Good Morning!


posted by Amy

I was up a little after 6 a.m. today, earlier than I'd wished to be awakened since I'm, ahem, on SPRING BREAK right now. As if parents get spring breaks! Silly Amy. Josie is busy making creations out of paper and tape (hint: want to make a four-year-old's day? Give her tape!). I've had a lot of coffee. With no further ado, links for today.

The New York Times has an op-ed that makes sense today: Claudia Goldin, author of Understanding the Gender Gap, questions the opting-out myth in "Working It Out":

So why is there so much focus on women leaving the work force instead? My friend Ellen, a Ph.D. economist with two young children who teaches in a top-ranked medical school, recently noted with frustration that many people have difficulty believing that "women can actually contribute professionally and participate meaningfully in the raising of a family." But the truth is that a greater fraction of college women today are mixing family life and career than ever before. Denying that fact is ignoring the facts.

Caryl Rivers and Rosalind C. Barnett, authors of Same Difference: How Gender Myths Are Hurting Our Relationships, Our Children and Our Jobs, have written a commentary on the recent spate of stories about the "boy crisis" in education, noting "[s]tatistically, geography and income swamp gender when it comes to school performance." In addition, "Boys are individuals, not robots cut from one type of cloth. Yes, some boys are restless, but the idea of males as natural troublemakers simply doesn't pan out." River and Barnett write:

But if you look at the educational studies carefully, this isn't a boys' crisis. It's a "some boys' crisis."

Overall, elite boys are doing well academically. More males than females attend Ivy League schools. And while we have been hearing that boys are virtually disappearing from college classrooms, among whites, the gender composition of colleges is pretty balanced; 51 percent female and 49 percent male, according to the National Education Association.

"On most measures boys--at least the middle-class white boys everyone seems concerned about--are doing just fine, taking their places in an unequal society to which they have always felt entitled," says Michael Kimmel, a sociologist at the State University of New York-Stony Brook and author of the 1996 book, Manhood in America: A Cultural History.

The real issue is that some boys, and girls as well, are doing very poorly, especially if they are poor, black, Latino or working-class white. For example, in Florida--one of the states with the lowest rates of high-school graduation--81 percent of Asians and 60 percent of white students graduate while only 48 percent of Hispanics and 46 percent of African Americans do.

Wendy Sachs writes about being bumped from the Good Morning, America "mommy wars" piece. Read it and weep—and then get active.

Finally, through Supafine!, I heard about the debut of 60 Bugs, where you can find handstitched baby and toddler tees, plus pillowcases with Modern English (or band of your choice) lyrics embroidered on them. The idea of going to sleep on a pillow with "I'll stop the world and melt with you" stitched onto it makes me smile.

But wait! There's one more: Salon.com's interview with the editor of the latest "mommy wars" anthology. Okay. I'm really done now.

I lied! Can I help it if there's just endless news today? Thanks to Broadsheet for bringing this one to my attention. Joan Williams (Unbending Gender: Why Family and Work Conflict and What to Do About It) and the Center for WorkLife Law have released a new study called "One Sick Child Away From Being Fired: When 'Opting Out' Isn't an Option," which details the ways blue-collar workers are penalized for needing to take time to care for sick children and meet other family responsibilities. Hello? Mainstream media? Joan Williams has a story worth reporting.