Resources and reporting for mothers and others who think about social change.
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November 2005

the mothers' revolution:

Brain, Child Magazine does the mothers' movement

women and work:

Catalyst releases breakthrough study on gender stereotyping in business leadership

Selected news items and commentary on back-to-work moms, hitting the maternal wall, and women chucking high demand careers. Plus: related articles.

domestic violence:

CDC study documents high costs and impact
of intimate partner violence:
average health care cost for women exceeds twice the average cost for men

New survey tracks effects, attitudes about intimate partner violence in the workplace

fertility, adoption and reproductive health:

CDC reports increase in non-marital childbearing, c-sections and infant mortality in the U.S.

American RadioWorks documentary on international adoption

More news and commentary on reproductive health and rights

young feminists:

Younger Women’s Task Force launches new website

child care:

New studies add fuel to day care debate

pop culture:

There's something about Maureen;
Small children on the rampage at a café near you (and you're to blame)

elsewhere on the web:

Interviews with the author of a new book on children of incarcerated parents, plus notable news and commentary on income inequality, heath care insecurity, women in leadership, more

past editions of mmo noteworthy ...
the mothers' revolution:

Brain, Child Magazine does the mothers' movement

In the Fall 2005 issue of Brain, Child Magazine, co-editor Stephanie Wilkinson dares to ask the question: "Is There Going to Be a Mothers' Revolution or What?"

Wilkinson's feature story ("Say You Want a Revolution: Why the mothers' movement hasn't happened… yet") surveys individuals and organizational leaders about the various motives and ideological perspectives driving the movement's formation, and the practical and political challenges to mobilizing an effective grass-roots base. The result is an accurate and well-balanced snapshot of where the mothers' movement is today, where it wants to go, and what it will take to get there. The article includes interviews Ann Crittenden, Enola Aird, Andrea O'Reilly, Joanne Brundage of Mothers & More, Linda Jurgens of NAMC, work-life policy analyst Karen Kornbluh, author Judith Warner, MMO editor Judith Stadtman Tucker and others.

Brain, Child Magazine

Say You Want a Revolution
Stephanie Wilkinson, Brain, Child Magazine, Fall 2005

Also online from the current issue of Brain, Child:

Here Comes the Judgment:
Can there be judgment-free activism?

Eileen Flanagan, Brain, Child Magazine, Fall 2005
"Part of the problem is that we live in such an individualistic culture that we abhor anyone telling us what to do. Although we may quote the African saying, 'It takes a village to raise a child,' most of us don't really want a village telling us how to raise our kids."

From the MMO archives:

The brains behind Brain, Child Magazine
An interview with Jennifer Niesslein and Stephanie Wilkinson
(May 2003)

Living Full-Throttle:
Motherhood, Balance, And Another Women's Movement

An essay by Jennifer Niesslein

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women and work:

Catalyst releases breakthrough study on gender stereotyping in business leadership

Catalyst, the leading research and advisory organization working with businesses and the professions to build inclusive environments and expand opportunities for women at work, recently released the results of a groundbreaking study on gender stereotyping by both male and female business executives. The report, Women "Take Care," Men "Take Charge:" Stereotyping of U.S. Business Leaders Exposed (19-Oct-05), found that both positive and negative stereotypes about women's leadership abilities are prevalent at the top level of U.S. business management. In particular, male leaders were more likely to value women executives for their team-building skills but less likely to view them as competent problem solvers, the quality most often associated with effective leadership. According to a Catalyst press release, since men far outnumber women in top management positions, this male-held stereotype dominates current corporate thinking and may contribute to the fact that although women hold more than one-half of all management and professional positions, they make up less than 2 percent of Fortune 500 and Fortune 1000 CEOs.

“This important study underscores that it’s what you don’t see and hear that often counts in the workplace,” said Ilene H. Lang, President of Catalyst. “By shining a spotlight on this often unspoken and insidious barrier to women’s advancement, it demonstrates empirically how gender-based stereotyping often operates as shorthand for fact and shortchanges women in the workplace.”

The study concludes that cognitive bias of gendered competency is so deeply ingrained in corporate culture that simply moving more women into leadership positions will not reduce the influence of stereotyping, rather than fact, on executive decision-making in hiring and promotion. In order to ensure the advancement of qualified women into corporate leadership positions, the study's authors suggest, both male and female business leaders will require special training to recognize and eliminate gender stereotyping in the workplace.

