Quick: What do Lesotho, Swaziland, Papua New Guinea and the US have in common?

Answer: They are, according to the International Labour Organization, the only four nations on the planet with no paid maternity leave.  

Meanwhile, the Financial Times reports, countries not run on twisted draconian principles of 19th Century capitalism, are debating whether to increase government mandated paid maternity leave. Imagine. The UK is considering an increase from nine to twelve months. Sweden offers 480 days of paid parental leave.

The FT considers the ‘cost to employers’ argument that some 3rd World countries (and these United States) claim is too burdensome, but concludes:

“Maternity leave provides clear benefits to society. Apart from the advantages of babies spending their early months with their mothers, breast-fed children have lower rates of infections, childhood diabetes, eczema, obesity and asthma.

Companies benefit from maternity leave by allowing women to return to work when their children are a little older, rather than forcing them to resign if they want to be with their babies. Employers hold on to people and escape the additional costs of having to replace those who leave”.

Little wonder President Obama saluted “the hardest-working people on Earth” in his recent address to Congress. With family values like these, Mom has no choice.

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Us girls, we are so magical

My sister and I have a joke about Katy Perry. Although she achieved widespread renown with her single “I Kissed a Girl”, her first successful hit was “Ur So Gay”[sic](ugh). This is a complex and evocative song, with the chorus “You’re so gay, and you don’t even like boys. No you don’t even like, no you don’t even like, no you don’t even like boys. You’re so gay, and you don’t even like boys. No you don’t even like, no you don’t even like, no you don’t even like boys”. So when “I Kissed a Girl” came out, my sister and I always joked around that it was Katy Perry’s attempt to make it up to the gay community. “Damn, I guess that “Ur so Gay” song might have offended some gay people. Maybe I’ll write a song about how I kissed a girl…that should get me back in with them, right? It’s perfect!”

Funny joke, right?

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Nancy Meyers’ new untitled film – why aren’t there more recognized female filmmakers?

If you ask me about most of my filmmaking idols, I will most likely name men and only men (Martin Scorsese, Cameron Crowe, Jean Rouch, to name three). Sadly, this is largely due to the fact that female filmmakers are few and far (and if they’re out there, the big guys don’t know how to publicize them properly), so I haven’t had a chance to hear about, much less watch their films. This isn’t to say that there aren’t amazing women filmmakers out there (look at Women Make Movies! Margaret Mead! My old boss!), but I don’t see the corporate moneybaggers looking at women’s names and thinking, “That could be a [INSERT NAME HERE] film”, like Miyazaki or (gulp) M. Night Shyamalan!

But oh, look, there I go naming men again.

Anyway, women need to support women (unless those women are Michelle Malkin or Ann Coulter), and one whom I’d like to give a shout out is Nancy Meyers, director of What Women Want, Something’s Gotta Give, and The Holiday (but those are only her directing credits; she’s got writing and producing ones too). Why do I think of her now, you ask? According to Filming in Brooklyn:

The Untitled Nancy Meyers Project, starring Meryl Streep, Steve Martin, John Krasinski, and Alec Baldwin, is filming again today in the vicinity of Russell Street and Greenpoint Avenue in Greenpoint.

Nancy Meyers, you are setting a path that someday I may wish to venture into. More importantly, you brought us Jack Black in a dramatic role before Margot in the Wedding did, so thanks for that.

Well-Woman Film Series Starts TODAY!

Well, readers, we finally did it… we went ahead and made a Well-Woman film series. Check out the flyer, then come eat popcorn with us in the Well-Woman office (119 Reid, Barnard Quad) tonight, 7-9:30 PM. This week’s film is Pieces of April, starring some actress named Katie Holmes. Also, music junkies – the Magnetic Fields guy did some songs on the soundtrack.

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That’s So Gay!

Hello, gentle Readers!

We, Elisa and Madeleine, are writing from Gay Headquarters to keep you updated on the queer goings-on around campus, around the city, and beyond. Elisa and Maddie are both members of Q, of which Maddie is the Vice President (though she prefers “President of Vice”), they are both involved in GendeRevolution, and Elisa was involved with this past year’s Queer Awareness Month. Be assured that wherever anything remotely gay happens, we will eagerly report it back to you. If you don’t feel quite gay enough while waiting for our next post, we recommend that you watch this on repeat:

This is, after all, the forty year anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, a monumental event in the gay rights movement! On that note, we would like to remind you that this Saturday, March 28, is Q’s Stonewall themed Queer prom, and we hope to see you there!

And…we’re out!

Happy Spring Break!

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A little late to post, but it’s ok. You know why? Because we’ve all been too busy partying to check/write blogs anyway! Have a great spring break, and please let us know what you’re doing during your week off, whether it’s Alternative Spring Break in New Orleans, relaxing on a cruise, or protesting in a feminist t-shirt.