Leave Taking Fathers, and the Critical Need for Policy Change

by Jennifer Haskin

When it comes to taking parental leave from the paid work force to care for newborns, we often think of new mothers as being the ones who temporarily take exit. Among the reasons for women’s temporary withdrawal from paid work include recovering from pregnancy and childbirth, and bonding with baby. Men are much less likely to take extended time away from paid work. As a result, a gendered pattern of parenting typically emerges in which mothers take on responsibilities for managing care work, and fathers take on the role of helper. What happens when parental leave policies encourage men to take an extended leave from paid work as they transition into parenthood?Haskin_blogimage1

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Joe Ehrmann, the New York Mets, Boomer and Carton, and Parental Leave…

by Mindy Fried

Fried_image1I was a high school cheerleader. Whew – I’ve gotten the confessional part of this post out of the way. In all honesty, I hated football, and didn’t know anything about the game. I had discovered ballet and modern dance at age seven, and very soon was taking lessons four times a week. Dance was my life. This was an era when girls were often discouraged or excluded from playing sports, before the passage of Title IX. When I reached Riverside High School (RHS) in Buffalo, New York, the only dance-like option available for athletic girls was cheerleading. So another dancer friend and I plunged into the world of rah-rah, feeling like outsiders even though we were viewed as football-loving cheerleaders. Perhaps more importantly, we were also considered “popular girls”, with status that was derived from our official role in supporting the football players, “our men”, who represented the epitome of masculinity. Continue reading “Joe Ehrmann, the New York Mets, Boomer and Carton, and Parental Leave…”

Being a Black Gay Male Athlete

by Eric Anderson and Mark McCormack

When we think of black male athletes, we normally connect them to highly competitive and combative teamsports, like American football and basketball. Or, we associate them with individual sporting events that require strength and explosiveness, like sprinting and boxing. These images of strength, speed, and muscularity support the notion that black men are naturally macho. Unlike this power associated with black athleticism, participation for gay male athletes is linked to feminine arenas like ice-skating, cheerleading and gymnastics, and other non-aggressive sports, such as swimming, running and diving. Continue reading “Being a Black Gay Male Athlete”

Collect Pay Data and Rank Employers

by Donald Tomaskovic-Devey , Karen Brummond, Skylar Davidson and Stephanie Tsamasiros

Noting that women make 77 cents on the male dollar, President Obama signed an executive order instructing the Department of Labor to collect pay data from federal contractors. The familiar criticisms of this statistic are that women and men are often in different jobs and sometimes choose different work schedules because of family responsibilities, so simple gender comparisons overstate the discrimination case. Collecting data would let us ask a much more useful question, which employers have high levels of gender disparity and which have none?

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Gender Wage Gaps in Everything, Even Babysitting

by Ragini Saira Malhotra

In her piece in The Atlantic, Olga Khazanmar argues that in the U.S. “Even in Babysitting, Men make more than women.” Responding to Rohin Dhar’s Priceonomics blog, she highlights that while women charge an average of $14.50 per hour for babysitting services, men charge $15.00. This is true despite the under-representation of men (less than 3 percent) in this predominantly female-dominated workforce. Khazanmar also notes that the gender wage gap is even greater in other occupations like nursing, administrative work, and teaching, which also employ more women than men. Continue reading “Gender Wage Gaps in Everything, Even Babysitting”

Home Is Where The School Is

by Jennifer Lois


Home School picHome Is Where the School Is
 explores the emotional and temporal components of contemporary mothering.  Based on 10 years of field research with homeschooling mothers in the Pacific Northwest, the book begins by showing how homeschoolers drew on definitions of intensive mothering in deciding to keep their children out of conventional schools.  Extending the stay-at-home mothering commitment for 13 additional years was a decision these mothers understood in emotional terms, thus emotions were crucial in constructing their identities as good mothers.  Homeschoolers fell into two groups.  Staunch proponents, whom I call “first-choicers,” relied on “emotional epiphanies” to understand themselves as good mothers, whereas “second-choicers,” who were always looking for alternatives, relied on mainstream choice rhetoric to construct their good-mother identities.  Further, homeschooling mothers had to present themselves as good mothers to non-homeschoolers, who often accused them of maternal emotional deviance for keeping their children out of school.  These early chapters uncover the emotional conflict of intensive mothering, an angle yet to be explored from a sociology of emotions perspective. Continue reading “Home Is Where The School Is”

Gendered Lives of Drug Use in the Suburbs

by Miriam Boeri

Two women I met in the suburbs who used methamphetamine were a mother and daughter. The mother lived in a shack that belonged to her boyfriend. According to her story, the police evicted him from the house and told him never to come back because he beat her too often. Her daughter had just come out of jail, accused of selling meth. She denied it but with only an overworked public defender she would probably plead guilty. While in jail she also learned she had hepatitis C. She wanted to go to a support group but had no car to get there, and there was no public transportation in her suburban area. Continue reading “Gendered Lives of Drug Use in the Suburbs”