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Celebrating The Moms of Action This Mother's Day

May 11, 2015
Reposted from Role Reboot where it originally appeared. When mothers get angry about the state of their neighborhoods, cities, nations or earth, they have always been on the front lines for change. Let’s celebrate them this Mother’s Day. I have a conflicted relationship with Mother’s Day. I have never been a fan of the prim flowers-and-candy style of celebration. The holiday reduces women who are mothers to a smile and a hug and not much else. Mother’s Day has become a day to idealize a neat and pretty vision of motherhood that most of us know is rarely the reality. Just so I’m clear for this...

GeoGirls at Walmart: Just What A Girl (Doesn't) Need?

February 10, 2011
Grappling over how best to teach your 8-year old daughter environmental stewardship? Wonder no more! Walmart has announced a new line of “green” cosmetics targeted to tween girls. It’s called “GeoGirls” and the megastore is gearing up to line its shelves with the product in mere days. I say: just in time, Wal-Mart. I’m so tired of watching my little girl smear on nasty chemical-laden lipstick and toxic mascara, to prep for third-grade . Now, as a mother, I can feel secure in the knowledge that my girl is safely wearing her love and concern for the earth all over her face – literally!...

If You Play Fair, They Should Pay Fair: Why the Women's Wage Gap Persists

September 24, 2010
Originally posted on RH Reality Check There’s a lot of talk this week about the Paycheck Fairness Act (PFA) and its chances for passage as Congress is set to adjourn, and head home for campaign season. The act is a necessary next-step piece of legislation when it comes to protection against gender-based wage disparities, by simply strengthening – and updating - the existing Equal Pay Act. Indeed, the bill notes that “in many cases the pay discrimination can only be due to continued intentional discrimination or the lingering effects of past discrimination.” Yet the misunderstandings and...

Tax Plan Hurts Single Mothers and Working Families Most

September 15, 2010
I've said it before but it bears repeating - working ourselves out from under the rubble of this recession won't happen if we attempt to step on the more vulnerable members of society in the process. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is proposing to do just that with his tax bill, introduced on September 13. His proposal extends the Bush-era tax cuts - all of those most beneficial to the highest-income earners in the nation - while forgoing those tax cuts which would most help lower income families, especially single mother-led households. According to the National Women's Law Center ,...

California Moms and Children Receive Boost from Legislature

September 2, 2010
Governor Schwarzenegger holds the power to improve access to maternity care coverage for all women in his state and ensure equitable coverage for children with pre-existing conditions. Last week, the California Legislature passed two bills which will significantly impact the health and lives of women and children. From Mercurynews.com : The bills approved Wednesday would phase in coverage before they are replaced by the new federal health care law in 2014. The first bill, AB1825, would require maternity coverage in basic plans sold on the individual market. The federal government already...

Massachusetts Maternity Leave Ruling Leaves Moms Cold

August 19, 2010
According to Salon's Broadsheet , the Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled last week that the state's maternity leave act (MMLA) should stand, leaving mothers who work for a company with less than fifty employees with only two months of unpaid leave after the birth of a baby. The other moms? They're either left with a sum total of zero available weeks of maternity leave if they work for an employer with less than six employees or, if they're lucky and work at an organization with fifty or more employees, are entitled to 12 weeks of unpaid leave, and a job to which to return under federal law...

Of Single Mothers, Women of Color And Rising Unemployment Rates

August 9, 2010
Originally posted on RH Reality Check It's no secret that families headed by single mothers make up the poorest sector of society in this country. According to the National Poverty Center , the poverty rate for this group is "significantly higher" than the overall poverty rate: In 2008, 28.7 percent of households headed by single women were poor, while 13.8 percent of households headed by single men and 5.5 percent of married-couple households lived in poverty. Still, we do very little in this country to assist households led by single mothers. Without access to high-quality childcare,...

Dutch Study Pumps Breastfeeding, Support Still Lacking

July 21, 2010
I write, occasionally, about breastfeeding and bottlefeeding. I try, when I do, to present a balanced approach. It is challenging at times - to reconcile the choices I've made personally with my own children, with evidence-based studies and information that seems to come out regularly pointing to the overwhelming health benefits of exclusive breastfeeding; with the anger and frustration some women share over their own guilt about not breastfeeding their children; or the frustration they feel that they are made to feel guilty about the choices they've made. It's a fine line one walks between...

Testing Pregnant Women's Breath?

June 24, 2010
Cross-posted at RH Reality Check Health officials in England want to give pregnant women a breath-test. Not for alcohol, but for signs of smoking. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), according to the Telegraph , "...has recommended that all pregnant women should have their breath measured for carbon monoxide levels when they book in with a midwife." It's unclear to me, however, why. What would this test show? If a pregnant woman smokes, she already knows she smokes so is this just to confirm to the pregnant woman that, yes, her provider now knows she smokes? As...

New Report: Americans Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired

June 21, 2010
The results of a new poll show that while paid sick days is an employment benefit many Americans believe should be ensured by the government as a "basic labor standard," too many are going without. In fact, according to the survey sponsored by Washington DC's Public Welfare Foundation and conducted through the University of Chicago's National Opinion Research Center (NORC), 86 percent of respondents support a plan that would allow workers to earn up to seven paid sick days per year. It's astounding - and more than ironic - that in a seemingly health-consumed society, where every other person...

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