Communications Co-Director, GWC; Editor of GWC Newsletter

  • published GWC Special Edition August Newsletter in News 2022-08-26 01:40:43 -0400

    GWC Special Edition August Newsletter

    Letter from the Editor

    Dear Member,

    Today we celebrate Equality Day, and the anniversary of the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution that prohibits States and the Federal Government from denying the right to vote on the basis of sex. The struggle for this right was not won by all at the time of ratification, and is under threat today. The Global Women’s Caucus is asking you to join us in commemorating and celebrating this struggle by helping to mobilize our base for the ‘22 midterms so that we can exercise our right to vote. With nearly 9 million Americans living abroad, we have the power to make impactful and lasting changes this election. As the Republicans pursue tactics to undermine the democratic practice of free and fair elections, we will fight back by voting in numbers and sending the loud and clear message that we will not, and cannot be quieted!

    November marks the pivotal moment in deciding our future. We have the chance to ensure that pro-choice and pro-equality candidates win their seats, and WE NEED YOU! First, we need you to register to vote in your State to receive your absentee ballot here. Then we need you to help us Get Out the Vote, by contacting everyone you know who is eligible to vote and making sure they are ready to cast their ballot as well. Lastly, please help our efforts by checking out our GOTV Equality toolkit here. With your help, we can win in November!

    We hope you enjoy this special edition filled with voting information, events, and stories of motivation from our leaders and members!

    Stayce Camparo, Communications Co-director, Global Women’s Caucus

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  • published The Will to Change in News 2022-07-13 06:59:02 -0400

    The Will to Change

    The Will to Change
    by:  Stayce Camparo

    I was invited here today to speak about the will to change, and there is obviously a lot of change for us to do. However, I hope to leave you with the idea of a different kind of change that is already in motion, and perhaps the reason for the grossly felt assault against our rights today.

    I have lived abroad for 10 years – a mere blink of an eye compared to many here today, but long enough to have lost some insight into many of the struggles that women back home face. I had both of my children in Germany, where I didn’t have to spend a penny for childbirth. In fact, (through a social tax system) I was paid to be a mother, and will continue to receive a stipend for my two children until they are in their 20s. For both children, I received at-home care after childbirth by a midwife who weighed my babies every few days and helped me with breastfeeding. At the age of 1, both children entered daycare for a small monthly fee, and at three they were covered by the government through taxes. This allowed me to continue my University studies, which were also covered by taxes. Living in Germany, I am solaced to know that I have autonomy over my reproductive choices, should I want, or not want to have another child. I also know that my children are safe at school, as opposed to my home country that is in the midst of a gun violence pandemic. These are probably many of the luxuries you have also experienced. Many of my contemporaries living in the U.S. have had very different experiences, and WILL have very different experiences. In fact, some of you today would say that our country is backsliding on many issues that concern women, and I too see that our country is not in a good place, however it would be remiss not to acknowledge the counter waves of social movements we’ve recently witnessed, triggered perhaps by … a more political youth, or … even as a consequence of perhaps social media. Regardless of where it is coming from, there seems to be a determined will of the people to seek change.

    This may seem more anecdotal than objectively true, so I want to look at our history in order to visualize the trajectory of this change. Sapiens have walked the Earth for roughly 200,000 years. 190,000 years ago, we revolutionized how we feed ourselves and live. Historians define this time as the Agricultural Revolution, a time when women were able to, and encouraged to, reproduce at a fast pace, thus increasing exponentially the fertility rate. Consequentially, cities grew, and societies became more complex, and sets of imagined constructs were developed that organized society and created stability, including the expected roles of women and men. Many of these imagined constructs are still around today, and are witnessed in various forms of caste systems, ethnic, cultural, or gender with women usually towards the bottom of any particular caste. The development of writing allowed these imagined constructs to circulate, and provided tangible documentation of what would become, a widely accepted imagined social order. In 1776, one of these imagined constructs was signed by our founding fathers as the Declaration of Independence with an established hierarchy of men at the top and women at the bottom; white Europeans at the top, and Black and Native American people at the bottom. Around 9,200 years after the agricultural revolution, the scientific revolution began, that not only changed the course of human history, but also the biological history that we would experience on this planet. Our imagined constructs remained, and many of the breakthroughs and leadership decisions were carried out by the privileged who had access to opportunities that were established by our imagined constructs. These constructs have been met with waves of challenge, marking periods of good social change, but I would say that the rate of challenge is increasing. About 150 years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence, white women earned the right to vote, and 50 years later black women were also finally able to exercise that right. New language was added to “an invented formulation of laws by which to govern the United States,” known as the Constitution. Eight years after that triumph, a group of scholars educated on these laws, also known as the Supreme Court ruled, on the basis of privacy, that a woman could finally exercise reproductive choice under protection of the Constitution. Seven years ago, a major and long-established imagined construct was reversed to allow women and men to marry whom they chose, and not on the basis of gender. Five years ago, the hashtag, “me too” propelled sexual abuse, sexual harassment, and rape culture back into the public sphere, and has motivated large institutions to reevaluate imagined constructs about gender and sex. Galvanized by the election of Donald Trump to presidency in 2016, political movements that continue to challenge these imagined constructs, that have sustained time, are becoming widely and rapidly confirmed as false. We see that much of this progress is in danger today, but we should remain cognizant that progress is not always linear.

