News round-up

// 10 August 2008

And whilst we’re on confusions (see my last entry) I Blame the Patriarchy has a good example from Seattle news which confuses the idea of “prostitution” and the idea of kidnapping and forcing into sexual slavery. This news bulletin is the example of the problem relaying news of a case where a 14 year old girl was forced to have sex with at least five men using threats against her and her family.

Meanwhile there is a Science Medley up at BlogHer all about women related science stories. This is a fabulous thing in my mind, so I’m flagging it here.

Feministe has more on the controversy about KBR (who were owned by Halliburton), rape of their female employees and their response – to silence the victims rather than find the perpetrators. And Femininisting has a video clip of the amazing slam poet Alix Olson on sexism.

Carnival of Feminists is up here for more roundups of feminist blogging.

And a couple from the Guardian, in case you missed them, Melissa Dene takes issue with the idea that a career and a family must equal superwoman, and Julie Bindel asks whether lesbian writing still needs to be separately categorised as such.

Comments From You

ConservaTorygirl // Posted 10 August 2008 at 5:34 pm

Hmmm, I have to say, I read Melissa Dene’s piece in The Guardian.

Okay, the ‘superwoman’ label doesn’t help anyone.

I think she’s missing the point, though.

She’s writing only about herself. She’s writing as a woman with one comfortable, well paid, middle class job, one child in a good nursery and one husband (or similar).

Who does she think she is to speak for the many women who as single parents with more than one child who work at least two jobs, relying heavily on family and friends for childcare? … And experiencing the perpetual guilt for not being there, not doing enough, not earning enough…

Pat on the back for Melissa. I’m glad she’s happy with her life and thank her for sharing that.

Cara // Posted 12 August 2008 at 1:07 pm

ConservaTorygirl – I think that the superwoman label is not helpful was Melissa Dene’s point.

I liked the article. So she is middle class, and so what? She doesn’t say how many kids she has or whether she has a partner, actually. I think the truth about the single mums / working-class mums (not assuming they are the same thing since not all single mums are from council estates!) is also that they just rub along. They do OK. They don’t *have* to be superwoman, they just get things done they have to do.

I wouldn’t assume all working mums feel guilt and are not doing enough, at all. That’s what misogynists would like you to think.

I challenge that “being there” 24/7 is the mark of a good mum.

And what’s wrong with relying on family and friends for childcare?

Even if working mums were perpetually guilty and frazzled, your solution to this would be…?

(Mine: decent state-funded childcare – including paying grandmothers or friends who take care of a child decent benefits for doing so. Valuing childcare, professional or for your own or your friend’s or relative’s kids, rather than seeing it as just a frivolous thing “ladies” do – without bizarrely at the same time venerating it as *OMG teh pinnacle of fulfilment, for women anyway. Tackling the pay gap and workplace discrimination against mothers, tackling the macho long hours culture Melissa Dene refers to.)

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