Even though he came up in professional kitchens starting as a line cook, Ron Hsu didn’t internalize the implicit inequity and racism of the tipped wage system until he became a restaurant owner, in 2019. The Atlanta-based chef/owner of award-winning tasting menu restaurant Lazy Betty, along with Asian-Southern Juniper Cafe and the forthcoming chef-driven pizzeria Humble Pie decided instead to institute the federal minimum wage and a service-charge model at his restaurants.
It’s come with pushback — not just from some customers but from waitstaff reluctant to embrace change or loath to face confrontation with skeptical consumers. But he’s determined to be part of the — oft-maddeningly slow — change in what he sees as a deeply problematic system.
They are less likely to receive treatment for mental health issues. They have a lower rate of participation in the workforce. They are more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD and autism. They are more likely than females to drop out of high school, and the ones who do go on to college are less likely than their female peers to graduate. They are barraged with constant and conflicting messages about what it means to be a man, and the consequences of failing to live up to other people’s ideas about modern masculinity can be severe. And all of this is difficult to talk about because the simultaneous culture of misogyny and the war on women’s rights is so intense, it has created a zero sum game expectation around our basic humanity.
But acknowledging the crisis in males takes nothing from the ground women are fighting to gain. And accepting that gender is only one element in a social strata that is also incredibly unbalanced around race and class is the only useful way forward for all of us.
For nearly two decades, Lisa Dunseth loved her job at San Francisco’s main public library, particularly her final seven years in the rare books department.
But like many librarians, she saw plenty of chaos. Patrons racked by untreated mental illness or high on drugs sometimes spit on library staffers or overdosed in the bathrooms. She remembers a co-worker being punched in the face on his way back from a lunch break. One afternoon in 2017, a man jumped to his death from the library’s fifth-floor balcony.
Dunseth retired the following year at age 61, making an early exit from a nearly 40-year career.
“The public library should be a sanctuary for everyone,” she said. The problem was she and many of her colleagues no longer felt safe doing their jobs.
Last fall, when professors at Flagler College, a private liberal arts school in St. Augustine, Florida, gathered for a faculty senate meeting, they learned that the college administration had worked with their local legislator to propose a new academic center on campus, the Flagler College Institute for Classical Education.
To administrators, it was an exciting prospect: the chance to receive $5 million from the state to shore up their “first year seminar,” a universal core curriculum for incoming freshmen intended to help students, particularly first-generation students, prepare for the rigors of college.
But some faculty members felt concerned, reading between the lines in a state that has become ground zero for the nation’s education debates — where Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Trump-style Republican with his eyes on the White House, has imposed gag orders and mandates on K-12 schools and described universities as “hotbeds of stale ideology” and “indoctrination factories.”