    Hopefully, what this digression in human history has conveyed is that our world is changing…and it is changing fast. Two years ago, we elected a democratic president, and begot the most diverse cabinet the United States has EVER seen. Look around our society as well. I just became aware that a ballet company in the Pacific Northwest has for the first time cast a transgender female as a swan in Swan Lake, spurring a ripple of other companies to make similar changes. I am only 8 years retired from the professional world of ballet, and even when I was still dancing, this was not a topic of social justice people were ready to act on. This is good news! Our world is progressing…the United States is progressing…we are becoming a more inclusive, egalitarian society. However…power is being held by a few…a few who are scared about this progress and change…this new and equal world, where lines are blended, and power is held by the many rather than the few; where power is shared with those who have historically been at the bottom of our imagined orders of society. These obstructionists to change are working hard to hold onto their last fledglings of stability and security. But they will be gone…and people like my son and daughter will still be here. No one, not even the few with some power to yield, are able to crush the steam roller of progress that is upon us and moving fast. This change is the will of the people. I believe that what we are witnessing in terms of a felt reversal of democracy, and rights for women, is only a last attempt at maintaining an imagined status quo that has been nullified by the people of the United States, and many societies beyond. It is because of your work the last 30 years, here at the Global Women’s Caucus, that we are moving forward so fast. We should see the resistance by the few, and temporary reversals, as a clear sign that we are headed in the right direction. We are deciding as a human race: in what world we want to live in… Under what imagined constructs we choose to live our lives. We are conceding, together, universally, that a future of feminism is preferrable…that a future of equality is preferrable. And I see, that in a world where a blank piece of paper is a political statement, that, globally, people are challenging the outdated imagined constructs, and raising generations wanting to live under new ones.

    The future of the feminist movement, and of democracy, is built within our unified sisterhood here at the Global Women’s Caucus. Our responsibility is unifying the millions of Americans living outside the U.S., and guiding them into active participation in the decisions being made back home…because those decisions not only affect our fellow Americans, but, in our globalized world, they affect citizens of all countries. That is what we are doing, and that is what we should continue to do. And we should recognize that this work is not necessarily for us. This work is for those who continue to be marginalized, exploited, and oppressed, who will sadly be affected by the rescinding of Roe v. Wade, and other reversals we are surely to face. We cannot be discouraged by this however, and we should not be complacent either. This kind of structural change begins in the kitchen of our homes, and in the playgrounds with our children, on walks with our neighbors, and in the many small and intimate gatherings that connect us. It begins when we speak about values and empathy, and continues as we build new communities away from home. This is our will…nothing different than what we have been doing, but rather a continuation of those small steps that will make our change irreversible…the small steps that are breaking down those archaic imagined constructs, and cultivating communities that internalize basic human rights. If the last 30 years have shown us anything, it is that our will and strength lies within those communities we build at the Global Women’s Caucus, the relationships we are fostering by being together today, and the new connections surely to be made tomorrow. Thank you.

     

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  • published GWC May / June Newsletter 2022 in News 2022-05-14 03:21:54 -0400

    GWC May / June Newsletter 2022

    Anniversary Edition May June 2022 Global Women's Caucus Newsletter

    Letter from the Editor

    This June, the Global Women’s Caucus celebrates 30 years of sisterhood, progress and growth. Starting at the country-level in France, the Women’s Caucus has grown into a global entity with a mission to mobilize voters and raise a strong unified voice on the issues that impact American women, both stateside and abroad. Our tenets: educate, build community, and promote activism, are the beacons that guide our leaders and members to continue to be active American citizens, regardless of where we live.

    Join us June 18th, as we celebrate together from the place it all began. If you can’t join us in Paris, we welcome you to create your own event to discuss the issues and future of the Global Women’s Caucus.

    A final note on the state of reproductive rights: We know you are angry. We are angry too. Our democracy and rights are being threatened by only a few, with the lone goal of oppression and control over a female’s right of choice. TAKE THAT ANGER TO THE MIDTERMS! As the GWC continues to grow, we need your help. Join our team for this very important midterm year. Consider volunteering with us, help friends and family register to vote, or donate! Make sure you’re registered to vote in 2022 here!

    We hope you enjoy this edition, and we look forward to seeing you at our events!

    Stayce Camparo, Communications Co-director, Global Women’s Caucus

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  • published Commentary: The Fate of the Nation State in News 2021-08-27 06:19:25 -0400

    Commentary: The Fate of the Nation State

    Every ten years, the U.S. distributes a census that was first established in 1790 (US Census Bureau), approximately one year after the inauguration of the U.S.’s first president, George Washington. It was established to provide political power to states and territories based on population rather than wealth or land ownership. Nearly 230 years after its adoption, the census continues to count the heads of inhabitants – counting everyone once, and in their respective place. Mark the appropriate box, and you are included in the database – a member of the nation that will shoulder the concerns and needs of you and those like you. Don’t know which box to check? You risk not being counted: Counted in the way that the American forefathers decided to divvy power before Blacks, Native Americans, or women had rights – before the harbors opened up to an influx of immigrants and refugees, and before the nation was defined by Northern and Southern borders that stretched all the way from the Atlantic to the Pacific.

