never married, over forty, a little bitter

baby steps

Glad this is not only about parents:

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., and Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., on Thursday introduced the Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act, a piece of groundbreaking legislation that would have employees contribute .02 percent of their wages in exchange for an earned benefit of 12 weeks of leave at two-thirds their monthly salary. This leave can be used by men and women to stay home with a new child, care for an ailing relative or attend to their own personal medical needs. It is precisely the kind of law that would make the much discussed “life-work” balance more manageable for working American families — particularly the working women to whom these responsibilities so often fall.

Unfortunately, like most legislation that would help working families (and working women in particular), it has very little chance of passing in this Congress.


On a personal level, all we want is some empathy (not pity, please, no more pity!) and an awareness that, as childless women, we are navigating life on the margins of society and, if childless not by choice, are often weighed down by unresolved grief and perhaps a mountain of IVF debts. On a political level, we would welcome a discussion on the underlying structural reasons for the current levels of childlessness. It hasn’t been this high since a generation of women born around 1900 were first robbed of potential partners by a world war, and were then hit by the Great Depression, which made children a choice many couldn’t afford. What are the reasons this time?


…Sabina’s path of betrayals would then continue elsewhere, and from the depths of her being, a silly mawkish song about two shining windows and the happy family living behind them would occasionally make its way into the unbearable lightness of being.

Though touched by the song, Sabina did not take her feeling seriously. She knew only too well that the song was a beautiful lie. As soon as kitsch is recognized for the lie it is, it moves into the context of non-kitsch, thus losing its authoritarian power and becoming as touching as any other human weakness. For none among us is superman enough to escape kitsch completely. No matter how we scorn it, kitsch is an integral part of the human condition.

Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, p. 256