A Worldwide Women’s Revolution

I am loving what I am seeing in terms of women fighting back in the United States.

Just this past weekend, I got together with “Poppy Girl” and she mentioned how well her girl scout troop did in cookie sales this year. On behalf of the Girl Scouts, she fielded so many compliments and donations for the Girl Scouts accepting all girls, including lesbian and transgender. I know I bought at least $40 worth of girl scout cookies this season for the same reason — and also I love tagalongs (the peanut butter and chocolate cookies)!

Just 10 years ago, we didn’t have Facebook, Twitter and many of the online organizations we see today to garner signatures in protest of people like Rush Limbaugh or public displays of male chauvinism. I was so excited after getting together with Poppy Girl and her family to see diaries like p1p1’s on this site.

And it’s not just in the United States we are seeing this re-awakening of female activism. In France, for example, the government just banned the term “mademoiselle” or “Miss” from official documents as well as “maiden name” as they historically are steeped in women’s virginity and availability. I learned about it in one of my many online news groups, in which Latinos were debating whether the Spanish word for “Miss” — señorita — should be done away with as well. Here is what one Latina had to say about it:

I don’t know that you can “ban” a word, as it is undemocratic, but, I believe that the word is outdated and oppressive–men don’t have a word to designate them as an unmarried man, so why should women? We should be given the same respect–just because a woman is unmarried, doesn’t mean she should be singled out as such (no pun intended). All women should be Señora! We should consider this term in the English language as well–the difference between Miss, Mrs., and Ms.,–you could say it’s even worse, we have three designations! Miss for unmarried, Mrs. for married, and Ms. for married, but divorce. All men get the “Mr.”. Unfair, I say!

Agreed. I admit that I don’t care for “Miss” in English either and have always used “Ms.” to describe all of my friends — married and non-married alike. It is ridiculous to identify women based on their marital status, especially since we don’t do the same for men.

What do you think of the way women are described across cultures? What do you prefer to be called?


Parenting News Roundup

Cross-posted at Daily Kos. Don’t forget to recommend us!

Good morning fellow moms, dads and caregivers!

I am back after a week sans kids with your weekly parenting news update. Here are some topics we recently discussed at MotherTalkers:

In case you missed it, Pastor Dan and his wife Jen officially became parents! Check out their adorable family photo.

Have you or your partner taken parenting classes? According to a recent study by the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne, Australia, classes that teach “positive parenting” techniques as seen from the Supernanny don’t decrease parental stress levels, but can result in a decrease in “harsh” or “abusive” parenting. Our Rachel had the scoop. In somewhat related news, I asked for advice on how to apply timeouts. When Eli hits or is especially defiant, we give her timeouts in this well-lit half bathroom. According to the experts, this is a bad place because she will have a bad association with the bathroom.

As for the teenage discipline corner, what would you do if your teen racked up a $4,756 cell phone bill? This happened to a father in Maryland and he ended up destroying the phone with a hammer. While I don’t blame him, surely this could have been avoided with some ground rules. What are your rules regarding teenagers and cell phone use? How do you punish your teen in general?

In celebrity gossip break — I am sorry, but this is what this has become — we had a long discussion about Bristol Palin’s new role as national spokeswoman against teen pregnancy. It seems like this girl has a tightrope to walk in that it would be crass for her to call her son a “mistake,” but also maintain her family’s good name. That is a lot of pressure. Why do you think she is doing it?

In much lighter news, we discussed the alleged affair of reality TV star and father of eight Jon Gosselin, which was splashed on the cover of US Magazine. Wait a minute. How did that thing make it into my hands? Help! :)

Happy Mother’s Day all! In case you missed it, the non-profit organization MomsRising had this awesome video that could be customized for your favorite moms. Definitely check it out!

How are you? What is on your mind?


Wednesday Morning Open Thread

Hey all, I just got back from a week away with a friend in Argentina. Our flights via Mexicana Airlines were cancelled due to swine flu, forcing us to book airfare elsewhere. Still, even with all the drama it was a great trip. I will definitely fill you in later.

