Last week, The New York Times published a fairly straight forward news piece on the bountiful array of studies conducted here and in other parts of the world that suggest that offering paternity leave to new fathers could actually help stimulate the U.S. economy while also supporting women in their quest for work/life balance. The piece starts off with a brief anecdote from writer Catherine Rampell’s personal experience, about having two relationships come to an end because the men she was dating expressed a desire to see her eventually put aside her career, at least temporarily, should their relationship become so serious that they get married and have children. She writes:
I don’t pretend to know how common this situation is, and how many other young women have found themselves in it. But it clarified not only the choices that future mothers must make about their careers, but also how early in their careers they must begin to think about them. And while fairness and feminism may urge us to find better ways for women to balance work and life — Sheryl Sandberg and Anne-Marie Slaughter have certainly made impassioned cries — the most convincing argument seems to be an economic one.
The rest Rampell’s piece focuses on how women who hope to have children someday have a better shot at being successful at “leaning in” at work if their male partners are “leaning in” more at home, and are being given the support to do so via things like paternity leave. And, more importantly, should the United States follow in the footsteps of countries like Sweden and Norway and offer paternity leave, it would not only benefit those straight couples who chose to partake in more balanced work-life accommodations, but the economy as a whole. Men would be given the flexibility to spend those precious early weeks with their children, women wouldn’t find putting their careers on the backburner the more financially feasible option, and, by keeping more women in the workforce, the economy would grow. Rampell offers a whole bunch of supporting evidence and, all in all, it is one of the least objectionable pieces I’ve read on the benefits of our society striving towards equality for men and women at work and in the home.
But lo and behold, one person managed to be deeply offended by Rampell’s article: Tom Matlack, the founding editor of The Good Men Project, who published a response called “What’s A Guy To Do?”, which, among other things, calls Rampell’s piece an “attack on dads-at-large.” Say what? Keep reading »
“I can’t stand whining. I can’t stand the kind of paralysis that some people fall into because they’re not happy with the choices they made. You live in a time when there are endless choices. … Some women are not comfortable working at the pace and intensity you have to work at in these jobs … Other women don’t break a sweat.”
— Da-yum, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Tell us what you really think. Marie Claire asked Clinton about The Atlantic‘s infamous Anne-Marie Slaughter piece “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All”; I hope that in the context of the actual piece it doesn’t sound so much like she’s dismissively saying “deal with it.” I’m certain Clinton knows all about the larger, structural institutionalized sexism and workplace flexibility issues that families face, so I’m not sure why that wasn’t reflected in her response. [Jezebel] Keep reading »
This week at the National Democratic Convention, sexism seeped out of the mouths of three Chicago Sun-Times reporters when asking Attorney General Lisa Madigan about her potential run for governor.
The reporters, Dave McKinney, Fran Spielman, and Natasha Korecki, raised the question of “whether she could serve as governor and still raise her kids the way she wants to,” which continues to be a persistent topic discussed in regard to only female politicians. Keep reading »
It was easy to roll one’s eyes at Elizabeth Wurtzel’s recent piece on TheAtlantic.com, “1 Percent Wives Are Helping To Kill Feminism And Make The War On Women Possible.” Although I understand the point Wurtzel was trying to make (educated women who don’t advance in the workforce and financially support themselves/their families are bad for feminism) she couched the whole thing in kind of bombastic, linkbait-y statements like, “I am going to smack the next idiot who tells me that raising her children full time — by which she really means going to Jivamukti classes and pedicure appointments while the nanny babysits — is her feminist choice.”
But I want to go a little deeper than the eye-rolling. I want to look at the phenomenon of self-described feminists — like Wurtzel — judging other women’s choices. Keep reading »
As if the “mommy wars” need even more ammunition to make women feel bad about themselves: a new Gallup poll found that stay-at-home-moms were more likely to be unhappy than working mothers.
