Money or Parenting? How the Government Makes People Choose.

I found this video to be quite alarming and informative. I could not believe the limited amount of time off mothers receive in our country and the reasons behind legislation to help families is not being passed. We are one of two countries in the world who do not give mothers the day off for mothers day. If mothers would like to take the day off it is close to impossible, it has to be unpaid, and pass loads of restrictions. Mothers are not only losing mothers day but time off after giving birth. In a world that pressures women to have it all, balancing being a mother and working, mothers are not getting enough unpaid or paid leave off. This puts their job and financial security at risk or the time needed to tend for a newborn.

I also found it interesting and relevant that they spoke of the mostly nonexistent time fathers get off after having a child born. Showing that we still live in a society that only views women staying home to tend for the child. Paternal leave is important because they are both parents, and many families have nontraditional parenting or a household where both parents work. Almost all leave taken by parents after their child is born is unpaid time off, putting a financial compromise on themselves. What was really shocking was the reasoning behind lobbyists and legislators keeping these restrictions and lack of benefits on new parents.

What do you all think? Do you find this opinion just? Or do you agree with how things are now? Has this affected your parents or someone you know? Why is our culture unhelpful to new parents compared to other cultures?


Sh*t Girls say about their Hair…or boys?

Does anyone remember the shoes guy? ‘Shoes…let’s get some shoes’, well apparently men acting as women through comedy is back on the social media top hit lists! I was browsing around on YouTube recently when I came across this new advertisement for Aussie hair products. It’s interesting because it’s a man who I believe is cross-dressing, acting as a women with our many various daily hair issues. I personally find the advertisement funny because I can relate to it, but I feel it would be a different story with men. Watch the video below!


Also, check out Daily Mail’s article on how the video stuck up millions of hits, but along with a lot of controversy. It’s funny to me how boys can be spot on with things they don’t even have to deal with everyday. I find it interesting that these kind of videos are becoming increasingly popular on all types of social media, how men act as women and women act as men.

Pink Shoes

Im sure that some of us have come across the Facebook post about the young boy who wanted to wear pink shoes to pre-kindergarten.  Sam is only 5 years old when this was posted and was a confident young boy about what he wanted to wear.  His mom tried to explain to him that the pink shoes were meant for girls, yet he did not care because “ninjas wore pink shoes too”.  Parents and children have two separate mindsets however.  Kids think that these shoes are great, yet parents don’t think that that is acceptable for him to wear solely based on the color.

In the text Wood discusses the idea of parental communication about gender.  Boys are more persuaded to not play house and girls may be dissuaded from engaging in physically aggressive sports.  Overall, gender socialization is more rigid for boys than it is for girls.  It is more accepted for a girl to do more masculine activity rather than for a young boy to do a feminine activity.    I think that this post is a message to all of us out there to let, if we decide to have kids, let them be who they are.  In this case, Sam wanted to wear the shoes not because they were pink… but because his favorite animal is a zebra.

Just Ask Milla

Recently I came across this video and it stuck a chord with me because of what we have been covering in class.  I was willing to sit through the 7 minute video because I believe that there was an incredibly personal story behind it.  Milla was born a girl, but from an extremely young age he identified as a male.  Growing up Milla liked to dress in boy clothes, underwear, played with boys toys and even liked Batman, Spiderman, Bob the Builder and Ninja Turtles.  Milla was diagnosed with gender dysphoria or the fact that Milla’s gender did not line up with the feelings inside.  Milla was born a female but his brain identifies as a male.  Though I do not know much about this, I could only imagine how hard it must have been for him.

In class we covered what transgender was, and it refers to individuals who feel that their biologically assigned sex does not match their true sexual identity — they are women, despite having male bodies, or men, despite having female bodies.  This video was a great example of how this can affect transpeople of all ages.  They do not have to be in their teens or late adulthood… Some may know as young as Milla.