The full report includes an excellent summary of common gender stereotypes and how they operate in the workplace. Although the Catalyst study assessed the occurrence and effects of gender stereotyping at the top tiers of corporate leadership, prevailing assumptions about the influence of gender on critical work and life skills inevitably creates barriers to the advancement of women at all levels of an organization.

The full 45-page report, a fact sheet, and the October 19 press release can be downloaded at no charge from the Catalyst web site.


Catalyst Releases First Report in Series
Addressing Top Barriers to Women's Advancement

Women "Take Care," Men "Take Charge:"
Stereotyping of U.S. Business Leaders Exposed

Also from Catalyst:
Catalyst recently reorganized its publication section and now offers literally dozens of free fact sheets and reports on women executives and women in the workplace in North America and abroad. Resources are in .pdf format.

Catalyst Bookstore

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Selected news items and commentary
On back-to-work moms, hitting the maternal wall, and women chucking high demand careers. Plus: other relevant articles.

Job opportunities grow for mothers who reinvent themselves and set goals
Maggie Jackson, Boston Globe/BostonWorks, 23 Oct 05
"Say you're a mom with a good-sized gap in your résumé, and you want to go back to work. The other playground moms are put out, your Rolodex is ancient history and you wonder how you're going to explain away all those years of fund-raising and baking cookies -- if you ever land a job interview."

Long-delayed return to job market gets cut off by "The Process"
Mindy Pollack-Fusi, Boston Globe/BostonWorks, 23 Oct 05
"Was I discriminated against because of my age, my motherhood status, or because my experience lay largely in the volunteer arena? I'll never know, but I do recognize I was treated callously compared to years past, for whatever reasons."

Women raise kids, lose careers
Tenisha Mercer, Seattle Post Intelligencer, 24 Oct 05
"Thirty years after women began joining the work force in large numbers, many are hitting the "mommy wall" when they try to return to work after having children."

Goodbye to All That
Jia Lynn Yang, Fortune, 14 Nov 05
Getting to the top can take the better part of a lifetime. So why do some women choose to chuck it?

Related articles:

Get A Life!
Jody Miller and Matt Miller, Fortune, 28 Nov 05
Working 24/7 may seem good for companies, but it's often bad for the talent -- and men finally agree. So businesses are hatching alternatives to the punishing, productivity-sapping norm.

Paid leave plans for new fathers
BBC News, 19 Oct 2005
In UK, fathers of babies could get the right to take three months' paid leave

Generation Y:
They've arrived at work with a new attitude

Stephanie Armour, USA Today, 7 Nov 05
"They're young, smart, brash. They may wear flip-flops to the office or listen to iPods at their desk. They want to work, but they don't want work to be their life."

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domestic violence:

CDC study documents high costs and impact of intimate partner violence
Average health care cost for women exceeds twice
the average cost for men

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released the results of the first study to identify the health care costs and impact of domestic violence incidents, where men as well as women are victims.

The study, co-authored by Ileana Arias, PhD, director of CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, and published in the journal Violence and Victims, found the health care costs associated with each incident were $948 in cases where women were the victims and $387 in cases where men were the victims. The study also found that domestic violence against women results in more emergency room visits and inpatient hospitalizations, including greater use of physician services than domestic violence where men are the victims.

Domestic violence, which is also called spouse abuse or battering or intimate partner violence (IPV), affects more than 32 million Americans each year; with more than 2 million injuries and claims and approximately 1300 deaths. This type of violence includes physical, sexual, or psychological harm to another by a current or former partner or spouse.

The preceding information is from a CDC press release (25-Oct-05).

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New survey tracks effects, attitudes about intimate partner violence in the workplace

The Corporate Alliance to End Partner Violence (CAEPV), an organization founded by business leaders to study and reduce the impact of domestic violence in the workplace, has published results from a recent survey designed to track employees' experience and attitudes about the effects of domestic violence where they work.

