Weekly Feminist Reader

Maria Soledad Vela, who is helping to rewrite Ecuador’s constitution, wants to include that “women should have the right to make free, responsible and informed decisions about sex lives.”
Veronica on why you should know who Lorena Ochoa is, but probably don’t.
I highly recommend this piece by Betsy Reed in The Nation about Hillary Clinton and institutional feminism. Ta-Nehisi Coates adds, “As a guy who’s long felt that civil rights-era black leadership has lost the moral high ground, I get where she’s coming from.”
Manohla Dargis on the state of women directors and actors in Hollywood. Also check out Women Make Movies.
The Coup Magazine offers some steps toward ending the violence (particularly the violence against women) in the Democratic Republic of Congo — and also notes there’s a new Amnesty International report on women, HIV/AIDS and violence in South Africa.
On those deceptive robocalls by Women’s Voices, Women’s Vote.
Latoya quotes Joan Morgan on hip-hop and feminism and racial solidarity.
Check out all the great Blog Against Disablism posts.
Does Obama support parental consent laws?
A day in the life of a feminist high-school student. (via Lauredhel)
Alice Walker on Clinton, Obama, and womanism.
What a horrible headline: “Testimony starts in manslaughter trial of woman who cried ‘rape’.” Astraea has a great post responding to this news story — and an update noting the woman was convicted.
On the depressingly high maternal mortality rate in Afghanistan. (via)
Carmen at Racialicious on the “reality” TV show Miss Rap Supreme.
Scientific American has an article on subliminal stereotyping.
On marginalization, exoticism, and a South Asian adaptation of the Vagina Monologues.
Secondhandsally reacts to that Esquire cover featuring Jessica Simpson shaving (a takeoff on their 1960s-era cover that featured Marilyn Monroe Virna Lisi in a similar pose).
Prof BW has a list of Feminist Reading Tools for Recognizing and Countering Racism.
Actions and Events
On Tuesday, COLOR (Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights) is hosting an event to oppose the defeat the deceptively named “Human Life Amendment.�
May 8-11 is the Willie Mae-ra-thon in NYC to benefit the Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls!
Click here to support the International Violence Against Women Act (IVAWA).

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55 Comments

  1. Mina
    Posted May 7, 2008 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

    “2. Caring for your kids is not a job, it is a responsibility.”
    More accurately, it’s a job that whoever told you to raise kids hired you to do. If it was your choice instead of someone else’s, then you’ve hired yourself for the job.
    It reminds me of the last time I got called for jury duty. The law (this was in Massachusetts) said that a juror’s employer owes the juror paid leave for the first 3 days – and that if a juror is self-employed, then she or he owes the payment for the time off to herself or himself.

  2. AlaraJRogers
    Posted May 8, 2008 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    Caring for your kids is not a job, it is a responsibility. Caring for your kids is how you commit to spend much of your free time when you choose to have kids.
    It’s not “free time” if it’s not free.
    You want to call it “time not spent at this specific job”, okay. But it is not “free time.” And as I’ve stated, it’s also not free time if you spend it:
    - Caring for any other dependent human being
    - Doing any other job for money
    - Volunteering at a job that saves human lives, such as being a volunteer firefighter or paramedic
    If you spend it on doing something that neither makes money nor cares for dependent humans nor saves human lives, then no one will die, get hurt or suffer financial hardship if you don’t do it. Thus, it’s free.
    Your free time is no more valuable than anyone else’s, no matter what your massive sense of entitlement tells you.
    Your free time is massively larger than mine, because I have responsibilities I can’t get out of, unless you are spending *your* time where you are not at work doing something to benefit other humans as well.
    And regardless of what I feel entitled to, I actually feel that *you* are entitled to put down your work after 40 hours and go home, too. It just really, really pisses me off when people who are mad at *me* because when an employer says “Who can stay late?” and I say “Not me, gotta pick up my kids” and the employer says “Okay, you then” and you sit like a deer in the headlights and don’t *say* “But i had dinner plans and you only pay me for 40 anyway”, imply that *I* am the problem because *I* am entitled to my free time… as if I actually got any free time. all my free time is spent at work, honestly. And talk about having kids as a “lifestyle choice” as if I can get out of having to pick up my kids at day care as easily as you can cancel your dinner reservation.
    The point is, it actually doesn’t matter whether I have more right to the free time that actually isn’t free for me at all than you do… the point is, *all* of us are entitled to our free time, and goddammit, if I have to take the blame because you will not speak up and say “no”, then you will goddamn take the blame for the fact that you get paid more than me. Whine whine whine, men and childfree women, but your Social Security checks will be about two-thirds bigger than a mother’s would be. If you want the free time, speak up and say “No, I’m going home;” if you want the money, do the work, because the parent *can’t* even if she *wants* to, as her time CANNOT BE REALLOCATED TO WORK and therefore IS NOT FREE; and either way, shut up about how companies being friendly to families is such a huge problem.
    “Companies are too friendly to families” is exactly like MRAs saying “We live in a matriarchy! The feminists have taken over!” It is ridiculous, untrue, unfair, and no one would ever *say* it unless they felt massively entitled. You are not entitled to a job where none of your coworkers are a primary caretaker of children and therefore nobody else has something that happens *every day* so they *cannot stay late*. You aren’t entitled to a job where they let you work just 40, either, but you *damn* well won’t get one of those by sitting on your ass whining about mothers who leave exactly on time sticking you with extra work instead of actually *telling* your employer “No, I am not working late for you every night.”
    And if the *exact same time* off is treated differently by employers depending on whether or not it is because the employee is undergoing elective surgery (good) or being the primary caretaker of a sick child (bad), then THERE IS DISCRIMINATION AGAINST MOTHERS. Not people who take time off, MOTHERS. (Possibly fathers as well. I have no evidence that men are allowed to work from home to be with sick children either.)

  3. noname
    Posted May 8, 2008 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    AlaraJRogers – Picking up your kids is a part of the lifestyle choice you made when you decided to have kids. Not picking up kids is part of the lifestyle choice I made when I decided not to have kids. Because of my choice, I am able to spend my free time doing things I enjoy. Go figure.
    Please note, at no point in this thread did I whine about mothers or forty hour work weeks. In fact, all I did to start this was to point out your egomaniacal opinion that your time is more important than other people’s time.

  4. sgzax
    Posted May 8, 2008 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    I think what Alara said is reasonable. I don’t normally read responses that long, but I wanted to see where she went wrong. And she didn’t really. She’s advocating that a 40 hour work week actually be a 40 hour work week, and that employers acknowledge that their employees shouldn’t have to give up all of their productive time in order to do their jobs well. Makes sense to me.
    I didn’t see the egomania. It seems like an unwarranted personal attack, actually.

  5. noname
    Posted May 8, 2008 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

    sgzax – I am not arguing against a 40 hour work week. I am arguing against AlaraJRogers’ asserton that her time is more important than the time of an entire class of people.

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