thank you. So “sorry for the weather” turns into ‘thank you for coming out with me despite the rain.’ Every time you go to say sorry, think of how you can thank someone for the same situation.” –NumerousImprovements9 points·2 years ago

“Yes!! Exactly this. I’ve been getting better with not apologizing and now I’m trying to work on not saying the word “just”. I’ll sprinkle it in like “Hey can I have just a moment of your time.” or “I just need you to complete this.” It really minimizes what I’m trying to say and trivializes the importance of the task.” –SpiritedAnybody

This trick is a reminder that you shouldn’t apologize just to get off of the hook.

“I used to be like this. I thought it would ‘absolve’ me or make me a better person or whatever, but it was the opposite. It’s super toxic. Apologizing is supposed to make the other person feel better… not you. If somebody has to make you feel better afterwards, then it wasn’t an apology in the first place.” – EntropyMuffin

“A few years ago a senior, female colleague overheard me making phone calls and commented on how often apologised. She suggested that I stop, I did, and realised that people seemed to respect me more because of it. Success! Around the same time, I stopped being ‘the smiley one who makes cupcakes’ at work and focused on developing a more professional. I’m still friendly and approachable, but I now make a point of earning respect through hard work and try to give better praise to my coworkers (e.g. “great work” rather than “I like your hair”).” – damnfinecupotea

Always remind yourself that saying “sorry” one too many times can make others think you’re not very confident or capable.

“This is good advice in general. I’ve noticed at work that whenever someone points out something I’ve done wrong (even when I had no way of knowing that thing was wrong, such as when the person in charge of a project changes its goals and doesn’t specifically tell me), I’ll always say sorry. I’ve noticed though that the people higher up here never say sorry for anything, which is probably partly why they’re higher up – they appear stronger. The thing is, when I say “sorry” what I often mean is “I didn’t mean any offence/ill intent in doing this thing.” Maybe I should stop, but it just seems more polite than saying “Okay, sure” when someone points out a mistake I’ve made.” –JupiterCloud

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