Between July and September 2005, CAEPV polled 1,200 employed adults across the US in the first-ever national benchmarking telephone survey to discover what the general adult employee population believes about domestic violence as a workplace issue - and how they have been impacted. The survey found that:

  • 21% of respondents (men and women) identified themselves as victims of intimate partner violence
  • 64% of victims of domestic violence indicated that their ability to work was affected by the violence
  • 30% reported that the abuser frequently visited the office
  • 33% of victims reported their employer provides no programs or support
  • 44% of employed adults surveyed personally experienced domestic violence's effect in their workplaces
  • 31% of respondents felt "strongly" to "somewhat obliged" to cover for a victim of domestic violence by performing his or her work or offering excuses for his or her absence
  • 27% reported "extremely frequently" to "somewhat frequently" having to "do the victim's work for them"
  • 25% resented co-workers from "great" to "some extent" because of the effect of their situation "on the workplace"

Corporate Alliance to End Partner Violence

Domestic Violence Exerts Significant Impact on America's Workplaces, Benchmark Study Finds
CAEPV press release, 11 Oct 05

Also from CAEPV:
Facts on the effects of domestic violence on the workplace

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fertility, adoption & reproductive health:
CDC reports increase in non-marital childbearing, c-sections and infant mortality in the U.S.

In preliminary analyses of U.S. birth data, The Centers for Disease Control reported a 4 percent increase in non-marital childbearing from 2003 to 2004 and a 6 percent increase in cesarean deliveries, with a 13 percent drop in the number of vaginal births after cesarean delivery (VBAC). Other key health indicators announced by the CDC include:

  • The number of cesarean deliveries in the U.S. has increased over 40 percent since 1996, while VBAC rates fell 67 percent during the same time period. Surgical deliveries accounted for 29 percent of all births last year, the highest rate ever reported in the United States.
  • Last year more than half a million infants were born before 37 weeks of gestation -- there were more pre-term births in 2004 than in any year since 1981, when data on gestational age was first collected. Infants born in 2004 were also slightly more likely to have low birthweights than those born in 2003.
  • In 2004, teen birth rates continued to trend downward, a pattern which has been consistent since 1991.
  • Over half of all births to women in their early 20s, and nearly one-third of all births to women aged 25 to 29, were non-marital, although the CDC does not track the number of non-marital births to cohabiting parents. Overall births to young women declined to 102 births per thousand for age 20 to 24, the lowest birth rate ever reported for this age group.
  • Childbearing to older women increased from 2003 to 2004, with a 4 percent rise in births to women age 39 to 44 (to 45 births per thousand) and a 3 percent increase for women age 40 to 44 (to 9 births per thousand).

In a related assessment of maternal and infant health factors, the CDC found that the number of mothers receiving pre-natal care in the first trimester in 2004 -- 83 percent -- remained unchanged from the previous year. There were also significant racial disparities in the percentage of mothers receiving early pre-natal care: while 89 percent of non-Hispanic white mothers received early pre-natal care in 2004, just 70 percent of Native American mothers, and between 76 and 77 percent of African American and Latina mothers, received first trimester care.

In a separate study of U.S. mortality trends, CDC analysts found rates of infant mortality increased from 6 deaths per thousand in 2001 to 7 deaths per thousand in 2002, the first increase in U.S. infant mortality since 1958. In 2002, African American infants were almost 2.5 times more likely to die before age one than white infants (14.4 compared to 5.8 deaths per thousand). African American women were also significantly more likely to die of complications related to pregnancy and childbirth than other women of color and white women (25 deaths per thousand compared to 20 and 6 deaths per thousand, respectively).

Links to the CDC summaries and selected news coverage of the new data are provided below.

Preliminary Births for 2004
Brady E. Hamilton, PhD; Stephanie J. Ventura, MA; Joyce A. Martin, MPH; and Paul D. Sutton, PhD, CDC National Center for Health Statistics, 28 Oct 05

Preliminary Births for 2004: Infant and Maternal Health
Joyce A. Martin, MPH; Brady E. Hamilton, PhD; Fay Menacker, PhD; Paul D. Sutton, PhD; and T.J. Mathews, MS, CDC National Center for Health Statistics, 15 Nov 05

Feds: 1.5 million babies born to unwed moms in '04
Sharon Jayson, USA Today, 31 Oct 05
New federal data showing a record high number of babies -- 1.5 million -- born last year to unwed mothers, with more of them in their 20s, has sparked concern about what the trend means for child well-being.

C-Sections in U.S. Are at All-Time High
The Associated Press, CBS News, 15 Nov 05
"The increase is attributed to fears of malpractice lawsuits if a vaginal delivery goes wrong, the preferences of mothers and physicians, and the risks of attempting vaginal births after Caesareans."

