Category Archives: Gender Issues

Why I Hate the Mom Salary Survey

This past week leading up to Mother’s Day, Salary.com published its 10th Annual Mom Salary Survey which calculates that Stay-at-Home Moms Would Earn US$117,856 if paid for her family work. Employed mothers, the survey says, would earn US$71,860 above their regular salary for their mom duties – less because they pay for some childcare.

I hope the 10th Annual Survey is the last. Continue reading

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Filed under Assumptions about Mothers, Economy, Family Work, Fatherhood, Gender Issues, Motherhood, News & Commentary, Remodeling Motherhood

Equal Pay Day: The Wage Gap between Mothers and Everyone Else

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I’m frustrated by Equal Pay Day.

Yes, I think it’s important to point out the wage gap between men and women still exists, and that a significant chunk of it is unexplained – likely sex discrimination.

Yes, I think using a day in April to symbolize how far into 2010 a woman has to work to match what the average man made in 2009 is a nifty way to get the message across.

But Equal Pay Day targets an outdated version of the problem and obscures one of the primary factors behind the remaining gap.

Today, the big wage gap is between mothers and everyone else. Continue reading

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Filed under Economy, Gender Issues, Money, Motherhood, News & Commentary, Workplace and Employment

Power of a Purse: Mothers and Money

So many reasons to talk about money and mothers this month.

  • April is Financial Literacy Month
  • April 20 is Equal Pay Day which symbolizes how far into 2010 women must work in order to earn as much as a man did in 2009.
  • Financial reform on Wall Street is the hot topic in the news.
  • Every day struggles of families on Main Street are the dominating topic in every day conversations.

And one you may not have heard about, but April is also the ramp up to the Mothers & More Power of Purse Campaign culminating on Mother’s Day May 9. While so many are struggling financially today, the reality is that mothers remain some of the most financially vulnerable among us. Across the country, Mothers & More chapters are raising “awareness of mothers’ economic issues through the act of collecting new or gently used purses for mothers in need. The purse symbolizes a woman’s economic power, something we wish for all women, especially mothers in need.”

I highlight many of those economic issues in my book, “This is Not How I Thought It Would Be: Remodeling Motherhood to Get the Lives We Want Today,” and much of my own education on the topic came through my involvement with Mothers & More.

What are some of those issues? Continue reading

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Why Moms Benefit from Feeling LESS Good at Family Care

Recently MSNBC.com featured a new study in an article titled, Too Helpful Dad, Resentful Mom?: Men involved with child care may hurt women’s self-esteem.

The study found that:

“When mothers perceived fathers to be competent caregivers, the more time those dads spent solo with children, the lower was mom’s self-competence rating [related to caregiving]. But when mothers considered spouses relatively incompetent caregivers, increased father-only time with kids was unrelated to mothers’ self-competence.”

In other words, when dad is good at taking care of the kids, mom perceives herself as less good at it than when she thinks dad is lousy at taking care of kids. But note, it’s not that mom perceives that she’s WORSE at caregiving than dad is, just that she feels LESS good at it if he’s good at it, and BETTER at it if she thinks he’s clueless. Continue reading

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Don’t Miss this Film!: The Evolution of Dad

I’m so glad my friends Amy and Marc Vachon over at Equally Shared Parenting flagged on their blog that there’s a new documentary coming out for Father’s Day this year, The Evolution of Dad, by Dana Glazer.  I’ve been watching his site and clips evolve for awhile now. In fact, in my book, This is Not How I Thought It Would Be: Remodeling Motherhood to Get the Lives We Want Today, I quote his interview with sociologist Michael Kimmel. Video is such a powerful medium for busting stereotypes and I can’t wait to see Dana’s final product. Check out the trailer now.

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Filed under Family Work, Fatherhood, Gender Issues, Recommendations

Gloria Steinem with Patt Morrison

Love this Patt Morrison interview with Gloria Steinem in today’s LA Times, Gloria Steinem: The Founder. Agree or disagree, she’s honest and doesn’t have rose-colored glasses on when it comes to the status of women in this country.

