Love in a Time of Contingency: A Letter to Women’s and Gender Studies

Love in a Time of Contingency: A Letter to Women’s and Gender Studies, a great piece by Gwendolyn Beetham, who will be at NWSA in Puerto Rico in November, talking about women and contingent employment in academia.

This week’s news from Women’s Media Center

WMC_logo_300dpiWhere Are The Women In Tech And Social Media?
Fast Company: When you look around the room at a tech or social media conference what do you see? Are the panels filled with a diverse group of tech and social media experts? Chances are they are probably filled with white men…Women make up approximately 50% of computer and social media users. By not filling panels with diverse speakers, we tend to give conference attendees only male perspectives on tech and social media.Deeds Throws Abortion Gauntlet
Washington Post: Surrounded by female activists and lawmakers, Virginia Democratic gubernatorial candidate R. Creigh Deeds on Monday launched an assault on his opponent’s record of working to restrict abortions, calling it evidence that the Republican has the wrong priorities for the state.Women Dominate ‘High Status’ Jobs 
BBC: More women than men in the UK now work in high status professions, research by the University of Cambridge has shown.

Newspaper War Raises A Question: Who Keeps The Tweeps?
City Pages, Minneapolis/St. Paul: In the ongoing battle between the Star Tribune and the Pioneer Press, the Strib scored a hit recently when word let out that it had drawn PiPress Capitol reporter Rachel Stassen-Berger across the Mississippi… That raised a question in the twitterverse: What happens when a reporter who authors a respected Twitter page moves to the competition?

Hillary Clinton In Congo: Tempers, Human Rights, And Media Cliché

Huffington Post: Media reports regarding Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s visit to the Democratic Republic of Congo have so far focused on her testy remark to a Congolese student at a town hall meeting in Kinshasa on August 10. This has been a colossal waste of time when the Congolese, especially women and children, are watching the sand run out of the hourglass.

Janet Napolitano On The Border, Immigration And More 

LA Times: The Homeland Security secretary talks about immigration reform, overhauling Bush administration policies and changes in detention policy.

The Olympian Force Behind A Revolution

Washington Post: Eunice Kennedy Shriver, 88, a member of a political dynasty who devoted her life to improving the welfare of mentally disabled people and founded the Special Olympics to showcase their abilities, died Tuesday at Cape Cod Hospital in Hyannis, Mass. She had had strokes during the past year, a family spokesman said.

Dreams From His Mother

NY Times: President Obama’s late mother, Ann Dunham Soetoro, was famous for the good cheer and optimism that she preserved in the face of a complex and challenging world. I knew Dr. Soetoro as a friend and colleague for many years before her death from cancer in 1995. Though I only met her son once, briefly at her memorial service, I’ve watched him as he’s taken on the hardest job in the world, and often found myself wondering how her worldview might have shaped him.

50 Best Law Firms For Women
Working Mother: These are turbulent times for law firms. But for working-mom lawyers, who’ve long sought more flexibility, this may be just the moment they’ve been waiting for.

Femicide: There’s Not Enough Outrage

Toronto Star: `There’s not enough outrage,” lamented one women’s rights activist at a candlelight vigil for the three women cut down last Tuesday night in a Pittsburgh-area aerobics class… But, as Toronto author Brian Vallee points out in his 2007 book The War on Women, nobody counts the dead, nobody connects the dots, nobody calls out the problem. No, no, we say… They were just loners, losers, crazies with guns. There’s not enough outrage.

New Nuns And Priests Seen Opting For Tradition 
NY Times: A new study of Roman Catholic nuns and priests in the United States shows that an aging, predominantly white generation is being succeeded by a smaller group of more racially and ethnically diverse recruits who are attracted to the religious orders that practice traditional prayer rituals and wear habits.

Muslim Women Uncover Myths About The Hijab

CNN: What the Muslim high school senior wants you to understand is that she doesn’t wear the hijab, the head scarf worn by Muslim women, because she is submissive.

Anger Greets Suu Kyi Conviction

BBC: World leaders have reacted with anger and disappointment to the conviction of Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi for violating security laws.

Congo’s Rape Epidemic Worsens During U.S.-Backed Military Operation
Washington Post: For the women of eastern Congo, a U.S.-backed Congolese military operation meant to save them from abusive rebels has turned into a nightmare of its own. An already staggering epidemic of rape has become markedly worse since the January deployment of tens of thousands of poorly trained, poorly paid Congolese soldiers, with people in front-line villages such as this one saying the soldiers are not so much hunting rebels as hunting women.

Papua Better Protecting Women Against HIV/AIDS
The Jakarta Post, Indonesia: Papua has intensified its campaign promoting the use of female condoms, after reports emerged of an increase in HIV/AIDS infections among residents.

Breast-Feeding Linked To Lower Cancer Risk

NY Times: There is new evidence that breast-feeding is associated with a lower incidence of breast cancer among a group of younger women who are at particularly high risk: those with breast cancer in the family.

Don’t Judge This Book By Its Cover: Bloomsbury Deny ‘White-Washing’ Character

Independent, UK: Bowing to intense pressure across the internet and from literary enthusiasts, the US publishers of the latest novel by Justine Larbalestier, who writes for young adults, have agreed to change the cover design from a white girl to a black girl, to reflect the race of the central character.

