There’s a rather talkative pigheaded brute of a character in my WIP whose name is Rick, Happy, Henderson. Happy loves to philosophize and pontificate to…at?… his work partner about whatever the latest topic is he’s studying during night school as if he’s now a subject matter expert. He’s not of course and he always manages to maneuver whatever it is he’s rambling on about toward a general diatribe of how the weak with their Rule of Law and “societal norms” have managed to upend the universal natural order of might makes right, which, in the end, as he sees it, limits his ability to pick up chicks.
I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is: I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat. ― Rebecca West
Back in the last millennium during the age of analog and airmail a buddy of mine used to subscribe to CMJ, a music magazine that with each monthly issue would include a “mixtape” CD (ah, CDs, back when life was much simpler and slower) jam packed with singles from new and up and coming bands.
Him being a buddy, I can neither confirm nor deny [got to phrase in that hush-hush, wink-wink way just in case the Feds are monitoring us] that he may have burned me a copy of that monthly CD of new releases and it may or may not have been one of my true monthly delights… maybe.
CMJ is still in existence online at cmj.com and, up until last year, they used to release their monthly “mixtape” as a digital download.
It was within one of these mixtapes that I discovered THE COATHANGERS.
And, seeing how it’s International Women’s Day and Women are showing their massive display of power through resistance and protest which got me to figuring that there is hardly anything much more symbolically indicative of resistance and protest than Punk Rock Music which then reminded me of The Coathangers — hmm, I wonder what message they’re trying to get across with their band name — and who it is now my pleasure to introduce (I assume it’s your introduction to them; if not, let me know) to you performing their punk rockin’ song “Watch Your Back.”
This is an immensely powerful post celebrating determined women of determined personal and collective courage.
Please visit the clubPAW website and show them your support.
Our friends in Jakarta, Indonesia organized a women’s march this Saturday (4 March 2017) morning in front of the Presidential Palace. One of clubPAW authors participated in the march to witness LOVE in what was really the start of something historic in Jakarta. Not just that, now clubPAW has stories from some people we got the chance to talk to.
We at clubPAW believe that the women’s march movement that has shined like sunlight to many major and small cities globally signifies something larger; a hope. A hope that there many who are still persevering in the fight for equality and love. Nay-sayers will always be there and the only way to turn them to our side is by engaging in healthy dialogues and exchanging ideas. There will always be people who look down on our efforts but remember that good will does not expect anything in return. At least…
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This is it, my friends. The moment I’ve been waiting for where things finally begin to get real for me.
And by real I mean from now until the end of the filming of LEAVE at the end of October, it looks like it’s going to be one mad rush of new and exciting experiences.
I would like to introduce you to the cast and crew of LEAVE. For now, you may see them and everything LEAVE is about here >> LEAVE: A Short Film.
After things slow down, I will introduce them to you personally here.
I would also like to thank all the good folks who donated to my website campaign here. Please check out the list and try to support them as awesomely as you support me. That campaign has officially ended and all donations will now be managed through IndieGoGo. I will use the funds raised here to get me across the country. I’m so grateful for the support.
I will introduce my final website donor to you, Author Anna Kopp, on Friday, October 14, 2016. Her work looks amazing. Stay tuned!
Today, I am heading on an anniversary getaway to New England with my lovely and loving wife. Shortly after I return I will get on the road again with my sons and drive cross-country to LA for the filming LEAVE.
I’ve decided to fire up my barely-used Instagram account and, beginning today as I head to the hood of some of my favorite authors, I will be photo-blogging my journey along the way and during the filming. Please follow along if you’d like (icon on the sidebar). I would love to have your company.
I would like to thank Author Vivian Biro for donating to help me make my movie. It really means so much to me that others are willing to support a dream of mine in such tangible ways.
Please help me thank Vivian by visiting with her at her website, by purchasing her debut novel, and, by all means, letting her know what you think of her writing by sharing an Amazon Review.
And I tell you what, this April Fools’ Day Joke of hers is hilarious and completely genius. Check it out…
I’m not the smartest or greatest dad there is. Not even close. I have many faults and made many mistakes over the years that I regret.
