Someone Call Elle Woods Cause I Need a Lawyer to Fight the Pink Tax

 

Source: Creative Commons, https://www.flickr.com/photos/30478819@N08/50531102396

By: Sierra Voorhies

We all know that there is a gender pay gap; women on average make 83 cents on the dollar that men make. This is worsened by intersections of ethnicity and gender. For example, black women make 63 cents to the white man’s 1-dollar, while Latino women make 55 cents to a white man’s 1-dollar. But did you know about the pink tax?

The pink tax refers to an increase in price for feminine or feminine coded items. So, this commonly refers to things like razors and soaps but can apply to anything from dry cleaning to tech accessories. For example, at Target right now 4 women’s triple blade disposable razors from the Up & Up brand is $3.89 but 8 men’s triple blade disposable razors by the same brand is $4.89.  So, for a man’s razor it’s 61 cents per unit, and for a women’s razor it’s 97 cents per unit. This might not seem like a large difference, but over a lifetime of every hygiene product, it costs a lot more to buy feminine hygiene items than masculine ones.

Now that we are familiar with the Pink Tax, let me introduce you to our Pink Tax Donation Drive, happening Saturday, February 12 at the 2:00pm in the Swinney Center! Come to the game and get a free button from us and donate some Pink Tax item(s)! Ideas for items are things like razors, shampoo, bodywash, deodorants, soaps and more- basically hygiene products. They don’t have to be feminine-coded, just items that the pink tax could affect. For example, get the larger and cheaper pack of razors labeled for “men” to donate instead of the smaller more costly pack pink razors labeled for “women” if you want to! These items will go to the UMKC Kangaroo Pantry and the game is free for students! To get a ticket go to https://kcroos.com.

 

Should Female Athletes Be Subject to Gender Testing?

By: Christina Terrell

Gender testing on female athletes has been around for some time now, however it has gone through phases. Gender testing happens to be the sex verification in sports, which grants eligibility for an athlete to compete in a sporting event that is limited to a single sex.

Back in the 90’s, it had been a mandatory and very extensive process. The gender testing process can involve evaluation by gynecologists, endocrinologists, psychologists, and internal medicine specialists. On a simple level, the athlete may be evaluated from their external appearances by experts. The athlete may also undergo blood tests to examine their sex hormones, genes and chromosomes. It was discovered that not all women have the standard female chromosomes, and this began to unfairly exclude some female athletes from competing in their sport.

In the year of 2009, mandatory gender testing resurfaced when Olympic cross-country runner, Caster Semenya won her race by more than just your typical two seconds. but she won the race by way more than two seconds. The public, along with race officials, began to talk, saying that it could be possible that Caster Semenya was really a man and should be disqualified. When Semenya went in for her gender testing, her results came back that she was “intersex”, meaning she possessed both male and female chromosomes. The tests were leaked to the public and the best day of her career turned into the worse day of her life.

Since the incident with Caster Semenya in 2009, the topic of gender testing and whether to make it mandatory or not has undergone many changes and discussions. As of 2018 the decision has been reached to mandate gender testing for females who solely compete in middle distance races of 400 meters to one mile. The reason for this being that these races require evaluations of speed, power, and endurance which are the components measured by the gender test and determine differences between females and males when it comes to testosterone levels. In the end, there are some people who feel this is fair and others who do not because women cannot help if their testosterone falls outside the range of what allows them to compete in the female categories. As a result, gender testing will continue to be an aspect of what females in the sports industry must rise above.

Wonder Woman and Director of Athletics: Carla Wilson

by Amber Charleville

Earlier this semester, I had the privilege of sitting down with UMKC’s Director of Athletics, Carla Wilson. It was a true delight to talk with her about UMKC, the Athletics Department, and Feminism.

Ms. Wilson was appointed to Director of 5d633a50a247f483e8e38254012d84ffAthletics on December 2, 2013, but she’d been serving as interim director for five months prior to that, as well as being UMKC’s Senior Woman Administrator. She has a long history of service with UMKC, receiving her bachelor’s degree in accounting here in 1988 and working for the university ever since.

Of course, those are all facts anyone can snag from her official bio, but I wanted to really understand her roles and her vision for UMKC Athletics. Ms. Wilson shared with me that over the years she’s supervised 14 of the 16 sports at UMKC, overseen budgeting for the entire department, and sat on several committees around campus, including the Chancellor’s Advisory Board to the Women’s Center.

Listening to her story is truly inspiring. She has worked her way from an entry level university position to Director of Athletics, the only female athletics director in the Western Athletic Conference. She also explained that the title “Senior Woman Administrator” is not a specific position. It is a title held in addition to someone’s role within the senior staff of an athletics department.

“It came out of the fact that there were lots of men at the top, making all the decisions, and they wanted to make sure there was a viable counterpart, a female voice that was making sure the interest of all the students, the female athletes were taken into account. From female coaches getting equal pay and the needs of female students, making sure their needs were being met.”

If face, she explained that when the Athletics Director is a woman, she can either keep the Senior Woman Administrator designation, or she can appoint another female member of the staff to the role, giving two empowered female voices to the department. She intends to pass that designation on.

We also discussed some of Ms. Wilson’s goals for UMKC athletics. She has several, but I was thrilled to hear that her top priority is the well being of her student athletes. “Everything we need to do here should center around student athlete success.” You get the sense listening to Ms. Wilson that she cares very deeply for all of her students, male and female, and that she will always have their best interests at heart as she works to make UMKC’s athletics department truly great.

“Academics are first and foremost,” she says, stressing that the current cumulative GPA for the 224 student athletes is 3.24. And that’s not to leave behind athletic excellence, either. Her goal is to start in the top 1/3rd of the Western Athletics Conference and move up from there.

She also laid out the expectation that the student athletes support other campus activities beyond sports. We here at the Women’s Center know all about that as the Athletics Department sponsors the participation of all their athletes in our Walk-A-Mile fundraiser. (For more information on Walk-A-Mile, which is this May, please see here.)

Our conversation also covered the importance of having strong women role models (for both young women and men), Ms. Wilson’s approach to feminism, and her work with the Women’s Center.

“Being a woman, it is very important to me that women, whether they’re students or people in the community, that we are making sure that we are celebrating women who do great things, that we’re providing programming, that we’re making people aware of what’s going on.”

Overall, I could not have been more impressed and inspired by my conversation with Ms. Wilson. She cares deeply about the community, this university, and all the students in it, athletes and non-athletes alike. She understands that people might be watching her a little more closely, waiting for the first woman to be the Director of Athletics here at UMKC to underachieve. But I for one will be watching, knowing that she is going to do great things for our Athletics Department and this school in general.

Thank you again to Ms. Wilson and her staff for arranging this interview. It was an amazing opportunity.