December 12, 2008
The December issue of the awesome Carnival of Down Under Feminists is up at Ideologically Impure and from reading it it looks like there is a lot of interesting discussion about feminism and parenting going on at the moment. I too have been thinking about feminist parenting of late.
I recently was lucky enough to attend a talk by sex discrimination Commissioner Elisabeth Broderick and I really got a lot out of the event. She spoke about how there is a need for parents—both parents—to make the valuable work of caring visible, how she took her school aged children with her recently around Australia on her listening tour, and how she often has either her son or daughter in meetings with her taking notes. She talked about family friendly workplaces and flexible work arrangements, and how if we want to make them respected as valid work choices we really need men in executive roles to start adopting them and lead the way.
Inspired by this I have taken my 3yo daughter into work with me twice in the last two weeks. I had extra RA work to do and instead of using the child free time I have set aside for study and art making I decided to try out making my caring work visible. We packed a bag of toys and snacks and went into work together aiming for a four-hour block of productive work. I am glad to say it was a big success and I will be looking to keep up the habit.
I was debating with myself whether or not to post this pic and include it as one of the Acts, but currently cyberfeminist art is my main work so this is my way of making my valuable work of parenting visible in this arena. I am sure there will be many mother/monster/machine inspired works to follow.
P.S. congratulations to blue milk too!