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mmo Noteworthy

February 2005

Pop Culture:

Damned If You Do Department:
Psychology Today suggests “intensive” parenting produces emotionally fragile children

Baby Hunger
Why is the American public obsessed with the breeding habits of the rich and famous?

Red Hot Mamas
USA Today reports that today’s trendiest mothers are channeling their inner sex kitten

Caitlin Flanagan Watch
Journalist Hillary Frey blasts New Yorker staff writer Caitlin Flanagan in
Ms. Magazine

Work/Life Studies:

The Way We Work
A new report analyzes the effects of work-life conflict on children and families

Making The Case For Quality Part-Time Jobs
A new report from 9to5 finds part-time parity is a win-win proposition

Research and Reports:

CDC Reports Low Birth Weight Babies Linked
to Rise in Infant Mortality in 2002


What Women Really Want
And why do David Brooks and Neil Gilbert think they know?

Reproductive Health:
To complement the February 2005 edition on motherhood and reproductive rights, the MMO has published a special section with recent news, commentary and other relevant resources as a supplement to this month’s Noteworthy page.

MMO Reproductive Health Supplement

Elsewhere on the web:

Other news and commentary of note
from Women’s eNews, Ms. Magazine, AlterNet and CommonDreams

past editions of mmo noteworthy ...
pop culture

Damned If You Do Department:
Psychology Today suggests “intensive” parenting produces emotionally fragile children

According to a December 2004 feature for Psychology Today magazine, today’s conscientious parents may be raising tomorrow’s generation of wimps. Based on the rising demand for mental health services on college campuses, psychologists suggest that moms and dads who try to insulate their children from life’s little setbacks may not be doing their kids any favors. “No one doubts that there are significant economic forces pushing parents to invest so heavily in their children’s outcome from an early age,” Hara Estroff Marano writes in “A Nation of Wimps.” “But taking all the discomfort, disappointment and even the play out of development, especially while increasing pressure for success, turns out to be misguided by just about 180 degrees.” By shielding children from the “normal vicissitudes of life,” a number of mental health experts now believe that “hothouse” parenting fosters individuals who are “risk-averse,” “psychologically fragile,” and “riddled with anxiety.” If that’s not bad enough, some psychologists and educators suggest that over-parented youngsters enter early adulthood “robbed of identity, meaning and a sense of accomplishment, to say nothing of a shot at real happiness.”

Marano reports that middle-class parents are not above calling in professional back-up in their efforts to undermine their children’s emotional fortitude. By demanding special evaluations and academic accommodations for their mildly maladjusted offspring, some experts insist that parents prevent their children from developing healthy strategies for coping with academic and social challenges or confronting their own character flaws. Apparently, a fair number of specialists are convinced it would be better for all concerned if mom and dad just left well enough alone. “American parents today expect their children to be perfect– the smartest, fastest, most charming people in the universe,” explains one clinical psychologist interviewed for the PT story, “And if they can’t get the children to prove it on their own, they’ll turn to doctors to make their kids into the people that parents want to believe their kids are.” Relentless in their pursuit of an exceptional outcome, parents end up “showing kids how to work the system for their own benefit.”

Blaming imprudent or inept parents for the ruination of the next generation (and by extension, the future of society) is certainly nothing new— in fact, the grand tradition of parent bashing has been around for several centuries (if not longer) and each generation of parents is presumed to have its own unique set of shortcomings depending on the particular cultural angst du jour. At least this latest installment holds mothers and fathers equally accountable for unleashing legions of miserable weaklings onto the world. But even though Psychology Today’s treatment relies on little more than anecdotal evidence and expert opinion to make a connection between over-involved parenting and the (allegedly) sorry state of the nation’s youth, it does offer another opportunity to re-inspect the purported benefits of the middle-class standard of intensive parenting. We already know it’s rotten for mothers, but it turns out it might not be so great for kids, either.

A Nation of Wimps
By: Hara Estroff Marano, Psychology Today Magazine, Nov/Dec 2004

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Baby Hunger
Why is the American public obsessed with the breeding habits of the rich and famous?

In a January story for Salon.com (www.salon.com), pop culture reporter Jennifer Traister takes on the tabloid rumors surrounding the marital meltdown of Hollywood dream couple Brad Pitt and Jennifer Anniston. While Traister concedes that onlookers and gossip-mongers can only speculate about what really caused the pair’s break up, popular sentiment has it that Anniston’s reluctance or failure to produce a baby on cue caused Pitt to reconsider the permanence of his attachment. “No matter how rich, thin, beautiful or talented,” Traister gripes, “What really makes us attractive— after a few years of marriage anyway— is our ability and willingness to reproduce on demand!”