    The census is a system of counting heads but not stories, and preliminary results of the 2020 census reveal just how hard it is to do that. With data showing that more and more Americans identify themselves as multi-ethnic, we are witnessing the socio-political effects of globalization and a diversifying American landscape. Far-right/white racial extremist groups are retaliating, however, with propaganda fueled by fears of a declining white population, a sentiment bound in misconception. Though it is true that a decrease in the number of people who checked-off only the “white” box for race on the 2020 census is visible, the number of people who checked off “white” and one or more other racial categories increased in the last decade. Welcome news to this author, race is increasingly considered a diffuse category, and will perhaps one day become an invalid metric for characterization.

    In the meantime, however, the United States is reckoning with its past, as progressive thought challenges the notion of white nationalism, and white racial extremist groups fight back in fear that their false white status will be taken away. Therefore, the history and growth of our nation state must be acknowledged as we grapple with a new American identity fueled by a changing demography and globalization.

    As colonialism took rise and sent the Spanish, English, and Dutch overseas, Native American cultures were dismantled. In colonialism’s wake, nations grew, wrapped in the cloak of a new and promising land for Europeans. Starting in 1790, the census began counting the heads of these new immigrants in America, people with lineages from another continent, yet who were claiming the American soil as their own. Nationalism grew in the new country that was individualistic in character and Christian in belief: “one nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all”. Meanwhile Native American cultures experienced a near erasure as manifest destiny took root and sent the new Americans west. They were discarded, and have remained in the shadows for centuries, with little voice counting towards a collective census. To many, the nation state is fallacious. Up until the 21st century, a perfect fit between politics, the economy, and information made the nation state successful as a conduit for citizen pride and benefits. Nationalism thrived in this environment, where the “unwanted” could remain mostly unseen in the shadows and without much political power. Globalization and technology have since brought the shadowed voices forward, and extended their reach far and wide, consequently shaking the blindly adopted dictates of the fraudulent nation state.

    To originate from a land, yet be excluded from the collective demarcation of that land, is the unjust condition of many Americans, and many scenes around the world: India’s caste system, conflicts in the Middle East, and the European refugee influx. So how can we address ethnic inclusivity? Most nation states didn’t have to address this question before the 21st century, as the proliferation of information remained virtually contained and controlled within national borders. This is not the case anymore.

    Nationalism’s largest threat is the expanse of human reach, the need to connect and move – a need that has been satisfied with the industrialization of technology. Paper trails outpace flight transportation, and with the invention of the internet, borders are becoming harder to buttress. Thoughts, ideas, inventions, and beliefs, posted in the ether or scribbled on paper, are landing in different nations every second, changing their landscapes at a rapid pace. The speed at which nations are changing, the migration of thought followed by bodies, is colliding with a fearful resistance. Thoughts have helped people move and migrate, and nations are now more than ever powerless at controlling them. Technologies like Facebook and Google have amplified the reach of thought, and nationalists are fearful of these un-vetted ideas landing in places that could sway allegiance away from the nation; pockets of nationalism are rising as the growing sentiment of injustice is migrating and proliferating in the very shadows the nation state created.  

    A new nationalism reigns mighty in an America where 48.6% of its voters cast a decision on the campaign promise to “put America first,” and America is by-no-means alone. In other parts of the world, Germany has seen a rise in support of the Alternative für Deutschland party, an ultra-nationalistic patriotism, and many western countries employed a “nation first” COVID-vaccine deployment strategy; however, globalization is a fast-moving train, speeding down the oiled tracks of trade, migration, and tech, preparing the world for a new kind of global citizenship. The nation state can no longer hold off 21st century efforts to accelerate ideas and information; however, the old ways are still enforced, causing fractures in national politics.

    How people identify personally, and how establishments identify people are largely in conflict given the diverse human makeup; however, things are changing. Labels are becoming obsolete as technology allows us to disguise and hide ourselves, and documents are proving insufficient at conveying the abundance of information that is individual human experience. World views are becoming increasingly progressive (e.g., gender is becoming more fluid and forms of racism are being upturned in places we thought it didn’t exist). People are uprooting, and going to extreme measures to choose new identities, reflecting an innate migratory nature, and the nation state is not changing fast enough to accommodate human kinetics, both in body and thought. Citizenship, too, is in need of reform. At its worst, it is an asset that can be boasted, bought, handed down, and exploited to gain privilege. A commentary in the Guardian reads, “even [Trump’s] poorest voters, after all, possess one significant asset – US citizenship – whose value he can ‘talk up,’ as he previously talked up casinos and hotels.” Nationalism sees citizenship as a tool of privilege, wielded to maintain a false hierarchy, inimical to true national prosperity.

