Maternity Leave on Leave

Photo from 4to40.com

So much for taking a break after the baby is born.

According to an article in the Washington Post, paid maternity leave is the latest luxury to be cut from many companies’ budgets since the economic downturn. Women with only their high school diploma are four times more likely to be denied.

“This isn’t good news for women at the bottom, and the irony is that the people with the most children are now the least likely to have the supports they need,” said Kathleen Gerson, a professor of sociology at New York University and author of “The Unfinished Revolution: Coming of Age in a New Era of Gender, Work, and Family.”

Naturally, this is upsetting to me. Why must we consistently bear the brunt of budget woes? Of all times, when a woman has to care for a child, this is when the check is taken away.

I would continue ranting, but I’ll just ask you to click here to read the full article instead.

Mc-Gender

May I just gush for a moment and say how much I love Bitch Media? Their content makes my heart flutter.

Take this (Mc) nugget for example: writer  Avital Norman Nathman wrote a piece examining the gender issues that come in each and every Happy Meal sold by McDonalds. When I was a kid, I never knew a time when the cashier didn’t ask if the Happy Meal was for a boy or girl. However, Nathman points out that, once upon a time, McDonald’s had gender-neutral merchandise. Granted, many other fast food restaurants (and other consumer industries, for that matter) are guilty of this, but McDonald’s is taking center stage for this brief, but biting, commentary.

I hate clowns. Click here to read the article. (graphic from Bitch Media)

Ashley Madison: Exploitation and Body Image

This Jezebel piece written by BBW model Jacqueline (who was unfortunately featured in a couple of Ashley Madison ads) really hits the nail on the head when it comes to body shaming and unethical (and, dare I say immoral?) business ventures. Definitely worth a look.

Click here to read Jacqueline's piece on Jezebel.com (photo from webojen.com)

*Note: I know, this post is coming out of the blue since another much-too-long hiatus. But, I am back once again and I have a ton of content in store. I promise No, really. I’m serious this time.

Frivolous Fridays: La Mode d’Paris

Across the Atlantic (and several time zones) Paris Fashion Week was in full swing, with even more waifish models strutting down the catwalk in the most luxurious ready-to-wear known to women. The highly anticipated event saw no shortage of celebrities wearing equally chic (and catastrophic) get-ups. Thankfully for us, Jezebel has delivered.

Click here to see the good, the bad, and the ugly-in French! (photo from Jezebel.com)

Rape, Redifined

The carnal knowledge of a female forcibly and against her will. Rapes by force and attempts or assaults to rape, regardless of the age of the victim, are included. Statutory offenses (no force used―victim under age of consent) are excluded.

This is the current federal definition of sexual assault. It was written in 1929.

Aside from the obvious exclusion of statutory rape, this definition excludes many other forms of equally terrible forms of sexual assault (same-sex assault, oral assault, and rape with an object, to name a few) and excludes entire classes of members,namely male and transgender victims. With sexual assault already being a highly unreported crime, this narrow federal explanation of sexual assault makes it difficult-if not impossible-for victims of sexual assault to prosecute their assailants at the federal level.

On Oct. 18, an F.B.I. subcommittee will finally meet to discuss and (hopefully) ultimately expand the definition of rape. True, it may cause a surge in the number of sexual assaults as per its new definition, but this expansion will allow the reporting of sexual assault to be prosecuted by the same criteria, allowing for consistency at the state and federal level of crime and prosecution.

To help support this move, please click here to participate in an email campaign hosted by the Feminist Majority Foundation.

Click here for the original New York Times’ article.

The Feminist Dating Bible?

Samhita Mukhopadhyay , executive editor of Feministing.com, has released the book Outdated: Why Dating is Ruining Your Love Life. In the book, she posits that the traditional thought of feminism ruining relationships is false and that, in fact, the rise of feminism has helped in the romance department. Addressing cultural norms, sexuality and the pressure to marry, this book’s mission is to help explain the madness that is relationships and how feminists can find love without compromising their principles.

In an interview on Salon.com, Mukhopadhyay had this to say on the conflict between feminism and dating:

The truth of that argument is that feminism has hurt this really archaic notion of romance… This friction has come up between the reality of how we’re living our lives and the romantic story that hinges on gender relationships that don’t exist anymore.

(Click here to read the full interview on Salon.com)

Hopefully, Mukhopadhyay’s work will eschew the “traditions” of the dating game so us feminists don’t have to play dumb or damsel in distress to get a date.

Click here to purchase "Outdated" on Amazon.com

More Than a Pink Ribbon (via Huffington Post Women)

Jessica Pearce Rotondi, associate editor of Huffington Post Women, wrote a piece detailing how her mother’s fight with breast cancer continues to inspire her to be strong even in the worst of times. Although Rotondi’s mother ultimately  lost the battle to breast cancer, her daughter’s piece proves that she still won the war. In all, this is a must-read for Breast Cancer Awareness Month!

Linda Rotondi, Jessica's mother, before her diagnosis. Click here to read Jessica's piece on Huffington Post Women. (Photo taken from Huffington Post Women)

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Graphic via FanPop.com

Break out your pink ribbons, ladies!

As all of you know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. For me, this is an important time for all people. With the commonality of breast cancer (I myself have two survivors in my family) it is imperative that we, especially as women, honor those we have lost, honor the survivors and do our part in helping to find a cure.

On that note, at least once a week, CLF will feature an article on the topic of breast cancer, including updates on research, survivor stories, and ways we can donate to breast cancer research. I will also be participating in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in Miami. If there is a race in your town, be sure to sign up.

Frivolous Fridays: (Im)Perfect Patti

From her sexist rhetoric on The Millionaire Matchmaker to her homophobic and racist comments (against her own people, no less) Patti Stanger has been a real winner lately, hasn’t she?

I could go off on a rant, but Jezebel did such a good job already.

You’re welcome-and, see you next week with new content (for real, this time).

Click here to read the article (photo via Jezebel)

UN calls for increased women’s participation in politics

As if we didn’t know this already, the United Nations has recognized that women’s political participation in a global scale is essential.

In an article on the UN’s official website, a conference held yesterday addressed the lack of women’s presence in politics. As of now, only 10 percent of the world’s leaders are women and only 28 countries surpass 30 percent female participation in the legislative process.

A joint statement attributed to the female leaders present at this conference sums it all up:

We stress the critical importance of women’s political participation in all contexts, including in times of peace, conflict and in all stages of political transition.

Click here to read the original article.

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