U.S. Babies Die at Higher Rate: Infant Mortality Rates Are Rising in U.S.,
While Rates in Other Countries Are Improving

Marc Lallanilla, ABC News, 1 Nov 05
The U.S. infant mortality rate is on the rise for the first time since 1958, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 2001, the infant mortality rate was 6.8 deaths per 1,000 live births -- in 2002, the rate rose to 7.0.

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American RadioWorks documentary on international adoption

Finding Home: Fifty Years of International Adoption
Sasha Aslanian, Ellen Guettler and Michael Montgomery,
American RadioWorks, October 2005
"In the past decade, the number of foreign children adopted by Americans has nearly tripled to more than 20,000 a year. Most come from poor and troubled parts of the world, and a life in America offers new hope. But it also means separation from their birth culture. Fifty years of experience with international adoption has led to new approaches in bringing up a multicultural child, but the success of international adoption brings perils, too. The past few years have seen an explosion in adoption groups and companies competing for clients, often over the Internet."

Audio downloads, photo essays, transcripts, and links and resources are available on the documentary's website.

American RadioWorks

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More news and commentary on reproductive health and rights:

Controversial Study Allows Parents to Pick Baby's Sex:
Ethicists Worry About Opening Pandora's Box of Gender Engineering

ABC News, 26 Oct 05
"Doctors often analyze embryos for genetic defects, some of which are more common in boys or girls. But in the Baylor study, up to 200 couples going through in vitro fertilization will be allowed to pick either male or female embryos, so researchers can better understand their motivation."

The Gene Wars
Patricia J. Williams, The Nation/AlterNet, 15 Nov 05
We live in a time when embryos and fetuses are gaining the status of 'persons,' with legal rights to sue. Is this a good thing? "At least or perhaps especially in the United States, we find ourselves tangled in new definitions of separation and individuation. There has been a restructuring, of our rhetoric as well as of certain religious ideologies, that expressly pits a woman's body against her fetus."

States Open Back Door to Emergency Contraception
Molly M. Ginty, Women's eNews, 4 Nov 05
Congress renewed pressure this week on the FDA to allow over-the-counter sales of emergency contraception. Eight states already make that possible.

Did FDA Play Politics With Plan B?
Jeffrey Young, AlterNet, 16 Nov 05
A government report adds fuel to Democrats' charge that Bush administration officials interfered with the FDA's handling of the morning-after pill.

Stonewalling Plan B
Will Doig, AlterNet, 18 Nov 05
Former FDA director Susan Wood speaks out about the 'morning-after' pill -- what's in it, potential risks, and why it may never hit your local drugstore's shelves.

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young feminists:

Younger Women’s Task Force
launches new website

The Younger Women’s Task Force, a nationwide, diverse and inclusive grassroots movement dedicated to organizing younger women and their allies to take action on issues that matter most to them, has launched a new website. By and for younger women, YWTF works both within and beyond the women’s movement, engaging all who are invested in advancing the rights of younger women. The Task Force currently has active chapters in the Washington, DC Metro area; Miami; Milwaukee; New York City; Portland, Maine; Philadelphia and Northeastern Pennsylvania; Southern California; Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona; and Seattle. Young women and allies interested in joining an existing chapter or founding a new one can find more information on the YWTF website.

The YWTF is a project of the National Council of Women’s Organizations.

Younger Women’s Task Force

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child care:

New studies add fuel to day care debate

The release of several reports based on large-scale studies of children in day care drew national attention earlier this month when the New York Times and other news outlets covered mixed results of the new research.

Leading the pack was an analysis of new data from a long term study by the National Institute of Child Health and Development (NICHD) which found that third graders who spent long hours in day care prior to age 4 may have stronger math and reading aptitude but poorer social skills and study habits. An unrelated study by Stanford University researchers found that among children who attended center-based child care programs, low-income children reaped more learning advantages than their middle-class peers. The study's authors also found that early entry into center-based care had a negative effect on social development, especially for children from affluent families. According to a New York Times story, "Youngsters who were from families with income of at least $66,000 and who spent more than 30 hours a week in center-based care had the weakest social skills -- including diminished levels of cooperation, sharing and motivated engagement in classroom tasks, along with greater aggression -- compared with similar children who remained at home with a parent" (Tamar Lewin, "3 New Studies Assess Effects of Child Care," 1 Nov  05). And last but not least, an assessment of day care related deaths discovered that child fatalities are significantly more likely to occur in informal or family day care settings -- which tend to be the most flexible and affordable child care option for millions of working families -- than in regulated, center-based programs.

