And just as work has expanded to require employees’ round-the-clock attention, being a good mom has also started requiring ubiquity. Things were different in my own childhood, but today, parenting has become a full-time job: it requires attendance at an unending stream of birthday parties, school meetings, class performances, and soccer games, along with the procurement of tutors, classes, and enrichment activities, the arranging of play dates, the making of organic lunches, and the supervising of elaborate, labor-intensive homework projects than cannot be completed without extensive adult supervision.
Oh yes: By incredible coincidence, parenting was discovered to require the near-constant attention of at least one able-bodied adult at just about the same time women began to pour into the workforce in large numbers. Sorry ’bout that, girls!
We need to fight for our right to lean out, and we need to do it together, girls. If we’re going to fight the culture of workplace ubiquity, and the parallel and equally-pernicious culture of intensive parenting, we need to do it together — and we need to bring our husbands and boyfriends and male colleagues along, too. They need to lean out in solidarity, for their own sake as well as ours.
Women of the world, recline!
Leaning in, leaning back, overwork and gender February 24, 2014
Corvino Responds To Providence College September 25, 2013
A little research into equal parenting reveals that the satisfying picture of men routinely sharing childcare is simply a myth. Those surveys are misleading at best. Men haven’t taken on childcare in anything like the numbers we’ve been led to believe.
Some thoughts as to why this isn’t happening here.
Women Breadwinners and Fox News June 2, 2013
A segment from Fox News simultaneously containing a stunning (though, perhaps, unsurprising) level of sexism, and a wonderful response from Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly. What’s especially telling about this exchange is that Kelly is rightly, intelligently, factually, and articulately, taking Erick Erickson and Lou Dobbs to task–and they seem to fail to grasp this. More than once, she’s met with giggles from her interlocutors.
A partial transcript is available here.
Reflections from Deborah Copaken Kogan April 29, 2013
This is a powerful essay from Deborah Copaken Kogan–well worth a full read, but here’s a snippet:
This is what sexism does best: it makes you feel crazy for desiring parity and hopeless about ever achieving it. A few months later, after delivering a lecture on the media-invented “mommy wars” at the Sun Valley Writers’ Conference, a song pops up on my iPhone as I’m walking back to my hotel room: Bob Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone.” “When you ain’t got nothing,” Dylan sings, “you got nothing to lose.”
Yes, I think. Yes.
I suppress the three words that have haunted me my entire adult life—”They’ll smear you”—and choose Dylan’s instead. . .
Turkey objects to gay and christian foster parents abroad March 15, 2013
A diplomatic row between the Netherlands and Turkey looms over who the Turkish government deem fit in the Netherlands to be foster parents to children with Turkish origin. Turkey has started an investigation into the nature of the foster families that currently foster children of Turkish origin in the Netherlands under Dutch law. This was triggered by a mother appealing on television (in Turkey, I think) to get her 9 year old son back, who has been in foster care since he was a few months old. The foster parents are a lesbian couple, who now have had to go into hiding because of all the media attention.
According to various news sites, the Turkish government objects to foster parents being gay or christian or otherwise not upholding Turkish values, and they wish for the Dutch government to see to the issue. The Dutch government is not amused.
The Dutch government has the authority to relieve parents of the care of their children and place them in foster care, which is what happened in the case of this little boy. This is not a measure that is taken lightly. When the necessity to remove a child from its parents arises, the authorities first see if there are relatives who can take care of the child. If they are not available, the preference is to place the child in a foster family, of which there is quite a dearth. If no suitable family can be found, a child will be placed in a home, but it is generally believed that it is better to place a child in a family.
It is going to be a bit tough to find sufficient “suitable” families for foster care that suit the whole world, I suppose.
By all means, let us focus on the best interest of the children involved, shalll we?
Transforming Family Documentary January 15, 2013
Transforming FAMILY is a ten minute documentary that jumps directly into an ongoing conversation among trans people about parenting. It is a beautiful snapshot of current issues, struggles and strengths of transexual, transgender and gender fluid parents (and parents to be) in North America today.
You can watch the video here. (I don’t know whether vimeo is accessible everywhere though; apologies if it isn’t.)