Traister is definitely onto something. Our cultural preoccupation with the breeding habits of female celebrities looks very much like a super-sized version of what Mommy Myth authors Susan Douglas and Meredith Michaels describe as “the new momism”: the notion that no matter how much a woman manages to accomplish in her lifetime, her devotion to motherhood— or the lack of it— is the only thing that really matters. As Traister remarks, “We seem to be in the midst of a cultural moment in which motherhood is revered to a dangerous degree. …It’s enough to make us all — movie stars and non-movie stars, moms and nonmoms, those of us married to Brad Pitt and those of us who are not — sit back with enormous martinis and consider whether the most interesting things about us will ever cease to be our uteruses.”

Letters in response to Traister’s article were almost as interesting as the story itself. As one male reader writes: “[Traister] exclaims that women should not have to ‘give up’ their life and body to have children. Well, if that is her opinion, I sincerely hope that she never bears children. Any woman who feels that having children comes at the cost of their life will surely be a sore excuse for a mother. Furthermore, I would not feel unjustified generalizing that statement to apply to anyone who agrees with her article.”

But as another reader comments: “How nice to finally read an article that doesn’t take Jennifer Aniston to task for not having a baby yet… I have nothing against mothers — in fact, I happen to have one myself — but where is this increasingly hushed (and somewhat creepy) reverence for motherhood coming from? Yes, it’s a big miracle. And yet, no, it’s not. I mean, the majority of women in a certain (ever-increasing) age range can produce a child. So can dogs. Monkeys. Spiders. Dolphins. Cats. Lobsters. So what? … I have friends with kids. I love their kids. I love my friends. I’m happy to babysit. But I’d rather eat glass than have a child myself. I can’t think of any more backbreaking, emotionally fraught, loathsome occupation than motherhood. I applaud anyone who wants to take it on; it’s a thankless job. I also applaud anyone who realizes that motherhood is not for them.”

The not-good-enough girl
It’s 2005 and newly separated starlet Jennifer Aniston is — surprise! — being pilloried for putting her career before motherhood.
By Rebecca Traister for Salon.com, 11 Jan 05

Letters in response to Rebecca Traister’s “The not-good-enough girl”

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Red Hot Mamas
USA Today reports that today’s trendiest mothers are channeling their inner sex kitten

Quick, ditch the comfy stretch pants and sports clogs; the hot new look for moms is— well, hot. According to a story by Olivia Barker for USA Today (“Mommy Hottest,” January 26, 2005), mothers everywhere are defying the frumpy mommy stereotype by donning low-cut jeans, form-fitting tops and pointy high-heeled shoes. Barker announces that well-to-do mothers are “moving past the soccer mom look of the 80s and 90s” and assiduously avoiding anything “pleated, tapered or high-waisted.” They prefer sporty SUVs to dowdy minivans, trim and tone their post-partum bodies by working out with personal trainers or putting in long hours at the gym, and wouldn’t be caught dead in an outfit that’s grubby, drab or shapeless.

Now, I happen to think that sex and sexiness are great good things. And I believe that the process of becoming a mother is rich with opportunities to explore the complexity of one’s sensuality and embodied sexuality. I’m all in favor of mothers— and everybody else, for that matter— expressing their sexual selves in any non-harming way that feels joyful and liberating. But I always figured that would look a little bit different (and considerably more interesting) than everyone reconfiguring their wardrobes to comply with whatever dress code signals female sexual availability at a given cultural moment.

It’s high time our culture jettisoned the myth that motherhood is a perennially asexual state— after all, perfectly normal, responsible mothers feel and act sexy, too. But in the long run, the “yummy mummy” phenomenon— if such a trend actually exists outside the fervid imaginations of marketing researchers— seems to be more about conformity and consumerism than about unlocking the awesome power of maternal sexuality. And just between you and me, those pointy shoes can be murder on your feet.

Mommy hottest
By Olivia Barker, USA Today, 26 Jan 05

Related articles:

More Women Seek Vaginal Plastic Surgery
By Sandy Kobrin, Womens eNews, 14 Nov 04
Surgery to reshape the labia and other areas of the vagina is picking up fast, say plastic surgeons. While some women undergo the operations to improve comfort, many want to conform to ideals set by the porn industry.

