Wednesday, May 31, 2006

My Job Description

As a work at home mom, I often struggle with my job description. I get asked what my job is all the time and I always have a hard time nailing it down. If I have a hard time describing what I do, obviously others stuffle with it. It frustrates me that at home moms are given such grief & the third degree when we tell people we stay at home. It especially kills me when people are more impressed by my job than they are that I raise my child. Isn't raising children the most important job there is? Why isn't it treated as such?


I think us moms need to reclaim our job description. Lately, I have taken to calling myself a stay at home feminist. It's a label that works for me and I love the shocked reaction people have when I describe myself this way. Especially because I am in my twenties and there aren't too many twenty-somethings moms who would describe themselves in this way. I'd love other people's suggestions for a job description. What do other at home moms like to call themselves?

NWSA Hosts Feminist Mothering Panel

If you are in the Bay Area, there are two upcoming conferences that are wonderful for us feminist moms, especially those that like learning about technology. I plan to attend both. It's so exciting to have two local, wonderfully planned conferences!


The first is the National Women's Studies Association's annual conference. The conference runs from Friday thru Sunday, June 16-18th. What I am most excited about is the panel planned for the early afternoon on June 16th. Andrea O'Reilly, a pioneer in the field of academic research on motherhood/mothering, is planned to speak. Andrea is a professor at York University in Toronto. She founded the Centre for Research on Mothering, and has a new book out this month, entitled "Rocking the Cradle: Thoughts on Motherhood, Feminism and the Possibility of Empowered Mothering." Gwendolyn Mink, Professor of women’s studies at Smith College, is also scheduled to speak. This should be a fantastic panel and I'm sure there will be a wonderful discussion afterwards.


In July, the second annual Blogher conference will be held in San Jose. This conference runs from July 28-29th and will feature two very different days of panels. From the Blogher site:

Day One's Conference Schedule: Day One is a day of hands-on instruction on a variety of topics, most technically-focused.

Day Two's Conference Schedule: Day Two focuses on community, conversation and the culture of blogging. Day Two also includes our Room of Your Own sessions. Room of Your Own sessions are sessions that were created, staffed and proposed by BlogHer Conference attendees.


Personally, I am most excited about the second day. The internet offers so many opportunities to network with other women in the goal of social change and I look forward to learning what I can do better with my blog and other social online networks.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Pink's Dear Mr. President Video

Pop singer Pink has written a wonderful open letter of a song to President Bush and it is an absolute must see video. The song is so pretty and the words are very poignant.


View the video here.

Good Feminist Articles on the Web

What a wonderful time for feminist moms! The mothers movement is getting more and more press. It is so exciting!! Granted most of it is online, but there have been many recent articles in print as well.


Salon.com has a great article, it's definitely worth reading. Entitled "The Maternal is Political," the article by Nina Burleigh can be found here.


On a separate note, the latest issue of Scholar & Feminist published by the Barnard Center for Research on Women is on the web. This wonderful online journal has also produced top quality feminist articles and this most recent issue does not disappoint. It focuses on the work by feminist biographer Carolyn G. Heilburn who wrote, among many other things, a very good biography of Gloria Steinem.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Mothers Acting Up

Mothers Acting Up (MAU) has a great list of resources for political mothers here. Possible actions include:

  • Hosting action parties
  • Writting letters to your elected officials
  • Mailing MAU postcards to friends/family

MAU is a great resources for the mothers movement. They are also asking for reports on political action on behalf of mothers so they can be a resource for people who would like to get involved but are not sure how. Email them (beheard@mothersactingup.org) what you're doing on behalf of mothers to help spread the word.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Lee Sevilla Needs Our Help

When you have a moment, go over to sfgate.com, the website of the San Francisco Chronicle, and read the heart-wrenching story of Lee Sevilla. This 71 year old woman has lived in her car for eight years after a difficult divorce and a series of unfortunate events. Her story is the exact type of story Ann Crittenden highlighted in The Price of Motherhood. Elderly women, especially after divorce, are much more likely to be poor and Lee is living proof of that statistic.

Since she does not want to be a burdon to her grown children she refuses to stay in her daughter's small apartment. Lee in an incredibly resourceful woman and a talented artist. If you send her a photo, she will turn them into hand-drawn postcards.

Send her a request to:

Sevilla
P.O. Box 5484
Playa del Rey, CA 90296

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Mothers Movement Online Celebrates "The Price of Motherhood"

The Mothers Movement has some wonderful essays and book reviews celebrating the fifth anniversary of The Price of Motherhood.


Here are a few highlights:

Mothers Movement editor Judith Stadtman Tucker interviews Ann Crittenden on the fifth anniversary of her book. Find the interview here.

Serene Williams, a regular contributor to the Mothers Movement, writes a book review of The Price of Motherhood here. Read the review and then go read this wonderful book. It is still the best book on the challenges that go along with modern day motherhood.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

NOW making strides for moms & caregivers

The National Organization for Women (NOW) is doing wonderful things for mothers & others who care for children. After making caregiving a feminist cause (as it should be) many months ago, NOW has continued to make progress. Read their article, "The Balancing Act" which chronicles many of their efforts. NOW is a major media force and we must have their support to make laws more family friendly. It's great to see such a mainstream groups put parenting & caregiving at the forefront of their long list of public policy causes.

