March 2008 Archives
The February/March edition of the Mothers Movement Online
is now live and ready for your reading pleasure. In addition to my editor's
notes -- in which I own up to the
distractions of grassroots activism and the impact it's had on the web
site's publication schedule -- the current issue features an interview with Judy Norsigian of the Boston Women's Health Book Collective on the concept for the new Our Bodies, Ourselves: Pregnancy and Birth
Werthan Buttenwieser's interview with childbirth educator and author Lisa Gould Rubin (who explains why it's
problematic to "normalize" one particular childbirth model), and
several outstanding essays, including Unforgettable, Cater-Ann
Mahdavi's lucid and compassionate account of the life-altering impact of
In the Noteworthy section, you'll find summaries of research and reports on recent fertility trends in the United States, employed mothers' child care arrangements and expenditures, American children's living arrangements in families, and a recent study from the US Census series on maternity leave and employment patterns of first-time mothers from 1961-2003. An unsurprising finding from the maternity leave report is that today's first-time mothers are older, more educated, and more likely to be employed before and during pregnancy than new mothers thirty years ago.
Also in Noteworthy, my report on the latest attempt to meddle with the Family & Medical Leave Act to give employers more control over when and how eligible workers are allowed to take FMLA leave, and a summary of a research analysis by two social scientists from the Council on Contemporary Families, who propose that rather than pointing to evidence of a stalled revolution, the slow but steady rise in men's contribution to housework and child care over the last twenty-five years should be acknowledged as significant progress toward gender equality. Yeah, I'll get right on that -- as soon as I remind my husband (again) to throw in a load of laundry while he's watching the basketball game.
The topic of the April/May issue is
The Mothers Movement in the
After the dust-up over my endorsement
of Barack Obama on the MMO web site, I received a supportive letter from a
reader in Sydney, Australia on why electoral and local politics really do
matter to the future of women and families, and why mothers need to get more involved
Read and enjoy.
The Sloan Work and Family Research Network has released Providing Working Families with an Important Resource: Time, the latest briefing paper in a continuing series on work-life policy issues. The four-page issue brief highlights state legislative activity from 2005-2007 that enables workers to manage their work and family needs without sacrificing their mental and physical health, work responsibilities, salary, or familial responsibilities and summarizes research on how providing such resources impacts workers, businesses, and states. Although the Work and Family Research Network Policy Briefing Series was developed to educate state legislators about current social research on the benefits of implementing work-life reconciliation policies at the state level, the briefs are also an excellent source of information for advocates for caregivers and working families.
The Work and Family Research Network has also published a new compilation of state profiles on work-family policy action covering legislative activity during the 2007 session for all 50 states. The one-page profiles provide a snapshot of state workforce demographics and how each state addresses issues facing working families. All 50 Work and Family State Profiles can be accessed from an interactive, online map.
Progressive writers and pundits --
myself included -- have fallen into the habit of defining the suite of
comprehensive health care, labor, and social insurance policies necessary to promote
shared prosperity and social inclusion in