Thursday, October 26, 2006

GAY.COM

Check out this website for information on gay and lesbian families. It becomes increasingly important that the issues of gay and lesbian parents achieve visibility in our media. As my husband, son, and I just attended my uncles committment ceremony in Washington, DC many gay and lesbian parents with their children were also in attendence. As parents we all shared the same concerns regarding our childrens health, saftey, and well being. It's a shame that in our country we can all see parenting as a community concern regardless of sexual orientation, race, or class.

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Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Feminist Mom Back from Hiatus



After being so busy with work and child rearing, I am back from a brief hiatus. There is so much happening right now, it's difficult to decide where to begin!


First off, very exciting things are FINALLY happening for the Democratic party with the downfall of Florida Congressman Mark Foley. After years of suspicions that he was mistreating young congressional pages, he resigned recently, possibly bringing the Republican majority in Congress down with him. Now, if the Democrats can only get their act together and run as a largely unified party much as the Republicans did in 1994, we have a real chance of putting this country back on the right track. It seems like Speaker of the House Hastert has only a small chance now of remaining Speaker, and if we have any luck at all, he will lose his seat all together. Can you believe he had the audacity to blame Former President Bill Clinton in his recent press conference announcing he will not resign (while also avoiding taking any real blame for the handling of the Foley debacle).

So there's hope!! Now we need to make sure all Democrats and independents get out and vote against Republicans at all levels of government, in all races. Republicans need to be sent the message that voters will no longer put up with the way they run this country, fight the war in Iraq, and boot them out before they steer our country even more off track.


On top of this, it now looks as though North Korean Dictator Kim Jong Il is itching for war against us. It's incredible Bush even let things get to the level they did yesterday, where North Korean openly tested nuclear weapons. Diplomacy between our two nations could have ended this buildup years ago, of course Bush refused to have true discussions, hence the mess we're in now.


Also, if you are a registered voter, please, please, please vote no on Prop 85. This harmful proposition would prevent girls under 18 getting legal, safe abortions without parental approval. Those who are truly concerned about the health our our state's girls will be voting no on Proposition 85.
The tax breaks enjoyed by ordained clergy members of all faiths should also be available to other people who are positioned in organizations that help their communities. Unfortunately this is not the case and thus represents yet again the government's priorities to reward religious institutions over other non-profit groups. Interestingly, the jobs and volenteer work that give back to communities are mostly held by women and the majority of clergy are men.
Clergy benefit greatly from a federal tax exemption on most of what they spend on housing which according to the New York Times accounts for a third of their compensation. Paster Warren, who interesting just wrote, "The Purpose Driven Life" which sold over 25 million copies states that the tax exemption compensates for the poor wages received by clergy members.

The tax break is not available to the staff at secular nonprofit organizations whose scale and charitable aims compare to those of religious ministries like Pastor Warren’s church, or to poorly paid inner-city teachers and day care workers who also serve their communities.


Ministers can also opt out of the taxes withheld from social security, all states but one allow clergy to exempt from paying state unemployment taxes, and a few states still include sales tax exemptions from religious publications. It's clear that tax breaks like these disporportionately benefit male dominated institutions and oppresses female dominated professions of the same altrusitic qualities.

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Thursday, October 05, 2006

Career and Motherhood

Interesting data out in Inside Higher Ed that completely discredits last years New York Times article "Many Women at Elite Colleges Set Career Path To Motherhood."
Victoria Brescoll, currently a postdoctoral research fellow at Yale's Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity, conducted the survey in the 2005-6 academic year as a graduate student in social psychology, said the survey results suggest that men and women equally value career and family, contradicting the implication of Louise Story’s.
The new study suggests that the article also overstated the number of women who hope to leave the workforce long-term. Yale University’s Women’s Center released a survey last week finding that just 4.1 percent of Yale women plan to stop work entirely after having children, compared to 0.7 percent of men. A vast majority of women — 71.8 percent — reported they would take less than one year off work after their children were born.


As it turns out many women and men hold career and family equally important. Unfortunaty, statistics such as these do not include the vast numbers of mothers that work part time or work full time running a self-owned business from home. Also interesting that 'work' is spoken of outside the home when it should really point to the fact that women are staying in the work force as well as 'working' inside the home. When are we going to accept that mothering is unpaid labor?

Monday, October 02, 2006

What Are We Teaching Girls and Boys?

As more highschool sporting events begin to be broadcast on national television the line between sports in highschool as an extracurricular activity and serious profit making capacity starts to disappear. Now highschool athletes are being recruited by the highschools themselves, are considering longterm athletic careers early on in age placing academic standing as a secondary priority, and are currently being exploitated by a sporting industry waiting to sign the next big celebrity sports star.
Much has been said about the problems that will inevitably arise out of this situation but no words have been uttered in regards to the now even larger gap between girl's and boy's sports. With value clearly placed on male athletes this broadcasting of male dominated sports continues to push girl athletes into relative invisibility except in the event of children's spelling bees or cheerleading. Girls basketball and soccer remain the only sports with visibility and limited at that.
If we start to glorify highschool male athletes at such an early age what does that teach young males? Isn't it giving them a false sense of reality? What does it say to our culture's young girls? Value and asset remain a battleground issue for individuals interested in gender and this issue only pushes the solution farther from reality.