Family is one of the most often revisited themes on television. In sitcoms and dramas, mother and father figures reflect society’s prevailing attitudes and expectations about parenting, gender and gender roles in the home. Past representations of motherhood on television upheld mothers as ‘naturally nurturing’ figures (LaRossa, 1988) able to give their children everything they need. Fathers, on the other hand, were assigned the roles of ‘breadwinner’ and ‘disciplinarian,’ typically incompetent and inept in the domestic realm (LaRossa, 1988).
“I will never vote and I don’t think you should either.” That is how Russell Brand—yes, Katy Perry’s ex-husband—launched his guest editorship with the New Statesman, a British political and cultural magazine. He also advised enacting a utopian revolution to uproot the current social-political-economic system responsible for environmental destruction, growing wealth gap and global exploitation of the underclass.
Are women perpetuating the stereotype that they are less capable than men through their own language and actions? Felena Hanson writes that when women use language like “female entrepreneur” instead of “entrepreneur, it immediately puts them in the “other” category. Using language in this way, Hanson challenges, signals that women should be categorized as different from their male colleagues. Instead she wants women to “come to the table, sit down and speak up.”
On July 11th, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a version of the farm bill that eliminates all nutritional aid to hungry Americans in need, which is provided mainly through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP. Not since 1973 has Congress separated subsidies to farmers from individuals in need of food security. At a moment when Congress is seeking substantial changes to SNAP, it is important to ask: Who exactly is affected by changes?
Pew Research Center released a report in May 2013 titled, Record Share of New Mothers are College Educated. The report explored changing educational trends among new mothers. “New mothers” include women between the ages of 15-44 who gave birth within the last year and those whose youngest child (living in their household) is less than one year old.
On July 1st, the interest rates for government-subsidized Stafford student loans doubled from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent. Congress received a lot of criticism for its inability to find common ground with critiques focused on the consequences for more than 7.4 million students expected to take out loans this fall.
Last June, this same debate played out until a last moment deal extended then-current rates for one more year. Lawmakers, much like college students, seem to be great procrastinators in getting to their work. Although one could argue in this case that the stakes are a bit higher than passing a statistics exam.
On July 17, 2013 England and Wales legalized same-sex marriage. This news has important political implications, especially as the international debate about LGBT rights heats up. On December 3, 2012, Dutchess Kate Middleton announced her pregnancy, and on July 22, 2013, she gave birth. While the baby will be an icon of British culture, he will have no direct political power.
In the immediate aftermath of Trayvon Martin’s death, The Talk was a buzzphrase in many mouths. The Talk – the cautions, warnings, do’s and don’ts many parents of African American boys give them as they stretch forward out of childhood into manhood. The Talk is part of the being-a-good-mom checklist, if you’re the mother of an African American boy. It is being responsible, proactive, aware.