Thursday, December 22, 2011

Couple of Parent-Centric Columns: Lessons from 2011's TV Parents & Why Moms Should Run for Office

Lessons from 2011's TV Parents

It's been quite the year for parents on the small screen.

We've been entertained by the hijinks of the Modern Family's Claire & Phil Dunphy and their bedroom door that should've had a lock on it before their kids surprised them at inopportune moment.

We've seen Parenthood's Adam and Kristina Braverman try and fail to ban their teen daughter from dating an older man who had his own apartment.

We witnessed The Middle's Frankie and Mike Heck declare themselves to be free from their children's unreasonable demands which reduced them to little more than unpaid, disrespected servants (although the self-declared freedom was short-lived).

We laughed as Up All Night's new parents, Chris and Reagan Brinkley, tried in vain to prove that they're hip and cool and able to party it up on weeknights, even though their baby isn't sleeping through the night yet, they're sleep deprived and Reagan needed to work in the morning.

My recent Pop Culture and Politics column details these child-rearing lessons that I gleaned from watching TV parents during 2011.

Why Moms Should Run for Office

In another recent Pop Culture and Politics column I extended an invitation to women who are raising the next generation to run for public office because, all too often, women's voices are not heard or represented in our elected bodies.

The advocacy group She Should Run offered up this dour data on the state of women in American politics:
  • "Women hold only 17 percent of the seats in Congress."
  • "State legislatures only have 23 percent women."
  • "Only 6 out of 50 states have a female governor."
  • "The United States trails behind the rest of the world -- ranking 87th in the number of women in our national legislature."
  • ". . . [W]omen are 50 percent less likely than men to seriously consider running for office, less likely than men to actually run for office and far less likely to run for higher office."
As one of the founders of The White House Project (whose goals include electing a female commander in chief) said in the powerful documentary Miss Representation, when it comes to our daughters, "You can't be what you can't see."

Image credit: She Should Run.

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