I’m pasting part of a fine reflection from The Crunk Feminist Collective, the rest of which you can read here. She was writing Monday in response to the strike that just ended today in my city:
What I do not hear is any recognition that my friend may want to have children or that many teachers do have children which should not decrease their ability to be teachers.
My experience working in labor taught me that I had to look at the whole person. A teacher is not just a worker, then a parent, then a spouse, then a daughter, then a grad student, then an active church member, then an involved member of the polity, then a block captain for her street. She is all of those things at once. A ten hour work day, with impromptu mandatory meetings at 5:30pm, or an Open House at 6pm after the ten hour day is exactly what unions should be fighting against. The lions share of the burden for improving our children’s education can not rest on the shoulders of women. Teachers need protections and they must have the ability to exercise their voice to fight for the rights of children in the classroom, and to protect the best interests of their households as members of Chicago communities.