in the Guardian:
…My best friend and I had been friends for 20 years, and then, one day, nothing. She stopped returning my calls; she ignored my messages. She was living in another country so I had no way of reaching her, no way to confront her. Months passed and I realised that my best friend had stopped being my best friend. Had, in fact, stopped being my friend altogether. And I didn’t know why.
One of the things that bothered me most was the silence; not only my former best friend’s silence towards me, but also the fact that I felt that I couldn’t speak of what had happened between us to anyone else. It felt almost too trivial to mention. But I had to mention it, and did one night to my writing group.
They did not think it was trivial. In fact, as the night wore on, and we all shared our stories of the loss of once-close friends, we realised how devastating such breakdowns were; that there isn’t enough attention paid to the difficulties or complexities in relationships between women. And we realised that there were stories to tell about the break ups of close friendships, and that it was important to tell them. It was this that prompted Just Between Us, the anthology we have co-edited about female friendship.
Wednesday, May 29, 2013, 11:33 PM
Mothers are the primary breadwinners in four out of 10 U.S. households with minor children, a record number driven up by growing populations of single moms and married women who make more than their husbands, according to a report released Wednesday from the Pew Research Center. …
Disparities between the two groups are sharp. The married moms are more likely to be white, educated and older, making a median income of $50,000. While the unmarried mothers are frequently younger, either black or hispanic, and bringing in a median income of $20,000.
“The growth of both groups of mothers is tied to women’s increasing presence in the workplace,” the study states, pointing out that women make up 47 percent of the labor force and that more mothers work outside the home today: 65 percent according to 2011 census data, compared with 37 percent in 1968.
Wednesday, May 1, 2013, 1:21 PM
I’ve been travelling a lot recently and in Anchorage (American Bar Association Family Law Section Meeting) I was on a panel with a doctor who does fertility work in southern California. He mentioned that it was now possible to give a gift certificate that allowed the recipient to have her own eggs frozen. It turns out to be a popular gift from parents to their daughters who are graduating from law school.
The idea here is that the eggs can be harvested when the daughter is young and in her (reproductive) prime and then they can be safely stored away until after she finds Mr. (or maybe Ms?) Right and/or gets her career up and running. It’s a way of stopping–at least for a while–the biological clock. Now, thanks to the wonders of technology and the generosity of her parents, the daughter has a choice. Freezing her eggs lets her have it all.
more (and my own take is to throw this in the bulging pile of “Why Change the Workplace When We Can Just Change (Or Ignore) Women’s Biology?” stories….)
Thursday, April 25, 2013, 12:54 PM
on his recent study, which seems relevant to several posts here in the past few months:
Studies on faith-based campuses are beginning to offer a glimpse into the real experience of sexual minority students in these unique settings. This study adds to this growing body of information by surveying 247 undergraduates, who describe themselves as sexual minorities at 19 Christian schools across the United States. They responded to questions related to attitudes regarding sexuality, sexual identity, religiosity, and sexual milestone events. The results from this sample suggst those who attend higher education at faith-based institutions are a distinct group within Western culture when it comes tot he development of religious/spiritual identity and sexual identity. Although diversity with regard to same-sex and opposite-sex attraction is present among those surveyed, common themes exist for this unique sample of undergraduates. Implications for mainstream culture and Christian educational institutions are discussed.
Wednesday, April 24, 2013, 10:48 AM
India Ink blog:
After decades of fixing arranged marriages for their children, Indian parents are taking on a new challenge: trying to orchestrate their kids’ love marriages.
A new generation of young Indian professionals has refused to follow the arranged-marriage route, with its emphasis on caste, family ties, wealth and skin color – with the blessings of their parents.
But as these kids tread toward their 30s, some parents say they fear their offspring’s chances of finding a marriage partner are evaporating entirely. These parents, while trying to respect their children’s wishes, are trying other measures, like pushing their offspring to singles networks and online dating sites.
Friday, April 19, 2013, 3:09 PM
in the Washington Post:
…It’s hard to overstate the breakdown of marriage and the rise of single-parent families. Consider out-of-wedlock births. In 1980, about 18 percent of births were to unmarried women; by 2009, the proportion was 41 percent. Among whites, the increase was from 11 percent to 36 percent; among African Americans, from 56 percent to 72 percent; among Hispanics, from 37 percent (1990) to 53 percent. Or look at the share of children living with two parents. Since 1970, that’s dropped from 82 percent to 63 percent. Among whites, the decline is from 87 percent to 73 percent; among African Americans, from 57 percent to 31 percent; among Hispanics, from 78 percent to 57 percent.
Just what caused these changes remains controversial. In his 2012 book “Coming Apart,” Charles Murray of the American Enterprise Institute cited shifts in cultural norms. Having a child out of wedlock became more common and acceptable; the sexual revolution enabled men to get sex without marriage. The waning power of religion undermined the importance of family. Feminism and expanding welfare programs made it easier for women to survive — through jobs or aid — on their own. Liberalized divorce led to more breakups.
But there’s also a more strictly economic case. In a paper for Third Way, a liberal think tank, economists David Autor and Melanie Wasserman of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology attribute the decline of marriage — which, like Murray, they say is concentrated among the poorly educated — to the eroding economic heft of men compared with women. Women are more independent economically; men are weaker. Marriage has lost much of its pecuniary pull.
To this hypothesis, they bring much statistical evidence.
Wednesday, April 17, 2013, 9:25 PM
In the wake of a very good story about American day care by The New Republic‘s Jonathan Cohn, the liberal blogosphere is abuzz with ideas about improving day care for Americans. And as is required (I think it’s in the Constitution somewhere), any American left-of-center discussion of day care must be filled with encomiums to the French childcare system, with its wonderful public crèches (“crèche” just means “day care center”, but they must be called “crèche”) and other amenities. As both a conservative and an actual French parent, I find much of what I read about the French system to be simply fantastical.