The “things I’ve been meaning to blog but job applications got in the way” round-up.
Laura // 1 October 2009
Firstly we have this widely reported study, which concluded that children with working mothers have less healthy lifestyles than those with stay-at-home mothers. Yes, researchers actually designed a study seemingly* based on the infuriating and discriminatory idea that only working mothers have a responsibility to get that work/home balance right: obviously fathers can just go to work without anyone assuming that they should be at home feeding their children fruit, vegetables and water between meals. (Nevermind the fact that many couples and most single mums have no choice but to work in order to afford to feed their families.) The study does conclude that working ‘parents’ need more support, but the media has inevitably taken the blame the mothers / feminism stance.
Then there’s some more evo-psych nonsense from the authors of a book entitled ‘Why Women Have Sex’ (with men, obviously that goes without saying): apparently we make a trade-off when we have relationships with less attractive men because the George Clooneys of the world are all unfaithful and won’t provide us with the ‘resources’ us poor widdle helpless womens (all heterosexual, remember) need to survive in the big bad world. They even roll out the classic lipstick = big flashing ‘I’ve got a vagina’ sign.
Two young trans girls have had their privacy invaded and been the subject of sensationalist media coverage following their families’ decision to allow them to start the school year in their self-identified genders. It appears their schools failed to put the groundwork in with other parents and pupils in order to help protect them from bullying. The media coverage has repeatedly misgendered the two girls, rolled out the inevitable ‘he [sic] just loved pink and dolls and ribbons’ rubbish to ‘explain’ their ‘sex change’ and focused on the concerns of cis parents rather than the welfare of the children in question. Check out Mermaids for support for transgendered children, their families and carers.
In good news, home secretary Alan Johnson has announced plans to include domestic violence protection orders in the police and crime bill, meaning men arrested for domestic violence can be banned from returning to their home or immediate surrounding area for 14 days, so making victims safer without the need to wait for a conviction.
And finally, an interesting blog post I read with my Coco Pops this morning: Community Feministing contributor Stephie criticises Gordon Brown for his plans to place 16 and 17 year old mothers in supervised homes rather than giving them council houses.
*UPDATE: Please see this comment on the researchers’ actual motivations for the study, contrary to the way the research was presented in the press.