Family & Society

Gender roles are formed and reinforced from earliest childhood through family relations, social and cultural strictures and norms. Today, family structures are shifting as nuclear and extended families undergo transformations due to economic and societal changes. The traditional archetype of one father and one mother plus children reflects only 25 percent of families in the U.S. Parental roles are also evolving as single-parent, same-sex couples and adoptive parents become increasingly common. Laws and employment policies are gradually reflecting these changes but more effort needs to be focused on providing family-friendly support from affordable, accessible, quality child and elder care to flexible work arrangements.

GIRLS FORUM: See Dad

February 5, 2009 posted by admin How often is a girl’s Dad hidden in plain sight? Seeing fathers is an innovative step to increase and sustain girls’ self-esteem and self-efficacy considering the numerous obstacles they face. Seeing Dad is also a step that’s readily available, if not always easy to take. The power and potential of father-daughter relationships remain fairly invisible among advocates for girls and professionals working with girls and their families.  But a moment’s reflection reveals how important Dad and/or Stepdad is in Daughter’s life. Nearly every adult woman can identify ways her father (and/or stepfather) influenced her. Ask any group of adult women about their relationships with their fathers, and you rarely get a lukewarm answer.  You’ll hear something along the lines of either “He’s one of my heroes” or “He’s an [expletive deleted].”  Dads have unique influence in the lives of their daughters and stepdaughters.  A father’s actions (and inactions) set the standard of “man” for his daughter—what she can expect as normal from boys now and men later.  Dad also profoundly affects his daughter’s concept of “partner.”  His behavior in relationship with his daughter’s other parent(s) sets her standard for what’s normal and acceptable from her own eventual life partner(s), regardless of gender.


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Stay-At-Home-Without-Options

January 21, 2009 posted by Linda Basch I want to draw your attention to a moving commentary by Deborah Siegel, “Masculine Mystique, Meet Feminine Mistake,” posted at the Women’s Media Center, in which she raises questions as to why the media seems to latch onto outmoded models of marriage roles, where men are the breadwinners and women are the caretakers of  home and family.  This raised in my mind another scenario we also are seeing today: the high cost of child care.  In this scenario, one or the other of the parenting couple opts to stay home to care for home and family.  Then, what happens when the working partner gets laid off?  As in Deborah’s case, though Deborah works fulltime, those families also fall into a tailspin


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NEW YEAR'S FORUM: 9 Points of Hope for 2009 from The Women’s Foundation of California’s Judy Patrick

January 9, 2009 posted by admin May 2009 be a year in which:

1. We act from hope and possibility rather than fear.

2. We build bridges across our differences through love and compassion.

3. Generosity trumps greed and justice triumphs.

4. Women and their families are central in the economic recovery package.

5. Every woman and girl is supported in her dreams for self-realization, whether through a friend’s loyalty, a parent’s love or a partner’s respect.

6. Policy makers and corporate executives choose to act with integrity and courage.

7. Every person in the US believes that her actions can make a difference.


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NEW YEAR'S FORUM: Racialicious’ Latoya Peterson Calls for Honesty in the New Year

January 6, 2009 posted by admin Our New Year's Resolution as a nation is a simple one.  We should resolve to be honest with ourselves.


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NEW YEAR'S FORUM: ManifestA’s Amy Richards Urges Us to Align Resolutions with Practices

January 6, 2009 posted by admin Sadly, Osama bin Laden might have won. He launched an attack against the United States based on our gross materialism. Certainly his tactics countered his message (or at least made them untenable), but with the current US structure faltering, our obsession with capitalism is being challenged. It's easy to blame the Madoffs and the investment bankers of the world, but if we believe that change trickles up, problems do, too. I am resolving to want less (which is entirely different from wanting nothing, I am far from a martyr) -- but more so to stop believing that my things are what define me.


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