equality

Arundhati Roy published her first novel, The God of Small Things, back in 1997 and now Roy is back with a new novel, The Ministry of Utmost Happiness.

In it, she weaves among other threads, the story of a transgender woman in Delhi and a Kashmiri freedom fighter while also shining a spotlight on modern India.

Why did Donald Trump follow Barack Obama into the White House? Why is America so polarized? And how does American exceptionalism explain these social changes?

In Exceptional America: What Divides Americans from the World and from Each Other, Mugambi Jouet describes why Americans are far more divided than other Westerners over basic issues, including wealth inequality, health care, climate change, evolution, gender roles, abortion, gay rights, sex, gun control, mass incarceration, the death penalty, torture, human rights, and war. Raised in Paris by a French mother and Kenyan father, Jouet then lived in the Bible Belt, Manhattan, and beyond.

While exceptionalism once was a source of strength, it may now spell decline, as unique features of U.S. history, politics, law, culture, religion, and race relations foster grave conflicts. Exceptional America dissects the American soul, in all of its peculiar, clashing, and striking manifestations.

Linda Hirshman
Nina Subin

Close Encounters with Music is presenting Linda Hirshman and The Feminine Mystique at The Mount in Lenox this coming Sunday at 3 p.m. It is part of their series: Conversations With - intimate and stimulating conversations about music and ideas.

Lawyer, best-selling author, and cultural historian Linda Hirshman has chronicled battles that have changed the social landscape of America in her books Get to Work: A Manifesto For Women of the World, Hard Bargains: The Politics of Sex, and others.

Hirshman will analyze the 14th and 19th Amendments in tandem as two paths to equality in the suffrage effort and as they affected private and public lives of women. 

Weren’t women supposed to have “arrived”? Perhaps with the nation’s first female President, equal pay on the horizon, true diversity in the workplace to come thereafter? Or, at least the end of “fat-shaming” and “locker room talk”? 

Well, we aren’t quite there yet. But does that mean that progress for women in business has come to a screeching halt?  It’s true that the old rules didn’t get us as far as we hoped. But we can go the distance, and we can close the gaps that still exist. We just need a new way.

In fact, there are many reasons to be optimistic about the future, says former Wall Street powerhouse-turned-entrepreneur Sallie Krawcheck.  That’s because the business world is changing fast –driven largely by technology - and it’s changing in ways that give women more power and opportunities than ever.

Her new book is - Own It: The Power of Women at Work

The Women’s March on Washington is a grassroots effort comprised of dozens of independent coordinators at the state level. The effort is helmed by four national co-chairs and a national coordinating committee who are working around the clock to pull it all together.

Sister Marches and other solidarity events are taking place all over the country – and the world -- and we’ll learn about one in The Berkshires today.

A steering committee including Kristen van Ginhoven, co-founder and Artistic Director of WAM Theatre, and community members Jayne Benjulian, Lynn Festa and Mary Lincoln, are organizing a free event this Saturday from 10 am-2 pm at The Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield, MA.

Jayne Benjulian and Kristen van Ginhoven join us to tell us more.

Liberals worldwide invoke Scandinavia as a promised land of equality, while most conservatives fear it as a hotbed of liberty-threatening socialism. But the left and right can usually agree on one thing: that the Nordic system is impossible to replicate elsewhere.  
 
In Viking Economics, George Lakey dispels these myths. He explores the inner-workings of the Nordic economies that boast the world’s happiest, most productive workers, and explains how, if we can enact some of the changes the Scandinavians fought for surprisingly recently, we, too, can embrace equality in our economic policy.

In a collection of essays entitled We Gon' Be Alright, acclaimed writer/journalist Jeff Chang (Can’t Stop Won’t Stop, Who We Be) takes an incisive and wide-ranging look at the recent tragedies and widespread protests that have shaken the country.

Through deep reporting with key activists and thinkers, passionately personal writing, and distinguished cultural criticism, We Gon’ Be Alright links #BlackLivesMatter to #OscarsSoWhite, Ferguson to Washington D.C., the Great Migration to resurgent nativism.

Chang explores the rise and fall of the idea of “diversity,” the roots of student protest, changing ideas about Asian Americanness, and the impact of a century of racial separation in housing. He argues that resegregation is the unexamined condition of our time, the undoing of which is key to moving the nation forward to racial justice and cultural equity.

  In The Highest Glass Ceiling, best-selling historian Ellen Fitzpatrick tells the story of three remarkable women who set their sights on the American presidency. Victoria Woodhull (1872), Margaret Chase Smith (1964), and Shirley Chisholm (1972) each challenged persistent barriers confronted by women presidential candidates.

Their quest illuminates today’s political landscape, showing that Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign belongs to a much longer, arduous, and dramatic journey.

  In our Ideas Matter segment we take time just about every week to check in with the state humanities councils in our 7-state region.

Today we're checking in with the New York Council about the topic of one of their Democracy in Dialogue Town Halls. This event will be held this Tuesday at The Linda, WAMC's Performing Arts Studio, and will address issues related to gender-based workplace discrimination - including questions of unconscious bias, the history of workplace inequality, and how the skills of the humanities can address these issues.

