Three weeks ago, roughly 276 girls were kidnapped from a school in Northeastern Nigeria. The girls’ parents are devastated, the Nigerian government seems unable to track down the girls, and the leader of the group that has claimed responsibility for the kidnapping is threatening to sell the girls as slaves.
So why isn’t this front-page news in the United States?
I grew up seeing certain images in fairy tales. These images depicted a European, Victorian world that I wasn’t a part of and didn’t come from: bouncy dresses, British aristocracy, long robes, sharp accents, castles, virtue, and power. We were taught to revere these images, to associate royalty with Europe, to learn the order of kings, queens, princesses, and lords. But rarely did these images reflect us. Until now.
Photo: The New York Times piece on the "opt-out generation" focused on the lives of upper-crust ladies.
If there's one thing the wives and husbands profiled in The New York Times magazine's opt-out generation cover story can agree on, it's that someone needs to pick up the house and get dinner on the table.
And while two of those wives mention having hired someone to help with domestic labor, Judith Warner's reporting shows that this work largely falls to the women themselves—the wives and moms who had made good money (one's salary was $500,000 at her peak) at careers in corporate sales and network news production, and then left to give their full attention to their families.
In Karen Sander's dystopian young adult book Tankborn, the world is a stringent caste system where race and origins determine all status. Tankborn was a hit and the sequel, Awakening, just came out this April, which means now is a great time to discuss the race and gender angle of the book.
Welcome to the latest installment of Ms. Opinionated, in which readers have questions about the pesky day-to-day choices we all face, and I give advice about how to make ones that (hopefully) best reflect our shared commitment to feminist values—as well as advice on what to do when they don't.
Dear Ms. Opinionated,
I'm *the* liberal, lesbian, feminist living in a small town in Pennsylvania.
In my last post, I explained my love for the new anthology Presumed Incompetent: The Intersections of Race and Class for Women in Academia. Using personal narratives, empirical studies, and scholarly essays, over 40 different authors discuss the challenges faced by academic women of color in higher education. I emailed with Seattle University School of Law Professor Carmen G. Gonzalez about what it's like to put together such a meaty and long-overdue book.
How did the idea for this book come about?
CARMEN G. GONZALEZ: As women of color who have managed to survive and thrive in academia despite formidable obstacles, we (the co-editors of Presumed Incompetent) felt a need and a responsibility to create a public dialogue about the subtle and not-so-subtle forms of workplace bias women of color experience.
With its over the top premise and mining of dementia for "comedy", I could never get into Raising Hope, but there's one thing I do appreciate about the sitcom: it's one of very few successful shows to feature a working-class single dad.
It centers on Jimmy Chance (Garret Dillahunt), who is 25 when he finds out that a former one-night stand has become a serial killer, been sentenced to death, and left him with sole custody of their baby girl, Hope. As he still lives at home, his haphazard family helps him out as best they can.
Similarly, in Ugly Betty, sisters Betty and Hilda Suarez both lived at home, where their dad Ignacio acted as a surrogate father to Hilda's adolescent son Justin, helping to take care of him both practically (including cooking and housework) and emotionally. These shows highlight the fact that for many working-class single parents, a support system which provides affordable childcare is essential. They also illustrate that single parents may have to move in (or never move out) from the family home for financial reasons, a fact rarely explored in discussions (or statistics) about homelessness.