The irksome thing about the tenor of these stories is not the media's insatiable appetite for stoking the controversy over women, work and family in America, or even the perplexing inability of the national press to report on social research in a manner that accounts for the real limitations of the science -- it's the depressing predictability of it. A quick Google search of the key words "child care" and "NICHD" brings up 93,000 records reflecting five-plus years of public crossfire on the question of whether or not the Institute's ongoing study offers conclusive evidence that day care is bad for children, and if so, what should be done about it. As Jennifer Foote Sweeney wrote in an April 2001 article for Salon, "There should be a drill for mothers -- taught, perhaps, along with burping, diapering and CPR -- that prepares them for the periodic and deeply traumatic announcements of the Early Child Care Study at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development." What I find fascinating about the latest crop of reporting is an emphasis on findings suggesting that children from low-income families benefit from spending long hours in non-maternal care, while children from affluent families stand to loose development ground. Can you say "welfare-to-work"? How about "opt out revolution"?

Related articles:

Day scare
Priya Jain, Salon, 3 Nov 05
Will child care stunt your kid's social skills? Three studies find downsides, but the results aren't as terrifying as they seem. "A deeper look at the studies show that there's little reason to panic. Child-care fatality rates are very low (between .71 and .83 per 100,000 kids, depending on what survey data you use), and the behavioral studies offer no cause-effect conclusion. Indeed, the behavioral changes of children in any kind of care arrangement are small."

The Day-Care Scare
Nina Shapiro, Seattle Weekly, 5-11 Oct 05
Four years ago, research seemed to indicate that day care was turning out a generation of bullies. Now, new data suggest those fears were way overblown, and the national day-care debate is about to be rekindled.

How Much Child Care Is Too Much?
Sue Shellenbarger, The Wall Street Journal Online, 1 Apr 05

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pop culture:

There's something about Maureen;
Small children on the rampage at a café near you (and you're to blame)

I'm generally reluctant to comment on culture stories from the New York Times, because the publishers are so stingy about sharing the news archive with non-subscribers (and just instituted a premium subscription rate for readers who want full access to the daily web edition -- a service that, until recently, was free). But a couple of items published by the Times in the last few weeks deserve attention in this space, if only to note the intensity of the response from readers and the alternative media.

First on the list: "What's a Modern Girl To Do" a New York Times Magazine feature assembled from selected passages of Maureen Dowd's new book, Are Men Necessary (30 Oct 05). Dowd, the lone woman Op-Ed columnist at the Times, seems terribly preoccupied with how difficult it is for beautiful, talented, successful women -- someone like herself and her elegant girlfriends, for example -- to get a date, let alone find an equally brilliant, talented and successful guy to settle down with. As Caryl Rivers and Rosalind Barnett note in a commentary for Women's eNews, Dowd resorts to rehashing bad reporting on questionable science to verify her suspicion that smart, independent women are the biggest losers in the mating and marriage game. But what really rankles Dowd's critics is her taste for slamming both second and third wave feminists for their false consciousness and lack of foresight. In the World According to Maureen, women -- especially young women -- really don't get the meaning of equality, and never did:

It was naïve and misguided for the early feminists to tendentiously demonize Barbie and Cosmo girl, to disdain such female proclivities as shopping, applying makeup and hunting for sexy shoes and cute boyfriends…

What I didn't like at the start of the feminist movement was that young women were dressing alike, looking alike and thinking alike. They were supposed to be liberated, but it just seemed like stifling conformity.

What I don't like now is that the young women rejecting the feminist movement are dressing alike, looking alike and thinking alike. The plumage is more colorful, the shapes are more curvy, the look is more plastic, the message is diametrically opposite -- before it was don't be a sex object; now it's be a sex object -- but the conformity is just as stifling.

…Having boomeranged once, will women do it again in a couple of decades? If we flash forward to 2030, will we see all those young women who thought trying to Have It All was a pointless slog, now middle-aged and stranded in suburbia, popping Ativan, struggling with rebellious teenagers, deserted by husbands for younger babes, unable to get back into a work force they never tried to be part of?

Or maybe by 2030, the New York Times will have more than one female Op-Ed writer on staff -- and maybe at least one who is raising a family.

Why Dowd Doesn't Know What Men Really Want
Caryl Rivers and Rosalind Barnett, Women's eNews, 2 Nov 05
Today's commentators say it's a shame that Maureen Dowd should depend on such flaky research and flimsy evidence when writing about feminism. Dowd's article, based on weak research, was the most e-mailed story from The New York Times yesterday.

