Meredith O'Brien
Do you pay attention to how the mom characters are portrayed on your favorite TV shows? Loathe the so-called "mommy wars" on which the news media love to focus? Each week, Meredith O'Brien's Working Moms in Pop Culture & Politics column provides a reality check on how TV shows, movies, and the media depict moms. A longtime journalist and mother of three, Meredith O'Brien formerly taught journalism at the University of Massachusetts, is the author of A Suburban Mom: Notes from the Asylum and writes the Picket Fence Post blog for GateHouse Media. Follow Meredith on Twitter: @MeredithOBrien

It's All About Choices: Last Week On Desperate Housewives and Oprah

Working moms were all over the small screen last week - from "Desperate Housewives" to the "Oprah Winfrey Show"- jawboning about why the career choices they made are good for them and for their families.

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Little Children's Take on the Working Mom.

One's thoroughly imperfect but tragic and relatable. The other is cold and demanding. When you watch the two moms in the critically acclaimed film, "Little Children," that's how they seem. One's light. One's dark. And that's a shame. The movie is promoted as a suburban drama about angst in a fictional Massachusetts town, particularly the shared angst between two stay-at-home parents, a mom and a dad, who engage in a steamy affair that's promoted on sexy movie posters around the country.

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The Woman of the House Takes A Mommy Moment.

After U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi - mother of five and former at-home parent -- was sworn in as the first woman speaker, she invited the children who were present in the House chamber to come on up to the rostrum and touch the speaker's gavel. Many were stunned. It was a move you would've never imagined seeing if the newly minted House speaker were a dad.

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Name It, Change It: Sexism In The Media

It’s only been a mere handful of weeks since the U.S. Women’s World Cup team ignited jubilant passion among a large population of girls who looked up to the players as role models. In fact my daughter got to revel in that passion by attending a Women’s Professional Soccer game, where she got to see the likes of World Cup stars Abby Wambach and Megan Rapinoe play as crowds of female and male soccer fans clamored for their autographs. I especially loved seeing a young teenage boy wearing a Hope Solo jersey.

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Stop Selling Sexism To Our Daughters

How can we expect girls to grow up independent and empowered, when they're constantly being told by society to forget those pesky heavy textbooks and worry about being pretty? more

The News Media & Working Moms

Two print publications devoted a lot of ink to working moms this past week, with the magazine The American Prospect dedicating a special report and nine articles to the challenges of working parenthood, and the Boston Globe in its Sunday magazine publishing an article about women who out-earn their husbands but still do the bulk of the childcare and housework.

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The Power Of The Mom Vote

Why are women so often left out of the world of politics? Don't underestimate the power of moms at the poll booth! more

Media Images of Working Moms Matter.

A little over a year ago, ABC newswoman Elizabeth Vargas was sitting - literally - at the pinnacle of her profession, having been named a co-anchor of the ABC "World News Tonight." After her colleague Bob Woodruff was gravely injured while covering Iraq, she was left to staff the anchor desk solo, the only female anchor at the helm of the prestigious 6:30 p.m. news program at the time.

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