However, I do think I’m pretty good at understanding my faults and I work hard to minimize their impact to myself and others, especially to my family, as much as possible.
Even still… just because faults were minimized, it doesn’t mean there wasn’t impact from them from time to time. There was. I regret that.
But… we live and learn and live and relearn and one and on.
My daughter is my first child and when she was born I didn’t have a clue as to how to raise her.
I found out quickly though, that having children, and especially having the first child, is kind of like going to war.
No matter how much you plan for it, once the first shot is fired the best you can hope for is a campaign of organized chaos.
Fortunately, not long after she was born, I happened upon some useful information — probably from articles in a newspaper (remember those things?) — about the results of a couple of different studies.
I don’t remember the newspaper — probably the Stars & Stripes.
And I certainly don’t remember the studies or who conducted them so I cannot attest to the veracity of the reportage.
However, based upon my life experiences, what was reported seemed to speak the truth.
And from these apparent truths that I happened upon long ago, I was changed — or at least I sought to change — from their insights.
And from this change, I hope I became a better father to, not just my daughter, but to my sons as well. For I also hope that when my sons, too, have daughters– and based upon the make up of my lovely and loving wife’s family and mine, they probably will — they understand how their beliefs and, more importantly, their behavior can have such an impact on the outcome of their daughters’ lives.
The first thing I learned that changed my behavior as a father was…
The more education a father has the less the chance will be that his daughter will find herself in an abusive relationship as an adult.
The second was…
Girls with high self-esteem tend to have less sex during their middle and high school years and girls with low self-esteem tend to have more.
The inverse is true for boys.
It’s Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month.
With pleasure and gratitude, it is my honor to share with you a Guest Post by Author Sherrie Cronin. As April is Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month, Sherrie’s post, and her books, are timely, important, and educational, as, sadly, the exploitation and abuse of women only seems to be worsening. Obviously, we must do more to prevent this; for this is not a problem only found in countries far and distinct from our own, it is a problem that just may be found not too far from our very own doorstep. On the sidebar, you will find her novel c3 and a link to where you can learn more about Sherrie and her books. I strongly encourage you to support Sherrie and her efforts.
INSPIRATION IN THE WORST OF PLACES
by Sherrie Cronin
When I first outlined the stories for 46. Ascending, I knew that c3 would be about a group of young women who would thwart a sex trafficking ring, because I wanted a venue to explore the extreme edges of the way we as a society pretend not to see the many ways in which young women are exploited. I fully expected that my research would take me to some horrifying places, and it did. An internet connection is all one needs to visit ping pong shows in Bangkok and to peruse ads for “sexy and willing” Russian women. I still get the ads — I need to wash out my browser with soap.
What I did not expect, however, were how many inspirational stories and websites I would encounter as well. I stared my research with Somaly Mam’s book The Road of Lost Innocence: The True Story of a Cambodian Heroine and I highly recommend it.
My browsing then took me to the Sisters of the Good Shepherd, a group of Catholic Nun’s who have spent the last couple of centuries reaching out to women in unfortunate circumstances. I liked what I read so much that an imaginary nun worked herself into my story even though she wasn’t even in the outline. I hope that members of the order would not be offended by my spunky Sister Teresa-Marie, as she turned out to be one of my favorite characters in the book. Please read about this fine group and their efforts to help victims of human trafficking at goodshepherdsisters.org/trafficking.htm.
Next I found several non-profit organizations dedicated to stopping human trafficking, each one with an inspiring story. I will likely blog about them all individually here over time. One of the first that I encountered was an organization called Shared Hope International, founded by U.S. Congresswoman Linda Smith after she traveled into the heart of the brothel district in Mumbai, India where “she witnessed the brutal exploitation and sexual slavery of women and children.” She has been trying to do something about it ever since. This group also has a Facebook page well worth visiting and liking.
I expected to be disgusted at some of what I found, and I was. I expected to believe that this was a problem with no solution. Instead, I found brave women and men of all nations, ages, and belief systems working for positive change. I did not expect to walk away from my research marveling at those who fight every day to shine a bright light into the darkest of corners. But I did, and I am marveling at them still.
To find out how you, too, can promote your book or project, please visit here.
