Friday, April 1, 2011

Article up at The New Republic

I'm very pleased to report that I have a post/article up at The New Republic's website on Geraldine Ferraro's legacy (thanks to C.S. for the opportunity!).

An excerpt:
When news reached me this past weekend that Geraldine Ferraro had succumbed to cancer at the relatively tender age of 75, I felt an inexplicable sense of loss. This wasn’t a generic sensation—the abstracted sadness we inevitably feel when public figures die—or a civic mourning for the loss of a champion of women’s rights. Rather, my feeling of loss stemmed from something I never had, a sense of nostalgia for a moment I didn’t experience.

Ferraro’s funeral is today, her death justifiably triggering a surge of tributes and recollections about her life and career, including my own. I was born only a year before Walter Mondale made the groundbreaking decision to name Ferraro as his running mate, making her the first female vice presidential candidate for a national political party. Needless to say, I was not aware at the time of the momentousness of the occasion, but that doesn’t mean that his choice and her narrative do not affect me. It’s a trap that many of us fall into: assuming that those who did not experience an event first-hand won’t feel its ripple effects in time.

Ferraro’s nomination signified hope—a hope that a country mired in institutionalized misogyny could one day see its way to true equality between the sexes. Now, 27 years later, her death compels me to wonder whether we’ve seen much progress.
Read the rest here.

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Sunday, March 27, 2011

Call for Papers: Women as Breadwinners

Another PSA for my reading audience:

Call for essays: Breadwinning Broads: stories from women who bring home most (or even all) of the bacon

The topic of wives out-earning their husbands has received a lot of attention recently. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a third of all wives earn more than their husbands (2003). The Breadwinning Broads project wants to hear about life from the perspective of these meal-ticket mamas. Our hope is to shine a light on the shifting roles in modern marriages or relationships and how women feel these changes have impacted their identity as a wife, girlfriend, partner, mother, daughter or woman.

The Breadwinning Broads project is seeking first person essays of 2000-3500 words from wives, girlfriends, or partners, who earn, or once earned, most or all of the household income. Rather than social commentary or man-bashing rants, we are looking for stories focusing on unique perspectives of being the breadwinner.

Here are some questions that may help spark your essay:

1. As the breadwinner, how to do you see yourself? How do you think others see you? Has been the breadwinner changed you? What have you learned about yourself?

2. Does being the breadwinner feel liberating or confining? How and why? What are your hopes? What are your fears?

3. How has being a breadwinner impacted your role as a daughter? Was your mother a breadwinner, as well? Has your role as the provider affected your relationship with your mother or father?

4. How do you feel about your work outside the home? Are you passionate about it? Hate it? How do your feelings about your job affect the way you see yourself as the breadwinner?

5. How might your role as breadwinner impact your daughter(s)? Son(s)? Does being the breadwinner shape your feelings about motherhood? How? Why?

6. What about your marriage or relationship changed, improved or deteriorated as a result of your breadwinning status? Did you willingly enter into your role or did circumstances require you to take it on? If your marriage or relationship did not last, was it due to your role as the provider?

Above all, we are looking for writing that moves us, makes us laugh, surprises us and gives us unique insight into life as a breadwinning broad.

Please submit essays to breadwinningbroads[at]yahoo[dot]com by May 31st, 2011.

We look forward to hearing from you.

The Fine Print:

Submission of an essay does not guarantee publication in the book. Several factors will be considered when determining which works will be selected for publication by the editor and publisher.

1. Electronic submissions only, please. Essays will not be returned to the author.
2. No contributors will receive financial compensation for their work whether or not it is selected for publication. Contributing authors will be recognized in the book and in the book publicity for their published work.
3. If selected for publication in the book, authors agree to terms in a consent agreement (e.g., permission to publish the work in the book, use in promotional materials, use of name in the book, release of copyright).
4. Authors affirm that submitted work was not previously published.
5. The editor and publisher reserve the right to reject any submissions and to edit the stories for grammar, style and space.

Editor: Katie Griffith holds an M.A. in American Studies from the University of Wyoming and has spent the last ten years studying cultural and social trends in the United States. The Breadwinner project began when she and many of her thoughtful friends realized that things had really changed—and they weren’t sure they liked it. Katie has worked as a lecturer in American Studies, a young adult librarian, an educator and, of course, a breadwinning wife and mother.

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