Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Movies and Manifestos

I am having way too much fun with this new found ability to post movies.

Below is a clip from MomsRising about their new book (and film) The Motherhood Manifesto. MomsRising is a group that is working to bring awareness to the myriad obstacles faced by families and working moms in this country. They are also involved in supporting legislation that would help to solve some of these problems. Trivial little shit like paid maternity leave, adequate health care for children (and their parents!) and the crazy wage gap between working moms and their male counterparts.

You can check out and support some of their efforts with petitions and alerts on items coming up on state ballots. There's one in San Francisco (not a state, I know) that is trying to get Proposition F passed. Prop F would "provide employer-paid sick days to all workers in San Francisco. Workers could take time off to care for their own health and could also take time to care for sick children, parents and immediate family members. Paid sick days could also be used to go to routine doctors appointments, or to take family members to the doctor."

There is another on-line petition called "Mothers Cease Fire Petition - sign on to ask the media to stop the 'Mommy Wars' and start reporting on real issues." Wouldn't that be refreshing.

Here are a few fun-filled facts from the web site:

  • The U.S. is one of only five countries of 168 studied that doesn't mandate some form of paid maternal leave, putting us on par with Papua New Guinea, Lesotho, and Swaziland. (this one if just embarrassing...and horrifying all at once.)
  • Both parents work in 61% of American families
  • Businesses that implement flex-time policies often benefit with higher employee retention, lower training and recruiting costs, and better employee performance.
  • A study found non-mothers made 90 cents to a man's dollar, moms made 73 cents to the dollar, and single moms made 56 to 66 cents to a man's dollar.
  • There was a twenty-threefold (2,300 %) increase in medical-related bankruptcy filings between 1981 and 2001. (about the time more women were entering the workforce. hmmmmm....)

And finally, here's the movie!

The documentary was released this week. I've only seen the promo clips, but it looks like a good combination of fact and entertainment with a little progressive political activism thrown in. Think The Corporation for families. I'm definitely going to check it out and get back to you on what I think about the movie. (Y'know, in all of my spare time.)

With the fall mid-term elections just weeks away I think this is something to consider when voting for your senator or congress-person. 'Cause you are ALL going to go vote, right? Of course you are.

I mean, the fact is, for a country that talks so much about "family values" we sure don't put our policies where our mouths are. I personally cringe whenever I hear the term anymore. It seems synonymous with Jerry Falwell, pro-life zealots and oppressive government sanctioned wholesomeness. Why can't "family values" actually mean valuing the family in all it's forms? I think it's time for Washington and corporate America to wake up and realize that the working family needs a little help here. They also need to realize that the so-called "American family" has changed. We've got everything from same sex parents to single parents raising kids. Wouldn't it be amazing to live someplace where the corporate sector is encouraged (possibly even required) to work with it's employees on issues such as maternity and (gasp!) paternity leave? What if you could take your kids to work with you and drop them off at the clean, well run, happily-staffed day care center in your office building?

Here's another fun/informative/scary read - The American Family Grows Up. It's from the very first ever issue of Good Magazine. I read the whole thing cover to cover in a weekend and LOVED it.


Anonymous said...


I am so excited for you that you can post movies! of course i cannot watch them. i did get the opportunity to see the dove ad you have up on NBC news this morning. they did a segment on the ad, dove's campaign, etc. interesting.

i am writing because i was speaking to some of the girls about your blogs, and girl, they are newsworthy, fit to print. i know you have lots of fans out there, so i invite y'all to agree or disagree with me, but i think you should submit your blogs as articles to every one of your fav magazines each time you write one. you don't have to have a degree to submit your work.

the worst case scenario: they won't print it. then you're no worse or better off than before. DO IT!

because you ROCK.

bazu said...

Thanks so much for bringing such pertinent stuff to our attention. Your blog is such a breath of fresh air. That photo re-touching site freaked me and my husband out! He's going to show it to his aesthetics class soon.

And the Motherhood Manifesto is such a good thing. I think the empty sentimentalizing about motherhood in our culture masks the anti-woman/anti-mother reality that so many face on a daily basis. Groups like this are needed so sorely.

I just read your comment on my blog, and I totally agree with you. I usually don't read these kinds of brochures too closely, thinking I know everything I need to know about animal suffering. Having to deal with them so intensely so I could blog about it literally made me sick. I didn't realize it at the time, but within a couple of hours I was throwing up (sorry, gross) and had to link that to reading all the brochures... so I totally sympathize with you. Thanks for reading anyway!

Vicki said...

For a country that has so much, we sure are behind in so many important ways. I enjoy your posts because they bring insight and light to issues not talked about much. I agree with Miss B - your posts deserve a larger audience.

Candi said...

Wow. Your blog is truly amazing.

I agree with what you are writing and will check out the book. As a single mom with no child support or any assistance what-so-ever, I've had a hell of a time trying to raise my daugther alone for 11 years now. I used to feel like I just had to be more creative, or smarter, and it would really wear me down trying to figure out how to do it all. The video is nice because it helps me see that I'm not the only one here who feels this way.
Thanks for the info. You're awesome.

Anonymous said...

I always enjoy your posts and once again, you've outdid yourself with such an informative and well written insight. I agree with you fully but unfortunately, I doubt that our government will ever change. It's such a shame that it's become so corrupt and run by big businesses.

Gaia said...

I truly enjoy visiting your blog :)
Thank you for the time you devote to important issues !
"Family values" really should be more than a term !

meesh said...

Thank you for all of the amazing comments you guys! I'm glad you like my little blog because I sure enjoy writing it. :) It's so cool to get your supportive and encouraging feedback.

Miss B, I have been thinking of sprucing up one or two of these and sending them off to Bitch Magazine or something, but I always seem to have a paper to write for school. I will have to make the time soon, though.