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2007 tv pilots May 16, 2007

Posted by sindhub in "the gaze", motherhood, opting out, race, The TV Set, tv, women in television.
2 comments

I was looking at TV pilots for the 2007-2008 television season, and I was struck by how many pilots related to ‘girl power,’ especially the idea of a supermom who balances work and family.  It’ll also be interesting to see how many of them actually get picked up by the networks, and if the number that are picked up is proportional to how many were created.  Here are some examples (there are probably a lot more, but I thought these were particularly relevant):

ABC

  • Mr. and Mrs. Smith: based on the blockbuster movie
  • Cashmere Mafia: “Sex and the City creator Darren Star is back to New York in this new dramedy pilot, about four female executives, friends since college, who support one another through the trials and tribulations of work, family, and everything else life in New York City throws at them.”
  • Women’s Murder Club: “A series of mystery books by James Patterson was the inspiration for this new series, which tells the story of four women who work together to solve some of the most confounding murder cases out there. Their jobs as a homicide detective, a medical examiner, a newspaper reporter, and an assistant district attorney give them a formidable range of skills, and their strong friendship provides basis for the teamwork that’s necessary to crack each case.” (more…)

7 babies, 13 grammys May 12, 2007

Posted by jenniferlewk in Dixie Chix, motherhood, opting out.
2 comments

One of my favorite themes of the Dixie Chick’s Shut up and Sing was how naturally the singers took to handling motherhood and their careers. Although it was obviously not as easy at it appeared on film, I think that it is important to note that the women did think of motherhood as just as fulfilling, if not more, than their careers as country singers. We saw their pregnancies, their husbands, their practicing with babies in hand…and I know that this post sounds very lovey-dovey, but I just really think it is amazing that these women are showing that you can have it all…that you may work yourself to the ground or need a substantial amount of help to have it all, but that in the end, it is possible. Here’s the link an ABC article about the Dixie Chicks and motherhood.

opting out April 29, 2007

Posted by sindhub in class, college, feminism, in the news, motherhood, new york times, opting out, stay-at-home moms.
1 comment so far

There was yet another op-ed in the NY Times last week about the recent ‘phenomenon’ of college-educated women with bright career prospects who instead choose to ‘opt out’ and become full-time mothers.  What I thought the author was basically saying was that we need to inspect the current socioeconomic system and why it makes it so hard for motherhood to be compatible with many careers as they’re set up now, as well as why women are still expected to be ‘superwomen’ who go above and beyond what their husbands do.

So I was surprised by the Letters to the Editor in response to this article.  All of them came from women, many from women who opted out of the workforce and chose to stay at home with their children.  I thought some of their letters were just positively dripping with hostility… one of them basically accused the author of being a bad mother because she didn’t stay at home with her kids.  I found it really frustrating that none of them questioned why it was them, the wives and mothers, who stayed at home, and not their husbands.  One letter tried to legitimize the right to ‘choose.’  But I think the idea of choice brings us back to one of the central questions of cultural studies (and of feminist debate): Can you really choose when your options are limited (e.g. their husbands most likely wouldn’t have chosen to stay at home, and also the recent news about the pay gap), even if you don’t realize it?