For Immediate Release
May 2, 2013
Award-winning Washington author Stephanie Coontz will speak on Courting Trouble? The Invention and Transformation of 'Traditional' Marriage and Male-Female Relationships at Lower Columbia College, Thursday, May 9, at 7:00 p.m. in the Wollenberg Auditorium, Rose Center for the Arts. This free community lecture is part of the William Vest Memorial Lecture series.
Coontz teaches history and family studies at The Evergreen State College in Olympia and is Director of Research and Public Education for the Council on Contemporary Families. A featured speaker on gender equality on NPR, the Today Show, and before Congress, her message is timely as Americans struggle with questions surrounding equity in the workforce and the 'traditional' definition of marriage.
As America marks the 50th anniversary of Betty Friedan's international best seller, The Feminine Mystique, which has been widely credited with igniting the women's movement of the 1960s, Coontz examines factors that continue to influence women’s choices balancing home and work.
In a New York Times opinion article earlier this year, she cited research that found 65% of the fathers interviewed felt that mothers and fathers should provide equal amounts of caregiving for their children, while in another poll, 72% of both women and men under 30 agreed that the best marriage is one in which husband and wife both work and both take care of the house.
Astonishingly, despite the increased workload of families, and even though 70 percent of American children now live in households where every adult in the home is employed, in the past 20 years the United States has not passed any major federal initiative to help workers accommodate their family and work demands, she writes.
“Our goal should be to develop work-life policies that enable people to put their gender values into practice,” according to Coontz. “To do that, we must stop seeing work-family policy as a woman's issue and start seeing it as a human rights issue that affects parents, children, partners, singles and elders.”
Professor Coontz will be available following the lecture to sign copies of her books the evening of the lecture.
The William Vest Memorial Lecture Series was established in memory of longtime social science instructor William Vest through the Lower Columbia College Foundation. The lecture is sponsored by the Associated Students of Lower Columbia College, the LCC Faculty Professional Development Fund and an LCC Exceptional Faculty Grant.
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