82: M(other)hood

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This issue of Bad Subjects: Political Education for Everyday Life invites submission from 1k-3k words and original art work that provides insight into the many political, social, and cultural aspects of women's lives.

When it comes to women's lives, the personal truly is political. Presidential candidate Michele Bachmann recently stated that women must be "submissive" to their husbands, bringing attention to Evangelical Christian gender dynamics and their potential influence on politicians' views on "social issues." Bachmann and her ilk have declared war on abortion rights. Although abortion and reproductive health services have always been polemical topics, women's access to adequate health care is under fire at unprecedented levels in America. Republicans, the party of keeping the government out of health care, ironically advocate increased governmental interference and restrictions on women's access to it. Despite federal funding for abstinence-only education, America has one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in the developed world.

These points focus only on the negative, and that perspective does a disservice to the women who have expanded boundaries and made contributions to their respective fields. Women have served as the face of U.S. diplomacy for the better part of the last fifteen years. In 2008, Iceland elected Johanna Sigurdardottir Prime Minister, making her the world's first openly gay leader. Women are making strides in entertainment, too. Oprah Winfrey and J.K. Rowling are immensely influential. Bridesmaids showed that a female-centered comedy can be raunchy and successful at the box office. While these gains don't mean that gender inequality has been abolished, they are significant.

We welcome insightful commentary on what it means to be a woman in the twenty-first century. We favor intelligent writing for a general audience, and discourage footnoted academic papers. Please see Guidelines for Submission for additional details.

Submissions are due by January 8, 2012. Please submit essays in .rtf or .doc format. Authors do not have to submit graphics to accompany their pieces, however, if you choose to do so, please send as a JPEG at 72 or 96 dpi.

Send your pieces to Tamara Watkins, Instructor, American Culture and Language Institute, Northern Virginia Community College; and Mike Mosher, Professor, Art/Communication & Digital Media, Saginaw Valley State University.

Image © Tamara Watkins 2011

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