    I remember learning in my Sociology of Religion course that the success of any one religion is due to its dogmatic leaning, its ability to provide hard-lined rules that are easy to follow. A guide book, so to speak, provides people with the answers to ambiguous questions, a path by which to live your life, and directives about categorizing people, so that when a religion fails in this respect, fractures develop in the ideology, and factions and sects begin to split off with new dictates. Like the Earth itself, quakes in systems either reinforce or split its foundation. In a world with approximately 6 billion people, there is no one-system-fits-all model. If nationalism is a religion, in that it provides its believers with a sense of rules to follow, then we are witnessing the fractures my professor spoke of; we are witnessing cracks in the belief of America. What many of us feel, as an ominous evolution in national politics, including the rising calls of nationalism, is actually the growing charge of cultivated and unrestricted ideas that are succeeding in quaking the world’s nation states. Whether the nation state ultimately expires, or a resurgence reinforces its sway on its own operations and civilian identification, will depend on how the majority are heeded. From the imagination, our nations have been constructed, and our systems conceived, and just like these manifestations have been transfigured, forgotten, or even destroyed, so too is the nation state mutable.


  • What is the Future for Women and Girls in Afghanistan?

    “Our law exists to protect women’s rights. It looks at their welfare and safeguards their livelihoods,” stated Judge Nenney Shushaidah, one of two female judges appointed to the Syariah High Court in Malaysia. She oversees complicated cases on the basis of Islam’s legal system, Sharia law. Though many see Sharia law as a system that oppresses women, Judge Shushaidah believes that the law actually holds women in high regard, “protect[ing] the rights of women, and holding men accountable.” Examples of this are visible in her cases dealing primarily with polygamy, however issues pertaining to the welfare of women go far beyond the intimate relationships that women build, and are far broader than a women’s position as mother and wife.

    In the years between 1996 and 2001, Afghanistan was under Taliban rule,  during which time women were denied basic freedoms like education, work, and travel. As the world watched the capital city fall to Taliban forces on August 15th 2021, the overwhelming dread shared by many was the fate of women and girls in an extremely punitive and archaic government. Salima Mazari, one of first female district governors in Afghanistan, is already considered to have been captured by the Taliban. One of her last statements conveyed her concern for women in power under Taliban rule, “There will be no place for women.” Zarifa Ghafari, Afghanistan’s youngest mayor since 2018, told a British newspaper that she was waiting for the Taliban to come and kill her. A message posted to her social media a few months ago still speaks to the hope of future generations, “Younger people are aware of what’s happening … I think they will continue fighting for progress and our rights. I think there is a future for this country.” Today, Fawzia Koofi, Afghan politician, and one of few women that was present in peace talks with the Taliban, is continuing to speak out about the current situation where women are being forced to stay in their homes and marry Taliban fighters. She had stated months ago that peace in Afghanistan “depends on Afghanistan’s women.”

    Though the Taliban government is assuring everyone that life can resume as it was, girls returning to school and women to their jobs, many are worried that these statements are lies: “We are in the belief that the Taliban are putting up a front because the international community and United Nations is watching them closely.” Women and girls are not allowed to leave their homes anymore without a male companion. The consequences, according to Sharia law, are severe.

    President Biden stated, “The Taliban has to make a fundamental decision. Is the Taliban going to attempt to be able to unite and provide for the well-being of the people of Afghanistan, which no one group has ever done since before – for hundreds of years? And if it does, it’s going to need everything from additional help in terms of economic assistance, trade and a whole range of things.” As we all wait with bated breath, clinging to the hope that a new Taliban generation is true in its words of a more inclusive state, evacuations continue to be underway. Many are fleeing, fearful of for their lives and livelihood, while others are staying put, as a show of activism and defiance. The days ahead will determine to what capacity the Taliban is referring when they mention “inclusiveness,” however, as we so strongly know, no government prospers without rights afforded equally to both men and women.


  • published GWC July 2021 Newsletter in News 2021-07-01 12:27:29 -0400

    GWC July 2021 Newsletter

    Letter from the Editor

    Our bodies, our rights! This month, we celebrate women’s independent choices and freedoms. Women all over the world are largely dependent on the decisions of a few, and much of the time those few do not have women’s interests and rights in mind. Consider joining our caucus as we fight the good fight, not only for our sisters and daughters, but for our brothers and sons as well. The Global Women’s Caucus has many ways for you to join: 1. Register to vote 2. Become a GWC member 3. Volunteer with one of our action teams 4. Start a local caucus. We welcome and look forward to working with you!

    Scroll down for important updates on our growing caucus, insightful articles on our research, and the June Newsletter quiz! Don’t forget to check out our Artist’s Corner. Lastly, we would love your participation in our #MyStoryGWC campaign, where you can connect with other members through shared stories to highlight the issues most important to us.

    Stayce Camparo, Communications Co-director, Global Women’s Caucus

    Over 10,000 members and growing! Join us

          


     

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  • published #PRIDE in News 2021-06-01 04:05:16 -0400

    #PRIDE

    Fifty-one years ago, Frank Kameny coined the adage “Gay is good” to offset the historic anti-gay agenda that news, media and religious institutions have peddled since the first European settlers dropped anchors on American shores. Kameny’s alliterate campaign was inspired by “Black is Beautiful,” the movement conceived of by civil rights organizer, Stokely Carmichael. This is a testament to the longstanding relationship between minority groups as none of us can truly feel progress while any of us are left behind. 