HEROES FOR A MODERN GIRL
by Pamela Schloesser Canepa
The poet Maya Angelou
shared wise words that moved me so.
Songbird Nina Simone
Did not fear walking alone.
Laid the truth on me.
Mom bravely raised me alone,
in the warmest, loving home.
Simone deBouvaire taught me
women are not property.
Toni Morrison’s Pilate
was free like a wild lilac.
And I thank them all
for helping me stand tall.
Men’s rules, commandments, and laws
once confined us, we felt lost.
But there was no stopping
rebels like Janis Joplin.
I benefit from their stand,
and I’m fed by my own hand.
I thank them all
For helping me stand tall.
HAVE YOU SEEN THIS?
Last year it was announced that the US Treasury Department was planning to remodel the ten-dollar bill by replacing its current male model, Alexander Hamilton, with a female model.
That was before the Broadway musical “Hamilton” became a huge success… and the play’s creator and star and Presidential First Rapper, Lin-Manuel Miranda, had subsequently become an advocate and lobbyist for keeping the Founding Father and “Good Ol’ Boys” OG on the bill.
Miranda met recently with the US Treasury Secretary and it seems that his lobbying effort on behalf of his musical muse has paid off.
— Lin-Manuel Miranda (@Lin_Manuel) March 16, 2016
So, in the somewhat spirit of the United Nation’s #HeforShe campaign, should Hamilton stay or should he go and be replaced by a female historical hero?
Alexander Hamilton was a Founding Father of the United States, chief staff aide to General George Washington, one of the most influential interpreters and promoters of the U.S. Constitution, the founder of the nation’s financial system, the founder of the Federalist Party, the world’s first voter-based political party, the Father of the United States Coast Guard, and the founder of The New York Post. As the first Secretary of the Treasury, Hamilton was the primary author of the economic policies of the George Washington administration. (Wikipedia)
If would be great if you could expand on your response in the comment section.
For instance: Who should the female model be? If not Hamilton, then which bill’s male model should go? If you no longer use hard currency, are you, as Kurt is, looking forward to the permanent chip implant?
HAVE YOU SEEN THIS?
THE LIES WE TELL OURSELVES
by Manivillie Kanagasabapathy
** TRIGGER WARNING: Abuse **
Deep Brown eyes stare back at me,
Fleeting whispers floating between us,
Shadows creep silently,
Across broad brown shoulders,
The darkness melding within the chocolate hues,
Lengthening to point accusingly,
At the faded bruise
That still held faint outlines of his hand.
“Are you okay? Should I call someone?”
I hear the teacher’s voice whisper
My eyes jump back up,
Shamed to be caught,
Starting at the dark eyes,
That hid darker shadows.
“I’m fine, I fell”
I watched her rouge tipped lips open in reply,
Tasting the words,
Rolling them around her tongue
Until they fit,
Like words spoken
“Should I call a doctor?”
The persistent voice asked again,
Concern and patronization moving together
To create a melody of the question,
“No really I am fine, I fell.”
Stronger, this time
The eyes lit with the flame of memory,
Recreated to a story to be told over and over,
Each time more real than the last.
Hands lift reaching across
Touch the fading bruise,
Face flinching from where my fingers lay,
Turning to look away.
With a breath, I slowly withdraw my hand
Shaking as it moves from the mirror.
Square the shoulders,
A deep inhalation and whisper…
“I am fine, I fell.”
Please submit your creative expressions that bring awareness to women and gender issues to the Relating to Humans Women’s Issues feature. All submissions will be profiled on the blog throughout Women’s History Month.
I CAN’T PICTURE YOU WITH A KID
“I can’t picture you with a kid.”
“Neither can I.”
I’m too spontaneous. My passion for writing and journalism was constantly competing with my passion for buffalo wings, rum and Steve Madden; there is no room for a kid in the newsroom or at the bar during happy hour and being six months pregnant squeezing those ridiculous swollen dogs into new candy apple reds is just negligent- everyone knows five inch heels can’t handle that kind of stress. Yet, there we were in the bathroom waiting for a pee stick who decided to use the entire two minutes to make up its mind. I can’t do this. I’m too young. There are so many places I want to travel to. If I get a great deal on Groupon I want to be able to just book it! To call in to work sick and live my life! You can’t do that with a baby there’s planning. Clearly not enough in this situation but that’s beyond the point. The point is… Do babies even get passports? I mean how often would you have to update that photo? I don’t have time for that. Who hikes Yosemite with a papoose? Seriously. I want to wake up in the morning and see a sting ray under my hut in Bora Bora not a diaper genie. And now I’m positive that’s not going to happen.
