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The Tally Ho

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Women's work

Shall I mention that this is International Women's Day and also the day when the fem-libs Blog Against Sexism? Oh, I guess I did. Here are my highlights so far: Twisty provides a great roundup, and manages to editorialize without too many four-letter words. (I love her blog every day, though the understandable rage and sailor-iffic swearing is sometimes a shock to one's system.) WBEZ had a paid dedication this morning on the way to work from a guy named Paul to "all women everywhere" in honor of this day. I got a little misty-eyed. Damn hormones. This was quickly followed by a "Morning Edition" report on the effort in NH to change child support structures to reduce payments for non-custodial parents who spend lots of time with their children. This report made me cry for real, because although it seems sensible on its face, it continues to reduce time with children to an economic formula, where time spent per hour is supposed to cost (or earn) a certain amount of money. Women know, of course, that time spent with children costs money, but I've never heard women clamoring for billable hours. The idea of tracking visit time and applying it to a "total child cost" makes me heartsick. Children are people, not a project or an investment. And you have to spend money on them, because they are family and sometimes you have to spend resources to take care of people you care about. The basic argument of this re-structuring is that it would be terrible if some non-custodial parent "overpaid" and provided too much money or too much time with his kid (yes, they're mostly male parents we're talking about). Can you EVER spend too much time with a young kid? If parents purchase quality stuff for their kids instead of cheap bare-minimum clothes from Wal-Mart, is that a bad thing? And if YOU decide to buy a nice bicycle for your kid, does that mean you should get to take it out of the child support check? Absolutely not. Parenting to the minimum acceptable standard is what too many folks are doing already, and I don't want to see NH write into the law that if you pay $X you don't have to spend time with your kid, or if you spend X time you don't have to pay additionally for him. It just doesn't work like that.

Everyone needs to go watch the progress of Ema at The Well-Timed Period, as she spots incorrect info at the National Institute of Health about the morning-after birth control pill, calls them on it, and receives the response that "this is handled by another company, we'll have to talk to them and check it out." It's nice that they replied to her, but lame that they would post information from an outside agency without doing any fact-checking first. Aren't they supposed to be, like, health experts or something?

That's all for now, as I must go educate more young minds on the mystery of the menstrual cycle. A woman's work is never done.

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