Hey you Iowa City football fans!

Alright so I know some of you actually aren’t that interested in football, but a lot of you are interested in helping the world become a better place. Why not vote with your dollar and the next time you buy Hawkeye apparel look into buying from Alta Gracia brand apparel.

Alta Gracia is the first brand and factory of its kind. Located in the sunny Villa Alta Gracia in the Dominican Republic, AG manufactures college clothing. Hawkeye shirts, Duke shirts, U. of Washington, and about 400 other campuses! The really neat about AG is that they pay their employees over three and a half times the minimum wage, that equals out to about $3.83. They also have several different “watchdog” organizations that check in on how AG is doing. These are outside groups that come in to check on how AG is holding up to the standards written by United Students Against Sweatshops and the Workers’ Rights Consortium that keep factories in check to make sure they are keeping a pleasant and worker-friendly environment. They even have ergonomic chairs!!!! After staying up late working on my latest sewing projects I am very happy that these employees have that. My neck/shoulders were sore after only 30 minutes of non-ergonomic action.


So the cool thing is that Alta Gracia is on our campus. Yayyyeeeee Iowa, way to get it. But have you heard about it? I certainly hadn’t until recently. AG is an awesome company and I’m learning about them and would love to talk to you about it! Interested in workers’ rights? Interested Hawkeye gear? Don’t forget, it’s football season so you’ll need to refresh your black and gold duds maybe, I guess. I don’t really wear black and gold, but as soon as I get paid I’m going to bike on over to the old Hawk shop and pick up my worker friendly Hawkeye uniform! (that was not sarcasm, GO HAWKS YAYAYAYAYAYYEEEEE) (The go hawks part was a little sarcastic, at least the enthusiasm.) I hope they have a crew neck sweatshirt in my size!

Also check Alta Gracia on facebook!


a new girl order? or just another sad sap ‘men have it hard too’ story . . .

Cato Unbound offers some interesting insight into what it calls “The New Girl Order”, the rising incidences of women now outnumbering and outperforming men in education and careers, and generally faring better than men. Men are falling behind, it says.

It’s a fascinating article detailing the ways women have succeeded in exceeding men in education, community involvement, and various other areas of life. It’s a very quick and worthwhile read.

But as nice as it is to hear statistics about women’s empowerment and successes, and while we shouldn’t discount them—we absolutely have come a long way from the early days of the women’s rights movement—there’s a major caveat this author fails to mention. It is: We’re still so far from equality.

If we hold the majority of college degrees, as well as increased our average earnings steadily for decades, why are we still earning less? A few of the response essays to the article bring up these types of questions and inconsistencies, and they’re worth a read as well. (They are: “Sure, Men Have It Rough. But Let’s Not Forget about the Women.” “The Old Boys’ Club Lives On.” “Don’t Blame Women’s Workplace Successes for Men’s Problems.”)

I also wish the author would have touched on an integral point to inequality that she just skipped over: this “new rule” of women dominating applies to younger, childless women.

The second and related theory about why men are falling behind has it that today’s labor market prizes female strengths more than male strengths. The manufacturing economy, the one that ironically gave women the household revolution that helped to liberate them, relied on physical strength and endurance . . . Good jobs today are another breed. They rely on traits like organizational and planning skills, aesthetic awareness, an ability to collaborate, and what are called “people skills.”[15] . . . Whether these qualities are innately feminine, culturally taught, or some combination doesn’t really matter for the purposes of this argument. The point is that today, with the important exception of the technical and financial sector, younger women (that is, childless women, an important caveat) have shown they can easily be men’s equals, and possibly even their superiors, in the knowledge economy.

However, all of these statistics do give us hope for the future. While we still do not receive the same legitimacy as men do in the workplace, maybe the fact that we are churning out well educated, motivated, and uncompromising women now will change that in the future. (Shout out to Iowa N.E.W. Leadership!) A 23-year old college graduate, male or female, typically wouldn’t be a CEO, CFO, or board member of a major organization anyway. But in 20 years from now…

That’s my hope at least. What’s yours?

bad move Des Moines Register . . .

Apparently I’m a little late on this Des Moines Register editorial stating the Institute of Medicine’s recommendation that insurers cover preventative health services for women goes “too far.”

Excuse me, that’s bullshit.

The argument behind this naïve and short-sighted stance is that Americans in general overuse health care, and if people don’t have to pay things like deductibles or co-pays then they don’t “think twice about the expense.” Which is actually kind of ironic phrasing, considering this writer must not have thought twice—or once—about the cost of preventative measures (birth control, yearly exams) versus the cost of unintended/ unplanned pregnancies, or sexually transmitted infections.

“This is exactly why co-payments and deductibles are necessary in health insurance. They help to prevent the overuse of care, something Americans are globally notorious for.”

How you gonna overuse birth control? Hmmm? OD on the 4th week sugar pills?

Placing the burden of disorderly spending on the shoulders of women, especially low income women, is not the way to break Americans from their “drug habit.” This will just mean a continuance of unintended pregnancies of which the parents aren’t financially ready for (because if it’s hard to afford the cost of birth control it might be harder to afford the cost of a child). Not to mention the services that child will need, most likely to be paid for (at least in part) by social and governmental services—aka tax money. It also means covering the cost of women’s medical needs that could have been prevented or detected and treated earlier (cervical or breast cancer), as well as the cost of treating STIs.

If the Register is truly concerned with our country’s dependence on prescription drugs then it needs to go after the pharmaceutical companies that exploit patients into thinking they need useless drugs. (Sexual female dysfunction anyone?!) Keeping women from preventative health measures is really what will cost you in the long run.