     
    As we enter Pride this June, we pay tribute to those who paved the way for us to celebrate so freely now. Much progress has been made in the last half century by means of expanded space in the world for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (+) folks through legislation, marital securities, fair housing and basic human rights. But rest we cannot. With the recent wave of attention and scrutiny trans rights have received, we are reminded to remain diligent in our protection and advocacy for every branch of our LGBTQ+ family. We must recognize the nature of intersectionality and its effect on everyone in our communities. 
     
    In 2010, Michelle’s husband, Barack, said it best when he called upon Americans to "observe this month by fighting prejudice and discrimination in their own lives and everywhere it exists.” And that is what we must continue to do. Fifty years on, we commemorate the Stonewall Riots through marches and parades every June. We take to the streets announcing “Gay is good,” as we rewrite the messaging of the conservative agenda. Most of all, we celebrate Pride month to acknowledge the many colors our LGBTQ+ brothers and sisters add to what it means to be human. Please join your GWC community in celebrating Pride this June.

  • published GWC June 2021 Newsletter in News 2021-06-01 02:53:45 -0400

    GWC June 2021 Newsletter

    Letter from the Editor

    This month the GWC is highlighting leadership! Now may be the time to ask your Country Chair about starting a local women’s caucus, join a GWC action team, or partake in some political action. Are you registered to vote abroad? Don't forget to request your absentee ballot at www.votefromabroad.org! We celebrate and honor all Democrats Abroad who are leading the fight for a more progressive and equitable world!

    Speaking of equality, this month we are celebrating PRIDE with the LGBTQ+ community, fighting discrimination and intolerance, and rejoicing in human diversity!

    The GWC is working to provide you with lots of materials to help in your actions. Check out our list of resources, and Meet the Faces Behind our Actions! We’ve even designed some postcards for you to send to your representatives!

    This newsletter has important updates on our action teams, insightful articles on our research, as well as a May Newsletter quiz! Don’t forget to check out our Artist’s Corner, spotlighting the renowned female choreographer, Crystal Pite, by scrolling down. Lastly, we would love your participation in our #MyStoryGWC campaign, where you can connect with other members through shared stories, to highlight the issues most important to us.

    We hope you enjoy this edition, and we look forward to seeing you at our events!

    Stayce Camparo, Communications Co-director, Global Women’s Caucus

    Over 10,000 members and growing! Join us

     

     


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  • published Gender Neutral Parenting in American Women 2021-05-28 02:04:48 -0400

    Gender Neutral Parenting

    “Ever since its conception, gender neutral parenting has engrossed society and divided opinions by challenging [the] traditional dichotomous approach to child rearing which has been used by families in most cultures for hundreds of years” (Wharton, 2012; as cited in Watkins, 2016)

    Gender plays a salient role in a child’s development, aiding in a child’s identity formation, preferences, and providing information to them about others (Shutts, Kenward, Falk, Ivegran, & Fawcett, 2015). However, the underlying question to many who study gender is just how much does an individual’s gender impact their behavior. Western cultures still maintain a sense of gender disparity when it comes to such things as how to dress a child or what toys the child has access to, as well as considerations about a child’s activity level and emotional expression (Siegler, Saffran, Eisenberg, DeLoache, & Gershoff, 2017).

    In response to mid-20th century notions of gender roles, second wave feminism evolved to widen the confines of how girls, specifically, were being socialized (Martin, 2005). The movement drew support from research in Social Learning Theory that emphasized society’s and the environment’s influence on the socialization and development of an individual (Martin, 2005). Specifically, Social Cognitive Theory, as developed by Bussey & Bandura (1999/2004, as cited in Siegler et al., 2017), posited that notions about gender develop through tuition (teaching), enactive experience (rewards), and observational learning (Siegler et al., 2017). Consider the common concept of a father teaching his son how to play soccer, the positive reaction a girl may receive when she dances in a party dress, or a child observing women going to nail and hair salons. Just by living as a member in a society, children are encoding gendered behaviors generally accepted by our culture on a day-to-day basis. Thus, gender-neutral parenting developed as a way to challenge cultural norms based on expected gender behaviors that, as many believe, interfere with the child’s developmental potential (Watkins, 2016).

    A study comparing the behaviors of children in a gender-neutral preschool with those of a normal preschool found that gender-neutral pedagogy had moderate effects on who and what the children played with (Shutts et al., 2015). Specifically, children in the gender-neutral preschool were more apt to play with unfamiliar other-gendered children (Shutts et al., 2015). So, whereas children in the preschool age are more commonly found playing with peers of the same gender, this study found that children in the gender-neutral preschool had mixed gender peer groups. Interestingly, there were no differences in how children coded others’ genders (Shutts et al., 2015), highlighting that gender identification is still important at this age for identity development and classification, and cannot be completely ignored. Weisman, Johnson, and Shutts (2015) note that automatic gender coding (using gender to gain information about someone else) is important because of its perceptible dimension. Specifically, children use gender and race to direct them in social contexts (Weisman, Johnson, & Shutts, 2014). That withstanding, Shutts et al. (2015) were able to demonstrate that although children encode gender automatically, and use gender in guiding social preferences and inferences, challenging cultural-conscripted gender norms aids in breaking down stereotypes, and, this article argues, mitigating bullying. Homosexuality remains, at least in the United States, stigmatized (Martin, 2005), and gender-neutral rearing, particularly for boys, may put them more at risk for bullying in social settings. It is important, then, that the home environment remains a secure place for children who are victims of bullying, specifically because it is through a child’s interactions and environment that they develop either a secure or insecure concept of self (Siegler et al., 2017).