Gallup surveyed nearly 61,000 women between the ages of 18 to 64 who had at least one child under the age of 18. A quarter of SATMs said they felt a lot of sadness “yesterday” and one-fifth said they felt anger, compared with only 16 percent and 14 percent of working mothers, respectively. Gallup said SAHMs were more slightly more likely to say they felt stressed “yesterday” than working moms (50 percent to 48 percent) and more SAHMs said they had been diagnosed with depression as well (28 percent to 17 percent).
What does it all mean? Eh, probably nothing.
Keep reading »
As an incentive for working mothers not to drop out of the workforce, the Insurance Australia Group (IAG) is offering double pay for new moms for their first six weeks back from maternity leave. The double-pay incentive is on top of IAG’s 14 weeks paid maternity leave after giving birth or adopting a child, plus an Australian law that either gives parents up to 18 weeks pay at minimum wage or a $5,800 “baby bonus,” whichever is greater. Color me impressed, Aussies. Keep reading »
Another day, another bombastically link-baity piece on the Internet to get everyone’s feathers ruffled!
Today’s linkbait comes courtesy of The New York Daily News op-ed page, in which writer S.E. Cupp hammers away at Democratic consultant Hilary Rosen for a foot-in-mouth comment she made on “Anderson Cooper 360″ last week, that stay-at-home mother (SAHM) of five Ann Romney “never worked a day in her life.” Rosen later clarified that she meant Ann shouldn’t be her millionaire husband’s earpiece for issues on women and the economy; alas, her point was lost by inelegant phrasing.
The rudeness of Rosen’s comments were chastised by everyone from First Lady Michelle Obama, members of the president’s staff, and feminists such as myself. But that fact has been conveniently ignored by S.E. Cupp. Instead, she wants to pat Ann Romney on the back for “marrying up,” writing:
[W]hile liberal women may praise Ann for (at least) getting herself an education, where is the praise for Ann’s best decision of all — to marry well? Keep reading »
The discerning female film viewer has long trained herself to separate rom-coms from reality when it comes to her love life. He’s probably not going to win you over with a grand romantic gesture, he’s probably not going to beat up some loser just to impress you, and he’s probably not going to have Matthew McConaughey’s abs. But that’s why we watch those flicks, isn’t it? It’s like porn for women’s emotions — or at the very least, something light and fluffy to entertain you when you’re lying at home on a Saturday night with cramps.
Romantic comedies about romance will always be made. Hey, something’s got to keep Jennifer Aniston working. However, in recent years, a new breed of romantic comedies has come around: work-comedies. Instead of McConaughey’s abs, we’re lusting after the woman on the big screen with the great hubby, the cute kids, and the important job. Keep reading »
My friend Molly has a wardrobe many young professionals would envy. She works at Banana Republic, and consequently has a closet full of stylish, classy pieces purchased at a heavy discount. Whenever we hang out she looks polished and put together. A couple weeks ago, we were out Christmas shopping and Molly picked up a skater-style Volcom hoodie, clutched it to her bosom and said, “I never buy stuff like this because all I do is work and I have nowhere to wear it.” This got me thinking about how much our jobs can affect our personal style… Keep reading »
Yesterday I was thrilled to leave work early and attend Glamour magazine’s “Love Your Life” conference, held at New York City’s 92nd St Y. I only got to hear one of the two panel discussions: “Love Your Work Life.” With a lineup including “Top Chef”‘s Padma Lakshmi, designer Anna Sui, makeup guru Bobbi Brown, Dylan’s Candy Bar owner Dylan Lauren, and my old boss, politics blogger Arianna Huffington, who wouldn’t be psyched? The panel, moderated by journalist Deborah Roberts, was supposed to be about “high-achieving women discuss[ing] success and work-life balance.” And while there were some really solid gold pieces of career advice dished out (Anna Sui, adopt me!), I also couldn’t help but feel frustrated by how little I could relate to these women, who are faaar wealthier than the average woman ever will be. Most of us won’t be so lucky, like Padma Lakshmi, to force herself to let her baby’s nanny deal with her crying child.
After the jump, some of the afternoon’s highlights, both good and bad: Keep reading »