Being sensitive is both figurative and literal

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Domestic workers’ bill of rights

Oregon signed this bill into law June 17, 2015 but it took effect just this year.  According to this law, a domestic worker is generally anyone works in someone’s home to maintain it. Some key provisions:

Hardcore women's work

Hardcore women’s work

  • Household workers are given 24 hours in a row off. A whole stinking day because of course they don’t get a weekend. And if they do have to work at all on their one day off, they get overtime.
  • Workers who worked on average 30 hours per week get three paid days off. Three. Three days. That’s labor day weekend. Insane.
  • Live-in household workers get overtime starting at 44 hours and they must be given 8 consecutive hours off and “adequate sleeping arrangements.” What did they get before, a crate?
  • It grants workers protection under sexual harassment and discrimination laws. How was this not automatic?

I guess what I didn’t realize is despite the amount these household workers prop up their bourgeoisie masters, I mean, employers, they really are not regarded as legit workers. Props to Oregon for taking that step. Who’s next?

STD portraits: Syphilis

It was only within the last century that syphilis moved from dreaded life-long companion to minor nuisance and the villain in lifetime movies.

The first great outbreak in Europe happened during the 15th century. Charles VIII of France besieged the kingdom of Naples, claiming it was rightfully his through his Angevin line. It’s unknown whether the disease showed up within the walled city first or the attacking army and for that reason each side blamed the other for their sudden misfortune. The French believed the city had released its prostitutes for the explicit reason of weakening their number and the city believed the French had brought it with them.

peter the great

Peter the Great of Russia

Whoever was responsible, Charles’ army was so weakened by the outbreak, he blamed the “Neapolitan disease” for their failure.

Naturally, as troops returned home, the disease came with them and spread all across Europe. It later took on other names like “the Portuguese sore,”The Spanish disease” and “La Grosse Verole,” or the Great Pox.

Great Pox, it was, as it affected even heads of state. Peter the Great was among them along with Henry VIII, Louis XIV of France and Ivan the Terrible.

Most surprisingly, before the stuffy Victorians came and ruined everything, syphilis was known in the 16th century as the “gallant disease.”

source: Plagues and Poxes: The Impact of Human History of Epidemic Disease by Alfred Jay Bollet