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tv   To the Contrary With Bonnie Erbe  PBS  June 29, 2013 11:30am-12:01pm PDT

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funding for "to the contrary" provided by:aám the cornell douglas foundation, committed to encouraging stewardship of the environment, land conservation, watershed protection, and eliminating harmful chemicals. additional funding provided by: the colcom foundation, the wallace genetic foundation the e. rhodes and leona b. carpenter foundation, and by the charles a. frueauff foundation. . blv >> this week on "to the contrary." >> first, texas state senator's
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wendy davis's rise to women's right stardom. and then victory for same sex marriage with legal battles to come. behind the headlines. flexism. what's that? we'll enlighten you. >> hello. i'm bonnie erbe. welcome to "to the contrary" a discussion of news and social trends from diverse perspectives. up first, wendy davis's fight continues. texas governor, rick perry, is calling the state legislature back into session for another go at anti-abortion legislation killed this week by a marathon filibuster. that filibuster shined a national spotlight on texas state senator, wendy davis. she stood for 11 hours in pink running shoes reading testimony
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from women and doctors who would have been impacted by the law. unable to lean on anything, take a break or a sip of water, she was buoyed on by hashtag, stand with wendy, celebrity tweets, and cheering supporters. the 50-year-old democrat has overcome other obstacles. she supported her single mother, became a teen mom, yet graduated from harvard law school. last year, her offices were firebombed. now, her popularity is skyrocketing. stephanie shrioff president of the pro choice pack, emily's list, expects davis to continue to rise in prominence. >> i think so many folks watched it in awe. i sure did, as she stood up against an extremist republican governor to hold off what was an incredibly, incredibly bad set of bills that they basically put together, all anti-choice.
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it is exactly women like that that i think you should keep your eye on for governorships. >> the bill bans abortions after 20 weeks and adds licensing requirements for women's health clinics that would shut down most of them in texas. >> so, congresswoman norton, can davis succeed a second time, or will she not be able to hold back the texas legislature, despite her new stardom? >> bonnie, whatever happens in pro choice movement on the offensive again. >> in texas, as in the rest of the nation, we are seeing increasing support for life, and two-thirds of americans are opposed to second and third trimester abortions. i think the offense belongs to the pro-life movement here. >> i'm a political pragmatist,
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and i think at this level, the republican majority, which is in control of the texas senate, will certainly be able to pass and manage this bill, so while it may be a defeat for pro choice, you know, advocates, it is still certainly something to watch. >> even more to your point, in texas, specifically 62% of texans support this bill, and so i think that's what we really have to look at, is what texans think. >> all right. but well, what -- but i was shocked quite frankly, by all of the -- speaking of texans, hundreds if not thousands of texans who were in the state stairs cheering her on, i didn't think there were that many democrats left in texas. >> oh, yeah. you better watch out. when texas goes full blown, they better have -- the republicans better have a it good now, because they're not long for the
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world. >> meaning what? >> the growth of the hispanic population is going to be the end of this section -- this southern section white party of old men, and they know it. >> it was an odd thing for them to come out and cheer, in the wake of the gosnell horrors in the wake -- >> did this has nothing to do with the -- >> when the department in texas is investigating a similar place in texas, this is similar offense. >> you can take an anecdotal incident and try to do away with pro choice if you think you can. it's very interesting for you to tell me or to tell the world that 62% of this or that are for or against somebody's constitutional rights. let me remind you that we are talking here about something that is not subject to public attention, to public opinion. not since roe vs. wade declared that the right to an abortion, including all three trimesters,
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according to certain limitations is a constitutional right. so, you can have 75% or 90%, but women are still entitled to an abortion. >> well, i would like to speak to the roe vs. wade comment there and the comment that i think was directed at me about the 62% and just say that was specifically directed at whether or not texans want this, and the idea of federalism, and the idea that if this is what texans support, that's what they should be able to do in their state. i do not think it's an anti-choice bill to go back to that comment. you know, it doesn't get rid of abortions, period. it's not unreasonable to say, you shouldn't be able to have an abortion four-and-a-half months into your pregnancy. if you are unaware that you are pregnant at that point, that is outrageous. >> it goes to the life and health of the mother which roe vs. wade says must be taken into account. >> what about the life of the unborn child. >> what about the life of the mother. >> that's settled by roe vs. wade. >> if you look at the life and
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health of the mother, after 20 weekings of -- >> i don't want to get too far off of wendy davis herself. >> sure. >> the abortion debate we can have and have had a million times. but wendy davis herself, just has amazed the nation, particularly coming from texas. because of its reputation, because it has a governor who holds in stadiums, prayer rallies and still gets elected governor where that wouldn't happen in a lot of states. is it -- how does -- what do you think about her coming to stardom and getting so famous and coming up against the majority in texas? >> i don't think it's going to go anywhere. i mean, you look at how many terms perry had and you have george w. bush before that. i think she may be a star in the prochoice movement and progressivism, but as far as how high her star is going to rise in texas, i don't think it rises very far. >> well, and this becomes the problem sort of with a lot of, you know, elected officials in these states that are very red
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or very blue. you know, you can look at somebody who is a very real star, within the democratic party, representative james clyburn and he's not going to be able to go very far in south carolina other than a house member from the district. that allows him to have large voice because he's long time been a part of the party. but he's still sort of prevented from successfully running for governor as wendy davis may well be. >> yeah, i mean, i would -- she might be able to get the democratic nomination. could she at this point in time become governor, you know, most likely not. on the other hand, linden johnson, who was president of the country, and came from texas, and a senator and was a democrat at a time when the state was way majority democratic, could she lead a changed -- could -- states parties, go back and forth all the time. could she lead a change? does she have that kind of star power?
