questions for equality

For the Ragtag Daily Prompt: book. My second entry for the prompt today.

Skimming the reader’s guide at the back of a book today, I read one question and halt. Here:

“You’ve managed such an extraordinarily successful writing career along with being a full-time father. What has it been like to juggle the two?”

Yes, what has it been like? Because I changed the gender. I can’t imagine this question being posted to a male author. The layers and the sexism in this question are spectacular.

First of all, what is a full-time mother? Does it mean one who is “home” with the kids? Not working “outside” the house. Maybe we should call it at work with the kids if it’s full-time. If she is a writer is that work but it’s not work if she is a housewife? Is she a “full-time” mother with a writing hobby unless it’s successful and then she’s a “full-time” mother with a successful career? How are they defining success?

What is a full-time father? Does it mean the same thing?

Are there part-time mothers? Is a mother who goes to work outside the house a part-time mother? I work. My husband was the househusband. We also had some daycare. Was he a full-time father? Was he a slacker because he took care of the house and the kids and played golf? Our son was six months old when I started my family practice residency. Was I a part-time mother?

The question feels to me like more of the same gender discrimination and devaluation of both genders. A woman who is a “full-time” mother AND a successful writer, wow, that is made noble. But I have never heard a man called a “full-time” father or any questions of a successful man about how he juggled his fatherhood and his career.

It remains infuriating.

The book is Anna Quindlan’s every last one, Random House, 2011 and the Random House Reader’s Circle asks the questions.

Well, gentle readers? Are you a full-time or a part-time parent? Why? Was your father a full or a part time father and was your mother full or part time? And do they mean the same thing?



outdoors

For the Ragtag Daily Prompt: home.

Home for me is as much outdoors as indoors. I took this last March. Ms. Boa Cat is guarding me. I am not sure what ghost is in the chair, but I am sure she can see the ghost. She is very aware of my moods.

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The back of the library box folds down to a table. This is early morning and the library box faces south.

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Here is a bit of the house.

And it’s good to stretch at home in the morning in the sun.

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book door

Here is a photograph of my book box doors for Norm 2.0’s Thursday Doors. I have a library box and books come in and go out. Everything from textbooks to Dostoevsky to Louisa May Alcott to mysteries and romances.

Sometimes I put coffee out, too, and have my coffee in the yard in the early morning. My daughter wants to know how people will know I am not going to poison them, but if I am out there drinking the coffee, I think they will be reassured.

We have at least 6 Little Free Libraries in town, including one in front of our grade school with lots of kids’ books. Hooray for books and for sharing and exchanging them!

Morning coffee

This is for Photrablogger’s Mundane Monday #62. I have a Little Free Library built into my fence. There is a bench that goes through the fence. Sometimes I put out a carafe of coffee. On the back is a small table that folds down. Now that the sun is getting up so early, I am often out there watching the dawn….

The red rose has been there for years, but never bloomed until this summer and last summer, because the deer ate the buds as fast as they formed. The deer have come in once when we left the gate open, but we’ve been careful since then.