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Mater Mea: inside conversations on motherhood and working

February 4, 2014
Two years ago American media seemed to be gripped by one important question: “Can women have it all?” As a young professional woman with aspirations of having an enviable career and a family of my own, I was incredibly invested in knowing the answer to that question. I had eagerly read former State Department director Anne-Marie Slaughter’s much-debated Atlantic article “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All” and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s roll-up-your-sleeves screed “Lean In,” expecting some insight into how to set myself up for a future that didn’t sacrifice career for becoming a mother and...
Anthonia Akitunde's picture

Closer Than You Think

February 3, 2014
I wrote this post for the Mothers Central Blog , where it appeared on January 16, 2014. Kate Fineske, the mother-in-charge of the site, graciously gave me permission to cross post it on my own blog, where you will find it in full below. Check out the rest of Kate's collection about parenting, motherhood, and how we achieve the impossible every. single. day - but only after you've finished reading this post! Mention politics to most people, and their eyes glaze over. Who can blame them? It’s depressing, an endless display of bad behavior by self-serving and self-important stuffed shirts. And...
Valerie Young's picture

I support the FAMILY Act. Do you?

February 3, 2014
I took advantage of California Paid Family Leave after my baby was born. During that 12 weeks, I bonded with my baby by breastfeeding him as often and as long as possible; I also built a very good milk supply. By the time I went back to work when my little one turned 3 months old, I had two gallon of breast milk stored in my freezer. The working environment I returned to was, unfortunately, very unfriendly to breastfeeding mothers. I went through a long, exhausting process of fighting just for a reasonable pumping space and a harassment-free office, which caused me to be stressed out with my...
To-wen Tseng's picture

Breast milk on the go

January 17, 2014
My job requires frequent traveling. As a journalist, I've been reporting from places such as quake-stricken Haiti, war-torn Mexico, and typhoon-damaged Taiwan. These are challenging works. The biggest challenge, though, is collecting and transporting breast milk while traveling. After all, I'm more a mother than a journalist. Lucky enough, America is a very breastmilk-country, in comparison to many of the countries and areas around the world. I never had a problem with carrying breast milk through airport security checkpoints, nor with hotel staff members to storing my breast milk for me. To...
To-wen Tseng's picture

Sexism Is Alive and Well on the Interwebs

January 15, 2014
In documenting how she was stalked and threatened online , Amanda Hess, a feminist journalist, shines an unflinching spotlight on the ugly misogyny that too often pervades online forums, making women feel unwelcome or even unsafe just for speaking our minds. It is for similar reasons that (much as I cherish the First Amendment) I generally try not to get sucked into reading comments posted on stories covering cases brought by the ACLU Women's Rights Project, where I work. But Hess' article (along with this thoughtful response from an involved father who got bashed for merely combing his...
ACLU's picture

How to pump at work like a supermodel

December 23, 2013
(c) Gisele Bündchen Instagram There has been lots of discussion about supermodel Gisele's breastfeeding photo. I'm thrilled that she is nursing her 1-year-old. I also envy her for being lucky to have such understanding colleagues that she could multi-task like that. For many mothers, it's not possible to have their baby with them on the job and even asking for a reasonable time and/or space to pump at work is a challenge. I used to work for a company where I had to pump in the restroom and was harassed by my colleagues for washing pump accessories in the office kitchen. The fight for my right...
To-wen Tseng's picture

The Short Game: Taking the "Work" out of "Working Together"

December 20, 2013
Two nights ago, I hosted a gathering for my new ebook, Lean On and Lead, Mothering and Work in the 21st Century Economy . The event was an opportunity to experience the interactive nature of my project as well as to meet Hawaii's Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa, a candidate for US Senate , who is one of the interviews in my book. I had specifically invited mothers and daughters, and about a dozen found time to come, during the week before Christmas. They ranged in age from 11 to 72 years old. And though they live in the same community, most of the women were not acquainted. Even I, the common...
Shay Chan Hodges's picture

An Unthinkable Choice

December 17, 2013
By Alicia Gay Asia Myers, a pregnant woman expecting a baby girl in less than a month, works for an employer that forced her to make an unthinkable choice between a healthy pregnancy and her paycheck. Early in her pregnancy, Asia suffered from complications serious enough for her doctor to put her on bed rest. After she improved, her doctor cleared her to return to work as a nursing assistant at a long-term care facility, as long as she did not do any lifting. Despite the fact that Asia's employer routinely grants this kind of accommodation to workers with similar lifting restrictions, her...
ACLU's picture

Moguls, Moms & Maids: From Wall Street to Main Street

December 13, 2013
Last Sunday’s New York Times article “ Wall Street Mothers, Stay-Home Fathers ” may focus on a small but growing sliver of couples in the privileged world of Wall Street, but there is a message in there for all working parents: stay-at-home fathers are not like stay-at-home mothers, and actually, we shouldn’t want them to be. Authors Jodi Kantor and Jessica Silver-Greenberg feature a group of Wall Street women who are married to men who stay home. Free from the burdens of domestic duties, the women are able to focus full force on their careers. Mostly. Just past the halfway mark in the...
Liz O Donnell's picture

Black Thursday, a.k.a. Thanksgiving

November 27, 2013
By Elizabeth Johnston and Liz Watson , National Women's Law Center Cross-posted from NWLC's blog For Walmart workers, this year Black Friday starts on Black Thursday, the day also known as Thanksgiving. Being open on Thanksgiving is actually nothing new for Walmart. What is new is that Black Friday sales will start at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving this year, meaning many more workers must work through the holiday. In total, more than 1 million Walmart workers will be missing out on time with their families this Thanksgiving. Although Walmart’s CEO says workers are “excited” to do it because it is a...
Liz Watson's picture

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