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>> i certainly think she has enough power to sort of increase her own visibility, and eventually, if a democrat were to win the presidency again in 2016, that would make her sort of a perfect person to put into a national executive nomination. >> but being the hero for late term abortion is not going to make one popular with the united states of america. >> well, but there's -- there is a difference of opinion, what you are terming late term, the supreme court did not term late term. >> okay. >>but the second and third try midwester, a strong majority of americans are opposed to abortions in that time period. now, what i'm marvelling at is the enormous amount of coverage that she has gotten versus the almost complete lack of attention that we have given to this philadelphia abortionist who was -- convicted of murder and had terrible, gruesome, actual -- >> while his trial was going on, i know that was it a complaint of conservatives in the very beginning, but once his trial started, it got enormous -- like
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four months. >> months after it started, it got some attention. >> that was a result of conservatives bringing attention to it. in fact, most of the mainstream media has credited conservatives with bringing attention to that. >> there's no pattern there. there's amq7wç -- that was a terrible, terrible crime. but to see the crime in philadelphia, you say they are looking for one in texas, and that is not going to shape how -- what people feel about -- >> abortion -- >> what people feel about a basic constitutional right. >> all right. let us know you what think. please follow me on twitter at bonnie erbe, from abortion rights to marriage benefits. >> once california as expected approves same sex marriage, almost one-third of americans will live in states where it's legal. next up, after this week's pair of same sex marriage rulings from the supreme court is a series of state by state battles that could expand it to more than the current 13 states, and the district of columbia.
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jubila jubilant lgbt couples are sift r sifting through the myriad of bep fits they your honored when the justices struck down part of the federal defense of marriage act known as doma. the part of doma that still stands allows states to fee fuse to acknowledge marriages of gay couples from other states. barack obama has directed the attorney general and cabinet to quote, insure this decision including imimplications for federal benefits and obligations is implemented swiftly and smooft smoothly. gay rights supporters say they're work is not done until same sex couples can marry in every state. >> this is our lives. this piece of paper is fantastic, and i'm deeply deeply indebted to the supreme court for finally giving us equality. but every single day, thousands upon thousands upon thousands of gay people can't put partners on health ininsurance. they can't legal inherit their partner's estates.
