“The Sense of the Story” is a response, not exactly to her article, but to the experience of telling her my story and having it included in a wider story of working women, pay inequality, and sexism. I’m grateful for Michaella’s article, the chance to share my experience, write a response, and yes, even for the layoff itself.
Rejection Slip is a series of pieces I submitted for publication that were rejected by the editors. Oh well.
I submitted the following piece to NCR in December, in response to a multi-part discussion on Catholics who have left the church. The discussion began with Melinda Henneberger’sUSA Today column(November 2018) about why she left the church. Henneberger followed up in December with an article in NCR about the responses she fielded from that first article. Then, NCR published a respnse to Henneberger by a priest, Fr. David Knight, that they called “smart” and “thoughtful.” For the reasons I outline below, I found his response to be shallow, arrogant, and fallacious.
Michaella A. Thornton’s article, “Pink Slips: How Layoffs Create Double Jeopardy for Working Mothers,” revisits the 2018 STLCC layoffs in the context of how layoffs impact women more severely, how gender roles and expectations shape our responses to layoffs, and how layoffs neither help businesses nor refrain from punishing women harder than men. I was so pleased to be interviewed for the article, and to appear among Michaella’s intensive research, compelling narrative, and palpable passion.
The layoffs received some news coverage in 2017 and 2018. But somehow it never felt like the full story was told. I’m grateful for Michaella’s article–it’s willingness to continue reckoning with this story and re-examining this an wound, to put our story into a larger context, to shine a light on the often overlooked layoff disparities for women and mothers.
For more background and context, here’s some of the layoff news coverage from 2017-2019.
I had the great pleasure of reading at The Dial Bookshop in Chicago, and being in the company of fellow readers (left to right) Emily Jungmin Yoon, Lani Montreal, and Suman Chhabra.
Their poems about motherhood, daughterhood, race, gender, teaching, queerness, and numinous spaces were all breathtaking. Thank you for the beautiful space, words, and gathering. And thanks to Tim Moore and Kundiman for organizing the event.
See more pics: https://www.instagram.com/p/BqijyMQn9sB/
Editor Kristin George Bagdanov has a beautiful blog post about the latest issue of Ruminate and its theme of exposure. I’m delighted to have my poem, “The Convert’s Heart is Good to Eat” featured in this lovely journal. Click here to find the issue.
Created and hosted by (my friend and former colleague at SWIC) Treasure Shields Redmond and Karen Jia Lian Yang, Who Raised You is a St. Louis podcast that explores poetry, race, culture, identity–all over a kitchen table conversation. I’m so pleased to be part of their first episode of Season 2.
See the latest episode here (my poem, “Why We Are This Way,” appears at the top of show) and the Who Raised You bloghere.