Shame & Body Image
By Brené Brown, PhD, MMO, Nov 2004

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Caitlin Flanagan Watch

Journalist Hillary Frey blasts New Yorker staff writer Caitlin Flanagan in the Winter 2004 issue of Ms. Magazine. Frey complains that Flanagan— who gained notoriety with a cover story for the Atlantic Monthly on “How Serfdom Saved the Women’s Movement”— “has staked her career on accusing the women’s movement of ruining relations between women and their children, not to mention women and men. With her memories of baking cookies and the smell of cinnamon wafting through her more nostalgic passages of prose, she seems to say that life could be easy if we all just surrendered to motherhood and apple pie.”

“What Flanagan has dismissed as a genre of whining,” Frey continues, “Is what many of us would like to see more of, in The New Yorker and The Atlantic, for instance: women and men writing about the challenges they face as they try to balance careers and home lives.”

Back to the Kitchen, Circa 1950, with Caitlin Flanagan
by Hillary Frey for Ms. Magazine, Winter 2004

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work/life studies

The Way We Work
A new report analyzes the effects of work-life conflict on children and families

The New America Foundation Work and Family Program (www.newamerica.net) has issued a new report based on a meta-analysis of studies on the relationship between parents’ working conditions and the well-being of children and families. While research consistently shows that good jobs with living wages and ample flexibility benefit both parents and children, The Way We Work: How Children and Their Families Fare in the 21st Century Workplace finds there are predictable combinations of work-related factors that have negative effects on marital stability, parenting ability and children’s development.

According to Shelley Waters Boots, the Work and Family Program’s Policy Research Director and author of the report, studies have identified several work-related characteristics that contribute to work/family conflict, including jobs with “frequent overtime, excessive work, afternoon shifts, physically or mentally demanding work, inflexible work hours and inability to leave work for emergencies.” She also reports that “jobs with heavy workloads, time pressures, high stress and conflict, as well as those with schedule inflexibility have been linked to greater work-family conflict for parents.” Families with one or more parent working non-standard hours in jobs with little or no working time flexibility, and little or no leave to care for sick children or deal with family emergencies, seem to be particularly at risk for undesirable fallout. Children in families without access to consistent, high-quality pre-school and afterschool child care are also more prone to sub-standard academic performance or undesirable behavior, especially if their parents have jobs that leave them tired and tense at the end of the workday. “When parents, particularly mothers, are in situations in which they cannot decrease the conflict they feel between work responsibilities and family needs,” Boots finds, “the well-being of parents and, consequently the well-being of children, suffers.”

Boots proposes a package of policy solutions, including paid sick and parental leave, policy-based incentives and penalties that encourage businesses to offer more workers flexible work hours, part-time parity, expanded access to high quality child care— especially for parents who work non-standard hours, and better tax and policy supports for low-wage working parents. “Children in America are paying a step price for the way we work,” explains Boots. “It is time that public policy catches up with the realities of today’s way of working. Parents and their children cannot afford to wait any longer.”

The Way We Work:
How Children and Their Families Fare in the 21st Century Workplace

By Shelley waters Boots for the New America Foundation, Dec 2004
21 page report in .pdf

Beyond Latchkey Kids
Shelley Waters Boots, Commentary for Tom Paine.com, 26 Jan 05
“It's no shock that kids suffer the most when parents work long hours without paid leave benefits. Nearly 50 percent of all workers have no paid sick leave for themselves—let alone to care for their kids. And the Family And Medical Leave Act, while a good step, doesn't go far enough. If policymakers really want to keep children from being left behind, giving their parents more workplace flexibility and better leave policies should be the first step.”

Related resources:

From 9to5, The National Association of Working Women

10 Things That Could Happen To You
If You Didn’t Have Paid Sick Leave

(14 page booklet in .pdf)

From AlterNet (www.alternet.org):

Time for Bread and Roses
Commentary by John de Graaf, 20 Dec 04. Mr. de Graaf is the National Coordinator of the Take Back Your Time Campaign

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Making The Case For Quality Part-Time Jobs
A new report from 9to5 finds part-time parity is a win-win proposition

9to5, the National Association of Working Women (www.9to5.org), has released a report on quality part-time options in the state of Wisconsin. The study defines “quality part-time options” as “a chance to work fewer hours at an equivalent hourly pay rate, at least pro-rated benefits and paid time off, and equal access to training and promotional opportunities.” The report is based on a sampling of 15 employers and includes profiles of employees working in a wide range of positions, from entry level to executive.

