Paid Maternity Leave: U.S Still Does Not Require it

Just a reminder that this is a thing: “The United States is one of only eight countries, out of 188 that have known policies without paid [maternity] leave.” (New York Times) Employers may provide paid maternity leave, but it is not a guarantee nor a mandate. Three states do ensure paid maternity leave: California, New Jersey and Rhode Island, but other states do not require it. So… You could have a baby and have to leave for work the next day if you cannot afford unpaid time off. Seems harmful not only to the baby but for the mother who would certainly need some recovery time. Don’t you think our country would thrive better if mothers had a chance to take care of their children when they are first born? And fathers too! We need paid maternity leave AND paid paternity leave. Parents being able to afford to take time to be with their new born seems like a no-brainer to me, especially when the rest of the world is already on board. Paid Maternity Leave Worldwide Map-U.S Has No Paid Maternity Leave .png

Why Does Women’s History Matter?

I am so freakin’ excited to be teaching a women’s history course!!! And no, it’s not just for one token month of women’s history, it’s a whole high school history course y’all!

Below, check out a couple quotes from some historians on why they think women’s history matters:

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Gerda Lerner: “Women’s history is indispensable and essential to the emancipation of women…Women’s history changes their lives.” (Lerner, 1986, p. 3).

 

 

 

Howard Zinn: “It is possible, reading standard histories, to forget half the population of the  country. The explorers were men, the landholders and merchants men, the political leaders men, Image result for howard zinnthe military figures men. The very invisibility of women, the overlooking of women, is a sign of their submerged status. In this invisibility they were something like black slaves (and thus slave women faced a double oppression.) The invisibility of women in history is a major problem. Without adequate attention to what women have experienced, educators run the risk of students assuming they played no role in history or in the creation of societies.” (Zinn, 1980, p. 103)

 

Image result for margaret croccoMargaret Crocco: “Even though women represent half the world’s population, and in that sense have experienced half of human history, their stories are often marginalized if not omitted entirely when world or American history is taught in the nation’s classrooms.” (Crocco, 1997)

 

Where my pro-choice men at?

I’m always astounded when guys, particularly liberal/progressive guys, are not outspokenly pro-choice. If they got a woman pregnant, and abortion were illegal, they would be forced to become a father, whether they liked it or not. This issue deeply affects them.

This issue has come up several times lately in conversations with my guy friends:

Whether or not the child were to be given up for adoption, or if he decided to abandon the kid, he would still have to live with knowing that he has a child out there.

According to the Guttmacher institute, 1 out of every 4 women will get an abortion.  (And by some estimates 1-3.) This means that 1 in 4 men came very close to becoming a father, whether they wanted to be or not. In other words, 25% of men out there would be fathers right now if abortion were illegal. 

How many guys out there have gotten their girlfriend pregnant and just weren’t ready to be a parent? How many guys out there had a one night stand who would dread it if they had gotten the woman pregnant? How many guys out there got a woman pregnant and have no idea because the gal got an abortion without telling him? If that woman weren’t allowed access to abortion, BAM: That man’s life would be changed forever. He would be a father to a child with a woman he potentially never intended on seeing again. He would be forced into procreation. He would be forced into fatherhood for life and everything that comes along with that.

Why is it that so many men, good men, are so quiet on this issue? 

(Shout out to my guy friends who ARE outspokenly pro-choice! Love ya.)

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Notorious RBG

This film is SOOOOO phenomenal. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is a true American hero.

One of the best quotes of the movie is one RBG repeated from the infamous 19th century abolitionist and feminist Sarah Grimke who says,

“I ask no favor for my sex. All I ask of our brethren is that they take their feet off our necks…”

When I went to see the film, the theater was packed: People outwardly applauded, clapped, sighed with disdain, and laughed. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a movie with that captive of an audience. (I also couldn’t help buying an RBG mug for myself and two others after seeing the film.)

RBG directly changed many sexist laws in the United States and has served as a voice for human rights and reason during her time as Supreme Court Justice.

Check out the trailer below:

 

Activist Jackson Katz points out: “The most important factor in school shootings and mass killings is the gender of the perpetrator because they are overwhelmingly perpetrated by men.”

Jackson Katz is an amazing activist, educator and author and he has been speaking about this issue for years. Check out the video, below.

He states, “Can you imagine if 99% of school shootings were done by girls? Can you imagine anybody talking about guns and mental illness as the causes, without first talking about the fact that 99% of the shooters were girls? I don’t think anybody would talk about anything other than that, at least initially. But because boys and men represent the dominant group, we rarely even talk about that, we go immediately to secondary factors…

“I don’t believe boys and men are predetermined to be abusive, towards women or towards other men and boys. I think it is something that we teach them, I think it is something that we socialize them and we can do better than that… 

“How can we change the social norms in society that help to produce these predictable outcomes? Because honestly, until we do that, we’re just running from one case to the next.”

“The world is disturbingly comfortable with the fact that women sometimes leave a sexual encounter in tears.”

I just read the article that is making the rounds on social media titled, “The female price of male pleasure” by Lili Loofbourow’s. Holy hell: This piece is so horrifyingly important. It is a very uncomfortable read particularly for many women because I think it rings too accurate for them, and for men it is uncomfortable, because they may not have ever thought of things this way. For me, I had a heart sinking, aha moment. The article brings attention to something so many women have had experience with, but haven’t had the route to explain it. To me, this article is ground breaking in a way that the Feminine Mystique was in the 1960s… I wish I could describe it better, but it’s really best to just read the article.

http://theweek.com/articles/749978/female-price-male-pleasure

Just be aware that it is a very discomforting, yet eye opening read.

The article starts out, “The world is disturbingly comfortable with the fact that women sometimes leave a sexual encounter in tears.”