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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 »


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 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.


Funny thing happened these past few months: I decided that having what my colleague said was necessary for journalism, having a “fire in your belly” (or perhaps in my case a “volcano in my uterus”, as the fire in belly term is associated with men’s movement stuff) for the job, isn’t enough for me. I want more.

But make no mistake about it: my decisions to leave my job isn’t what I would consider voluntary. Read More »

I’m invoking the P-word for this post. Patriarchy.

Because working in an office arranged around the father-knows-best and father-is-the-law ideology is as damaging for worker morale and for workplace productivity (the biz term for making sure lots of work gets done so the company can make lots of money and enough profit to keep you in a job).

And it is the kind of workplace in which I have landed.

I’m a creative, go-by-my-gut, everything-will-get-done-if-I-don’t-have-to-slow-down-for-bureaucratic-details, passionate, part-time contrarian. Which isn’t a good fit for this workplace.

Things I have recently been reprimanded for:

Read More »