Favorite quote, “The big step for this coming generation is to get to a place where men raise children as much as women do.”

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Filed under Articles, Assumptions about Mothers, Fatherhood, Gender Issues, Motherhood, News & Commentary

Identity Whiplash: An Invisible Epidemic among Mothers and Fathers

Every day, coast to coast, mothers and fathers suffer from an invisible threat – Identity Whiplash.

Let me illustrate. Shortly after my daughter was born, my husband and I went to a college alumni networking event. As we started to mingle, the inevitable question came, “So what are you doing now?” My answer, “Caring for our infant daughter.” From that point on it was as if I disappeared into the floor; no one wanted to talk with me, while everyone chatted happily with my attorney husband. I was stunned, and devastated. I still thought of myself as an intelligent, interesting person, but clearly all of a sudden no one else did.

Or take this scenario. A father friend of mine took his three small children out for coffee one morning, as he wrangled the whirling tutus and the baby on his lap, people gaped. Finally one woman came up to him and said “It’s so AMAZING how you handle all three of them!” He said later it was as if he had one arm and was taking care of three kids, while no one ever stops his wife when she’s out with three kids. While his audience saw him as a freak of nature, he simply thought of himself as a father.

Identity Whiplash happens when mothers and fathers crash into outdated assumptions others have about us that conflict with how we think of ourselves, leaving us dazed, confused and even questioning our identity and our decisions. Continue reading

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Filed under Assumptions about Mothers, Fatherhood, Gender Issues, Motherhood, Remodeling Motherhood, Remodeling Motherhood Tips

Identity Disconnect: Stereotypes About Mothers and Fathers Can Divide Us

A recent post to Mamapedia, “Does Motherhood Equal Identity Loss?” explored the identity changes that come with motherhood and quickly gathered over a hundred comments saying, “I am faced daily with the question of my own personhood. For weeks I’ve been milk maker, soother, diaper changer and occasionally ‘lady who showers and smells nice’… I stress ‘occasionally’ here.” I felt there was so much to say about identity that it is the only topic to have TWO chapters dedicated to it in my book, This is Not How I Thought It Would Be: Remodeling Motherhood to Get the Lives We Want Today, some of which is here in my Identity Pie blog post.

What we don’t often realize is that the same reasons we experience major shifts in our own identities are often the cause of a disconnect between us and our husbands. Continue reading

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Filed under Assumptions about Mothers, Family Work, Fatherhood, Gender Issues, Marriage, Motherhood, Remodeling Motherhood

45 Moms and 3 Dads

I was tired, but tonight I dragged myself out to my favorite bookstore, Vroman’s, for a presentation on the social world of children – especially tween and teen girls. Ours is nine, but holy cow 4th grade seems to be when everything starts exploding socially.

So here’s the thing, the place was packed…with moms…and three dads. Continue reading

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“Taking A Man’s Name Opened Up A New World:” Why A Blogger Hid Her Gender

Gender assumptions still abound, even in the blogosphere.

Anne North of Jezebel.com writes:

Blogger James Chartrand came out today as a woman — and her experiences reveal that the blogosphere, and the job market in general, aren’t as egalitarian as some people claim.

James — she’s still going by the pseudonym, hasn’t revealed her real name, and that’s not her in the pic — says she started blogging to help support her kids during a tough financial time. She began using a male pen name one day simply to distance a project from her still-struggling business, and, she writes, “jobs became easier to get.” She continues,

Taking a man’s name opened up a new world. It helped me earn double and triple the income of my true name, with the same work and service.

No hassles. Higher acceptance. And gratifying respect for my talents and round-the-clock work ethic.

Business opportunities fell into my lap. People asked for my advice, and they thanked me for it, too.

Did I quit promoting my own name? Hell yeah.

Continue Reading >>

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