This paper was written for a conference on third wave feminism. Third wave feminism recognizes the importance of "raising the floor," and this paper - from two second wave feminists - helps in developing an agenda for achieving that goal. After a brief exploration of two different models that we label "red families" and "blue families," this paper makes two critical points: first, it correlates the different models to the varying approaches to parental leave laws; and second, it expands our discussion of women and care beyond the workplace and child care, exploring what contributes to women's ability to care for their children (and others) - education - an outcome that is associated with deferred childbearing and higher income and the newer family model. Our conversation about third wave feminism must examine women's means of moving between classes and being able to provide better care to themselves and to others (whether it be children or parents or significant others).
Naomi Cahn & June Carborne, Lifting the Floor: Sex, Class, and Education at the U. Balt.L. Forum (2009).