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?


Re-messaging What it Means to be a Mother.

In Western culture, and many others, mothers are often expected to drop everything for their husband and children. I think that this is a very unfair and toll-taking emotional responsibility to place on women, and it is in fact what deters many people from even having kids. Mothers often carry an emotional guilt as a result of the media messaging that conditions society to believe that mothers must take care of everyone else first, before taking care of themselves. This is a social problem of gender inequity because fathers are not held to the same standard, nor should they be. In order to be in the position to care for others, one must first take care of themselves.

American actress, singer-songwriter, businesswoman, daughter, wife, and mother of two, Jada Pinkett Smith, shares some invaluable insight with her daughter Willow on the importance of cultivating your own happiness. She makes a brilliant point about how when someone isn’t balanced in life, they look to others to make them happy which leads to chronic unhappiness. So true and I hope people carry this message forward to help reshape how mothers, women and all people live, treat each other, and treat themselves.



Single Dads Are Not Extinct

This evening I was watching television while eating dinner with my single mother, (a regular occurrence), when a Whirlpool commercial came on, here it is:

Although this commercial did not yell “single dad alert”, it brought to my attention how maybe there is an equality issue for the single fathers in the World who are raising children alone. Single fathers are unlikely to be recognized and also believed in that they too can raise a child single handedly. This week, we have discussed the different personality traits and communication styles of males and females. This topic, brought to my attention that maybe it is more difficult for a male to be naturally inclined to be a mother figure and a father figure. In this commercial it shows the struggles of not being a perfect dad, burning food,  neglecting to show up to sports games to support the child, and other struggles. Being a single mom is a regularaly praised topic, praising mothers all over the nation for doing the best they can. However, single dads is something that is increasingly becoming more common and may deserve an equal amount of praise. According to the The Atlantic- The Rise of the Single Dad there are more than 2.6 million single father households in the United States.  This article also discusses the unfairness of child custody cases always going to the mother because it is “best for the child”, never considering the father just because they may lack maternal instincts.

I found this commercial interesting to be brave enough to praise dads in general and also single dads; a rare sight. This is a gender difference in equality with men and women. What are your thoughts?

Diapers & Daddies


According to an article from Buzzfeed from April, a senator is trying to pass a bill that requires changing tables in men’s bathrooms. Before stumbling upon this article, I had heard about new father Ashton Kutcher bringing up the same topic and issue, but other than that it was actually something that I never really crossed my mind. When I was younger, my dad would take my sister or I into the men’s bathroom without hesitation when it was just him, because what else was he going to do? Send a four-year-old into a bathroom alone, no thank you. 

It never really occurred to me that without those changing tables, men would have to resort to holding their children while changing them? My biggest question is why does there even need to be a bill for something like this? Shouldn’t it just be a requirement for all bathrooms, whether it is men’s or women’s?

“The Chance That We’ll Regret It Doesn’t Seem Like A Compelling Enough Reason To Do It”

I recently saw this article that was composed of twelve actresses/icons that were talking about why they do not have kids and why they aren’t in any rush to do so. I found this very interesting because throughout my life I have always been told that women need to get married and start having kids right away and now that I think about it, having kids is something that is so far from my mind and when thought about, its usually something that terrifies me. I guess in a way I go against gender norms because although I am open to the idea of marriage, I’m not sure if I ever want to have kids. Honestly, there are a lot of other things I would rather do than have kids. I also go against the norms when I say that I know for a fact that I am a workaholic and I most likely always will be. I will see my career as one of the most important things to me and although I may be looked down upon because of that, I now know I am not the only one that feels this way. The things these women said in this article really struck home with me.

“I want to have kids when there’s nothing else I want more, and I can make them my world.”

Being sensitive and caring is something that comes with growing up feminine. This means that most women feel like they HAVE to be nice, helpful, nurturing and the mothering type. Also, girls learn that being outspoken about the fact that they are not nurturing and they do not want to have kids is looked down upon.

So why is? Why are women scrutinized for not having kids when able to? Is it something that we HAVE to do or we are shamed?


Even at church

Last Sunday I had gone to my church here in Farmville.  As I was sitting there looking around I had noticed the college students in parish, especially one the ones that were around me and I knew personally.  I had noticed that all the Hampden Sydeny guys sat together in the same row and the the Longwood girls sat in a different row but together too.  I thought it was weird how even though we knew each other like we are all brothers and sisters we all separated ourselves by sex.  As the mass continued my priest went ahead and preached about the Gospel.  When we was preaching about it he had talked about how he grew up and the ways that his mother bought up him and his siblings.  He told all us that his mother taught the boys how to cook and sew while the girls learned how to mow the lawn.


When asked to stop and look around you for an example of gender, it actually had me thinking for awhile what a great example was.  There is so much around us that could show a great example of gender.  The one example that I came up with is something that I am actually using for another class as well in a presentation about gender and I know we all have seen it!  When you ask anyone around you, “Who is the parent that stays home to take care of the house?” Most people would answer that with stating that the mother is the one that stays home.  With the mother staying home she is the one that has to get the lunches together for the kids to take to school.  Within the Gogurt commercial, you can see that the dad is the one that prepares the lunches in the family.  The boy though communicates with the father using Post-It notes to remind him to put the gogurt in the lunch box.  It is possible too that this family could be a single parent family but we are not 100% sure because we do not see the mother at all.  Even if it is a single parent family it is something that shows the men are starting to step up in our society and taking the roles of the women too.  [youtube][/youtube]

Paid leave lets dads build parenting foundation

Kenya, the Philippines, Columbia, Saudia Arabia…  not necessarily countries you might associate with “progressive” views of gender.  Yet all these country’s governments provide paid paternity leave.

This article demonstrates how fathers and families benefit from paid paternity leave and how the US is one of the few countries around the world that doesn’t offer it typically.