Billie Jean King Gets Official Recognition As Agent Of Change

The Progressive: On Aug. 12, tennis legend Billie Jean King will be duly recognized for her role as a game-changer of history. This is the day President Obama will bestow on her the Medal of Freedom… King’s most memorable battles were not fought on the tennis court. She lived as an out lesbian before it was remotely fashionable to do so. She fought for equal pay for women athletes, and by extension, women in general.
Women Boxers Hope To Send Message To IOC
USA Today: Women’s boxers compete in 13 weight classes at their world championships. If the International Olympic Committee’s executive board decides Thursday to add women’s boxing to the 2012 Olympic program, they will compete in, at most, five weight classes.


About the Women’s Media Center:
The Women’s Media Center (WMC) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization making women visible and powerful in the media. The WMC ensures that women are represented as they are: powerful newsmakers, informed experts, and sought-after media professionals.

One wise Latina woman on her way to Supreme Court

Sonia SotomayorWhen Sonia Sotomayor is sworn in Saturday, she will become the third woman Supreme Court justice and the first Latina.

She will also make history in another way. The ceremony itself will be the first open to TV cameras in the court’s history, according to an Associated Press story.

Sotomayor was confirmed by a 68-31 Senate vote Thursday. Most of the votes in favor of her confirmation came from Democrats, who voted unanimously to confirm. All but nine Republicans voted against her. George Voinovich (R-Ohio) broke ranks and voted for Sotomayor.

The historic confirmation is generating lots of buzz, including tweets pro and con on Twitter.

The nasty tweets made me cringe, but the positive comments made me smile. I, for one, am happy to have one wise Latina woman — who grew up in a Bronx housing project as the daughter of Puerto Rican parents — sitting as a Supreme Court justice.

And, of course, behind Sotomayor is another strong woman, her 81-year-old widowed mother, Celina Sotomayor, a nurse. She owned the only encyclopedia in the Bronx neighborhood where Sonia grew up, and over the years, she served as a sort of one-woman social agency for her friends and neighbors.

Sonia Sotomayor is quick to acknowledge her mother’s strong influence.

“I have often said that I am all I am because of her, and I am only half the woman she is,” she said when President Obama appointed her to the high court.

You can read more stories and commentary about Sotomayor’s confirmation at the links below:

Women invent

WRLogotDid you know? Bulletproof vests, fire escapes, windshield wipers and laser printers were all invented by women.  This is in addition to the circular saw.

Follow Women’s Radio on Twitter for more newsy tweets.

Even for college women, gender affects free time

playing video gamesDo women have less free time than men? For years, researchers have answered “yes” to that question. Now they are getting backup from a new study conducted by Michigan State University that surveyed 276 undergraduate students.

Sociologists have written of the phenomon before. Arlie Russell Hochschild wrote of the “70-30” gender split in her 2005 reissue of The Second Shift. Chloe Bird said that once married, women do about twice the amount of work in the home as their spouses.

On the whole, once women marry, they do an additional 14 hours of domestic labor a week while men take on an extra 90 minutes worth, according to Women’s Voices, Feminist Visions by Susan Shaw and Janet Lee.

But the recent Michigan study, focused on how gender affects the amount of time college students spend playing digital games, says the gender split begins even more women marry. Undergraduate female college students spend nearly double the amount of time as male students on jobs, homework and other obligations.

The upshot of this is that young women spend an extra 16 hours per week on such duties, while young men have that time free to play digital games, according to “Gaming, Gender, and Time: Who Makes Time to Play?”, which appears in a recent issue of the journal Sex Roles.

And that just might be a detriment to young women. Why? Because a 2007 study showed that just a few hours of playing video games helps eliminate the differences between men and women on some tasks that require spatial skills.

Get more about Sotomayor on the Web

sotomayorTune in to live blogging from AAUW of the final day of Senate confirmation hearings of Supreme Court nominee Judge Sonia Sotomayor here.

Read more about the four days of hearings and Judge Sotomayor here.

Economic crisis? Let women fix it!

rosieAs a sophomore at the University of Akron taking Feminist Theory, I have learned a lot in the past three months.  Not only have I gathered valuable information about the history of women and the feminist movement, but my opinions about current issues have been shaped by what I have discovered.  One such issue is the empowerment of women in the workforce.

As my Feminist Theory instructor has told our class, today’s women do two-thirds of the world’s work and make only 10 percent of the world’s money.  I find this absolutely baffling.  There’s definitely something wrong here.  This statistic is mentioned on the Global Issues page dedicated to Women’s Rights.

So what does this mean?  Well, in these horrible economic times, it means we have a very simple answer to our problems right in front of our faces: empower women.  These two little words hold the key to turning America, and the world as a whole, into a better place.

If you give a woman the tools necessary to plant, gather and cook food, she will most definitely make sure that no one goes hungry.  If you give a man these same tools, chances are he will provide for himself and his immediate family.  Women are called the caregivers for a reason: They will help those in need.

Although empowering women will solve many problems and help many people, we still have the two-thirds dilemma.  If equal pay for equal work is finally enacted, I believe that the economic problems we are facing will get better.  It may not happen right away, but it is only logical that if the nation’s wealth is equally distributed, there won’t be as many financial problems.

Overall, I may just by a mere sophomore and may not know anything about the world, but I do know this: Feminist Theory has taught me a great deal so far about the world and the way we think about it.  It has helped me open my mind to new ideas and ways of thinking. 

I can only hope you have taken a feminist approach and kept an open mind when reading and thinking about what I have written here.

Caroline Drotar is a student in the Spring 2009 Feminist Theory class. To read more student posts, click here.