Emily Douglas

Emily Douglas is a journalist living in Brooklyn and an editor of RH Reality Check, the online publication covering sexual and reproductive health and rights.

Recent Articles

Why Ledbetter Isn't Enough

The passage of the Ledbetter Fair Pay Act was a victory for workers' rights. But it doesn't correct big loopholes in gender-discrimination law that leave workers vulnerable.

The photos said it all. A smiling Barack Obama, center stage, surrounded by not one, not two, but seven beaming women, all celebrating the passage of the aptly titled Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act. The legislation corrects the 2007 Supreme Court decision that told plaintiff Lilly Ledbetter that she ought to have filed a pay-discrimination complaint 20 years ago, or 180 days after receiving her first discriminatory paycheck. How Lilly Ledbetter would have known she was being paid less than her male counterparts a mere six months after she was hired, particularly when employees at the Gadsden, Alabama, Goodyear plant where she worked knew that sharing salary information was grounds for being fired, the Supreme Court didn't say. The logic didn't add up, but until last Thursday, the Supreme Court decision stood. Now, thanks to the new law, workers -- all workers discriminated against, not just women -- have up to 180 days from the most recent instance of discrimination to file...

Gay Narratives in Graphic Form

In Alison Bechdel's comic strip "Dykes to Watch Out For" -- collected in a recently published anthology -- the personal is political, the political gets personal, and history "bends toward justice."

The long-running comic strip "Dykes to Watch Out For," now collected in the hardcover volume The Essential Dykes to Watch Out For , (Houghton Mifflin, $25), inhabits a political world beguilingly, and disturbingly, like our own. Cartoonist Alison Bechdel's characters may be fictional, but two decades of recognizable American history are threaded through the panels, providing a sardonic backdrop to, and engine for, a fully-realized constellation of friendships, courtships, and never-ending breakups among a collection of lesbians and their friends. Bechdel started drawing cartoons of lesbians in 1982; her first recurring characters, repressed, earnest Mo and her best friend, irreverent thrill-seeker Lois, appeared in 1987. Mo and Lois were soon joined by law student Clarice (Mo's first lover), Lois's housemates Ginger and Sparrow, Clarice's partner Toni, and an ever-expanding circle of friends, flings and exes. Put on "indefinite hiatus" by its creator this past May, the strip ran for...

An Uneasy Alliance

The mainstream gay-rights movement's slow evolution on transgender issues.

In April 2007, Rep. Barney Frank of Massachusetts, Rep. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, and others introduced the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) that was transgender inclusive, in that it would provide protections for not just gays and lesbians but for people whose gender identity and expression didn't match their sex assigned at birth. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) advocacy groups drummed up support for ENDA over the summer; the list of co-sponsors grew to over 170. But when the bill was introduced for a vote in September, legislators ditched protections for gender identity and expression, citing concerns that the inclusive bill lacked the votes. Over 30,000 LGBT people and their allies contacted their representatives to oppose a non-inclusive ENDA, but in the end, the House passed the bill by a vote of 235 to 184; seven legislators voted against the bill because it did not include gender-identity protections. The sole LGBT organization that did not oppose the...