May 16, 2007

Oh, Mother, Where Art Thou?

And welcome to the post-Mother's Day women's rights roundup. It's belated, but then, being an apunctual, workaholic insomniac has its logical side effects. Fortunately, I have compensatory talents and the decent excuse that I was too tired after traveling Sunday to get around to much more than calling the appropriate female relations.

On the day, SusanG wrote about the political crucible of motherhood.

Julia writing over at the News Blog was one of many to mention that Mother's Day was originally a peace holiday, started by a group of mothers who'd had it up to here with having their sons and husbands turned into killers or corpses, and that we've now got a mom as Speaker of the House for the first time. Julia also points to an article indicating that motherhood makes women smarter.

Smarter? Yep.

But still, mothers are paid less and treated worse in the workplace.

On the way to becoming mothers, some women decide they'd rather not. And maybe it should be no wonder, considering the costs and difficulties of childcare, the serious economic penalties, or even what people seem to think of pregnant women:

... In one study published in 1993 in the Journal of Organizational Behavior, pregnant and non-pregnant women performed tasks that were rated by college students drafted for the research. While both subjects performed the same, those who were pregnant consistently received lower performance ratings. They were viewed as overly emotional, often irrational, physically limited and less than committed to their jobs, according to the report. ...

And that 'opt-out revolution' of well-educated women supposedly choosing to return to the call of a simpler family life instead of sticking with high-powered careers? A complete fairy tale.

From yesterday's Cheers and Jeers, "Amount of money homemakers would make if they were paid for all of the jobs they perform (chef, chauffer, psychologist, etc.): $138,095 (Source: Newsweek)"

Though for about, oh, three billion years, give or take, there were only mothers.

Another take on why men need to take action to prevent rape and harassment of women.

Twisty theorizes about a world in which women were presumed not to have consented to sex.

Mainstream culture: When it's not making women look ridiculous, it's turning them into interchangeable fembots without obvious personalities.

The UK may grant extensive breastfeeding rights.

A Mother's Day week feminist reader.

A definition of misogyny, followed by an interesting commentary on the motivations for rape:

“Hatred or strong prejudice,” not just hatred.

Hatred, in contrast, means “Intense animosity or hostility” (according to the American Heritage dictionary). But it’s possible to be strongly prejudiced against someone without feeling intense animosity. Think of a father, for example, who loves his science-minded daughters, but at the same time feels that women are intrinsically incapable of being great scientists or mathematicians. We don’t have to doubt his love for his daughters, or suppose that he feels intense animosity towards them, to recognize that his beliefs are strongly prejudiced against women (including his daughters). ...

Women who deviate from traditional gender stereotypes and jobs in the workplace are targeted more often for harassment by men.

If a study had been published revealing that children suffer when their mothers don't take leave from work after their birth, it would have been front page news everywhere. Instead, a similar study was published indicating that children whose fathers don't take time off work when their born are more likely to have behavioral problems. Only the crickets heard about it.

"My wife and I just had an abortion. ..." A good article that speaks to the potential need for selective abortion when IVF procedures yield more fetuses than can safely be carried to term. Though yeah, it'd be nice if more attention were paid when women write about these things.

A 17-year-old Irish girl will finally be allowed to leave the country to have an abortion by a legal system that regards her wishes and well-being as less relevant than a fetus whose absolute personhood has been injected into the legal system by people who believe in a God who gets upset when you rub one off.

In other news, a 14-year-old rape victim was denied emergency contraception in the U.S.

What an abortion clinic bomber did to a woman, Emily Lyons who worked in a place that helped other women choose when they'd like to be mothers. So they could plan parenthood like all those other important life decisions people are encouraged to give a lot of thought and careful consideration before embarking upon, like buying a house. Still, the terrorist, Eric Rudolph, still gets to issue public threats and communicate with his terrorist sympathizers from the jail he's rotting in.

Posted by natasha at May 16, 2007 06:27 PM | Women | Technorati links |