The employers surveyed found that providing quality part-time options was beneficial to the business in a number ways, including improved retention, increased morale, efficiency and productivity, and improved customer service. The researchers also collected information on best practices for managing part-time positions, which include creating a fair workload for other staff, encouraging and training supervisors to be open about part-time options and manage them effectively, involving employees in resolving scheduling conflicts and sending a clear message that “employees are encouraged to use these options” and “urging all staff to achieve integration of work and personal life.”

The Quality Part-Time Options report includes an executive summary and case studies.

Quality Part-Time Options in Wisconsin
A Report by 9to5, National Association of Working Women
Jan 2005. (20 pages in .pdf)

9to5 Press Release:
Quality Part-time Benefits is Win-Win

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research and reports
CDC: Low Birth Weight Babies Linked to Rise
in Infant Mortality in 2002

According to a January 24 report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (www.cdc.gov), an increase in the birth of very small infants is the major reason behind the increase in U.S. infant mortality in 2002. The increase in infant mortality, from 6.8 infant deaths per 1,000 live births in 2001 to 7.0 in 2002, was the first increase in the infant mortality rate since 1958.

The number of extremely small babies (weighing less than 1 lb, 10.5 oz or 750 grams at birth) increased by almost 500 births from 2001 to 2002. The increase occurred primarily among mothers in the peak childbearing ages of 20-34 years and occurred across most racial and ethnic groups. While infant mortality rates had been declining for these vulnerable small babies, the majority of babies born at this weight still die within the first year of life. Multiple births may also contribute to the increase in low birth weight infants. About 3 percent of births in the United States were multiple births, yet they made up about 25 percent of the overall increase in infant mortality. However, most of the rise was due to an increase for babies born in single deliveries. In 2002, 57 percent of very low birth weight infants were delivered by Caesarean, up 3 percent from 2001.

CDC Press Release:
More Babies Born at Very Low Birth Weight
Linked to Rise in Infant Mortality in 2002

CDC Infant Health Resource Page – Infant Mortality in the United States

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What Women Really Want

New York Times columnist David Brooks is very concerned about the plight of older career women who “forgot” to have children. Citing a 2003 Gallup poll finding that 70 percent of childless individuals age 41 and over would have preferred to have had at least one child, Brooks concludes that “It’s possible that some of these women regret not having children in the way they regret not taking more time off after college. But for others, this longing for the kids they did not have is a profound, soul-encompassing sadness.” Brooks was setting the scene for a critique of the typical life course of well-educated professional women, a pattern that rather inconveniently places a woman’s key child-bearing and child-rearing years in the middle of her career trajectory. It might make more sense, he writes, for women to “go to college, make a greater effort to marry early and have children. Then if she, rather than her spouse, wants to stay home, she could raise children from the age of 25 to 35.” After that, Brooks suggest mothers could go back to school in a “flexible graduate program specifically designed for parents” and work in “one uninterrupted stint from, say, 40 to 70.” If women simply followed this strategic life plan, Brooks believes, more American women would be spared the heartbreak of unintentional childlessness, and more importantly, more women would have an opportunity to have more children.

To Brooks credit, he did not come up with this wildly unrealistic idea on his own. His primary source was an article by Neil Gilbert in the Winter 2005 issue of The Public Interest, a quarterly journal of which Brooks is the former editor. Gilbert’s thought piece— which is inexcusably titled “What Do Women Really Want?”— is based solely on his observation that in some European countries, increased spending on family-friendly social policies seems to discourage child-bearing. Gilbert compares combined expenditures on family policies and fertility data from twelve European countries between 1987 and 1997, and at first glance it does appear that the fertility of European women has plummeted as spending on policies that support mothers’ labor force participation climbed. But what Gilbert actually found when he disaggregated the data was that in a least one-quarter of his sample— in Sweden, Finland and Denmark, where benefits and working time protections for both mothers and fathers are known to be extremely generous— more spending on family policies was predictive of stable or higher rates of fertility. Although Gilbert’s logic and methodology are profoundly problematic— which he admits but ultimately disregards— he concludes that enacting public policies such as paid parental leave and state-subsidized child care in the U.S. would ultimately lead to a perilous decline in the fertility of American women.

