Tuesday, April 06, 2010

One day of google reader

I subscribe to lots of blogs. Too many. I also have Google Alerts set for various search terms. On the days I don't blog, it's usually not for lack of something to write about. It's the other way around, actually--blogging paralysis caused by information overload.

Here's a sampling of things that caught my attention today, ones that I bookmarked for later posting/viewing/reading/commenting.

Jenne at Descent into Motherhood discussed what birth trauma looks like (and what it does not look like), using pictures from her own two births as examples. I love looking at contrasting pictures of births, such as this woman who had two cesareans and finally, in her words, a "victorious birth after multiple cesareans." Or this link I followed from Jenne's blog to Comparison at Aimeeland. Any other photo/video comparisons you'd like to share?

Women in Charge, a home birth midwife's blog, shared two birth stories in one. The mom's first baby was born at home, then her twins were born in a hospital. Nice to read such a great story, but it's one of those lucky stories that many mothers of multiples don't ever get a chance to experience. 

Molly at First The Egg (formerly Feminist Childbirth Studies) finally unmasked herself. She shared her frustrations with the subtle discrimination towards mothers in academia, something I totally can relate to:
I work in an extraordinarily competitive field in which no one’s really supposed to have interests outside scholarship and teaching (in that order, preferably). There is a reason that it’s illegal for hiring committees to ask whether a candidate is married, has kids, is planning a family, etc. Much the same reason that women in my profession try really, really hard not to be pregnant on the job market (it’s much harder to hide your parenthood when you have a huge belly rather than a child who can be left at the hotel with another caregiver!). People really do discriminate–largely unconsciously, I’d bet–against women with small children....

The subtle and not-so-subtle codes that say it’s okay–admirable, even–to be and talk about being an involved father, but a sign of poor work ethic or inadequate professional commitment to be and talk about being an involved mother. The coding of childbirth and parenting as ‘women’s work’ and as special interests rather than as fundamental elements of human experience and cultural systems.
And lots of stuff about breastfeeding--in particular, the recent study in Pediatrics that concluded: " if 80 to 90 percent of women exclusively breastfed for as little as four months and if 90 percent of women would breastfeed some times until six months," the US would save $13 billion in excess costs annually and avert 911 preventable deaths per year.

Responses to this article--and there are tons out there, so please share your favorites--include:
Dou-la-la alerted me to a new film, Latching On, and gave some commentary. Bellies and Babies also mentioned that documentary, as well as another one titled My Toxic Baby.

Every day is like this...so many interesting things to read share and never enough time to get to all of them!


  1. I've added my own set of pics. Thank you! http://stassjamama.blogspot.com/2010/04/contrast-and-compare.html

  2. Hi Rixa,

    with respect to Molly's blog - nothing new there. When I was considering the completion of my PhD, I spent an term doing research on discrimination towards mothers in academia and collected close to 50 journal articles and some books on the topic.

    While I do admire the sacrifice of women who choose to tread on, I personally didn't want to make that sacrifice. I would not feel good working in such a family hostile environment. Though all bets are off once my children are older and I still have the desire to write a dissertation.

    I am not sure if it one of those things you can have most successs in changing if you fight from within the system or outside of it.

    One of the ways of fighting it is by choosing not to participate in it, but that is of course, in part enabling the system to continue as well.

    Bravo to those who are willing to fight the fight from within the system!

    I have learned in life that it is wise to choose your battles carefully and to not fight at all unless you are 100% committed and selfless to the cause.

  3. Great post! I found it while catching up with my burgeoning Bloglines reader - I think I have more than 2000 posts to read. Ergh.

    Here is the interesting conversation going on at my blog about the Pediatrics breastfeeding statistics, and how one blogger used the mortality statistics to make an empassioned plea to Facebook to stop classifying breastfeeding pictures as pornographic.

  4. Hi Rixa, I am reading Mama PhD now - so what is your secret? A lot of women write that without childcare they would not have been able to complete their doctoral degrees. Did you have childcare for Zari while you did your PhD?

  5. Naptime. That's when I got most of my writing done.

    Let's see...I finished my comps in the end of my 3rd year and got pregnant with Zari about 6 months later, so by time she was born I was about 1 1/2 years post-comps (and I hadn't done much work on the dissertation at all, at that point!).

    I graduated 6 1/2 years after entering my PhD program. Not bad, considering I wasn't working on it all that hard for the first year+ after finishing my comps.

    For the last 4 months of dissertation writing, I had a neighbor girl come over about 2 times a week and play with Zari in the afternoons (for about 1 1/2 hours each time.) That also helped me get more writing done.

    It would be really really hard to do what I did, if I had'd had more than one child, or if I had a child earlier in the PhD process.


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