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Motherhood Can Make You Crazy

What is it, exactly, that makes you nearly unrecognizable to yourself when you become a mother?  It’s almost like falling through a portal into another dimension.  The experience is so completely transforming.  I didn’t really fully integrate all the different aspects of myself until 12 years into motherhood, when I got away, truly alone, for [...]

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Dancing on the Thin End Of the Wedge

It all started with Madeleine Albright. As the first female US Secretary of State, her arrival on the world stage in 1997 seems in retrospect to have ushered in a sustained and expanding period of women in diplomacy. Usually “manned” by someone “pale, male, and Yale”, three of the last four occupants of this top [...]

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In Washington and Around the World

As Your (Wo)man in Washington, I focus on how the public policy work done in the nation’s capital (or perhaps, more often, left undone) will affect your life wherever you are. From time to time, however, it helps to expand the perspective and listen to women around the world. The more I hear their voices, [...]

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Women Senators Take Charge

The estrogen level on the floor of the US Senate skyrocketed last week when female Senators blasted health insurers for their discriminatory practices. In back to back speeches, they vigorously denounced charging women higher premiums and excluding coverage for gender-specific conditions. They were indignant, passionate, and unflinching in their delivery, which made a most welcome [...]

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Women & Workplace Violations – Exploiting Us All

The (Wo)man in Washington is always looking for ways to level the playing field for women. After all, the structure of our society and economy impacts men and women in different ways, and it is not accidental. Women, especially those with children, make up the majority of those in poverty for a reason – the [...]

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Kim Clijsters, Motherhood & Feminism

From the New York Times about Kim Clijsters winning the Women’s Singles US Open Championship after having a baby 18 months ago: “The Clijsters narrative is not just about an underdog’s comeback, but about the dreamy, irresistible illusion the 1970s wrought: the fantasy that women can be all things, the idealized mother and the brilliant [...]

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The New York Times Should Have Talked to Us

Researchers note that the pay gap between men and women M.B.A.’s has not narrowed as anticipated now that women are just as likely to get graduate degrees and comparable training. The New York Times reports that the culprit is not “a glass ceiling molded from a male prejudice”. No, the reason M.B.A. women don’t go [...]

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Workplace Policy Only Gets You So Far

I understand that women can improve their financial position by being paid fairly. We can change how work is done, make paid sick days available, and take longer paid maternity and paternity leaves when our children are born or adopted. We can expand the rules for unemployment insurance so women actually receive it. Part-time workers [...]

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No News is NOT Good News

Two weeks ago President Obama created the White House Council for Women and Girls. He publicly signed the Executive Order before representatives of dozens of women’s advocacy groups who gathered in the East Room by invitation only, to control an otherwise massive turnout. The White House issued a press release. The President took the podium [...]

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Happy Birthday, Gloria!

Gloria Steinem reaches the commanding age of 75 this month. The following extracts from a speech she made in May, 2007, show the conceptual link between feminism and the mothers’ movement. “And most of all, maybe the vast unpaid area of care giving — whether that means raising children or caring for the ill and [...]

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