Sunday, April 01, 2007

The Opt-Out Myth

Talking about this year's interns, I noticed that a number of them are into women's issues or are involved with women's groups. Maybe this recent story from the Columbia Journalism Review would interest them. Interesting read.

Women, work, and the press:
The Opt-Out Myth

Most moms need to work to make ends meet. So why do the news media focus relentlessly on the elite few who don’t?

E.J. Graff, senior researcher at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University, marshals a mountain of research to obliterate the myth—perpetuated in story after story by our elite news outlets, especially The New York Times—that a great swath of working mothers in this country are either bolting the career track or dreaming of doing so.

These articles—trend stories that help to frame the national discourse on motherhood and work in America—rely too heavily, Graff argues, on anecdotal evidence from a narrow socioeconomic strata (white, professional women with husbands who have high-end jobs)—and ignore the demographic reality that most women in this country must work to support their families.

Beyond that, the articles fail to report on the very real hostility toward mothers in the workplace; the harsh economic penalties for women who downshift, even briefly, to handle family responsibilities; and the complete failure of U.S. public policy to support working parents in today’s all-hands-on-deck economy.

For more information, go here.

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Venus said...
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