“Have you thought of your options.”
Sure, I had. But what were they? Have a baby. Kick out Jimmy Choo to make room for Osh Kosh. Drop out of school to PlaySkool. Put down the pen to set up one to play in.
Or don’t. Adoption is an option. Earn my tiger stripes just to give my cub to someone with less of a pride.
Or don’t. To just pretend it never happened. I mean, Forever21 doesn’t do maternity.
“…and that sound is your little girl’s heartbeat.”
They said it was okay to cry but I couldn’t. You don’t pre-order MAC’s new midnight sensation just to make it run. And I would make sure my daughter would know that, or would I? Maybe some happy couple somewhere far away like Arkansas wouldn’t let her wear make-up until 16 or she would be given to some psycho pageant people in Pasadena who would have her glitzed out at six months. I couldn’t let that happen to my baby. My baby. But was I her momma? Constantly teetering on this tottering life was no place for a kid. So I had to stop being one.
“I’m having a girl.”
The last 18 weeks of my life had now planned at least the next 18 years of it. She would be mine. She would stalk shoe sales with me. She would be my editor. At the end of the day, it only matters what she has to say. She would be just like me.
“I don’t hear anything.”
She was just like me. Spontaneous as all hell. It’s okay to cry they said but I couldn’t. I don’t remember it happening like this on the tv shows or in the movies. The chapter in the health books didn’t elaborate on this. The doctor didn’t break it down like my body did. There was no what to expect when you stop expecting. there’s nothing on un-nesting. one minute im sitting there answering phones and making appointments at my desk. the second minute im up and bolting down the hall passing the click-clacking Manolo Blahniks, my hush puppies stay silent towards the little girls room, the rest room. where this little girl is not resting but not awake. a little girl controlling her own fate. while i was kicking around parenthood, she decided to never kick. i close my mouth and scream. and the tears who have been planning this for so long finally make their escape and i don’t even try to stop them. they grab hold of the covergirl clump crusher and run.
Please submit your creative expressions that bring awareness to women and gender issues to the Relating to Humans Women’s Issues feature. All submissions will be profiled on the blog throughout Women’s History Month.
It’s Easier To Ask Forgiveness Than It Is To Get Permission
and other interesting wit and wisdom attributed to the Admiral
WOMEN ISSUES…OR ISSUES THAT SURROUNDS A WOMAN
FROM THE WOMEN’S ISSUES ARCHIVE
Every morning , almost all dailies have a report on women abuse. Mostly domestic violence , dowry issues and early marriage. Each day , I read the story remains same but victims change. The culprit is seldom caught and rarely punished.
I feel that laws are useless when the enforcement is zero, in some instances below zero , yes going into negative area. The enforcers start abusing and humiliating the victim , they sort of make it appear , that she “asked for it”.
World has two sharp division, people who are on the “Man’s side” , this group also has women and the other “Woman rights ” fighters, they are vocal but can not always win, because women issue is a social issue.
If dowry is a bad practice, why do in-laws ask for it ? If beating up women is wrong, why don’t family members interfere ..it seems that society as a whole wants to support the strong and beat up the weak..those women who are strong economically or otherwise , they are seldom abused , but those who are vulnerable due to child marriage or poor back ground..they are tortured and killed..and this cycle is continuous.. Parents feel that marrying off a daughter is important to just move that burden from one’s shoulder to another, they don’t mind if she gets killed..I know that is a harsh way of putting it..but look at the way young girls at 11 are becoming mother and then their kids are getting killed or they are dumped for next victim…
All submissions to the Relating to Humans Women’s Issues feature will be profiled on the blog all throughout Women’s History Month. Please share your creative expressions discussing Women’s Issues by submitting them here.
