VOTE AMERICA #KeepAmericaBeautiful

It’s been a long time since my last post. I have traversed three states along with several countries, navigated the passing of two family members, and find myself back where everything started in New York City.

Today, I am sitting in the newly created Lasallian Women and Gender Resource Center at Manhattan College. The center is an inclusive space designed to centralize resources, support, and advocacy for students having experiences related to gender, sexuality- including sexual assault prevention and gender justice. Each Tuesday from 2-4 at Kelly rm 203, I will be bringing a bit of the Museum of Motherhood to the campus and sharing information on mother studies.

Today is an IMPORTANT DAY – today America VOTES!

When anxious friends tell me they are upset with the current political environment, I respond with the following, “educate yourself and others, vote, be kind to your neighbor.” 

I’ve been teaching Codes of Gender this semester at MC and it couldn’t be a more timely class or a more important topic. I’m hoping to get the course material online over the holidays, but meantime, here is a poem from one of my students and a few photos from around town, including the fabulous “Body” show at Westbeth Gallery. Now…. get out there and let’s #MakeAmericaColorful

Also, a reminder that there is a current CFP for the Annual Academic MOM Conference, to be held at MC this year April 6-7. If you are an academic, student, health-worker, artist, or activist in the area of childbirth, birth trauma, and healing and think you’d like to submit, the link is here: https://mommuseum.org/conferences/

Photo taken at the Westbeth Gallery Legacy Fatale “Unbound Feminisms and Territorialities” The Queens Museum, 2016. Legacy Fatale is a performance art group: http://www.legacyfatale.com

Long Way To Go
Laura O’Neill

The plight of women has been a long one.
Giving life to men who have no empathy ain’t fun.
The first wave of feminism began in 1920.
But it’s been almost a hundred years, and we still can’t get equal money. All women have faced the struggle.
But black women have faced it double.
Sojourner Truth had to plead with her white sisters, to see her as a woman. Looking back, our history can seem quite inhuman.
The battle is far from won when it comes to binary options
It’s time to throw away all your presumptions.
Radical feminism may seem intense.
But when a man gets paid a $1, Latina women earn just 54 cents. Heteronormativity can keep people from living their best life.
Most women have big dreams, more than just a wife.
Cis humans have to make being an ally a priority.
And eventually love and acceptance will be the majority.

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Aside

PROUD TO ANNOUNCE THE PUBLICATION OF THE MUSIC OF MOTHERHOOD 2018!

Mothering and music are complex and universal events, the structure and function of each show remarkable variability across social domains and different cultures. Although mother studies and studies in music are each recognized as important areas of research, the blending of the two topics is a recent innovation. The chapters in this collection bring together artists and scholars in conversations about the multiple profound relationships that exist between music and mothering. The discussions are varied and exciting. Several of the chapters revolve around the challenges of mothering partnered with a musical career; others look at the affordances that music offers to mothers and children; and some of the chapters examine the ways in which music inspires social and political change, as well as acknowledging the rise of the mom rock phenomenon. Order the book at Demeter Press. [Link]

Book Launch February, 16th 2018 in St. Petersburgh, Florida – 7PM Location TBA

Music_Of_Motherhood_CoverAbout the Editors:

Martha Joy Rose Author Biography: Martha Joy Rose is a musician, concert promoter, museum founder, and fine artist. Her work has been published across blogs and academic journals and she has performed with her band Housewives On Prozac on Good Morning America, CNN, and the Oakland Art & Soul Festival to name a few. She is the NOW-NYC recipient of the Susan B. Anthony Award, her Mamapalooza Festival Series has been recognized as “Best in Girl-Power Events” in New York, and her music has appeared on the Billboard Top 100 Dance Charts. She founded the Museum of Motherhood in 2003, created the Motherhood Foundation 501c3 non-profit in 2005, saw it flourish in NYC from 2011-2014, and then pop up at several academic institutions. Her current live/work space in Kenwood St. Petersburg, Florida is devoted to the exploration of mother-labor as performance art.

Lynda Ross is a professor of women’s and gender studies in the Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies at Athabasca University in Alberta. She graduated with a doctoral degree in psychology from the University of New Brunswick in 1998. Lynda’s research interests focus on the social construction of theory and ‘disorder,’ attachment, and motherhood. Tying together these interests, her first book on the subject, Interrogating Motherhood, was published by the AU Press in December 2016.

Jennifer Hartmann is an ethnomusicologist, violist, and liturgical vocalist who holds a BMus (history and literature) from Dalhousie University and a MA (musicology) from McGill University. She is currently a PhD candidate at Memorial University of Newfoundland, where her primary research involves the cultural study of wedding string quartets, with a focus on the occupational folklife of gigging musicians. She has also conducted research on the use of bellydance as a coping strategy during pregnancy and labour, inspired by her own experience as an amateur dancer. She lives in Iowa with her husband and two young daughters.

 

. . . on Sisterhood

Today I am thinking about sisterhood and about how special that bond is. Did you know that there is more to sisterhood than the sisters we are born with? It turns out we are partly what our genetics hand us, and also what we make up for ourselves. After the untimely death of my brother last year, I was left with a huge void. But, because of his passing new family members have emerged.

Immediately after my brother’s death, his ex-wife, from whom I had been alienated, required help managing the impact of the crisis. There were a plethora of ways Dave’s demise affected her sons, but one son, in particular, needed a lot of attention. Throughout the next twelve months, we collaborated on strategies to navigate the grief and get access to essential services for my nephews. Through this process, my sister-in-law Denise and I rediscovered our friendship and recommitted to each other. A deep and abiding respect grew out of devastating circumstances and a new Goddess-sisterhood was formed which remains deep and ongoing.

DavidMimiJoyAnother sister that emerged after Dave’s passing was Mimi. We worked on the Upper West Side of Manhattan at Betsey Johnson as sales girls in the 1980s. After I introduced Dave and her they began dating, ultimately living together until he met and married Denise in 1989. Michelle and I remained Christmas-card friends through the years but Dave and she resumed a deep friendship after their subsequent divorces in California.

When our family took an extended trip to Scotland over the summer to commemorate my brother’s life and passing, Mimi asked if she could come along. Of course, I said yes. Then, one night in Scotland after a day of storytelling and crying in the kitchen, it occurred to me that we might both mitigate our loss by declaring our sisterhood. Our mutual losses became a bridge to a reimagined family. The next morning we announced our commitment to becoming sisters to our children. Not a week goes by that I don’t get or give a text beginning with the phrase: Dear Sister.

Today, I arrived back at the Museum of Motherhood in Florida and met with Dawn Parker who managed the space and completed her Spirited Woman Summer Residency. This grant came to us through Nancy Mills, who was recommended by my West Coast Mamapalooza Coordinator, Stacy Robin— another sister. Many sisters. Many opportunities. I give a nod to all my sisters and meditate on my bountiful family. I pray we can all feel the connection that is ours to acknowledge. Meanwhile, wishing Dawn the best and opening myself to whatever this next cycle brings in terms of fresh beginnings and the ever-expanding circle of friends who make up this beautiful human family.

Dawn_Joy