Update: Okay, here is the radio interview. I am 29 minutes in and take turns talking with a doula named Miriam Perez. Aside from my tangents on questions 3 and 4, I think I did fine. So listen away if you want to practice your Spanish! -Elisa:)
President Barack Obama has nominated Solicitor General Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court, according to the Associated Press. I was impressed by Obama’s speech yesterday on TV and like that Kagan would become the third woman on the bench if voted in by Congress. But I read mixed things about her at Daily Kos because she hasn’t actually served as a judge so not all of her positions are clear. What do you all think?
One debate I unfortunately got sucked into — although I did not participate — was the one about the “motherless Supreme Court.” Here is a Huffington Post column knocking it. Not since Sandra Day O’Connor has a mother served on the Supreme Court, even though we make up 81 percent of women 45 years and younger. (The latter U.S. Census Bureau statistics were compiled by MomsRising, by the way.) Do you think it matters?
My opinion for what it’s worth: I don’t think any candidate for any job should be judged by parental status and Justice John Paul Stevens is a great example of that. But I do think the lack of women nominees who are mothers is emblematic of our outdated work policies: the new 60-hour work week, a lack of paid family leave, paid sick days, subsidized childcare and the wage gap, which is largely due to maternal status. Women without children make 90 cents to a man’s dollar while mothers make 73 cents and the single mother makes 60 cents to a man’s dollar. Also, mothers are 79 percent less likely to get a job than someone without children who has the same resume. All of these stats are fresh on my mind as I did a radio interview on it yesterday.
The non-profit organization Save the Children just came out with a report on the countries with the “best conditions for motherhood.” Norway topped the list in the developed world, followed by Australia, Iceland and Sweden. In the developing world, Cuba topped the list, followed by Israel, Argentina and Barbados. I was on the nationally syndicated Radio Bilingüe’s “línea abierta” or “open line” show to discuss the conditions that led the United States to a mere No. 28 ranking on the “more developed countries” list. As a representative of MomsRising, I talked about the lack of paid national maternity leave and even sick days for mothers, which by the way, have helped close the wage gap in the rest of the developed world. It just doesn’t exist. I wish the program would link to the segment. If not, I will post when it appears online. Anyways, rather than start some culture war between mothers and non-mothers, I think this is the real debate we should be having.
U.S. regulators recalled best friend charm bracelets from Claire’s because of their high levels of cadmium, according to AP.
From the ethics files: Gawker ran a fascinating story about a feud movie critic Roger Ebert had with some tea party activists on twitter. Five California students were sent home on Cinco de Mayo for intentionally wearing American flag t-shirts, and Ebert had this to say, “Kids who wear American Flag t-shirts on 5 May should have to share a lunchroom table with those who wear a hammer and sickle on 4 July.” Later on, he explained his statement even further, saying that it would be disrespectful to wear a Union Jack t-shirt at the St. Patrick’s Day Parade and that our country holds specific days to celebrate different cultures like Chinese New Year, Pulaski Day in Chicago, and yes, Cinco de Mayo. He felt that we should respect the cultures and not intentionally mock their celebrations.
While it sounds like the kids wore the American flags to get a reaction on this particular day — and yes, lately there has been a lot of racism towards Mexicans — I don’t know if I would have compared the American flag ensemble with a hammer and sickle. But I appreciated Ebert’s sensitivity and empathy on this issue and was completely turned off by the way the tea baggers attacked him for his cancer. (Ebert lost his jaw to cancer, by the way.) They were downright cruel. What do you all think of this issue of students observing — respecting — different cultures in school? Do you agree with Ebert’s statements?
What else is in the news? What’s up with you?