    Providing children with more gender-neutral environments and expression of emotions has support in psychological literature (Watkins, 2016). For one, Martin and Fabes (2001) note that preschool children who “favor same-gender playmates develop more extreme gender-typed interests and behaviors over time” (as cited in Shutts et al., 2015, p. 14). As children get older, their gender in-group preferences and gender stereotyping strengthen; a more open and flexible notion of gender norms early on may promote a more inclusive perspective of gender behavior. Furthermore, Watkins (2016) highlights that gender-neutral parenting may better aid in the child’s freedom to develop “authentically,” and instills children with notions of gender equality. Thus, being able to code gender holds valuable information for children in social contexts, however a more neutral attitude of gender roles may alleviate many inequities and roadblocks children encounter in their development to healthy adults.

    For parents out there wondering what small gestures they may offer to their children this month to celebrate PRIDE, perhaps think about some gender-neutral play; if you haven’t already, introduce your son to dolls and dress-up and your daughters to sports and trains. Most importantly, emotions are not gendered. Psychological research is unanimous that children should feel free to experience a wide array of emotions.

    References:

    Martin, K. A. (2005). William wants a doll. Can he have one? Feminists, child care advisors, and gender-neutral child rearing. Gender and Society, 19(4), 456-479.

    Shutts, K., Kenward, B., Falk, H., Ivegran, A., & Fawcett, C. (2015). Early preschool environments and gender: Effects of gender pedagogy in Sweden. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 162, 1-17.

    Siegler, R., Saffran, J. R., Eisenberg, N., DeLoache, J., & Gershoff, E. (2017). How children develop (5th ed.). New York, NY: Worth Publishers.

    Watkins, O. (2016). Development of the authentic self: An exploration of gender neutral parenting. Journal of Undergraduate Research, 1, 21-30.

    Weisman, K., Johnson, M. V., & Shutts, K. (2014). Young children’s automatic encoding of social categories. Developmental Science, 18(6), 1036-1043.


  • published Hidden Figures and Forgotten Facts in American Women 2021-05-08 07:25:15 -0400

    Hidden Figures and Forgotten Facts

    Amanda Frost on YouTube

    Two Global Women’s Caucus events in April and May shed more light on the situation of American women, past and present. Facts and factoids, heroines and victims that somehow slip through the cracks in our telling of the story of women in our history books.

    Linda Scott, professor emeritus of entrepreneurship and innovation at the University of Oxford, talks about including women in the world economy in her book The Double X Economy.  With hard data that is easy to read, she describes barriers that have kept and keep women down, through history and still now. Fathers buying and selling daughters (do dowries still exist?) against their will; husbands burning brides whose dowries run out (yes!); men appropriating women’s earnings; banks discriminating against women applying for loans; corporations paying women less than men (we all know that one); depriving women affordable child care…and on and on.

    But The Double X Economy is not only a diatribe of miseries.  Happily there are solutions and Linda Scott lines them up is a way that gives hope for the future, encouraging for those of us who believe in political action.  And don’t we all?

    Amanda Frost, in her stupendous work You Are Not American: Citizenship Stripping from Dred Scott to the Dreamers asks these questions:

    What if…

    • you applied to vote and were told “no” just because your spouse was a foreigner?
    • you came back from visiting family members overseas and were refused re-entry to the US, despite having been born on American soil?
    • your US passport renewal was denied because you were born at home, not in a hospital?
    • you were under investigation by the Dept. of Justice, simply because you were born near the US-Mexican border?
    • US Immigration demanded documented proof of your US citizenship, what do you possess that can accurately prove this

    The loss of citizenship over the past two centuries has been reflected in many of the United States’ most gripping political struggles and much has been directed against women and minorities—over slavery and women’s suffrage, but also communism, immigration and world wars.

    Once again unsung heroines and heroes rise up from the pages and smack us face on with the need to repair injustices through political action.

    And while we’re at it….

    Books Abroad, our feminist reading group has read two blockbuster books that look at two issues that provide a revisionist version of US history that concern both women and race.  The first is Caste, The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson and the second is Wayward Lives Beautiful Experiments by Saidiya Hartman,  Both books look at history from a personal point of view, examining narratives and stories of real people. Wayward Lives gives new meaning to feminism, following the lives of black women born after the slave emancipation who emigrated north and pursued their liberation in a particular way.  The second wave of feminism has been seen generally as a movement of white women.  But before that came black women whose struggles had been overlooked until now in the movement.  Both books dovetail and intersect and discover important details that might have escaped us.




