Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Soccer Moms and Methadone

First a question to my fellow bloggers: When you're away for some time do you get the "nothing is good enough" feeling when you are ready to get back into writing? After blogging almost everyday for a few months I took a much needed break but when i was ready to get back into it, i couldn't seem to click "publish post" to anything i put up on the screen... what a weird phenomenon...

But thanks to The Smirking Cat I realized today, and this post, was as a good a time/post as any to get back into the blogasphere :) Thanks for wondering where i've been :)

What has feministgal been up to in the past two weeks? Well ya'll will be happy to know that she had a grad school interview! Very psyched for the experience, not so psyched for the actual clinical psych program... it was at best, mediocre... Maybe i'll love it if i get admitted (wink) but for now, this gal is not impressed...

On to today's post: Soccer Moms & Methadone...

Thanks Brandi for passing this along: News Channel 8 (local news in CT) recently did a story on "soccer moms" being perscribed mathadone. I work in a methadone clinic and after Anna Nicole Smith's death everyone became more nervous about drug interactions (and rightfully so although it shouldn't have taken the death of a celebrity to start thinking about contraindicated medication...) Although the newscast shed some light on the miss-use and effects of not regularly monitoring patients on methadone, it also perpetuated a few stereotypes that i'd like to address. First off, the segment made it seem as though drug users neatly fit into some social/racial/economic category that can be easily defined and identified. That is simply not the case. Drug abuse is a nondiscriminatory disease and the people walking through my door everyday differ in age, SES, race, education level, sexuality, etc.

The second vast stereotype that the news segment perpetuated is the term "soccer mom" that made Brandi and I both cringed. "Soccer mom" carries a materialistic, white, "Stepford wife" connotation of motherhood that i can't imagine many women actually identifying with. Most of the moms i know who drive their kids around to soccer games (and other sports, dance, girl/boy scouts, endless activities) are working mothers, trying to fit all their family and work activities into a not nearly long enough day. The outdated concept of a suburban, minivan driving, PTA going, dinner cooking, "soccer mom" is more of a dream than a reality for most of the mothers that i know... Most families can't afford to make it on a one person income and both parents are forced to work. Sometimes the "soccer mom" responsibilities still fall on the female parent of the family. Does that sound fair? Well no. But neither is this outdated concept of an over-prescribed Valium soccer mom.

But then again, one definition of third-wave feminism tells me that:

Third Wave feminism celebrates women’s multiple and sometimes contradictory identities in today’s world. Third Wave feminists are encouraged to build their own identities from the available buffet, and to not worry if the items on their plate are not served together traditionally. Women can unapologetically celebrate a plate full of entrĂ©e choices like soccer mom, career woman, lover, wife, lesbian, activist, consumer, girly girl, tomboy, sweetheart, bitch, good girl, princess, or sex symbol.

So maybe i'm over-reacting? ;)

Here's the news segment in case you're curious:


PhD in Yogurtry said...

I came into my feminist awareness in my early-mid 20's .. as a single woman, it was so easy then. When I had kids, way harder. I didn't have much time to think, let alone push/pursue a feminist agenda. So I think parenthood and doing things that looked and smelled suburbanite (ugh) helped me become comfortable with making smaller dents (influencing my kids, my clients). I have met a few (very few) feminist soccer moms. I am NOT one myself. I nearly ran screaming from the soccer fields. But you're right, the package doesn't matter, only the belief in equality.

PhD in Yogurtry said...

congrats on the interview, by the way. i take it your interviewers don't know your blog identity. they wouldn't, most clin psych people never raise their heads above peer reviewed journals. yawn. but i think it says a lot that you know enough to be unenthusiastic about a program. there's more than clin psych to pursue your agenda .. social psych, public policy. so keep options open.

Jay P. said...

Wow, so I have to say I'm absolutely appalled at the misinformation and ignorance portrayed in that segment by News 8. I know your blog entry mostly pertained to feminist topics (i.e. soccer moms), but I want to go off on a tangent from that if I may. First off, it's no wonder that the woman felt like she couldn't breathe, she was taking METHADONE AND VICODIN!! That in effect is the same substance, and what to they both do? Depress the respiratory drive! Yes methadone is cheap, but it works! Tylenol works very well, but it's cheap too. Should we stop using that??? Methadone is an excellent medication for chronic pain, and the original plans (when it was developed in Nazi Germany) was for it to be a replacement for morphine since it was in short supply, well before it was ever even thought of for substance abuse (and accidently at that). Anna Nicole Smith died because she was ABUSING other substances with her methadone, that is how people die on meth. The problem with using methadone for chronic pain lays solely with our society, the stupid stereotypes that ignorant people place on others, and then continue to be perpetuated by other ignorant people.

PS-Congrats on getting an interview by the way! I'm sure there will be more to come. Miss you G! :)