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>> it's a major way and a step forward in the right direction and something that we'll keep fighting for state by state so we can have marriage equality coast to coast across the amber waves of grain. so, aisha moodie mills, welcome to the panel. >> glad to be here. >> fight to get gay marriage in 30% of the country, where it is now, but the other 70%. how big a fight is that going to be? >> it's still a continued battle and continued fight. there was a huge vuk tri, obviously this week was great and the supreme court coming down. at the very least, we're going to treat this country fairly. in all of the state where the same sex marriage is legal, the federal government says we have to treat those people the way the states see them and that's what's happening right now. we only have 13 states so far and the district of columbia, which i was part of the marriage equality campaign, so there's technically 14 jurisdictions and there are a host of states to
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deal with and there are barriers to being able to achieve marriage equality there. there's constitutional amendments on the books that ban marriage equality. w÷ that, there's a lot of energy and work to be done still around lgbt rights. we're still in a situation where in more than half of the states in this country, i could be f e fired from my job simply because i'm gay. for no other reason than that. getting married is wonderful for people who choose to be married and want to be married, it's great. it doesn't matter when you get married, if you can't put a picture of your spouse on the desk. there's a lot of work that needs to be done. >> the debate is going to continue across the country and the states will be the leaders. we saw ted olson and david boies, the challengers to the laws went to the court to seek a redefinition nationwide of what marriage is and they did not achieve that. so, what this means is that americans' voices are more important than ever and we should continue to stand up for marriage as the union of one man and one woman in the interest of children and we should stand up for americans' freedom to make
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marriage policy democratically. this shouldn't be something that the court decide. >> i agree it's still controversial, but what i had thought would not be controversy is the defense against marriage act. here's an act that we passed in the late '90s in congress which i would think libertarians -- >> you said defense against, you know, you said the name of the bill is defense of. >> you caught yourself. hat. we passed this, and -- in the late '90s, overwhelmingly, by the way. democrats and republicans. >> president clinton signed it. >> but if you sake away the gay overlay of this bill, you would have thought that conservatives, small government federalists and libertarians would have been appalled that the government would say that the state could not -- could not recognize whatever marriages they desire,
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since marriage is entirely a state function. >> well, that -- and i -- in reading this scalia dissent, i have to tell you that i covered the court for nine years and i'm a closet lawyer. i just outed myself, i guess. but scalia's dissint which was brilliantly written. i commend it to everybody. he is a fabulous. he's the best writer on the bench, on that bench, no doubt. but he was -- it was all about how the supreme court made itself too important and overrode congress. now, if he's truly a conservative and truly a states rights person, he should have been on the other side of this case. >> and that's just -- >> one of the demands. >> and there's hypocrisy with all of this, to go back to a point that you made. this is absolutely a critical time for american voices. what's really interesting to watch in the short amount of time that you have been participating in this work is that we have seen so much momentum, not politically. i mean i know we all sit around
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and like to play the political shots about this. but when we look at the general public's opinion, the overwhelming support among millenials among communities of color that will on the rise and among the entire country, 90% of people think gay people should be treated like everybody else in america. also have more than half of americans significantly believe that gay people should be able to get married to whoever it is that they love. the history, the moral arc of history is on the side of equality and has been. you are seeing the public sentiment follow that as well. >> seeking of millenials and libertarians as a lot of young people who are center-right tend to trend libertarian, with a lower case l. i don't think that you are wrong that young people and libertarians do tend to favor the decision that was made because it should be up to states to determine this going back to what i said earlier about states' rights. however, when you jump to the other case, what makes me upset is that in that case, they said that the state has the right to determine it, but the people of
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the state don't have the right to determine that referendums apparently mean nothing and that what people directly wrote it on -- voted on, that the state can override that and that's a problem. >> that's an interpretation of what that was. if you actually interpret it to be what happened is that in most places and this is something that you could speeg to in terms of the district of columbia, because it's also the law here and there is not a igs swa and there should never be a situation and this was ruled on in california where people can  on the ba their neighbors. we're not talking about deciding who the local dog catcher is going to be here. we're not talking about deciding whether or not you are going to have like new streets paved tomorrow. this is about the fundamental core, equal rights and civil liberties of neighbors. and -- >> unfortunately, and the precedent is that you can't vote on that, and that's why that was overturned. >> quickly, i -- then we have 0 go. >> fortunately for legal precedent, i worry what this will do to ore referendums in california. >> behind you and thank you very much -- thank you for joining us for this segment.
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behind the headlines. flexism. many work rely on workplace flexibility but since yahoo ceo marissa mayer banned telecommuting the at web giant, the practice is under scrutiny. carol evans, the president of working mother magazine says flex is under attack. >> the way that that hits a middle manager, or a person who is not sophisticated about flex is this -- hey, that woman ceo, she is pulling people back and saying they need to work elbow to elbow. maybe we need to do that, too. hey, there's a woman who is talking about the problems of flexibility. let's examine the problems ourselves. and so, instead of flex being the rallying cry that we're all championing, it's suddenly becomes an issue to look at, and examine. >> carol evans coined a new word for this kind of disparagement,
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flexism. >> the word flexism con notes to racism, sexism, ageism. it's a reaction, unjustified against something that is just there. there become as confusion between performance and flex. so, if someone is working remote, or at home two days a week or coming in on a different schedule, and there's a performance issue, the middle manager, then says this is a flex issue. no. this is a performance issue. >> evans didn't comment directly on yahoo's ban on telecommuting but she says blaming flex time work for performance issues will result in long term losses for companies. >> i believe that flex can stand up to any examination. you know, i think the companies that pull back on flex will pay the price. they'll pay the price in higher real estate costs, higher commuting costs. loss of talent. loss of energy on the job. and loss of focus from their --
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from their employees who really need flex. to make it work. >> workers increasingly rely on a variety of flex options. not just telecommuting, or work from home. >> there's all kinds of things that are within the realm of flexible work arrangements that encompass almost all job types. every job has to be looked at or every type of job or type of industry has to be looked at for what works for that organization. but there's very little -- there's very few jobs that you can't have some kind of flexibility. >> and this kind of arrangement is becoming the norm among young people. evans says younger generations expect flex ability in their jobs. >> it's a generational issue, to begin with, because young people not only do they have the technology, to use flex in a really creative way, but the expectation is right there, they have been flexing their whole lives. they have been working remotely on school. they don't even think about having a face-to-face conversation with their friends.