Yes, Maureen Dowd is necessary
Rebecca Traister, Salon, 8 Nov 05
"Far from being any kind of feminism-denier, Dowd, the only female Op-Ed columnist at the most powerful newspaper in the world, is the embodiment of its triumphs, and she knows it. What she has to say in this book is sometimes crass, often recycled from old columns, intermittently sloppy, consistently over-generalized and rooted too firmly in her own rarefied D.C.-N.Y. corridor of power. But just because Dowd's sphere is a privileged one doesn't mean her observations aren't both fascinating and true. And, as the blizzard of response demonstrates, Dowd has kicked off a conversation we are desperate to have."

Dowd, Where's My Country?
Sheerly Avni, AlterNet. 14 Nov 05
"It seemed that the title [of Dowd's book] should really have been: 'Are Rich And Powerful Men Necessary To Rich And Powerful Women?' To which the only appropriate answer, for anyone outside Dowd's narrow niche is, who cares?"

Feminism Is a Failure, and Other Myths
Jennifer Baumgardner, AlterNet, 16 Nov 05
A new book blames women and feminism for the lack of positive sexual female role models. But women aren't the problem.

Maureen Dowd's Personal Ad
Ruth Conniff, The Progressive, 7 Nov 05
"Dowd's big beef is that the older and more successful women are, the less likely they are to find mates, while the exact reverse situation holds for men. ...Meanwhile, for the rest of us--including the college students who are thinking of hanging it all up to have a family, the unsatisfied stay-at-home moms whom Dowd derides, and the majority of overburdened working women who are taking on too much for too little reward in the office and at home—there has to be a better plan."

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

On another tangent, a recent Times story on owners of trendy cafés who've drawn the line on how childishly small children can behave in their establishments (Jodi Wilogren with Gretchen Ruethling, "At Center of a Clash, Rowdy Children in Coffee Shops," New York Times, 9 Nov 05) set off a heated debate in online forums of the NYTimes web site and Salon. According to the Times story, mothers in a Chicago neighborhood were so resentful about a sign posted in popular neighborhood coffee shop informing customers that "children of all ages have to behave and use their indoor voices" they considered a boycott. The bakery's owner told the Times reporter that his detractors were "former cheerleaders and beauty queens" who "have a very strong sense of entitlement." "So simmers another skirmish between the childless and the child-centered, a culture clash increasingly common in restaurants and other public spaces as a new generation of busy, older, well-off parents ferry little ones with them," the Times reports. Many readers who left comments sided with restaurant owners interviewed for the article, who argued that the sole cause of the bratty behavior their grown-up patrons find so distasteful is over-permissive parenting, and that "good" children (a code word for well-tempered children with "responsible" parents) are always welcome in their establishments.

Restaurant proprietors may be well within their rights to ask parents to reign in their kid's disruptive behavior or take their business elsewhere. And I'm guessing that most parents would rather not patronize establishments where their parenting skills are subjected to laser-like scrutiny by other café-goers. But the Times article does raise some troubling and complicated questions about who in our society has easy access to popular cultural spaces, whether the comfort of those who prefer to sip their lattes in a child-free zone automatically take precedence over the comfort of patrons with young children in tow (or vice versa), and why we might find some individuals' claim to a certain quality of experience in public places more persuasive that that of others.

On Salon's Broadsheet:

Should cafes be kid-free?
Posted by Sarah Karnasiewicz, 9 Nov 05
Link to reader's comments (all 37 pages of 'em) is at the bottom of the entry. Non-subscribers must view an advertisement before reading.

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elsewhere on the web:

Notable news and commentary:

Arrested Development
Kelly Hearn, AlterNet, 15 Oct 05
"A reprehensible number of children of prisoners in the United States have been left parentless in recent years thanks in large part to overreaching mandatory sentencing laws. Often poor, psychologically scarred and prone to generational cycles of criminality, their numbers grow with the industrial prison complex, itself an offspring of fear, profit and politically motivated 'wars' on drugs and crime." An interview with journalist Nell Bernstein on her new book, All Alone in the World.

Excerpt: All Alone in the World
Nell Bernstein, AlterNet, 15 Oct 05
With their parents arrested, these children were left to fend for themselves.

Love under lock and key
Sarah Karnasiewicz, Salon, 15 Nov 05
A new book says the 2.4 million children who have parents behind bars are the real victims of America's prison boom.

