Balancing Jane

I am a part-time PhD student studying the rhetorical construction of identity and difference, a full-time employee in education, a wife, and a new mother. My blog, Balancing Jane, serves as a space to analyze the intersections of these roles. As a result, I often analyze things like equally shared parenting, the perceptions of women in the workforce, and the media portrayal of gender and racial identities.

My Blogs

Who's Afraid of Bulking Up?: Of Fitness, Fatness, and Strength

I read a really, really ridiculous article yesterday. It's from the August 2013 issue of Harper's Bazaar, and it's titled "Is Spinning Making You Fat?" The whole premise of the article is that many women are abandoning their beloved spinning classes because all that physical exertion is resulting in (gasp, shock) more muscular lower halves. That's right, ladies, using the muscles in your legs may, in fact, cause them to get--wait for it--bigger!According to the article, some people are still allowed to take a spin class now and then ....more

Blogging to My PhD Round-Up

If you've been a reader for a while (first of all, thank you!), then you've probably noticed that my posts have gotten more and more focused on rhetorical theory and ancient philosophy. That's because today is the big day of my doctoral exams, and I've been using my blog as a way to prepare. All the posts marked "Blogging to My PhD" have been connected in some way to my exam reading list ....more

Blogging to My PhD: Statistical Noise and the Collective Value of Diversity

In The Republic, Plato makes a fairly progressive argument for women's equality, saying that women--even "in spite of wrinkles and ugliness"--should be free to practice "naked in the palaestra, exercising with the men" even though the argument will be viewed as ridiculous by the general public....more

Gendering Physical Expectations: Of "Girl" Push-Ups and "Boy" Push-Ups

Years ago, when my husband and I were dating, he locked himself out of his apartment. He had a door in his bedroom opening up to a second-story balcony, and we decided to try to get in that way. The logical choice (since he was stronger and I was lighter) was for him to boost me up to the balcony and for me to pull myself over ....more

Blogging to My PhD: Melting, Mixing, and Patching American Dreams

When I was a little kid, I was told that America was the "melting pot." I learned this during discussions of "diversity" in elementary school, discussions made somewhat abstract by the lack of racial, religious, and even most socioeconomic diversity in my own tiny, rural Midwestern hometown....more

The Good, the Bad, and the Curious (Links!)

I know I've been neglecting my blogging duties, but I'm in the final throes of completing my doctoral exams. I promise I'll be back soon! In the meantime, here's a quick recap of some of the things I've been reading in the rare moments of study breaks that made me smile (The Good), cry (The Bad), and think (The Curious).The GoodHave you seen this awesome body paint/parrot picture?Check out Danielle Vermeer's new Etsy shop for upcycled vintage clothes ....more

Guest Post: You Have to Start Somewhere

Today's guest post comes from Emma Klues, who was also kind enough to contribute this poem...more

Blogging to My PhD: In Defense of Facebook Braggarts and Faking it Until you Make It

Do you have a "friend" (or maybe even a genuine friend) on Facebook whose life looks perfect and makes you feel a little tinge (or a shooting bolt) of jealousy?They're posting pictures of homemade oatmeal with "I Love You" spelled out in syrup while you're running out the door with a cold Pop Tart in one hand and your toddler's forgotten show and tell toy in the other, pantyhose ripped and hair a mess. They're talking about long walks in the park on Saturday evening while you're fighting with your kid to finish his homework and trying to figure out if laundry or dishes are the more important chore. They're posting selfies with their hair in perfect, face-framing curls and flawlessly applied mascara while you're wondering how you can manage to have acne on your chin and...more

Guest Post: I Got Married . . . And People Got Upset

Today's guest post comes from an anonymous guest who feels frustration over the response to her wedding. Is there a right way to get married? And who gets to decide? ...more

Guest Post: Stories from the Fitting Room

Today's guest post comes from Sheri McCord, an adjunct professor at SLU and a Women's Studies scholar. She kindly shares this story of her summer spent working in the fitting room of an upper-end...more