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they text. they don't even call and so, the generation really coming up that incredibly used to flex and they're going to demand it, which is why companies who pull back from flex will get punished by the workforce. >> while flex as has its opponents, ee he vans says the majority of businesses and employees understand its value. >> what flex does, what is so beautiful about flex is that it gives the person some feeling of control. now, you know, if a person wants to work from home five day as week and their boss wants them to work interest home just one day a week, there's reasons for each feeling, and they have to work that out. but to have it be a blanket statement, you know, flex isn't working. that's just not true. >> so, since flexism was starred by mar%kkd mayer, how can it b sexist? >> i don't think it is. i think marissa mayer was trying to do what she thought was best for her company. flex time is great in principle but you have to work it out in
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prak days r sis and she has made leaves and she is trying to meet her employees' needs through other avenues. >> i mean, is flexism problematic? is flex time problematic, in certain ways? >> well, it's -- it does mean that a workplace, which has been 400 years oriented toward the eight hour day and looking face-to-face has to reorient itself. now the entry of women into the workforce ought to help them do that. i don't understand how the average woman in fact, takes care of a kid or two, works eight hours a day, in a country that has absolutely no child care, unless you can pay for it yourself, tends to what women still disproportionately tend to, it seems to me that flex time is going to be increasingly necessary to accommodate this very -- the workforce which is
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now becoming female dominated. >> it's also important to understand sort of the flex time about 13 million workers are involved with it. at least since the u.s. census of 2010. that's sort of the recent number and it's grown a great deal over the last decade. but i think that to describe sort of this attack against flex time as being flexism is really sort of indulgent and demeaning a lot of the other very serious issues like discrimination against women, minorities, and those of other sexual orientations, and -- >> demeans it how? >> i think it trivialize, you know, sort of the whole notion of an ism, if you will, and i think that's problematic. because when you look at who actually receives flex time, for the most part, they're college educated workers. they're high level managers with above median salaries and they tend to be people who are based in the west, which means mostly
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technology related jobs. so -- >> you can't flex time if you are a factory worker. let's face it. >> or if youbsúú are a construc worker or any other sort of typical blue collar job or really lower level, you know, office jobs. so, for me, to sort of describe this in this ism fashion, i think, is just a little bit offensive. >> as a conservative, i am actually very pro flex time, as you would call it, because you know, being pro family, it gives women a lot more opportunities to be able to spend time with their families. >> can we just stop for a second. women a lot more time? >> men, too. >> right. that's my point. >> families. >> and was thinking, women who have a child or two. get their partners or husbands to help them out and that is half the battle. >> the other half is women increasingly don't have husband. >> families. >> it gives family, men or women, whoever wants to stay at home with the children, more time to be at home with their
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children and also have a job. but to speak to the poicht, i guess i'm the ttc millenial speaker these days. to speak to millenial, i do think there's a certain point where flexism becomes very demanding where when you expect it, rather than see it as a benefit of where you work, i recently had someone demand it who was going to work there to be able to work from home all the time which can get extreme. >> and we are out of time and that's it for this edition of "to the contrary." please follow me on twitterk>@ç contrary. at beens.org/to the contrary, where the discussion continues. whether you agree or think to the contrary, please join us next time.
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funding for "to the contrary" provided by: the cornell douglas foundation, committed to encouraging stewardship of the environment, land conservation, watershed protection, and eliminating harmful chemicals. additional funding provided by: the colcom foundation, the wallace genetic foundation the e. rhodes and leona b. carpenter foundation, and by the charles a. frueauff foundation. for a transcript, please visit our pbs website,
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