Is the “Opt-Out” revolution real?

No. Women are not quitting jobs to “raise families”. They are losing jobs due to the recession.

“There is no evidence [...] that mothers are increasingly ‘opting out’ of employment [] in favor of full-time motherhood. For this story to be true, the employment rate of non-mothers would have had to diverge sharply from that of mothers, which has not been the case.”

Meanwhile, ”the workforce participation rates of men aged 25 through 54 have dropped from 96 percent in 1953 to 86.4 percent today [...] But when men in their prime working years drop out of the workforce we don’t say they’ve gone home to be with their kids. We say they’re unemployed.”

Actually, I find a lot of people say that women took their jobs or some such nonsense.

Saturday Night Linkdump Fest

I think these are mostly for Seth, but the rest of you might enjoy them, too:

Dadlabs: a short, funny vodcast on the dad-life.

The Economic Consequences of Mr. Bush: Joseph Stiglitz on the fallout we can expect from this administration after January 2009.

Composters.com: I’m looking for an easy-to-use urban composter. Any recommendations?

No Alternative: A surgeon questions unproven medical practices.

Three Things Cloning Isn’t: so much for the Great Clone Army.

Feminist Gamers: on the intersection of politics, pop culture, and Carcassonne.

Religious scholars mull Flying Spaghetti Monster: papers to be presented include “Holy Pasta and Authentic Sauce: The Flying Spaghetti Monster’s Messy Implications for Theorizing Religion” and “Noodling around with Religion: Carnival Play, Monstrous Humor, and the Noodly Master.”

Not a Cough in a Carload: how the tobacco industry used advertising to downplay the effects of cigarettes.

Top 10 Myths About Thanksgiving

The New Dawn of Solar: the amazing nanosolar power sheet.

Via lots of places, including The Presurfer and Boing Boing.

It’s really not that funny

Donna laughs with Bitter Laughter at those of us white, middle-class, feminists who cannot see that we harm Women of Color much the same way as the patriarchy harms us. It’s a hard thing to read, to understand, and to appreciate. Our minds will open if we listen properly. It’s not the words’ fault, nor the writer’s, but that of our own perception’s which we control ourselves.

The comments include a fascinating thread about the problem of intent. It’s not enough to intend to not be racist — one’s actions must match that intent. Which is not easy to achieve, especially when the racial implication of some of actions is not obvious to the actor.
Via Pen-Elayne.

What is feminism?

Alas defines feminism in great detail: Feminism is not your expectation.

Joss Speaks

There’s a reason that a lot of us like Joss Whedon. How many other producers will post screeds like this on their own fan sites?

Let’s Watch A Girl Get Beaten To Death:

How did more than half the people in the world come out incorrectly? I have spent a good part of my life trying to do that math, and I’m no closer to a viable equation. And I have yet to find a culture that doesn’t buy into it. Women’s inferiority – in fact, their malevolence — is as ingrained in American popular culture as it is anywhere they’re sporting burkhas. I find it in movies, I hear it in the jokes of colleagues, I see it plastered on billboards, and not just the ones for horror movies. Women are weak. Women are manipulative. Women are somehow morally unfinished.

Joss wonders how we got to the point where women are still viewed as “other”. I don’t agree with everything he has to say (I’m not too sure about the “Womb Envy” theory), but it’s a nice piece and might catch the attention of some people who haven’t yet heard, “The sky isn’t evil. Try looking up.”

Let’s see if we make it to 35

While I knew it was around this time somewhere, I saw on Alas that today is the 34th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. It’s also Blog for Choice day. I liked what Maia had to say about it:

Today is the 34th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, and also blog for choice day.* The topic is supposed to be ‘why am I pro-choice’. It seems a little trite, I’m pro-choice because I believe women are people, I’m pro-choice because I want to decide when I have a child, I’m pro-choice because I have two younger sisters, I’m pro-choice because I trust other women to make choices about their own lives, I’m pro-choice because sex should be awesome, I’m pro-choice because of all the women who have died and are dying from illegal abortions, I’m pro-choice because of all the women who have died and are dying because they couldn’t get an illegal abortion, I’m pro-choice because parenting is a hard important job and must be voluntary,

And I’ll add:

I’m pro-choice because fetuses, embryos, and zygotes are not babies. Which isn’t to say they aren’t amazing.

I’m pro-choice because pregnancy should never be considered some kind of punishment.

I’m pro-choice because taking away this right leaves women without ways to control their own destinies.

I’m pro-choice because pregnancy is hard enough on the mom and the baby when the mom wants to be pregnant.

I’m pro-choice because life does not begin at ejaculation. Or even at conception. Again, conception is amazing, but it’s just part of the process.

I’m as pro-choice now as before I was pregnant. Maybe even more. Without choice, women will never be treated as equals; they’ll always be “less than”. And that’s not a world I wish to live in, nor a world I wish my own children to live in, either.

Blog for Choice Day - January 22, 2007

Tough Subjects: Abortion, Religion, Breast Feeding, Comic Books, Rats, and Laundry

Another tab dump:

The Road To Forced Abortions Is Paved With Bad Legislation: Is parental notification helpful at all?

A Concession Letter: Wow, this was obnoxious.

It’s only natural! for us to judge you if you don’t totally love it: Reasons to breast feed which include “Done correctly, you can look like you’re doing something really important while you take a nap.”

Musings – Her Story: Thoughts about Kitty, Emma, and Joss.


Full Revelations of a Professional Rat-catcher: The internet is just full of stuff like this. Everything you wanted to know about catching rats in the 19th century.

Folding t-shirts: A simple technique. Can it possibly work?

WorklifeWizard: Actually, I’m not sure what’s here. I’m blogging it in the hopes I’ll remember to check it out later.