Friday, March 23, 2007

Myths, Research and Opinions about Opting Out

It's been a while since I've posted anything about the politics of motherhood, but there have been a lot of interesting articles on it recently, both in the mainstream press and in blogs.

E.J. Graff published a thoughtful article entitled The Opt-Out Myth in the Columbia Journalism Review, which brings important work by Joan C. Williams, Jessica Manvell, and Stephanie Bornstein of the Center for WorkLife Law at the University of California - 'Opt Out or Pushed Out? How the Press Covers Work/Family Conflict - to a much greater audience.

There was immediate response to Graff's article from two different feminist perspectives: Linda Hirshman griped that elite women are betraying all women by not becoming feminist martyrs and sticking with their influential jobs (shame on you for even thinking of joining "the saccharine and retrograde tsunami of moral tales of sainted mommies"!), and journalist Leslie Morgan Steiner applauded Graff's work in her Washington Post column and blog: The Opt-Out Myth.

This morning I saw that Our Bodies, Our Blog (an excellent resource that I can't recommend highly enough) had a story on Graff's article - Media Myth-Making: The Moms-Go-Home Story and What It Means for Public Policy, including a link where E.J. Graff (who is affiliated with the Gender & Justice Project, at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University) includes a version of her Opt-Out article with footnotes and references. I found this almost as amazing and laudable as the original article itself. Wouldn't it be nice if more newspaper and magazine articles included this? And it is rather interesting that Linda Hirshman includes "Visiting Professor at Brandeis University" amongst her credentials. You have to wonder if Graff and Hirshman ever crossed paths on campus.

All of this was accompanied by a huge Mother Load of articles at The American Prospect (check out the web-only content there), and another fantastic Carnival of Feminists (the 34th!), at A Somewhat Old, But Capacious Handbag, which has one of my favorite blog titles of all time. Grabapple does a great riff on Graff's article in this Feminist Carnival, called The Birds and the Bees and the 401K.

It's hard to find time to blog when there's all of this to read and digest. But it is nonetheless encouraging, like our approaching spring (crocuses spotted!) and the upcoming elections.

1 comment:

emjaybee said...

Thanks for the link...I didn't even know I was in the carnival till I followed it...