Feminism

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Acceptance: Dreadworthy?

The first article I wrote for The Encyclopedia of Gender and Information Technology, "Gender Theory and Information Technology," was accepted (with revisions). I know that's a broad topic, but it was on the list (.doc file), so I thought it could work. Quick, dirty, and oversimplified summary: In the manuscript, I discuss two major groups of theorists that inform a lot of the work on gender and computing: the Haraway/Stone group and the Chodorow/Gilligan/Belenky et al. group. So why was I apprehensive about opening the attachment with the reviewers' comments? Well, as it turns out, I'm going to have to do a considerable amount of further reading, plus the reviewers pointed out that the manuscript was too long (I knew it was a little too long -- by about 200 words -- but I figured the reviewers would have suggestions on what I could cut). They seem to think that it might be best to form two separate articles from the manuscript.

Point is, I need to devote a lot of thought to these revisions...and get them done by July 8. I wonder how my other article will fare. If they ultimately get rejected, I'll post them here for your pointing and laughing pleasure.

Dissertation Fellowship Proposal

What follows is my fellowship application. I know a lot of you have been wanting me to post my prospectus here, and this is a short, readable version. I'm still working out the chapter outlines...and, well, plenty of other questions and puzzles about my dissertation, too.

GENDER, PUNDITRY, AND WEBLOGS: BLOGGING’S CHALLENGE TO CURRENT UNDERSTANDINGS OF POLITICAL DISCOURSE

ABSTRACT

In the last three years, blogging has gained recognition as a phenomenon in online communication, offering ordinary citizens a platform to publish their ideas and a space for deliberative political discourse. However, the majority of the most influential and widely-read political bloggers are men, and issues of concern to women are often not given equal attention, a disparity that has been discussed in the “Where are the women?” debates. I argue that these debates reveal disruptions of assumptions surrounding political discourse. Identifying these points can enrich our understanding of gendered rhetorical practices and the way they are constituted on weblogs.

"I want to be a stay-at-home parent when I grow up."

For young adults: What would happen if you said that to your parents? For parents with children: What would you say if your child said that to you? I'd be especially interested in hearing from stay-at-home parents; how did your family react when you told them you'd be working as a stay-at-home parent?

Feminists have been making the case for decades that motherhood is undervalued, despite its being ostensibly revered as "the most important job in the world." Recent analyses include The Mommy Myth, as well as monetary quantifications like this one and this story that got a lot of press about a month ago.

So even though stay-at-home parenting is worth $130,000+ per year, how much is it valued at home? A lot, one would hope, but this has been on my mind lately, and I'm afraid that based on my own experience and those of my friends and family members close to me in age, it doesn't seem to be worth that much. I'm not necessarily saying I want to be a stay-at-home mother, but if I did, I believe my family's reaction would be a mixture of disappointment, anxiety, and maybe even touches of disgust, betrayal, and anger. In a practical sense, they'd have good reasons: I'd be financially dependent on a spouse, and if I had to re-enter the workforce due to widowhood or divorce, I'd be at a major disadvantage if I'd spent years at home. I don't think that's all there is to it, though, not in a culture obsessed with upward mobility, manifested in bragging rights, vicarious living, etc. My intention is not to pick on my family here, not at all, but I think part of them would believe I was squandering my talents. They want to be able to tell people their daughter (or granddaughter, or whatever) is a college professor with a title of Dr.

The whole thing is sad, and I imagine quite widespread (and far, far worse for men who want to be stay-at-home fathers). I post this because I really want to hear about others' experiences. To what extent is the phenomenon I'm referring to class-related? I'd appreciate any comments you have.

Edited to add: I forgot to include this earlier, but the viciously misogynistic stereotypes I encountered in college also informed this post. I'm talking specifically about the stereotype of sorority women as "breedstock." They major in early childhood education, and they're only in college to find a husband (or, as the joke goes, to get their MRS. degrees). It's all part of the same thing.

And, for context: Right before I came back here, I spent the day with a good friend of mine from college who is a stay-at-home mother with three children, ages 5, 3, and 3 (twins). I had a wonderful time, so I guess I'm experiencing a "grass is greener" effect, and feeling as though if I ever decided I wanted to do that, my family, and many of my friends, too, wouldn't be supportive.