  • published GWC May 2021 Newsletter in News 2021-05-02 03:06:12 -0400

    GWC May 2021 Newsletter

    Letter from the Editor

    This month we celebrate mothers, families, childcare workers, nurses, mothers who are nurses, nurses who care for children, mothers who’ve supported their families, well...you get the point! This month we honor these women, but particularly give appreciation to the unbelievable load they have carried this past year. As VP Kamala Harris noted, we are experiencing a state of emergency; women are being forced to leave the workforce in unprecedented numbers due to the unpaid and unappreciated work of caretaking. The GWC celebrates and honors you!

    We invite you to check out some of our resources for Mothers, and engage with our team on social media. Scroll down for important updates on our actions, insightful articles on our research including motherhood and labor, and make sure to take our April Newsletter quiz! Don’t forget to check out our Artist’s Corner by scrolling down to read a poem by award winning poet, Natalie Diaz. Lastly, we would love your participation in our #MyStoryGWC campaign, where you can connect with other members through shared stories, to highlight the issues most important to us.

    We hope you enjoy this edition, and we look forward to seeing you at our events!

    Stayce Camparo, Communications Co-Chair Global Women’s Caucus

    Over 10,000 members and growing! Join us

     

     


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  • published Lost Labor and Leadership in American Women 2021-05-01 04:23:38 -0400

    Lost Labor and Leadership

     

    As a researcher concerned with child development and family policy, I wasn’t surprised when news of the burden that parents, specifically mothers, have carried during this pandemic started to ripple out of news sources. In fact, I was pleased, not because mothers are drowning in the overwhelm of working, caretaking, and dealing with the worries and stresses of a pandemic, but because I felt that finally parenting was getting some well- deserved attention. These stories continue to proliferate our news feeds, and it looks as though policy will finally begin to address the enormous burdens and pressure put on mothers. However, one main point keeps me from  getting out the streamers for celebration. As the Biden-Harris administration and a handful of bills begin to address such things as family leave, childcare, and reproductive healthcare, there is still a looming problem: motherhood and parenting remain outside our traditional view of labor and leadership.

    Last month LinkedIn made headlines when they announced that they were adding “stay-at-home mom” and “stay-at-home dad” to job titles, as well as not requiring a job description for “self-employed.” The new measures are an attempt to combat the work gaps many women are experiencing due to the pandemic. However, it is also the single first step that actually places parenting within the realm of jobs, and the job market. Rather than a gap in employment, some economists are suggesting we look at stay-at-home caretaking as a long- term investment, one that could very well surpass the economic short- term gains in labor force production.

    Bailey et al. (2019) conducted longitudinal research on the effects of the 2004 California Paid Family Leave Act (PFLA) on women’s careers. Contrary to what feminists and many economists would like to believe, the PFLA didn’t act as an incentive for mothers to return to work, nor did it provide evidence that it aided in closing wage gaps or boosting women to leadership positions. In fact, taking up PFLA ended up reducing employment by 7 percent and lowering annual wages by 8 percent for new mothers up to 10 years after giving birth. This wage loss translated to a cumulative $24,000 10-year loss for new mothers with access to paid leave. Astonishing, to say the least, this result is a blow in the face of new policies like the FAMILY Act, and not the kind of results that proponents of women’s equality want to see. However, it shows a fundamental misperception of what parenting and labor-supply are, mainly that parenting is a field outside of labor requiring necessary compensation and prestige.

    Bailey and her colleagues contend that by shifting the economic perspective on family leave, from demand-labor to supply-labor, the results of the finding overwhelmingly speak to the benefits of paid leave legislation. They write, “If the supply-side model holds, paid leave legislation could be responsible for an increase in investment of $24,000 worth of mother’s time in children.” California’s PFLA increased the time mothers spend breastfeeding and the time they spent with their children after returning to work. It also increased paternal involvement and parental mental health. Factors that seem redundant to economic analyses of family leave policy, because they don’t contribute to the focus of gender equality in the labor market or economic growth, are actually high contributors to societal well-being, parental well-being, and the well-being of our children, which in turn has huge long-term economic benefits.

    The PFLA displayed that when mothers are compensated by way of recognizing the labor of parenting, and when that compensation is delivered on the sentiment that motherhood is leadership, mothers perform better and produce better products. This is the investment of our future, and this should be the focus of paid family leave policy, not the short-term effects of wages and employer loyalty. When parenting begins to be viewed as necessary labor and leadership, mothers (and fathers) will finally have the fundamental support they need, and like all long-term investments, we will see the benefits pay off.


  • published GWC April 2021 Newsletter in News 2021-04-03 05:18:52 -0400

    GWC April 2021 Newsletter

     

    Letter from the Editor

    If the last year has taught us anything, it is that humans are just as resilient as Spring’s first blooms after a long and dark winter. While we admire those first sprouts of crocus petals waving their vibrant colors proudly, let us emerge from this past season strong and ready for action, too. Our GWC has a lot going on!

    We have a host of events this month in honor of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, a new GWC Initiative: Women’s Economic Wellbeing and Leadership, as well as Earth Day. While women and women’s issues are finally getting their deserved attention, our Action Teams are also busy preparing campaigns to warrant you the title of "Activist". Scroll down for important updates, insightful articles on the filibuster and the American Rescue Plan, and make sure to take our March Newsletter quiz! Lastly, we would love your participation in our #MyStoryGWC campaign, where you can connect with other members through shared stories, to highlight the issues most important to us.

