The State of American Women

The most depressing part of the 2015-2016 election has been trying to make male friends understand the place of women in the US– and being shut down by them, repeatedly. In the face of the omnipresent “Bro,” I still can’t go on Facebook and share statuses saying, “This is my experience, this is the experience of all of your female friends” without getting a few guys hopping into the comments to offer their rebuttal.

So rather than spurt this out in 140 characters on Twitter, I decided to compile some statistics for all those ACTUALLY-prone men in my life.

While Bernie Sanders and the GOP at large have waged successful campaigns to erase gender and race specificity from policy, it is completely irresponsible to say that fixing income inequality will fix inequality between races and sexes when discrimination is gender and racially specific.


The vast majority of language in this post
is pasted directly from the sources linked. 

The Basics

There are approximately 323,730,000 people in the United States in 2016. There were about 125.9 million adult (18+) women in the United States in 2014, to 119.4 million adult men.


Currently in the United States Senate, 20 out of 100 senators are women, or 20%. Of the 46 women ever to be elected to the Senate, 20 are serving right now. In the United States House of Representatives, there are 84 women out of 435 total seats, or about 19%. Twenty of the 84 female Representatives are black women, 9 are Latina, and 7 are Asian or Asian-Pacific.

Six women are currently state governors (out of, you know, 50). About 1,800 women sit in state legislatures, out of 7,383 total seats, or 24%.

Ten of the fifty largest cities in America have female mayors, or 20%. As of January 2016, of the 1,391 mayors of U.S. cities with populations over 30,000, 262, or 18.8%, were women.

Work & Pay

On average, White women make 78% of what a white man makes. Black women make 64% of what white men make. Latina women make 54% of what a white man makesIn comparison to white women, whose median usual weekly earnings are $703, black women only earn $595 and Latina women just $518.

Women of color currently make up about 33 percent of the female workforce and are twice as likely as their white female counterparts to be employed in lower-wage sectors such as the service industry.

In 2007 less than 15 percent of women were employed in management, business, and financial operations occupations. In 2007 only 5.6 percent of black women and 4.8 percent of Latina women were in management positions. The service industry was the most common occupation for black and Latina women, at 27 percent and 30 percent, respectively. And the health care industry is the largest employer for Asian American and Pacific Islander women.

40% of all households with children under the age of 18 include mothers who are either the sole or primary source of income for the family, compared to 11% in 1960. 8.6 million of those households (63%) are single mothers.

And the wage gap is persistent even in female-dominated industries. In each of the 20 most common occupations for women in 2013, women’s median weekly earnings for full-time work were less than weekly earnings for men.

My largest gripe with the Bernie Sanders campaign has been his complete erasure of gender discrimination in regards to wage stagnation. While he did message that raising the minimum wage would vastly improve the lives of working women, he repeatedly and detrimentally ignored the fact that women do not flock to low-wage jobs, low-wage jobs pay nothing because women are doing them.


Women of all races now complete college at a higher rate than their male counterparts, and women now account for almost half of students in JD, MBA, and MD programs, up from less than 10 percent in the 1960s.

However, the wage gap actually widens the more education a woman pursues. While women with associate degrees get closest to parity, earning 80 percent of what men with an associate degree make and experiencing a smaller gap that those with high school educations, it starts to widen even more once they go further. Women with graduate degrees have the widest gap, making just 69 percent of what men make.

Harassment, Assault, & Murder

Somewhere between 25-50% of women say they have been sexually harassed at work (1, 2). Women are 9 times more likely than men to quit their jobs, 5 times more likely to transfer, and 3 times more likely to lose jobs because of harassment.

1 out of every 6 women have been the victim of an attempted or completed rape.

94% of female murder victims killed by men are killed by a man they knew. Of females killed by men with a firearm, more than two-thirds were killed by their intimate partners. Female intimate partners are more likely to be murdered with a firearm than all other means combined. Women suffering from domestic violence are eight times more likely to be killed if there are firearms in the home. In 1998, for every one woman who used a handgun to kill an intimate acquaintance in self-defense, 83 women were murdered by an intimate acquaintance using a handgun.


In 2,500 female characters in the top 100 domestic grossing films of 2015, only 34% of major characters were female, and only  27% of that 34% were black, Latina, or Asian. Females comprised only 22 percent of protagonists in all of the films studied.

For production of the 250 top-grossing domestically made films of 2013, women accounted for 16 percent of all directors, executive producers, producers, writers, cinematographers and editors, and men wrote 82 percent of all film reviews.

At 20 of the most widely circulated, read, viewed, and listened to TV networks, newspapers, news wires, and online news sites in the United States, 63.4 percent of those with bylines and on-camera appearances were men, while women constituted 36.1 percent of contributors.

In literature, bylines and subjects of literary criticism were dominated by men, across the board, per the VIDA count.


While women of color represent 36.3 percent of the U.S. female population, they account for53.2 percent of uninsured women, with Hispanics having the highest uninsured rates across all other racial and ethnic groups.

Cardiovascular disease is the primary killer of women in the United States yet  only one-third of cardiovascular clinical trial subjects are female. Twice as many women suffer from depression as men, but less than 45 percent of animal studies to better understand anxiety and depression use female lab animals.

Trans Women

Among all 53 transgender murders from 2013 to 2015, not a single one was prosecuted or reported as a hate crime.

In 2009, 17 percent of all reported violent hate crimes against LGBTQ people were directed against those who identified themselves as transgender, with most (11 percent of all hate crimes) identifying as transgender women.

 I cannot stand idly by while “progressive” political candidates erase the hardships of women and women of color for the sake of catchier or more male-focused political messaging.


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