Gilbert suggests that many women and families would be better served by public policies that promote early child-bearing, such as a tax credit for families with an at-home parent and a system of “social credits” awarded for each year a primary caregiver remains out of the paid workforce. These “credits” could later be exchanged for continuing education or job training when a homemaker is ready to re-enter the job market. Although Brooks suggests that men would also be able to take advantage of such “home care” credits, Gilbert writes off men as full-time caregivers fairly early in his argument: “Although many men have increased their involvement in domestic life, whether due to genetic indisposition, poor socialization, ineptitude, or some combination thereof, their participation in traditional female duties has fallen far short of their fair share.” From that point on, it’s clear that Gilbert’s policy analysis is only concerned with dictating the parameters of the female life course.

While no woman— or man for that matter— should be forced to make a choice between having a career and having a family, there are any number of problems with Gilbert’s premise and his proposed policy solutions. First and foremost, it appears that Gilbert is unfamiliar with any of several excellent studies on the social and ideological factors that influence women’s decisions about combining paid work and family (or if he is, he does not cite them). Instead, Gilbert arbitrarily lumps women into four separate groups based on how many children they've had by a certain age. He assumes that women who have given birth to three or more children are most likely to be “traditional” family-centric mothers; women who have produced two children by the age of 40 are consigned to the “neo-traditional” subset and are presumed to prioritize caregiving over paid work; “modern” women have only one child and are described as being more attached to the paid workforce than their traditional and neo-traditional sisters; and the “post-modern” group includes the 19 percent of American women who have not given birth by age 44. As any mother might have informed Gilbert (had he actually bothered to ask one), family size is not, in fact, “a powerful indicator of life choice.” If anecdotal evidence carries any weight, it’s possible that many families contemplate having a third child when their first two progeny are of the same sex— not because mom thinks at-home motherhood is the be-all and end all. It’s also safe to assume that some women end up with fewer children that they might like and a similar number end up with more, and the effect this has on mothers’ need or desire to combine paid work and caregiving may be entirely moot.

Furthermore, Gilbert seems oblivious to the fact that many mothers who would presently describe themselves as family-centered only reached that point after a decade or more in the workforce. Some women really do see maternity as their glory from an early age, but many others only come to desire marriage and motherhood after a healthy period of personal and financial independence. Not to mention, if women are going to marry and start child bearing in their early 20s, precisely whom are they going to wed? Probably not men in their early 20s, who— excluding the occasional wunderkind— would either still be in graduate school (if angling for the type of lucrative professional position that would allow a sole-earner to support two or three kids and a stay-at-home spouse) or working in low-paid entry-level jobs. Which means that women who want to begin child-bearing in their mid-20s better plan to go it alone or look for a life mate with proven earning power— in other words, someone who is older and more experienced in the world and the workplace. No need to argue about who is going to do the housework: inequality in would be a fixture in these marriages from the get-go. And in the meantime, who are 20-something men going to have sex and fun with? Desperate housewives?

Gilbert does acknowledge that his proposed standard of life “sequencing” for women would institutionalize inequality in the workplace: “Of course, choosing to invest 5 to 10 years in child care and household management would cut off those who require early training, many years of preparation, or the athletic prowess of youth. And a later start lessens the likelihood of rising to the very top of the career ladder. These are the trade-offs of pursuing two callings in life.” So bid farewell to woman doctors, lawyers, architects, scientists, tenured academics and CEOs (just to name a few). To add insult to injury, Gilbert seems insensitive to the fact that men do not have to make such untenable “trade-offs” when pursuing “two callings in life.” Nor does he recognize that “5 to 10 years” of concerted baby-making and child rearing would hardly leave a mother free and clear to pursue her career of choice unless there are other significant social supports in place, such as mandatory overtime caps, flexible work scheduling, part-time parity, universal paid sick leave and expanded access to high-quality child care, both pre-school and after school.

There are some women for whom generous “home care” tax credits and “social credits’ for years spent caregiving would provide important benefits: single mothers and low-income married mothers. Provisions and cash transfers that might allow this group of mothers to reduce their work hours and increase their access to education and job training would unquestionably ameliorate work-life conflict for America’s most vulnerable families, and would also reduce child poverty. But Brooks and Gilbert don’t give the impression that they are overly concerned about a potential decline in the fertility of welfare mothers; they want to stem the tide of the “abdication” of middle-class motherhood.

