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Category Archives: feminism

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.


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 did not expect to find a post which discussed whether or not female genital mutilation should be understood through the lens of cultural relativism at feministing.

But there it was. 

A few days later, I came across a blog entry criticizing the attempt of defense lawyers to explain that a man killing his wife should not be considered murder because of cultural relativism. Dawg’s blog gives a great explanation of the concept of cultural relativism and how it was meant to be used. 

There are some commenters and writers over at feministing who would do well to read it.

Then you can’t be a judge, apparently. 

Funny how these concerns never surface with fat male candidates. 

via Shakesville

Thanks to Antonia over at Broadsides I have become a fan of Nicholas D. Kristof, New York Times columnist.

Recently the mother of one of my daughter’s school friends commented about the protectiveness of this generation of parenting.

She said the mother of one of her older son’s friends called to tell her that she found her son searching for porn on the internet and called to let her know what the local 11-year-olds were getting into and was concerned that, if these boys were going to be viewing porn, that it be woman-positive.

This made the woman sharing the story with me laugh: now boys can’t even have their porn private she said, adding that Playboy just a part of childhood. I didn’t say anything to her, but I thought: what is on the internet isn’t Playboy, however harmless you do or do not think that magazine is.

Today’s boys are learning about sex from violent images that nobody would have seen as adults, never mind as a boy whose ideas of sexuality are just being shaped. Feminists can say this, but they aren’t taking seriously.

That’s why I love what this man has to say, via Feminist Law Professors. It’s the second video during which he gets talking about what younger boys are seeing and how this relates to the global sex trade and prostitution.

I’m hoping my girls hold out for the boys whose mothers talked to them about woman-positive porn…

I have two daughters who love listening to the sugary soundtrack from Mary Poppins and so I’ve had much more opportunity than some to re-learn the song lyrics as an adult, wonder at what is packaged as children’s media and shake my head at the ubiquity of rape myths. 

So, do gentlemen rape? 

No, according to Mary Poppins as she sings “Jolly Holiday”. Gentlemen do not rape; rape is the province of the lower classes. 

It’s subtle but it’s there. Bert has just sung his part of the duet about what a wonderful person Mary Poppins is – practically perfect, indeed. She really has a high bar to reach in order to merit his praise. What does he have to do, or not do, to gain her praise? Not force her into unwanted sexual activity.

(This part reminds me of parenting: a father changes a diaper and he’s a hero, a mother changes 100 diapers and she is boring.)

It’s all there in the song. Bert’s “blood is blue” because he “wouldn’t think of pressing [his] advantage” which is, in turn, the reason that “a lady needn’t fear when [he is] near”. Add to that mix that “forbearance is the hallmark of [his] creed” and we have completed what is so special about Bert. In essence, because he is a gentleman he won’t push Mary Poppins into unwanted sexual activity; he will not attempt to rape her. 

Is my point that gentlemen do rape? Is it that we set the bar far too low for men?

Actually, I think my point is that this is a children’s song, from a children’s movie. How young children begin their schooling in society’s dominant narratives about men, women and sex.

I have grown weary of the horror-ridden tone taken whenever the spectacle that is teenage motherhood is discussed.

 Irresponsible sluts who only want to have children so they can be loved (Older people have children for entirely un-selfish reasons, you know so they can be, um, loved, so they can have someone who looks just like them, so junior can inherit the farm, the company, the family name, so someone will take care of them when they are old, because they are bored, because years of birth control failed one wine-filled evening – all much more mature reasons for having babies than those awful hormone-ridden teenager girls…)

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