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The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

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Mothers teach life skills; give respect

By Linze Griebenow | May 7, 2012
In the story of our lives, mothers are the most underrated characters. Marge Simpson for example, is The Simpsons’ funniest character hands down. But, like Marge, moms are credited with obscure accomplishments like cooking the best meals, being able to remember everyone’s birthday and anniversary and always seeming to know when we need new socks and underwear. Though sometimes that stuff is true, and as wholly essential it is to have ample undies, moms are valuable for far more important reasons. Growing up, I knew my mom as a travel agent. She worked in a sparkling, golden building near the city and told me stories about all the places in the world she had been. Yeah, she did all that other stuff, too, like making sure I wasn’t staying up until 10 p.m. watching Melrose Place as a 5-year-old or running around wearing a potato sack or something, but I thought of her as so much more than that. My mother taught me how to never let the fact that I was a woman hold me back from anything. She taught me how to get things done. My mom took me to see the ocean for the first time when I was 4 years old and told me how to dress for fickle weather last Wednesday, at 22. When I was 10 years old, she quit her job to stay at home, but never stopped working, learning or teaching my siblings and myself. And yet ironically, while women generally have little choice in whether or not they want to become mothers, they do more than their fair share. In “A Woman’s Place: Unpaid Work in the Home,” by Loree A. Primeau, a study evaluating differences in women and men’s involvement in the work force, both public and private, Primeau found women who worked outside the home would suffer a “second shift,” a term coined by Arlie Hochschild. This second shift causes fulltime working moms to put in “an extra month of 24-hour-days of work over the course of a year,” as they have an extra 35 hours of housework a week. The stay-at-home-mom works 55 hours a week, roughly four 24-hour-day months a year. Oh mama. Moms are so much more than the ones who prepare our lunch according to what condiments we like. They’re the ones who teach us that yelling goofy things out the window while driving makes us feel better, and they’re the ones who hurt more than we do when someone breaks our hearts. However, there is a misconception that women were put on this Earth only to reproduce, to be loving and nurturing mothers and to dedicate their lives to the principles of motherhood. Though it pains me to be the messenger, it’s not true. Not all mothers instantly bond with their babies and not all mothers are fit. Some mothers are so disillusioned by their social displacement and the pressure to perform that they succumb to mental illness and do unspeakable things. The varying shades of mothers are proportional to the varying shades of women, so if we find we have a mother willing to put up with us while still maintaining a degree of sanity, we should never let them go. So, mom, this one is for you, and it’s for grandma, and for every stepmom, transmom, dad, aunt, cousin, friend, neighbor, daughter or son who ever stepped up. Cheers.

Please stop sexifying: “Sexy” costumes are more weird than hot

By Jerene-Elise Nall | October 25, 2011

Ah, Halloween - an excuse for young women everywhere to dress like sexy versions of everything from kitty-cats to doormats. But how far is too far? Below is a list of ten of the weirdest "sexyfied" costumes of 2011. Yes, these are actual costumes. No,...