Instagram vs. Reality

This is a satyrical article about Instagram that I recently found written by a girl named Olivia Muenter. For those of you that don’t know what Instagram is, it is similar to Twitter with the use of hashtags also, but it is a primarily picture based social media app where your “followers” can view, like, or comment on pictures you post. In the article Olivia discusses the selfie picture, shoe picture and the “foodie” picture of a meal that people typically tend to Instagram the most. In the beginning of her humorous article she states, “So I, like most people, post the things that are going to reflect the best aspects of my life and personality. Also my face. Because selfies. Why, yes, I do drink coffee at hip cafes and order things online from J.Crew. Oh, don’t mind me, just a picture of my new Nikes and me heading to spin class. Because I’m fit. Obviously (I’m not). Oh, look! I’m doing a juice cleanse. I buy peonies! I read books! I am well-rounded! I have shoes! You know, the important parts of my life. Anyway, as a sort of confession: here is what I’m really doing in all those Instagrams vs. what I presented to the world. Prepare to be shocked.” 

Olivia is a prime example of what Julie T. Wood discusses in Gendered Lives. In Chapter 11 of the text on the concept of gendered media use Wood states, “Girls and women also perceive media as allowing them to express themselves. They are more likely than boys to blog, create web content, and create profiles on social networking sites. In a recent study, Kate Bodey explored how girls in their late teens use media to develop identities.” What Wood is discussing about this idea relates to exactly what the purpose of Instagram is and specifically what Olivia is talking about in her article about herself and how she uses Instagram to control how people view and think of her based on the pictures she posts.


Giving a new definition of “Baby Fat”

How many times have you seen in popular magazines, television, and media, countless celebrities claiming to have “gotten their body back” after having a baby? This idea of being the “perfect mother” sets unattainable expectations for everyday mothers- shifting priorities of being pleasing towards society and your significant other rather than soft and nurturing to your newborn child.

After problems with recovering from her own pregnancy, photographer Ashlee Wells Jackson created the “Fourth Trimester Project”– a series of photographs that show the true beauty of mothers after their pregnancies. The plump, skinny, wrinkled and smooth mothers of all nationalities and origins embrace their body’s changes which are suited best for their families, not for society.

“We live in a society obsessed with perfection. The goal of this project is to shift that focus to the beauty of who we really are.” – Ashlee Wells Jackson


Gender discrimination in the workplace

So although I am not a Nicki Minaj fan, I do think she makes a very good point in this short clip. Yes, our society has come a long way on their views of women in the work force. However, there is still a lot of discrimination out there. In chapter one of Gendered Lives, Julie Woods writes, “The fact that my sex makes me vulnerable to job discrimination, violence, and other injustices is not something I accept as unchangeable.” Nicki Minaj’s clip gives us a whole new perspective of this discrimination with a look at how women in the entertainment industry are discriminated against. One would think that celebrities don’t experience discrimination, but it is clear that this social construction of gender roles truly is unequal all over. When will our society start to see women as equals? Will our society ever see women as equals?

Loving Your Child Unconditionally

One day during my hourly “Let-me-read-through-Facebook-and-put-off-homework” phases, I just so happened to find this article in my newsfeed. At first I thought nothing of it because it was so short. However, the more I thought about it through the day, the more it kind of buried itself deep into my heart.

While reading it I immediately thought of the Transgendered Lives video. All five of the subjects in the video attest to being either supported or shunned by their families. The younger children seem to get support while the older ones were more likely to get shunned by their families. Hailey was the perfect example. At six, she decided she wanted to become a girl. Her father, being a Sunday School teacher, took it hard. However it did not take the family long at all to accept Harry as Hailey and love her unconditionally.

Julia Wood states in her book, Gendered Lives, “Problems unique to GLBT families seem to arise primarily from social prejudice rather than from any lack of parenting skills (Snow, 2004).” Sometimes it’s not the parenting, it’s the fear of being judged by society that holds parents back.

After I read that I decided to do some reading up on other blogs to find a good co-blog to go along with that first one. I then found this beautifully written piece by Jacqueline Shephard. I was in awe. It is a lengthier reading, but I promise well worth your time. I cried, I laughed, and I got a whole new outlook on parenting an LGBT teen.

While I was reading through these two articles all I kept picturing were my future children. Would they be lesbian? Bisexual? Gay? Transgendered? Would I love them the same as if they were heterosexual? My answer is YES. There are so many things that could go wrong with my child. Cancer, kidnapping, sexual assault…you name it. If my child wants to indentify with another gender, SO BE IT! If he wants to a date a man or if she wants to date a woman, SO BE IT! At least they are alive and healthy enough to make that conscious decision. Isn’t that what most parents want for their children?

I have taken the pledge to love my future child(ren) unconditionally…can you say the same for yourself?