I don’t normally do this kind of thing but, because this is a day to celebrate the grand achievements women all around the world are making, and because this is such phenomenal information (albeit excessively long and highly wonky), I am sharing this cut and paste from the National Business Women’s Council, a US Government organization*.
My summary of this Executive Summary of a US Census Survey regarding US Business is that basically what follows is the empirical data/evidence of what I see happening in all sectors of US society… especially that of the Publishing Industry.
And that is…
WOMEN. ARE. CRUSHING. IT!
The King is dead…
Long live the Queen!
The Growth and Development of Women-Owned Enterprises in the United States, 2002 – 2012: An Analysis of Trends from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Survey of Business Owners
Women continue to enter into the ranks of business ownership at rates exceeding the national average. Indeed, the rate at which women are launching businesses is on the rise.
- As of 2012, there are nearly 10 million women-owned businesses[1} in the United States. These enterprises employ over eight million workers and generate over $1.4 trillion in revenues.
- Between 2002 and 2012, the number of women-owned firms increased at a rate 2-1/2 times the national average (52% vs. 20%), employment in women-owned firms grew at a rate 4-1/2 times that of all firms (18% vs. just 4%), and the growth in revenues generated by women-owned firms paralleled that of all firms (up 51% compared to 48%).
- The pace of business formation among women is on the rise. Between 1997 and 2002, the number of women-owned firms grew by 20%, as it did between 2002 and 2007. Then, between 2007 and 2012, the number of women-owned firms increased by 27% – a significant uptick in business start-ups.
- On average, between 2002 and 2012, women launched an average of 928 net new firms each and every day. Within that ten-year period, there were an average of 714 net new women-owned firms per day between 2002 and 2007, and 1,143 per day between 2007 and 2012.
While more and more women are starting businesses, those businesses remain significantly smaller than average.
- Women-owned businesses comprise 36% of the country’s businesses, employ 7% of the private-sector workforce, and contribute 4% of business revenues. Ten years prior, women-owned firms represented a smaller 28% of the country’s businesses, but contributed a similar share of employment (7%) and revenues (4%).
- In terms of employment, fully 91% of women-owned firms have no employees other than the owner, and just 2% have 10 or more employees. Women-owned firms with 10 or more employees provide three-quarters of the jobs provided by women-owned firms. While most women-owned firms remain small in terms of employment, it should be pointed out that the number of women-owned employer firms (which now numbers over one million) has increased by 13% between 2002 and 2012, while overall the number of U.S. employer firms has declined by 1.8% over the same period.
- With respect to revenue size, 82% of women-owned firms generate less than $100,000 in annual revenues, and just 3% generate $500,000 or more in revenues. This top 3% of women-owned firms accounts for three-quarters of the revenues generated by women-owned businesses. Further, it should be noted that – while less than 2% of women-owned firms generate $1 million or more in revenues – the number of those firms increased by 47% between 2002 and 2012, compared to an 18% increase among all million-dollar enterprises.
- The average revenue per woman-owned firm is $143,731. This compares to average revenues of $440,190 among all privately-held firms and $1,213,944 among all firms – which includes large, publicly-traded firms (which average $48.2 million in per-firm revenues).
Perhaps the most remarkable trend in women’s entrepreneurship seen over the past decade is the phenomenal growth in business ownership among women of color.
- In 2002, there were fewer than one million (909,321) minority women-owned firms in the U.S., representing 14% of women-owned firms. As of 2012, there are nearly 3.8 million firms owned by women of color, comprising 38% of women-owned businesses.
- Between 2002 and 2012, when the number of women-owned firms overall increased by 52%, the number of non-minority women-owned firms grew by just 9%, while the number of minority women-owned firms overall grew by 315% – a quadrupling in numbers. Specifically, the number of Native American/Alaska Native women-owned businesses increased by 67%, the number of Asian American women-owned businesses more than doubled (up 121%), the number of Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander women-owned businesses increased by 136%, and the number of Latina-owned businesses nearly tripled (up 172%) – as did the number of African American women-owned businesses (up 178%).
- As of 2012, there are 1,521,494 African American women-owned firms in the U.S., 1,469,991 Latina-owned firms, 749,197 Asian American women-owned firms, 131,064 Native American/Alaska Native women-owned firms, and 24,982 Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander women-owned firms in the U.S.
