When I first began to listen to an episode of the Belabored Podcast featuring Sara Jaffe discussing her new book, Necessary Trouble, I was not anticipating the first words out of her mouth to be about the US Women’s Soccer team — one of my all-time favorite sports teams. Jaffe detailed the struggle women face regarding the pay gap between men and women’s sports, particulary the pay gap between men and women’s soccer.
As a female collegiate athlete, I am all too aware of the disparity between the pay men and women receive for the same work, and that a change needs to be made. After the U.S. Men’s Soccer Team lost in the first round of the 2016 World Cup, the team was still paid $8 million. After the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team won the 2016 World cup, they only made $2 million. This is just one of the many unfair examples of men’s sports being paid way more women’s, and Jaffe addressing the issue immediately in the beginning of her podcast shows it is also an important issue to her as well.
I chose to include Jaffe’s podcast in this project, because I feel that the more exposure to Jaffe’s work, the more people who can make a difference. In just under an hour, Jaffe covered so many different aspects of American Activism, and the different movements she was personally involved in. Jaffe not only talked about American Activism, she also addressed the new child labor laws in India, and the implication that these new laws can have on Indian society. What Jaffe does is take domestic issues, as well as global issues, and makes them more tangible. While the everyday citizen is not thinking about child labor issues in India, by starting on a more local level by addressing the US Women’s soccer team, then gradually growing to address more globally based issues, makes Jaffe’s work a lot more tangible. By having an easy segue from the domestic to the global sphere of activism, Jaffe shows the connection between all levels of activism, and how many movements are interconnected, with the issue of interest serving as a connection between them all.
My first post about Necessary Trouble focused on the Occupy Movement, a movement that I had heard about but really did not know much about. What I found extremely interesting about Jaffe’s writing on the Occupy Movement is how she details the process of becoming involved in the movement, although she had not really planned on it. Jaffe writes about American activism from a very personable approach, and that makes it very accessible to everyday people.
The second post I wrote regarding Jaffe’s book was about the LGBT community, which is a huge part of my life, and the book actually led to me finding some new LGBT resources, which are always helpful. Each movement that Jaffe writes on is connected to the others in some way. By helping the LGBT youth of today, it provides the basis for the next generation of activists to accept all people, and to help others without question.
The last post I wrote regarding Necessary Trouble was in regard to the way activism travels. Growing up on the Jersey shore, one of the most memorable events in my lifetime has been the experience of Superstorm Sandy, and the subsequent devastation and rebuilding that occurred. Jaffe writes of the Occupy Sandy Movement, an activism group that looked to repair damage following the superstorm. Many of the people involved in the movement were not directly affected by the storm, yet because so many people had been there to help during the Occupy Wall Street movement, the same people who had received help were now the ones in a position to help those in need. There was no obligation for those involved in the Occupy Wall Street movement to help those affected by Superstorm Sandy, yet what federal aid failed; Occupy Sandy was there to help in the wake of the devastation.
What I really enjoyed about Jaffe and her book is how incredibly accessible she is. The movements are explained, history is given regarding how Jaffe became involved, and the inclusion of personal details about her own experiences that brought Jaffe to where she is today, and the network that her activism has caused. This idea of paying it forward, and what one is able to do can help someone who can in turn help someone else is a fascinating notion, because many Americans do not think that way today. Just as we do not often think about issues such as the Women’s soccer team making drastically less money than the men’s team, yet having had a history of performing better,we do not often think about the different social movements that have passed through the United States, especially within the last few years, and the way these movements are connected is nearly never brought up in conversation.