August 01, 2014

This week on To The Contrary with Bonnie Erbe, our panelists discuss why abortion-rights activists are moving away from the “pro-choice” label, whether selling sex should be legal, and Gender Lens Investing.

On the panel this week joining host Bonnie Erbe is Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC),The Heritage Foundation’s Genevieve Wood, The Gender Equality Project’s Megan Beyer, and Independent Women’s Forum Patrice Lee.  


Click read more to see what they had to say!

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Pro-Choice Label

Abortion-rights advocates are pushing away from the “pro-choice” label

  • Bonnie Erbe: “If it [abortion] were before the court today, there probably would not be nationalized choice.”

  • Genevieve Wood: “What's become passe is the idea that abortion at anytime for any reason is an okay thing.”

  • Megan Beyer: “[Pro-choice] frames this as something that is a choice, and frankly if you don't have any money, there’s no choice for you anyway.”

  • Patrice Lee: “Millennials identity themselves as both pro-choice and pro-life, and so what I think is happening here is, they're moving beyond just some of these gender politics to more full-force issues.”  

  • Del. Norton: “There’s no such thing as a permanent slogan...language must appeal to the generation to which it is addressed.”  


Prostitution Debate

Should selling sex be legal?...

  • Bonnie Erbe: “In Europe...there are grown women who do this for a living who like the fact that they make more money than if they were cleaning houses.”

  • Genevieve Wood: “I don't think exploiting women, even if that’s a woman's choice to do, is a good thing for them in the long run.”

  • Megan Beyer: “The reality of these women’s lives is that [prostitution] is not really a choice, this is like the last resort.”

  • Patrice Lee: “We should be looking to the long term of...how do we address some of these systemic issues that make this lifestyle, this choice.... Why that’s appealing to so many women.”

  • Del. Norton: “The notion of a woman selling her body and... making a career is so anathema to me that the first thing I’m trying to think about is, ‘what can we do to keep it from happening?’.”

  • Michelle Goldberg: “There’s a widespread sense, particularly in Europe, that experiments with legalization…rather than making life better for people in the sex industry...it’s made things worse, while increasing trafficking and the power of organized crime.”


Gender Lens Investing

Jackie Vanderbrug of US Trust speaks on this growing trend.

  • Genevieve Wood: “There are so many tools out there right now that really make companies far more transparent than probably some of them would like to be.”

  • Megan Beyer: “We’ve already seen the GDP and productivity at our major multinationals go up because of women and their labor participation.”

  • Patrice Lee: “Millennials [look at] is this a strong company? If it’s led by a woman, that’s fantastic, but it doesn’t have to be.”

  • Del. Norton: “It’s all about a self-conscious women’s market, and that market drives everything including the gender lens.”  

  • Jackie Vanderbrug:  “What savvy folks are realizing is that implicit bias is leaving very smart women entrepreneurs without investment capital.”

Be sure to tune in this week for more discussion! Click here to check your local listings.