As the number of women serving in the military has grown, so has the number of female veteran-owned enterprises – at a rate exceeding even that of minority women-owned businesses.
- In 2007, there were 97,114 veteran women-owned firms in the U.S., representing 4% of all veteran-owned firms. As of 2012, there are 383,302 veteran women-owned firms, comprising 15% of all veteran-owned firms.
- Between 2007 and 2012, when the number of all veteran-owned businesses increased by 3% – from 2.4 to 2.5 million – the number of female veteran-owned businesses increased by a phenomenal 295%, a near quadrupling in numbers in just five years.
Regionally, the sharpest rise in the number of women-owned firms has been seen in the southern region of the U.S., where overall population growth has been the strongest. However, women-owned firms in the central part of the country have bounced back most strongly from the 2007-2009 recession.
- Between 2002 and 2012, the greatest growth in the number of women-owned firms has been seen in Georgia (+92%), Mississippi (+89%), Texas (+85%), Florida (+85%), and Louisiana (+74%) – all Southern states. Indeed, all of the states where women-owned firm growth exceeds the national average by more than 10 points are in the South, except for Arizona and Nevada.
- Four out of the five fastest-growing metropolitan areas for women-owned firms are also in the South: Memphis (+160%), Charlotte (+138%), Orlando (+127%), Las Vegas (+101%), and San Antonio (+101%).
- While states in the South lead the way in business growth over the entire ten-year period, Central states are home to the most positive trends when comparing growth during the 2007-2012 post-recession period to the 2002-2007 pre-recession period. There are 19 states in which post-recession growth in the number of women-owned firms is at least 10 points higher than pre-recession growth; most are in the North Central or Midwest regions of the U.S. The leading “bounce back” states are Louisiana, Nebraska, Iowa, North Dakota, Indiana, and Mississippi. At the other end of the spectrum, ten states currently lag pre-recession growth rates – including Maine, Georgia, Hawaii, and New Hampshire, where post-recession growth is more than 5% lower than pre-recession growth.
As women business owners themselves are growing more diverse, so are the businesses that they are starting. Despite growing industry diversification, however, the largest concentration of women-owned firms is still seen in the most traditional areas of business ownership for women – sectors that have lower than average revenues per firm.
- Women-owned firms are found in every industry. In fact, 2% or more of the nearly 10 million women-owned firms are found in 13 of the 19 major industries – including over 260,000 women-owned construction firms, over 200,000 women-owned finance and insurance firms, and nearly 160,000 women-owned transportation and warehousing enterprises.
- Despite the growing diversity in the types of businesses that women own, nearly half (49%) of women-owned firms are found in three sectors: other services (1.9 million firms, within which there are nearly 1 million beauty and nail salons), health care and social assistance (1.6 million firms, within which there are over 600,000 child day care service businesses), and professional/scientific/technical services (1.3 million firms, within which there are a cornucopia of such firms as management and human resources consultancies, translation services, and veterinarians).
- Between 2002 and 2012, the greatest growth in the number of women-owned firms has been in educational services (+91%), administrative services (+90%) and other services (+86%) – growth rates nearly double the overall 52% increase during the period. However, even within slower-growing industries, the rate of growth in the number of women-owned firms outpaces overall growth in every single industry sector.
- Women-owned businesses are more likely than average to have achieved revenues of $500,000 or more in five industries: wholesale trade, manufacturing, accommodation and food services, construction, and transportation and warehousing. However, women-owned firms in these industries comprise only 11% of all women-owned firms.
- Conversely, among some of the most populous sectors for women-owned businesses – most especially other services, administrative, support and waste management services and health care and social assistance, average revenues are well under $100,000 per firm. Raising the overall economic clout of women-owned businesses would then require a two-pronged approach:
1. Assist women in the more populous, lower per-firm revenue sectors in scaling-up their enterprises, and
2. Encourage more women to start businesses in the less populous but more likely to scale sectors.
 Throughout this report, the term “women-owned” refers to enterprises that are at least 51% owned and operated by a woman or group of women. Businesses equally-owned by a man and a woman (or equal numbers of men and women) are not included – primarily because the way that equally-owned firms have been identified has differed in each of the past four business census years, thus precluding accurate trend analysis.
