Paid Leave For All - Katie Bethell is Seizing the Moment to Fight for Radical Policy Change

America is one of only two countries in the world where you can be fired for taking a day off in order to give birth (let that sink in for a moment). As it stands, paid leave policy varies from company to company, state to state, but on a national level, there is no policy in place, no minimum requirements or baseline standard that applies to everyone.

And it’s not just about moms—this lack of policy also has greater repercussions for how we define a family, in a political sense, and the relationship between the family and the workplace--men included. Senators Elizabeth Warren and Kirsten Gillibrand are both bringing attention to these issues, running on platforms of universal childcare, and paid medical and family leave.

Katie Bethell, founder and executive director of Paid Leave for the US (PLUS), joins us this week to give us the alarming stats, talk nerdy government logistics, and offer some extremely practical advice on how we can use this particularly potent moment to push for political change.

Join us this week on Inflection Point for a look at radical change in action, one decision at a time.

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Photo courtesy of Paid Leave for the US

Photo courtesy of Paid Leave for the US

The End of Human Trafficking May Begin with Radical Empathy - Julia Flynn Siler

In 19th Century San Francisco's Chinatown only 1 in 10 people were women, and most of them were forced into prostitution, trafficked by criminal tongs. In today’s episode, meet the Scottish sewing instructor Donaldina Cameron and the women she collaborated with and helped escape from sex slavery between 1870 and 1930. This week on Inflection Point: Julia Flynn Siler talks about her new book The White Devil’s Daughters: The Women Who Fought Slavery in San Francisco’s Chinatown. Prepare yourself for bomb scares and bubonic plague quarantines, court cases and crowdfunding efforts. Join us in what is, ultimately, a conversation about standing up to a broken society, and how women can help women rise up.

Recorded at the Bay Area Book Festival in May 2019 as part of their Women Lit programming.

Photo courtesy of Julia Flynn Siler

Photo courtesy of Julia Flynn Siler

What Happens When Sexual Assault Goes Unpunished: Sarah Delia, Host of “She Says”



When radio journalist Sarah Delia heard a story about the sexual assault of one of her listeners, “Linda” (not her real name), she knew it was a story that needed to be told. It’s also a story about how one survivor took matters into her own hands when the police department she turned to for help seemed to be failing to help her. And it’s a story about how our criminal justice system handles sexual assault cases nationwide--and what needs to change to make violence against women the exception rather than the status quo.

Sarah turned Linda’s story into a new investigative podcast series called “She Says”. Listen to our conversation about the courage it takes to tell your story of sexual assault--and keep telling it---until you are heard by someone who can help you get justice. And also--what it takes to be the person who takes on the “second-degree trauma” of listening to and reporting on stories of sexual assault.

To learn more about what to expect from the criminal justice system in cases of sexual assault--and how you can help advocate for better policies, you can check out these resources on the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN).

She Says also has a list of resources on their website.

And if you or someone you know is a victim of sexual assault and need to talk about it with someone, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline: 800-656-HOPE.

TRANSCRIPT

Sarah Delia  Photo by Logan Cyrus

Sarah Delia

Photo by Logan Cyrus

Do haters deserve our compassion? Sally Kohn, Author of "The Opposite of Hate"

Can you find compassion in your heart for the haters in your life? CNN political commentator and first-time author Sally Kohn says if we keep on hating the haters, the cycle of hate will never end.  She’s believes compassion to be one of the keys to breaking the cycle of hatred that pervades our culture in today’s divisive world. 

The question is, how can compassion defeat a system fueled by hate? 

Listen in on my conversation with Sally Kohn, author of “The Opposite of Hate” on what she’s learned from her own missteps as a former school bully and, paradoxically, as a well-meaning liberal, breaking the cycle of hate, and cultivating compassion for her perceived enemies.
 

Photo by Paul Takeuchi

Photo by Paul Takeuchi

How Girls Are Changing The World - Paola Gianturco and Alex Sangster

When we work so hard to preserve what we see as the innocence of childhood, are we actually holding our kids back from the courageous work they can be doing in this world? Twelve-year-old Alex Sangster and her grandmother, accomplished photojournalist Paola Gianturco partnered to interview and photograph over 102 girls aged 10 through 18 who aren’t waiting for a new day to begin their activism: they are rolling up their sleeves and ushering in that new day right now. 

Listen to my conversation with Paola Gianturco and Alex Sangster, co-authors of Wonder Girls: Changing Our World, about what it looks like when we let girls lead. 
 

Paola_Gianturco_and_Alex_1024x1024 copy.jpg

How To Fight An Invisible Illness - Jennifer Brea, Creator & Director of “Unrest”

It took Jennifer Brea over a year of seeing doctors and getting second, third and fourth opinions to even land on a diagnosis for a disease that suddenly left her bedridden for days, weeks, months–sometimes unable to turn on a light or even listen to music because of unbearable pain. Was the reluctance to diagnose Jennifer due to a lack of knowledge about a condition that affects millions of people in the US–mostly women? Or were there other, unstated prejudices standing in the way of Jennifer getting treatment?

To show the world that this is a real disease with a truly debilitating impact on her life–not just in her head–and to inspire the medical community to take the lead on finding answers–Jennifer created a film, mostly from her bed, out of the videos she captured of herself, others like her and the few experts there are. Her film is called "Unrest."

Photo by Sam Heesen

Photo by Sam Heesen

Eve Ensler on "The Undeniable Rape Culture of Donald Trump"

Eve Ensler, the creator of The Vagina Monologues, VDay and One Billion Rising published an article this September in the Huffington Post called "The Undeniable Rape Culture Of Donald Trump." One week later, the Access Hollywood tape emerged with Donald Trump sharing his unfiltered feelings about women as sex objects--a tape that is now being adopted as a case study in sexual harassment. Eve and I spoke about her work fighting violence against women, and the good and bad about what the rise of Trump means for the movement. Listen to our conversation on iTunes and NPR One.

EVE ENSLER

EVE ENSLER

Vivien Labaton, Ending the "Lady Tax"

We've heard a lot about making things easier for families this election season, but the cost of childcare is still higher than college tuition in some states. Vivien Labaton has founded an advocacy organization called Make it Work to influence policies in support of paid family leave, equal pay and affordable childcare. She shares her personal story of growing up with a single dad, and what she experienced when her own child was born. 

VIVIEN LABATON

VIVIEN LABATON