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Via feministe: The arguement for paying moms less

The fact that mothers are under scrutiny for how much time they ‘waste’ while at work (taking phone calls from kids and having to pick them up on snow days etc) is itself sexist. Why don’t we ask how it is men can be productive, considering how constantly distracted they are by sex? Why don’t we ask how it is smokers can be productive? I repeat: the focus on women parents is sexist – and I’m not even tackling the inherent hypocrisy in pretending that we as a society care about families, while offering to pay those who do the family work less than others, thereby making it necessary for them to work even longer hours to make the money needed to cover the costs of working etc.

Only women are under this kind of scrutiny: how they dress, how much they weigh (overweight women make less money), how assertive they are or aren’t, how they choose lower paid jobs naturally (without consideration to why the jobs women choose pay less or what influences job choices), if they have children can they be as productive as those without children, if they don’t have children they are going to take maternity leave. Only women face these stereotypes; only women are always found wanting, found to be the makers of the sexism that prevents their success.

Yet, there are literally thousands of ways to ‘waste‘ time at work. Read More »

A few unrelated things I found interesting.

First: This is what we call a paradigm shift.

Because of the release of the new movie, this great love letter to Ginny Weasley.

A judge’s proposed celebration for the birth of a girl. Via feministe.

And a story about the wealth gap between the older and younger generations.


When Miss F was five, she began violin lessons.

It wasn’t my idea; I recall discouraging the idea a bit, put off by the cost. But she persisted and I relented and a little violin appeared  in our house.

I learned with her, scraping out rhythms like tucka, tucka, stop, stop and one, two, wait, four. Then came the first song: Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. We practiced together and, looking back, it is probably true that I enjoyed it more than she did; watching her learn pleased me even more than learning myself.

Encouraging a five year old to practice required effort.

Read More »

This next month will be busy for me. I have several interviews and assignments to finish up, work for a graduate assistantship to complete and the introduction to a book section to write for a project I was involved in which involved interviewing immigrants in the city. And I also have to find some work – so I can pay for daycare next semester.

Because to do all this, I have my youngest, Little F, in daycare.  Read More »

The everyday nature of rape is not reported. Instead, media report sensationalized narratives which turn rape into an eroticized freak show of sorts.

Col. Russell Williams photographed his victims; why are news organizations publishing any of these photos? For whom are they publishing these images?

From Red Light Politics.

What would happen if newspapers published a daily list of rapes and sexual assaults reported the day before? Just one or two lines containing the city and a very brief description of the circumstances, followed by the next victim and the next one and the next one. I contend that such reporting would be much more powerful than the current “rape as sanctioned erotica”, if only because it would be impossible to ignore the numbers. Read More »

I’d like to write more about this, but I have a thesis proposal to put together. It’s about what is called the motherhood penalty, the fact that moms in the workplace are routinely paid less and offered worse, less reliable positions than women without children, men without children, and men with children.

I’ll just say that I first noticed the motherhood penalty when I was working full-time when my second daughter was born. No woman in my office who chose to have children escaped some sort of repercussion. One woman asked, after she had been shifted from regular day work to irregular day/evening shifts, if she could be given a set schedule two weeks ahead of time so she could plan childcare. Management said “we didn’t ask you to have kids”. She left. Her husband, who worked in the same office but was apparently free from the responsibility to arrange childcare, stayed.

Anyway, more analysis on the new research here. And more about the motherhood penalty here.

Via feminisiting. About a documentary about the life of Dr. George Tiller. I can’t watch that where I live, but there’s a clip from an old interview with Dr. Tiller that is amazing. And relevant in light of so many challenges today to abortion access.

I told this story to someone at school today. We moved into a new house a few months back. Before we moved things in, we took the girls through. Little F, just three years old, was excited. This house is a bit newer than the 100+ year old row house were were renting. One architectural detail amused her, however. In the upstairs bedroom, she encountered, for the first time, a closet. She walked into the closet, turned a full circle and looked up at me, with her brows furrowed in confusion (Elise has a particularly expressive face). She said “What’s this for mama?”

I was washing dishes when I heard the girls arguing about something upstairs, so I went upstairs.

Dannika was by the light switch in our bedroom and Elise was on the bed.

“What’s going on?” I asked.

“I want the light off and she doesn’t,” Dannika said. Her voice held that plaintive, whiny note that drives parents, particularly these parents, to distraction at times.

Dannika then turned the light off.

“Turn the darkness off. Turn the darkness off!” Elise wailed.

Dannika turned the light on again. I looked at her with a raised eyebrow and a funny face. We  began laughing.

“She always says that,” Dannika said between giggles, forgetting her complaint now. “When we are in our beds and she wants the light off she says, ‘turn the darkness on’.”

The argument was forgotten and I returned to the dishes.

Although, honestly, it might have been a book I was reading when their argument interrupted me. I don’t remember. It could have been the dishes; I feel I am always washing dishes around here. But really, I just wanted to pretend I was a better housekeeper than I am.

This first term of my MA program has been challenging: so much to do and so little time. I’ve been managing to do my homework late nights (so two-year-old Monkey  isn’t at the babysitter’s very much) and still bring in good marks.

This last week though, I’ve had final papers to put together and was too tired to rely on late nights so Monkey was at the sitter’s two days in a row for almost full days. This is the first time she has been with another person besides her father and I for so long.

The second day she ran into my arms and declared that she had missed me. She kept hugging me tight and repeating how much she’d missed me all the way home. Back at home she threw herself in my arms again and declared that she had missed me. “Oh, I missed you too little bug,” I said. She put her hands on my cheeks and said, “tell me why”.

So I did.