THE AMERICAN FAMILY IS BROKEN
by Erin Byerly
It was your choice to have a baby, so why should my tax dollars pay for them?
Americans pride themselves on rugged individuality and a tireless work ethic. After spending such long hours in the office with so little vacation time, why should we be expected to subsidize the kids we may not even be having? And why should employers bear the brunt of pregnant employees and the inconvenience of maternity leave?
We may be one of the wealthiest nations in the world, but we’ve forgotten who we are. People talk about children as though they were vintage cars, expensive and unnecessary luxuries that shouldn’t inconvenience anyone but their owners.
We pay a lot of lip service to how much we love children, but when it comes down to it, we resent every last dime we collectively spend on them. We don’t want them in our restaurants or in our airplanes, and certainly don’t want the workplace to accommodate their parents.
Not everyone wants, needs, or is able to have children, but putting the entire burden of our species on the backs of individual families has become unreasonable.
Women’s roles have drastically changed since fifty years ago, and for good cause. Women should neither be kept from employment nor forced into economic dependence on men who could abandon them, die, or even become abusive.
Problem is, relative wages have dropped and most families require two incomes, yet Americans seem blind to our changing circumstances. We vilify families living on public assistance while simultaneously viewing workplace pregnancy accommodations, universal healthcare, parental leave, and subsidized daycare as selfish “entitlements.”
And we don’t want to pay for them, unlike every other developed nation on Earth.
No other First-World country fires pregnant women for medical complications or rips new mothers from the arms of their newborn babies within days of delivery. We barely acknowledge the idea that fathers need bonding time too.
No one else in our fighting class expects parents to shoulder low-quality daycare costs that exceed college tuition rates or applauds making children go hungry when their parents can’t afford lunch money.
Nothing in life is free. We’re turning our backs on the most vulnerable members of our species and our nation is paying a heavy price. Our maternal and infant mortality rates are criminal. Poverty and mental illness are reaching levels not seen since the Great Depression.
And with those costs come interest. Our child abuse, violent crime, and incarceration rates dwarf those of our European counterparts. These issues don’t arise from a handful of irresponsible parents, but a skyrocketing number of families who can barely cope with the strain.
You may not want a child and should never feel obligated to have one, but someone needs to.
Once upon a time, you were a child yourself. Not just you, but your coworkers, your boss, your friends, your family members, and anyone else you ever cared about. You grew up, as will most of the children in America today.
So, why should your tax dollars be spent on someone else’s children?
Because they are you.
They are us.
All creative expressions submitted to the Relating to Humans Women’s Issues feature will be profiled on the blog all throughout Women’s History Month.
MARY OF THE SUN
by jonna ellis holston
From Lowell , Massachusetts
My Aunt Mary wrote for The Lowell Sun for seventy-six years. She started while still a high school girl… under pen names… looong before women commonly reported for newspapers. She and my Uncle Charles G Sampas, a mild mannered executive news editor from a great historic city’s newspaper, were my God Parents. Often glued to Mary’s side, I recall The Sun as a chaotic place full of screaming, sweaty reporters desperate to read the ribbons spewed forth from the wire services. I still smell the ink and burnt coffee, and hear the deafening noise of the printing machines. “It’s a lot of work to bring news to the people,” she told me.
And remember those phones that had wires attached to walls? Mary Sampas was attached to one of those… always tucked under an ear, scribbling notes and trading in gossip and fact as she covered the glamorous stars of old Hollywood, Lauren Bacall, Cary Grant, David Niven, many others. Mary and Charlie even accompanied the Kennedys on their Paris trip with Charles de Gaulle and then off to Vienna for the Khrushchev talks. Even Jackie called on Mary for the inside scoop.
She slept late… till the calls began… then the typing would start. Evenings were usually spent socializing with those who were known to be in the know. Hers was a world of endless working parties with artists, writers or prominent Democrats. With non-stop, indefatigable charm and the brain of a word processor she would pursue secrets, discover, verify. What was show and what remained hidden in the backroom smoke?
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