Working Mothers and Work Life Balance: Deborah Kahn calls the AMp
Can mothers have it all? Author Deborah Kahn called The Morning AMp this Feminist Wednesday to talk about finding a work life balance for working mothers. Take a listen to see what data-driven conclusion she came to in her book The Roads Taken: Complex Lives of Employed and At-Home Mothers.
“I looked at my life and I was happy with my marriage and my children and socially… but professionally I was not happy with my life. I never felt that even though that I had worked before in professional jobs and had done the PTA and various other things. I never had really used my mind and challenged myself and done something. This is why doing this research, writing this book and finishing it up was so important to me.”
Brian Babylon and guest host Susie Antalked about street harassment and one woman’s efforts to combat the practice by handing out cards to catcallers that explain why the practice is harmful. Cassandra Gaddo later joined the conversation during the Council of Feminist Thought.
“I think one of the biggest things that can help this is male allies. If you see it happening, if you see your friend doing it, if it comes up in conversation, be the person who says ‘You know what guys? That’s actually really threatening to women. It’s not cool.’”
This week on the Council of Feminist Thought, Britt Julious joined the AMp’s Brian Babylonand Molly Adams. We kicked it off by talking about Inland, her new publishing venture that will explore Midwestern culture and identity. We put a little “constructive disliking” (not hate!) on coastal media. Take a listen!
Women make up fewer than 8% of the National Registry of Exonerations, which tells of another story about their convictions and punishments, usually harsher and on less evidence than their male counterparts. The AMp hosts Brian Babylon and Molly Adams were joined by Jennifer del Prete, who was released last month while the state appeals her case and Kristine Bunch, exonerated in 2012 after 16 years in prison. Journalist Alison Flowers, who has been telling exonerees’ stories for our sister station WBEZ, helps walk us through the legal process and why women are at a disadvantage.
Mikki Kendall and Jamie Nesbitt Golden joined the AMp’s Molly Adams and Brian Babylonon the Council of Feminist Thought to take on Jill Abramson’s messy exit from the New York Times after serving as their first female executive editor. While there have been reports that her departure was stemmed from sexism, others have come out to state that it was solely based on lackluster performance in a leadership role. Some also have a hard time sympathizing with her because they believe that the real struggle is for a a women who is only getting paid minimum salary in the work place - not a women who is getting paid half a million a year. What do you guys think?
A malpractice suit was filed by a mother in New York. She said that doctors threatened her and that she had a C section against her will. She was asking doctors to give her another hour, and they commanded her to not speak. During the C section procedure, she suffered further physical damage. The Council of Feminist Thought discussed whether or not the doctor has a right to perform surgical procedures on women despite their wishes to give a natural birth and at what point does the doctor have the right to intervene? Take a listen.
What does it mean to be wifey material? The Council of Feminist Thought engage in a conversation that discusses the difference between being a “wife” and being “wifey material”. We had no idea there was a difference but apparently, there is! And guess which one has a more negative connotation? Take a listen.
“I think that the root of this [criminalizing pregnant women] is tied back to the pro-life movement and trying to give fertilized eggs, embryos, fetuses, certain ‘inalienable rights’ which by their very existence alienate the mother, and put the mother at risk of harm and prosecution.” - Cassandra Gaddo from the Council of Feminist Thought
Mixing it up on the Council are Cassandra Gaddo from Step Up Women’s Network and comedian Liza Treyger. One #FemWed topic that was discussed was the criminalization of pregnant women for drug use. Along with AMp hosts Brian Babylon and Molly Adams, they analyzed points on whether or not the root for this falls from the abortion controversy and what protective rights women may or may not have have in certain pro-life states.
We continue our conversation about everyday violence faced by women and girls when we are going by Sangheetha Ravichandran and Larrinita Starks, a staff member and youth leader with A Long Walk Home. ALWH uses art therapy and visual and performing arts to help girls heal from violence and to seek ends to it.
"I’m not bossy, I’m a boss," says Beyoncé in a new campaign from LeanIn.org encouraging parents and educators to drop the word “bossy” when describing headstrong girls. But the AMp’s Council of Feminist Thought has convened to wonder if “bossy” is all that bad and what kind of effect banning a word can have.
Even though this campaign may have been well-intended, it does not cover the REAL issues facing young women, particularly young women of color as discussed by the Council: According to the African American Policy Forum, black girls are suspended at a higher rate than all other girls and white and Latino boys. Sixty-seven percent of black girls reported feelings of sadness or hopelessness for more than two weeks straight compared to 31 percent of white girls and 40 percent of Latinas. Single black women have the lowest net wealth of any group, with research showing a median wealth of $100.
A play at Timeline Theater explores a very Feminist Wednesday topic: Why do humans menstruate when most mammals do not? Using the meeting of two biologists with differing theories, The How and the Why also explores the pressure that women scientists are under to perform at a high level. Actors Janet Ulrich Brooks,Elizabeth Ledo, and director Keira Fromm joined the AMp hosts Molly Adamsand Brian Babylon this morning in the Vocalo studio to discuss.
“Some people have argued that boys don’t have models of male readers but again, what we found, it was that it wasn’t that they didn’t like reading. It’s that they would be more apt to read comics or sports pages. Not the books that schools tend to want them to read […] We found that both boys and girls were more avid readers of these marginalized genres that we studied. It was an interesting departure for us. […]Although the texts that they have read were different, they both got the same kind of pleasure reading them.[…] If you stigmatize the kind of reading a kid does, they don’t adopt the role of reader.” - co-author Michael Smith
When you were a kid, were you a bookworm or did you think reading was for nerds? Perhaps your experience had to do with what kind of books were given to you. Authors of the book Reading Unbound: Why Kids Need to Read What They Want—and Why We Should Let Them, Michael Smith and Jeffery Wilhelm have found that when kids can pick what they want to read in school, they become more engaged in their studies. This morning Mr. Smith joined the AMp hosts Brian Babylon and Molly Adams by phone to share his findings and answer our questions.