But I wanted to offer my condolences to Erika, Gloria and their family for their loss. You are in my thoughts, hermanas.  

Also, congrats to Mrs. Pastor and Pastor Dan for finalizing their adoption. I was sorry to hear about Pastor Dan’s being quarantined though. Geez, I am gone one week and all this comes down. :)

I am out of it so please fill me in. What’s up with you?


Friday Open Thread

What’s up with our fellow beings in the blogosphere?

A mom at UrbanBaby wondered if now was a good time to buy a home and quit her job to stay home with her two kids.

Check out these election-themed cookies and cupcakes at Mrs. Beasley’s Hollywood bakery. Aren’t they cute? I spotted the link at Newsweek and could not help but snag a few.

Via NBC News: You have got to read about this soldier mom of three who is recovering from multiple injuries at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Amazing.

Christina Applegate shared with Oprah how she really felt after her double mastectomy, according to MSN Entertainment.

Wonder time ran a column about how to treat conjunctivitis, aka “pinkeye,” that annoying common childhood ailment.

Courtney C. over at Silicon Valley Moms Blog makes a compelling case why Facebook will replace the high school reunion. Do you agree?

What else is in the news? What’s up with you?


That’s MRS. Chancellor to you, buddy.

I know we’ve discussed the Mrs. vs. Ms. debate before. Here is an interesting twist from the Wall St. Journal’s Wall St. Journal’s Style and Substance Blog:

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is to be Mrs. Merkel in second references in our pages, at her request, as an alternative to Chancellor Merkel. We had been using Ms.

Her staff indicated that she was following the model of Mrs. Clinton in choosing Mrs. over Ms. or Miss. Unlike Mrs. Clinton’s, however, her surname is that of a previous husband; her current husband has the surname Sauer. Of course, she is also Chancellor Merkel.

The Germans themselves don’t have a problem in deciding between or among honorifics for a woman nowadays because they have generally adopted the use of Frau for all women.

I didn’t know that Sen. Clinton had a preference, and I find it interesting that Mrs. Merkel would put out the effort to change her honorific in English language papers. One reader offered this pro-Mrs. argument that I’d not heard before.

“Women are differentiated by marriage because marriage was traditionally a profession for women. Even today, married women do most of the work of managing their family. I believe “Mrs.” is a mark of respect for that.

What do you think? Does “Mrs.” have superwoman implications? Has our society advanced enough to truly understand the work involved in managing career, marriage, family and household?


Mrs., Miss, Ms……Who is she?

Good question, Sue. This is something I pay attention to as well. I think elementary school kids, in general, are sloppy with formalities. But I make it a point to address — and teach my son — to address all women by “Ms.” “Miss” sounds so 1950s to me and “Mrs.” just sounds old. That’s my two cents. -Elisa

This is a somewhat lighthearted question, but also a very real one.  Maybe this is a post-feminist question, but whatever happened to Ms.?

I’ve been noticing how my son refers to women in authority – those he would address by last name.  He has had only married teachers so far – when talking to him I refer to them as Mrs. or Ms, depending on their preference and/or how they sign notes etc.  He refers to them as Miss so-and-so, and I can’t tell if he’s saying “miss” or a sloppy version of “ms.” or  a lazy version of “missus”.  Other women are mostly referred to by their first names – my friends, his friends’ moms, etc.

So – is anyone else noticing this?  Has Ms gone by the wayside?

To add another dimension – my DH and I have different last names, so I am definitely not Mrs. <my last name>, I am sometimes Mrs. <his last name> when it’s about the kids, and at work I’m Dr. <my last name>, since I have a PhD.

Is anyone else finding this confusion about how to refer to other adult women and/or themselves?  I guess things must be going pretty well today that the biggest issue I thought of was whether I should call Seth’s teacher Mrs. H or Ms. H!