The NOW website also has many links to wonderful articles about the motherhood movement. Search around and see what you can find. Most notably, I highly recommend reading the fantastic "Mothers United" from the New Jersey Star-Ledger. It's a quick and easy read and hits on women calling for a cease fire in the mommy wars.

Technorati Tags...NOW, mothers, feminism

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Happy Mother's Day!!

Happy Mother's Day to all you moms out there! I hope you have a restful day, and are able to spend it with friends and family. Enjoy your special day. Today we rest, and tomorrow it's back to work!

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Vote @ 18 campaign at Mainstreet Moms

Mainstream Moms have teamed up with Moms Rising to launch their Vote @ 18 campaign. This is a wonderful campaign which calls for mothers to actively work in their local high schools to help register 18 year olds to vote.


It's so important to remember that the November midterm elections can make a world of difference. Please help this wonderful campaign to get young adults civicly involved. More information about their campaign is available here.

Vote @ 18 campaign at Mainstreet Moms

Mainstream Moms have teamed up with Moms Rising to launch their Vote @ 18 campaign. This is a wonderful campaign which calls for mothers to actively work in their local high schools to help register 18 year olds to vote.


It's so important to remember that the November midterm elections can make a world of difference. Please help this wonderful campaign to get young adults civicly involved. More information about their campaign is available here.

The Motherhood Manifesto in "The Nation"


The motherhood movement is getting more attention by the day. The creators of momsrising.org are discussed in a cover story in this week's issue of The Nation. Joan Blades & Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner are two leaders in addressing the real needs of real mothers. Read their article here.

Also, don't forget to visit their website to send your mother a very cute and timely Mother's Day card. You can find their cards here.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

More Meaningful Mother's Day Gifts

MSNBC has a very good list of presents for mom that actually mean something. Visit their list here. Decide quickly, only five days left!

U.S. Mother's Deserve $134,121 in Salary

It's true...read the Reuters story here.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Join MOTHERS in calling a cease fire to the mommy wars

Head on over the the MOTHERS (Mothers Ought to have Equal Rights) website to sign their petition calling for a cease fire in the media created "mommy wars."

New Feminist Zine Launched

Visit The F-Word a new feminist zine published by a college student. The interviews are great, she secured many with prominent feminists like Jennifer Baumgardner and Gloria Steinem.

Know a Feminist Mom? Why Not Buy Her a Feminist Mother's Day Present

Here are a few ideas to help get you started...

Memberships to National Feminist Organizations

Books, Posters, T-Shirts, Buttons, Etc.

  • As part of the herstory of Chicago Women's Liberation Union, they offer a marketplace of feminist products available here.
  • Buy a book from the wonderful Chicago area bookstore, Women and Children First

Technorati Tags...feminism, mother, activism, women

Get Active on Mother's Day

Mother's Day is approaching on Sunday and there are many ways to get active in the evolving motherhood movement. Why not spend the day actively working to make the lives of mothers better? Here are some ideas to get you started...

If you're in Washington, D.C., join the women of CODE PINK for a day of activism outside the White House. May 13-14, 3pm until 3pm. If you cannot make it to D.C., you can write a letter to first lady, from one mother to another, through their "letter to Laura" campaign. Scroll all the way down to get to the letter writting campaing.

Mothers Acting Up has a list of parades all over the country honoring mother's here.


Other ideas that do not require you to even leave your house!

1) Write a letter to the editor of your local paper calling for better health care, child care and extended family leave policies

2) Send email or call family or friends who are mothers and thank them for all their daily sacrifices

3) Sign the National Organization for Women's "Mothers Matter and Caregivers Count" peition.

Friday, May 05, 2006

"Dignified Motherhood is a Feminist Priority"

This quote comes from Germaine Greer. It is an important belief to live by for us feminists, mothers or not. As Mother's Day approaches, I have been thinking about how much happier children would be if they were raised by mothers who are confident and self-assured. This is where feminism is so important. Feminism gives women the sense that the work they do is important and ought to be respected. This is especially true for those who are raising children.


More and more women are embracing the term "Stay at home Feminist." It is a wonderful job description, one that fits my life perfectly. The more women use it, the more people will understand that feminism and caregiving belong together.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Read these books now

With all the media attention over the so-called "mommy wars" it is important to bring attention to the fact that there are some truly wonderful books about mothers out there. Here are a few suggestions...

The Price of Motherhood by Ann Crittenden

Mother Reader by Moyra Davey

Mothers Who Think by Camille Peri

It's A Girl by Andrea J. Buchanan

Check out Moms Rising

Visit this great website: www.momsrising.org


They have put together many wonderful resources for activist mothers. On their home page, they have a link to tell your legislators to support true family friendly legislation.

Also, you can visit this part of their website: http://www.momsrising.org/neighborhood/start_a_group

to start a moms rising group in your own neighborhood.