Support Research by Eighth Grade Girls

I hope Prof. B. will pick this one up as well. Got it this morning from my university's women's studies department's listserv.

We write in hope that you can help out some extremely deserving Minneapolis public school students and their teacher. Three eighth graders from Harry Davis Academy (names omitted for privacy) won their first place at the History Day competition with a fascinating project on Betty Crocker and her significance for women's history. They also won the chance to go to the national competition in DC--but of course this is an expensive proposition, particularly for the very-low-income families of
these girls. Their teacher, Tim Kaari, is covering the cost of the $2400 trip himself in hope that he will be eventually reimbursed. So far, however, he hasn't had any success, including his attempts to get support from General Mills. Meanwhile, the students are raising funds through bake sales and some small support from the Star Tribune. Thus, we're asking faculty to make modest donations for this cause. Checks can be made out to Harry W. Davis Academy and if you mail or personally deliver them to one of our mailboxes we will forward them on to Mr. Kaari. Checks don't need to be large--any amount would be helpful and would certainly reinforce our committment to the work that is going on at this school. It's worth noting that other students from Davis Academy also went to state finals (for a project on African slave quilts) and won prizes in their age-categories for projects on labor history and GLBT themes. Clearly something exciting is happening at this school.

How great is that teacher for paying for the trip?! And WTF re: General Mills? Email me if you'd like to know how to get in touch with the people who are collecting checks for Mr. Kaari.

Stuff you don't want to lose

I like seeing those "Feminist of the Day" photographs and quotations at Prof. B.'s site, but yesterday's was too funny; I had to open up Grab (I love that program!) and preserve it for posterity.

What an exquisite gaffe! Rob Loftis made the most hilarious comment under this post at B's:

Don't look now, but Ayn Rand is back in the "Feminist of the Day" box. She's pretending to be Alice Walker. (Was that who she pretended to be last time? It's a hard disguise for her to pull off.)

Maybe we should tell her she's not fooling anyone.

I cracked up several times throughout the day thinking about it. So appropriate for the expression on Rand's face in that photograph.

I'm down with OPP

Read Jodi Egerton's birth story. So beautiful and touching. [UPDATE: Or just go to her main page and scroll down to "Birthing Arden." I don't know why the permalinks aren't working.]

Soon it might be legal to hunt cats in Wisconsin, as it's apparently been in Minnesota for "decades." (Via Mike.)

The morning-after pill will soon be available over the counter in Canada.

I'm thinking about getting this program Jeff recommends. [UPDATE: I realized I can download it free of charge, so I did, and I played around with it. I love it!]

Eugene Volokh discusses quotation marks used with other punctuation. No response yet from Ben Wolfson.

Don't miss Media Girl's Earth Day post.

You might notice that I've added my OCB buddy Rachel Raimist's blog to my blogroll. Definitely check it out. I think it would be a great addition to the blogroll at Blackfeminism.org; I point that out because Tiffany was asking for suggestions of good blogs to add not too long ago.

Songs I've had in my head recurringly throughout the day: "Red Skies" by The Fixx -- better than "One Thing Leads to Another," I guess -- and "Mediate" by INXS.

Andrea Dworkin, 1946-2005

This is strange. I first read over at Trish's that Andrea Dworkin had passed away. Someone had emailed to tell her. After doing some digging, I found a thread at The Margins and I notice that her Wikipedia entry contains her date of death. Yet I haven't seen any official statements in news publications. While I don't agree with all of Dworkin's ideas, Letters from a War Zone had a powerful effect on me, especially I Want a Twenty-Four-Hour Truce During Which There Is No Rape.

UPDATE: Duh. I should have looked on the Wikipedia talk page, where someone has posted two emails sent to a Women's Studies listserv.

SECOND UPDATE: Someone on the Wikipedia talk page said: "Unfathomable that Wikipedia is the first online source I could find for any discussion of her death." Seriously. It makes me want to get more involved with the Wikipedia community.

LinuxChix Africa

Guess I'm out of the loop, but this is the first I've heard of LinuxChix Africa, launched on 25 February 2005. I'll definitely be back there. What a cool logo, and it's a Drupal site.

Via Black Looks.

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