My Biggest Regret as a Parent

Published in Role / Reboot July 19, 2012.
Regrets
Mistakes in parenting are inevitable, but regrets are harder to bear. For Kate McGuinness, not listening to her instincts has proven the most difficult hurdle to overcome.

After longing for a child for years, I adopted a baby boy 23 years ago and felt a whole-hearted love I’d never before experienced. However, with that love came bottomless concern about his well-being. A compulsive worrier, I’ve anxiously analyzed each developmental quirk and spent hours pondering past and future parenting decisions.

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U.S. Powerless Against Honor Killings In Afghanistan

By Kate McGuinness
Published in Forbes July 10, 2012.

This is a guest post by Kate McGuinness, a former Biglaw partner and former general counsel to a major media company.

Execution

Taliban Executes A Woman (Photo credit: Jonathon Narvey)

My anger at the latest “honor killing” of a woman in Afghanistan flared as I read Secretary of State Clinton’s declaration that, like Pakistan, Afghanistan was now one of our country’s 15 “major non-NATO allies.”

What an outrage!

After all, the weekend’s news also carried the report of the shooting death of a Pakistani woman who had openly advocated for women’s rights in her country.

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Yesterday, Five Individuals Determined the Fate of Millions of American Women

English: West face of the United States Suprem...

English: West face of the United States Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C. Español: Edificio de la Corte Suprema de Estados Unidos en Washington, D.C. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Originally published June 29, 2012 in Role/Reboot

Yesterday the United States Supreme Court upheld the key provisions of the Affordable Care Act. The court’s narrow vote of 5 to 4 means millions of American women will have dramatically better health care.

ObamaCare phases in over time. Under its provisions:

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5 Concrete Steps to Shut Down the Office Lech

By Kate McGuinness
Published in Forbes, June 18, 2012

Women law school graduates should be warned that law is a sexist profession.

Sexual discrimination is widespread and sexual harassment occurs all too often.

He’s Persistent, Offensive and Powerful

Here’s a recent real life example of sexual harassment told by an associate’s therapist: A partner in a one-on-one meeting with a female associate leans over and says, “I’d really love to kiss you right now.”

Then he barrages her with e-mails about how hot she is. Click to continue reading “5 Concrete Steps to Shut Down the Office Lech”

Do Sexual Harassment Lawsuits Chill Opportunities for Women?

Published in Fem2.0 June 6, 2012

Ellen Pao

Woman who sued venture capital firm for sexual discrimination

Recently, Ellen Pao, a junior partner at venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, sued the firm charging widespread discrimination against women. She also alleged that she had been sexually harassed and suffered retaliation after she complained about the harassment.

Bloomberg published an opinion piece by Amity Shlaes criticizing Ms. Pao’s suit for a variety of reasons. One was that venture capital firms contribute greater economic growth because they are more “creative” and “wild” with a different culture than square “dinosaurs.” Although she acknowledges that “creative rebels have often behaved poorly in their creative workplaces,” her argument seems to be that discrimination and harassment should be overlooked if they take place in a company that generates growth.

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Honor Dr. Tiller: Keep Late-Term Abortions Available

By Kate McGuinness
Published in Fem2.0 May 31, 2012

George Tiller abortion clinicMay 31, 2012 marks the third anniversary of the assassination of Dr. George Tiller, a Kansas physician who provided late-term abortions in his Wichita clinic. An abortion opponent fatally shot Dr. Tiller in the eye while he was handing out bulletins inside his church during worship services.

Dr. Tiller became a target of antiabortion activists because he performed abortions on women who had passed the twenty-first week of their pregnancies. These abortions terminated fetuses that either had severe or fatal birth defects or were healthy but whose birth would cause the woman “substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function,” as certified by two other physicians.

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The Paycheck Fairness Act: For When Women are Old and Broke

By Kate McGuinness
Published in Fem2.0 May 29, 2012

PaycheckIn virtually every occupation, women earn less than men of comparable experience, education and seniority. From the moment a woman throws her graduation cap into the air to the moment she retires, she earns less than a similar man.

This difference is commonly quantified as a woman earns 77 cents for each dollar a man earns. The twenty-three cents nick is bad. But when it goes on year after year throughout a 40-year career, the loss is catastrophic.

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When Women Fail on the Public Stage: Ina Drew and JPMorgan Chase

By Kate McGuinness
Published in Fem2.0, May 19, 2012

Wall Street is notorious for its lack of female power brokers. Catalyst reports that women make up only 15 percent of executive or senior-level officers in investment banking and securities companies.

Ina DrewThe fall of one of these women results in public scrutiny. Ina Drew of JPMorgan Chase is the latest casualty. Until May 14, Ms. Drew was a member of the bank’s operating committee and headed its Chief Investment Office, a unit blamed for losses in excess of $2 billion.

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What My Mother Did To Me That I Will Not Do To My Son

By Kate McGuinness
Published in Role/Reboot, May 10, 2012

Kate McGuinness’ mother smothered her growing up, so when Kate became a mother, she refused to parent her son similarly. But without those scarring experiences, she wouldn’t be as good a parent as she is today, so for that, she’s thankful.

Smother-motherLike many new parents, I swore I would not raise my child the way my mother raised me. With the benefit of hindsight, I can see where I’ve succeeded, where I’ve failed, and better understand her choices.

Primary on the laundry list of intended differences was allowing my son to separate in age-appropriate increments. I had experienced my mother as smothering—demanding my presence, my interest in her interests, my adoption of her opinions. As a teen, I decided the word “smother” was derived from the word “mother” despite contrary etymological evidence.

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Instead Of Wedding Shower Gifts, Give A Goat

By Kate McGuinness
Published in Role/Reboot May 4, 2012

Kate McGuinness traces the history of wedding and baby showers, and offers new ways to reboot the tradition, which includes swapping gifts for charitable donations to those in need.

Baby GoatI’ve gotten to the age when many of my friends’ daughters are marrying or reproducing. These occasions are celebrated by the community holding “showers.” I began to wonder about this tradition after attending a particularly boring baby shower in which the expectant mother sat on a “throne,” each gift was passed from guest to guest to be admired, and we played a childish game about baby paraphernalia.

Why do we do this? Do showers make sense in the 21st century?

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