Founded in 1974, the Women’s Center was established to:
Dismantle, from a feminist perspective, all forms of oppression, including but not limited to those based on ability, age, class, ethnicity, gender, race, and sexual orientation.
Advocate for an equitable environment free from violence and harassment based on gender, race, and sexual orientation.
Create an anti-racist, non-sexist, queer-affirmative space where all people can feel valued and safe.
Facilitate and strengthen connections among people across lines of difference through programming and educational campaigns.
Integrate an appreciation of Women's Gender and Multicultural Studies across the disciplines.

Monday, July 6, 2009

"Marley and Me"...Not Just a Shallow Disney Movie Afterall

Hey folks, hope everyone had a relaxing holiday weekend!

Amidst the barbeques, pool diving, and fireworks display this 4th of July weekend brought, I managed to find time to sit down and enjoy a movie with the family. Thanks to the current state of the economy, renting movies from Blockbuster or OnDemand at five bucks a piece has proven to be beyond our budget. Forget about the movie theatres (I don't think I've stepped foot in one for two years now). While I condone the corporate conglomerate that is Wal-Mart, a fairly new addition to the stores, Redbox, has me visiting on the weekends, head hung low in shame. You can have the whole family watch the movie for $1 (provided you return the movie in one day....but still, it's $1!!). I digress...

This particular night, we rented the movie "Marley and Me", with Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson (I wasn't expecting much). Turns out, the movie wasn't entirely a wash, but a serious comedy that displayed the frigteningly realistic (although somewhat understated) reality of marriage and family life.

For those of you who have not seen the movie, click the following link to read a brief synopsis:

At one point in the movie, Aniston becomes pregnant with the couple's second child shortly after the birth of their first child (Oops!). It is at this point, Aniston immediately decides to quit her job and stay home to raise the two children. She says something to the effect of, "When I'm at home, I'm thinking about work, and when I'm at work, I'm thinking about home. I feel like I'm doing both jobs half way." I casually laugh out loud because in my head I'm going through this all-too familiar thought process...

Why does SHE have to quit her job (which she seems to really care about)? Why was it so non-chalantly decided that SHE should give up her career? Why is SHE the only one who seems torn about the situation? Why is SHE the only one who is emotionally upset about the situation? Why does this seem to mostly only affect HER?

When I posed these questions to my family (a heated debate soon followed), they couldn't seem to really answer them:

"Well, she's the mother, so it affects her differently." Do fathers not love their children as much as mothers do? Is there a scientific reason a father can not raise his own children? Why couldn't they both work and raise children?

"She offered to stay home and watch the children." Did she really offer, or feel obligated to?

Now, I'm not trying to make sweeping generalizations about what ALL women want to do with regards to marriage and children. But it's simple, in my mind. You should be able to do what you want to do in life. And, what you do in life should not be based on if you can give birth or not. Period. Mature adults should be able to come to an agreement in which both partners are happy with the decision.

I hope this post will inspire some thoughtful conversation and reflection and, if on the off chance you happen to watch "Marley and Me", watch for these situations. There are quite a few!

Peace & Love,

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