    We hope you enjoy this edition and we look forward to seeing you at our events!

    Stayce Camparo, Communications Co-Chair Global Women’s Caucus

    Over 10,000 members and growing! Join us

     

     


     

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  • To Filibuster or Not Filibuster. That is the Question.

    On December 5th, Senator Tina Smith (NM) shared on Twitter that she was in favor of removing the filibuster, in an attempt “to move this country forward.” With previous convictions over using the filibuster to protect voting rights, civil rights, and women’s health, she took an abrupt turn stating, “it’s been a highly effective tool to thwart the will of the people.”

    The filibuster, a congressional tool requiring a supermajority of 60 votes in the Senate, was mistakenly created to protect minority representation. For example, the filibuster in its ideal form looks something like this:

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  • published Are Americans Abroad Less Prejudiced? in News 2021-04-01 05:55:16 -0400

    Are Americans Abroad Less Prejudiced?

    With roughly 9 million Americans living abroad, what does immersion in another culture offer people, and what, if any, environmental factors impact their behaviors as empathic, tolerant human beings? “Being able to take another’s perspective may be a key element in reducing prejudice” a 2012 study stated, but does simply living abroad offer individuals that experience, or does maintaining empathy and tolerance go beyond the effects of environmental exposures? How much does our environment affect our behaviors and attitudes?

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  • published The American Rescue Plan in News 2021-03-13 04:14:07 -0500

    The American Rescue Plan

    The American Rescue Plan will change the course of the pandemic, deliver immediate relief for hard hit families and small businesses, and build a bridge towards economic recovery.

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  • published For my children in ERA Stories 2021-03-04 14:58:32 -0500

    For my children

    Equality is a truth, and I am ashamed that the United States of American doesn't formally recognize that truth in the U.S. Constitution. By making the ERA a law of the land, we would send the message that equality is indeed an inalienable right, and not just a promise that can be easily broken or manipulated. Every day, in some form or another, I have conversations with my children about equality, and it is so shocking to me that equality is not formally protected in the U.S. Equal rights are important to me because I am a parent, and I don't just want the ideals of equality coming from me, but I want those ideals supported by my home country; the country of my citizenship. Stayce Camparo, residing in Germany, voting in Kansas


  • published GWC March 2021 Newsletter in News 2021-03-04 09:06:42 -0500

    March 2021 Newsletter



    Letter from the Editor

    This March, we are commemorating the brave and diverse women who’ve carved out a space for the female voice. We will be looking to the past, as well as focusing on the issues and stories of today, to continue the progression of equality and justice for women all over the world.

    Join us for our speaker series events, a month-long campaign of informational material for you to brush up on your knowledge of women’s history, and two events-in-a-box. This issue has updates on our various action campaigns as well as reports on current events. Scroll down to see our featured artist, L.A. based Andrea Bowers, to commemorate WHM, and take our February Newsletter quiz!

    We hope you enjoy this edition, and we hope to see you at our events!

    Stayce Camparo, Communications Co-Chair Global Women’s Caucus

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  • published About Ms. in News 2021-03-04 05:30:55 -0500

    About Ms.

    About Ms. By: Katherine Spillar, Executive Editor of Ms. Magazine and our Guest Speaker for International Women’s Day

    When Ms. was launched as a “one-shot” sample insert in New York magazine in December 1971, few realized it would become the landmark institution in both women’s rights and American journalism that it is today.

    The founders of Ms., many of whom are now household names, helped to shape contemporary feminism, with Ms. editors and authors translating “a movement into a magazine.”

    Ms. was a brazen act of independence in the 1970s. At the time, the fledgling feminist movement was either denigrated or dismissed in the so-called mainstream media. Most magazines marketed to women were limited to advice about finding a husband, saving marriages, raising babies or using the right cosmetics.

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  • published Practicing Wisdom this WHM in News 2021-03-04 05:26:09 -0500

    Practicing Wisdom this WHM

    Essay: What Virginia Woolf can Teach Us About Practicing Wisdom this WHM
    By: Stayce Camparo

    In the garden near the Divinity School at Harvard University, a small labyrinth is paved in stone. There is only one way to navigate it. In many ways I find this unfortunate, because I believe that questions and choices are where discernment lies, however perhaps the most important factor is not actually losing one’s self, but in the impression of being lost. For instance, the labyrinth takes the form of moving away from the center (the goal), creating an impression that one is moving in the wrong direction. Though you can’t get lost in this particular labyrinth, doubt can easily creep in as the bordered current sweeps the traveler in a contrary direction from the objective. Like philosophers contemplating abstract topics of morality or meaning, politicians debating policy, or friends and family listening and talking to each other, we all at some point navigate labyrinths. Practicing wisdom is the process by which we can allow ourselves to get lost (either genuinely or seemingly), and acknowledge that questions and doubt help us get closer to the wisdom in which we seek.

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Originally from California, I spent 9 years in Kansas City dancing with the Kansas City Ballet, and then moved to Germany to dance with Theater Augsburg. I graduated from Harvard University in 2019, and continue to work as a Research Assistant in Psycholo