Britney Spears and the Right to Reproductive Justice: Regulation and Conservatorship in the Child Welfare System

The similarity between Britney Spears’s limitations in decision-making regarding her reproductive decisions and the regulation of the child welfare system on poor, disabled, minority parents is clear. Their individual rights to choice and privacy are erased and structural limitations imposed on them.

Spears’s fame has brought attention to a major issue—but the same energy needs to remain for everyone fighting for their freedom within a system actively working against them.

When It Comes to Family Policies, the Public Doesn’t Want to Pick and Choose

Sen Joe Manchin said he would not vote for a “reckless expansion of government programs,” and has reportedly demanded progressive Democrats “pick one” of Biden’s three family policies included in the bill: extending the child tax credit; childcare; or paid family and medical leave.

But most Americans don’t see investments in critical family policies as reckless—and they don’t want to choose between them.

Families Depend on Congress to Pass Paid Family and Medical Leave—Mine Included

Whether someone is navigating a child’s serious health needs, a cancer diagnosis, a parent’s stroke, the birth of a new child, or so many other personal events that shape our lives, all U.S. workers—not just those like me who happen to live in one of the nine states or D.C. that has passed a paid leave law—deserve to be there for their loved ones when we are needed most. 

Stimulus Payments and the Child Tax Credit Are Transforming U.S. Families—What Happens When They End?

Neither the COVID-era stimulus payments nor the child tax credit were designed to be permanent solutions—but if they were, they would especially help working moms, low-income women and women of color.

The Magnolia Mother’s Trust puts this into action, demonstrating that giving women an economic safety net leads to families escaping poverty and having the ability to set themselves and their families up for success.

September Saw One of the Biggest Drops in Women’s Jobs Since Pandemic Began

September saw one of the largest dropoffs of women from the labor force since the pandemic began. The last time women left the workforce in such large numbers was in September 2020—and that’s not a coincidence. 

The start of school during the pandemic has now coincided twice with significant job losses for women, underscoring that sectors disproportionately employing women continue to be hard hit and childcare centers are struggling.

Rise in Pandemic Divorce Sounds Alarm to Address Gender Inequities at Home

Being quarantined led to a devastating hit on U.S. marriages. By June 2020—just three months into the pandemic—there had been a 34 percent increase in couples contemplating divorce compared to 2019.

While financial stressors and health worries contribute to the breakdown of partnerships, in many heterosexual partnerships, it is the massive disparity in who does household labor, including childcare, that matters most.

Céline Sciamma’s “Petite Maman”: A Unique Meditation on the Bond Between Mothers and Daughters

In Céline Sciamma’s newest feature, “Petite Maman,” for the first time, mother and daughter speak the same language and play the same games—perhaps discovering that they understood each other all along.

[This is one in a series of reviews from the 2021 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), during which I focused on films directed by women.]