The Meth Epidemic: Hype vs. Reality
Martha Shirk, Youth Today Newspaper, Oct 2005
"While some child welfare agencies are struggling with growing caseloads and new challenges stemming from parental meth use, experts on meth addiction and child welfare say the recent coverage promulgated some myths: that meth-related child abuse is worse than it is, that meth addicts are harder to treat than they are, and that the nation’s child-welfare system is overwhelmed, when many agencies are coping well." Youth Today is the only independent, nationally distributed newspaper that is read by more than 70,000 professionals in the youth service field.

Children's health insurance at risk
Economic Policy Institute, Economic Snapshot, 19 Oct 05
"An important source of health insurance for children is dependent coverage through their parents' employer. But in recent years, there has been a substantial decline in employer-provided health insurance for children. In fact, from 2000 to 2004, children fared the worst of any group in terms of declines in employer-provided health coverage."

Prognosis worsens for workers' health care: Fourth consecutive year of decline in employer-provided insurance coverage
Elise Gould, Economic Policy Institute, 20 Oct 2005
"The number of people without health insurance grew significantly for the fourth year in a row. Nearly 46 million Americans were uninsured in 2004—up six million since 2000. The rate of those without insurance for the whole year has grown 1.5 percentage points during this period, from 14.2% in 2000 to 15.7% in 2004."

Monkey See, Monkey Do
David K. Shipler, Columbia Journalism Review, Nov/Dec 05
"In an open society, nobody who had been watching television or reading newspapers should have been surprised by what Katrina “revealed,” to use the word so widely uttered in the aftermath. The fissures of race and class should be 'revealed' every day by America’s free press. Why aren’t they?"

Billionaires R Us
Chuck Collins and Felice Yeskel, AlterNet, 24 Oct 05
"The United States is now the third most unequal industrialized society after Russia and Mexico. This is not a club we want to be part of."

Bankruptcy Law Pushes Women Closer to Edge
Sandra Guy, Women's eNews, 28 Oct 05
Women file for bankruptcy in greater numbers than men and face higher barriers to financial security. As a result, advocates say, women have more to lose under the new bankruptcy law enacted last week.

College gender gap widens: 57% are women
Mary Beth Marklein, USA Today, 19 Oct 05
"There are more men than women ages 18-24 in the USA — 15 million vs. 14.2 million, according to a Census Bureau estimate last year. But nationally, the male/female ratio on campus today is 43/57, a reversal from the late 1960s and well beyond the nearly even splits of the mid-1970s."

A Woman in Command
Juliette Terzieff, AlterNet, 8 Nov 05
In ABC's 'Commander in Chief,' Geena Davis proves that a woman in the Oval Office can be just as tough as the big boys -- but is that what the presidency is really about?

Commander in Chic
Jennifer L. Pozner, AlterNet, 10 Nov 05
Women audacious enough to seek political power are routinely dogged by gender-specific coverage that focuses on their looks, fashion sense and familial relationships.

Marching Progressives Back into Power
Ruth Conniff, AlterNet, 2 Nov 05
EMILY's List has done wonders for women in politics. But after 20 years of successes, the obstacles left to overcome are clear.

Rosa Parks Was Not the Beginning
J. Douglas Allen-Taylor, AlterNet, 2 Nov 05
The civil rights icon resisted her own deification and tried to tell the truth about what really happened in the months leading up to 1955's Montgomery bus boycott.

"North Country:" Important Lessons
Laurie Beacham and Amber Hard, Common Dreams, 27 Oct 05
"Legal experts agree that because of the Eveleth [Mines] case, for the first time employers across the country instituted policies to protect their employees from sexual harassment. Sexual harassment has not disappeared, but Jenson's legal case has made the workplace safer for women nationwide."

Giving Mamas a Voice in the Arena of Parenting Experts:
An Interview With Laura Tuley and Jessica Nathanson,
Editors of the Upcoming Anthology
Mother Knows Best: Talking Back to the "Experts"

Sheri Reed, mamazine.com, 22 Oct 05
"Our call for papers, which was posted in the Fall of 2004, immediately generated both widespread interest and controversy. Some women were excited and relieved to find a forum in which to address these issues (some had already been working on articles, chapters, or dissertations on related topics) while others interpreted our call as, mainly, an attack on Dr. Sears and his idea of attachment parenting and reacted to us angrily and condemningly…"

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November 2005

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