We are joined by Sara Ogger, executive director of the New York Council for the Humanities, Barbara Smith, one of our frequent guests and a panelist at the event.

  “There are two keys to unlocking the secrets of American politics and American political history.” So begins The Politicians & the Egalitarians, Princeton historian Sean Wilentz’s bold new work of history.

First, America is built on an egalitarian tradition. At the nation’s founding, Americans believed that extremes of wealth and want would destroy their revolutionary experiment in republican government. Ever since, that idea has shaped national political conflict and scored major egalitarian victories―from the Civil War and Progressive eras to the New Deal and the Great Society―along the way.

Second, partisanship is a permanent fixture in America, and America is the better for it. Every major egalitarian victory in United States history has resulted neither from abandonment of partisan politics nor from social movement protests but from a convergence of protest and politics, and then sharp struggles led by principled and effective party politicians. There is little to be gained from the dream of a post-partisan world.

With these two insights Sean Wilentz offers a crystal-clear portrait of American history, told through politicians and egalitarians including Thomas Paine, Abraham Lincoln, and W. E. B. Du Bois―a portrait that runs counter to current political and historical thinking.

  The second annual SUNY Ulster OWN IT! Entrepreneurial Women’s Conference will be held on Thursday, June 2, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the College Lounge of Vanderlyn Hall on the Stone Ridge, New York SUNY Ulster campus.

This conference for women entrepreneurs and ‘dream-to-be entrepreneurs’ features nationally recognized speakers and hands-on workshops presented by regional experts.

The keynote speaker is Silda Wall Spitzer, Founder and CEO of woman-owned New York States of Mind, a digital magazine and marketplace that creates a new intellectual and economic platform for people, places, products and ideas in New York State; Principal at NewWorld Capital Group, a private equity firm investing in environmental opportunities, including energy efficiency, clean energy, water, waste-to-value and environmental services; and former first lady of New York State.

We are joined by Silda Wall Spitzer and Mindy Kole, Assistant Professor of Business and Director of The Darlene L. Pfeiffer Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at SUNY Ulster. 

  We hear from some women on the Congressional Corner – but not many.

In today’s segment, Connecticut Representative Elizabeth Esty tells WAMC’s Alan Chartock that Congress could use more.

How has America become the most unequal advanced country in the world? And what can we do about it? In the new book The Great Divide: Unequal Societies and What We Can Do About Them, Joseph Stiglitz expands on the diagnosis he offered in his book The Price of Inequality and suggests ways to counter America’s growing problem. 

The Nobel Prize Winning Economist and the best-selling author, Joseph Stiglitz, joins The Roundtable this morning.

  

  The Northeastern United States—home to abolitionism and a refuge for blacks fleeing the Jim Crow South—has had a long and celebrated history of racial equality and political liberalism. After World War II, the region appeared poised to continue this legacy, electing black politicians and rallying behind black athletes and cultural leaders. However, as historian Jason Sokol reveals in All Eyes Are Upon Us, these achievements obscured the harsh reality of a region driven by segregation and deep-seated racism.

  America’s higher education system is failing its students. In the space of a generation, we have gone from being the best-educated society in the world to one surpassed by eleven other nations in college graduation rates.

Higher education is evolving into a caste system with separate and unequal tiers that take in students from different socio-economic backgrounds and leave them more unequal than when they first enrolled.

In Degrees of Inequality, acclaimed political scientist Suzanne Mettler explains why the system has gone so horribly wrong and why the American Dream is increasingly out of reach for so many.

We are very happy to continue our weekly feature Ideas Matter: Checking in with the Public Humanities. It is our chance to check in with the Humanities Councils throughout our 7-State area to discuss important ideas and why they do indeed matter.

Herbert London: The Inequality Hoax

Jan 22, 2014

The continued refrain from the Obama administration is that they are engaged in a struggle against inequality. This may sound good for the denizens of class warfare, but in fact, it is a claim without substance.

It can be said a confluence of challenges has led to a fraying of the social contract, as Americans seem to be losing faith in the ability of our systems of government to deal with even the most tractable problems.

However, history teaches that if the challenges we face today are to be resolved, we must find ways to reach consensus on the underlying causes of the problems and develop responses to them grounded in the best available information and in mutual trust and collaboration. This morning we welcome two distinguished guests who have been doing just that.

This is part two of our project -“Will We Ever Learn: The Struggle for Equality One Group at a Time.”

Partial support for this project comes from Mass Humanities, State-Based Affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. The Mass Humanities grant is part of their initiative - Crisis, Community, and Civic Culture.

This is part one of our grant project “Will We Ever Learn?: The Struggle for Equality One Group at a Time.”

Partial support for this project comes from Mass Humanities, State-Based Affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. The Mass Humanities grant is part of their initiative - Crisis, Community, and Civic Culture.

In the 1960s, Lynn Povich worked at Newsweek — where she became part of a revolution. At that time, women were hired to deliver mail, clip newspapers, and, if they were lucky, became researchers or fact checkers. All of the writers and reporters were men.