#1439: New Mom Comics, Paid Family Leave And Hidden Figures

Feb 22, 2017

On this week’s 51%, we meet the author of “New Mom Comics.” We learn about new legislation for paid family leave and hear about one of the women featured in the Oscar-nominated film “Hidden Figures.” I’m Allison Dunne and this is 51%.

Becoming a mother for the first time is a transformative experience. A blend of worry and fear and comedy and joy, many have tried to capture it in books, movies, TV shows, countless publications and social forums. But one new mom thought the experience merited chronicling via a different medium--comics. Alison Wong is a product designer in San Francisco and author of "New Mom Comics: The First Year," a collection of comic book-style panels and illustrations based on her experience as a first-time mom--a year's worth of light-hearted looks at phantom cries, blowouts, breastfeeding and more. She recently spoke to 51%'s Jessica Bloustein Marshall about how she crafted her comics and where she found her inspiration for them.

That was 51%’s Jessica Bloustein Marshall speaking with Alison Wong, author of "New Mom Comics: The First Year." 

Connecticut Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro and New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced the reintroduction of the Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act. The Democrats say the legislation would create a universal, gender-neutral paid family and medical leave program. 51%’s Dave Lucas has more.  

There is a group that opposes a paid federal family leave policy. The right of center Independent Women’s Forum says universal paid leave mandates may have some unintended consequences, particularly for low-income women, by discouraging flexibility and leading to fewer job opportunities. Instead, IWF advocates for personal care accounts to help employees save money tax-free to cover sick or family leave. Businesses would be encouraged to contribute these accounts in the same way that they contribute to employee’s retirement savings and lawmakers can provide tax breaks to businesses that contribute. .

Science Update: Planetary Hygiene

"Never Their Shame" explores one of the most troubling legacies of the past for African Americans: the rape of black women by white men during slavery and the Jim Crow era of segregation.  

When NASA wanted to put a man on the moon, they turned to the brightest — and whitest. That is, until Katherine Johnson demanded a role. Allison Quantz explains. 

And that's our show this week. Thanks to Patrick Garrett for production assistance. Our executive producer is Dr. Alan Chartock. Our theme music is Glow in the Dark by Kevin Bartlett. This show is a national production of Northeast Public Radio. If you’d like to hear this show again, sign up for our podcast, or visit the 51% archives on our web site at wamc.org. And follow us on Twitter @51PercentRadio