Perhaps the most egregious omission in Gilbert’s analysis of European family policy is his failure to acknowledge that the majority of these policies were put in place to combat children’s poverty— and have been extremely effective in that regard. Had Mr. Gilbert charted the inverse relationship between expenditures on social policies that encourage mothers’ attachment to the paid workforce and rates of child poverty, he would have come up with a very different but equally impressive set of graphs. Given that the U.S. has an astronomical rate of child poverty compared to all other very wealthy nations, it’s possible there are useful lessons to be gleaned from the European model after all.

And to any academics, policy wonks or journalists who actually want to know what women “really” want, I offer this bit of sage advice: Why don’t you ask them? And pay attention to what they have to say.

— Judith Stadtman Tucker

“Empty Nests, and Hearts”
By David Brooks, The New York Times, 15 Jan 05
This op-ed must be purchased from the NY Times archive
(www.nytimes.com) (or try this link)
Index of David Brooks columns

What Do Women Really Want?
By Neil Gilbert, The Public Interest, Winter 2005 (www.thepublicinterest.com)

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reproductive health

To complement the February 2005 edition on motherhood and reproductive rights, the MMO has published a special section with recent news, commentary and other relevant resources as a supplement to this month’s Noteworthy page.

MMO Reproductive Health Supplement, Feb 2005

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elsewhere on the web

From Women’s eNews (www.womensenews.org)

Gender-Bias Victories Pay More than Money
By Gretchen Cook for Women’s eNews, 20 Dec 2004
Gender-bias suits enjoyed a banner year in 2004 despite an increasingly unfriendly legal and political climate. Successful litigants, lawyers say, often measure victory more in terms of boosted confidence than dollars.

Birth Mothers, Adoptees Have Right to Records
Commentary by Lorraine Dusky for Women’s eNews, 29 Dec 04
Many women who surrendered their children for adoption hope to be “found.” As one of them--now thankfully reunited— I’m celebrating Jan. 1 as the day when New Hampshire joins those states with open birth records.

Older Women Start Businesses, Defy Nay-Sayers
By Laura Koss-Feder for Women’s eNews, 10 Jan 05
As women start their own businesses at a growing rate, those over 40 are a big part of the trend. While some veer off into a totally new direction and blaze new career paths, others build consultancies out of the old 9-to-5 routine.

More States Give Abuse Victims Right to Time Off
By Marie Tessier for Women’s eNews, 16 Jan 05
Maine and California were the first states to give victims of domestic violence the right to take time off from work to put their lives on a better track. A growing number of states are following their lead.

In Alzheimer's, Women Bear Double Burden
By Molly M. Ginty for Women’s eNews, 18 Jan 05
Alzheimer's disease, a form of dementia that typically strikes after age 65, is on the rise in the United States. Not only are women particularly at risk for this progressive, irreversible disease, but they also often act as primary caregivers for others.

TV Show Raises Grim Realities of Emotional Abuse
By Corrie Pikul for Women’s eNews, 24 Jan 05
A husband-and-wife team on a reality-TV show offered the spectacle of an apparently emotionally abusive relationship. This type of abuse is not illegal and experts say many women who suffer it are not taken seriously.

From Ms. Magazine (www.msmagazine.com)

The End of Feminism’s Third Wave
The cofounder of Bitch magazine says goodbye to the generational divide
By Lisa Jervis for Ms. Magazine, Winter 2004
“As we all know, feminism has always held within it multitudes of ideologies, tactics and priorities. The movement’s two current generations have come to be painted as internally monolithic, but they are each as diverse philosophically as feminism itself — they have to be; they are feminism itself.”

From AlterNet (www.alternet.org)

Girls, interrupted
By Camille Dodero, 20 Dec 2004
In ‘Growing Up Fast,’ documentarian Joanna Lipper offered a piercing look at teen motherhood. Now her book lets six young mothers tell their stories in their own words.

From Common Dreams News Center (www.commondreams.org)

Down and Out in Discount America
by Liza Featherstone, 21 Dec 04
“It is crucial that Wal-Mart’s liberal and progressive critics make use of the growing public indignation at the company over sex discrimination, low pay and other workers’ rights issues, but it is equally crucial to do this in ways that remind people that their power does not stop at their shopping dollars. It’s admirable to drive across town and pay more for toilet paper to avoid shopping at Wal-Mart, but such a gesture is, unfortunately, not enough. As long as people identify themselves as consumers and nothing more, Wal-Mart wins.”

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February 2005

Shawna Goodrich contributed to this month’s noteworthy.

previously in mmo noteworthy ...

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