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Thursday Thought: Rebel Don’t Recline

Thursday Thought: Rebel Don't Recline

We’ve all read about Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In and the inevitable backlash. I’m sure a lot of you have read Rosa Brook’s fantastic essay “Recline!” which encourages women not to buy into the superwoman myth in order so that we can have time to read for pleasure and spend time with friends. Imagine that. Reading for pleasure and spending time having fun. So my Thursday Thought: how can we harness our inner fourteen-year-old (or the unpredictable lunacy of someone like Johnny Depp’s Captain Jack) and rebel against family and workplace norms that ask us to be everything to everyone? What if we stopped being “good girls” and started following our own inner compasses? What would outlaw motherhood and/or outlaw academia look like for you?

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Love and Justice

Love and Justice

As I’m reviewing submissions for the National Women’s Studies Association roundtable I’m organizing in conduction with MIRCI ,  “Mothering, Love, and Labor,” I came across this quote. It spoke to me as an example of how values of caregiving could create justice in the public sphere.

Making Our Expertise Visible

I find frustrating our lack of language to talk about differences in expectations between academic institutions. I think this is a vital conversation for mothers in the academy. When differences are occluded it also means that our work can be unrepresented, invisible, and undocumented, even to ourselves.This year, I am a visiting scholar at a very elite Research I university (I would define a VERI as a PhD granting institution with departments across the university that are regularly considered to be in the top 10 or top 5 of their disciplines, a staggering endowment, and world class medical and law schools). Anecdotally I would describe this as Continue reading

Top 5 Problems for Faculty Mothers

There are a lot of wonderful things about working for a college or university and being a mother. Top on my list would be the way our most intense work periods match the time when kids are in school. However, in writing this post, I’ve realized that some of the reasons I wanted to become a professor (like being in charge of my own work schedule) are also some of the things that make being an academic with kids difficult.  While I certainly don’t think these are the only problems we face, each of them presents significant obstacles for mothers who are faculty members. Each of these deserves an entire post, but for now I’ve tried to be brief. Tell me what your biggest issue is in comments.

(These problems and analysis are taken from the research I did for Mothers Who Deliver: Feminist Interventions in Public and Interpersonal Discourse, SUNY 2010)

#5 Professional Work without Benefits

What would you think about a company that had a 200 million dollar yearly budget and employed 2000 workers, but did not offer paid maternity leave? What if I told you that company not only did not offer paid parental leave, it expected employees to continue being productive while on unpaid leave? Continue reading