An exhibition of stories of new mid-life mothers told through photographs and their words at Nurture.
this blessed life on her recent experience in breastfeeding another mother’s baby.
There are no Emily Post instructions on the correct etiquette for visiting someone’s home for the first time with the intention of breastfeeding their newborn. I went, met Father and Mother, introduced myself, congratulated them on their baby, gave them the one bottle of expressed milk I had, then asked, “Do you want me to nurse him?”
“Sure,” Mother said, “that would be great.” So we sat together, she and I. She handed me her tiny treasure and I bared a breast.
And this on “how to deliver a baby without pain meds if you’re not a spiritual person but are really geeky” at The Hairpin.
I Blame the Patriarchy in response to the recent sex-positive feminist criticisms of her writing. (As a pencil skirt wearing, blow-job giving, hopelessly devoted mother to two kids I still think Jill’s writing is some of the most wonderfully thought-provoking feminist writing there is on the Internet).
Such a viewpoint is a luxury of youth. It is the great tragedy of the women’s liberation movement that fully-realized feminist consciousness is too rarely achieved by women who are still young and fit enough to take on Dude Nation in a knife fight. Too often, it’s only when a woman ages out of pornosity, and is too old to do anything but take pictures of cows, that she discovers what the world really thinks of her.
The counter-argument to the absurd fallacy that unemployment benefits undermine job-seeking at The Boxcarkids’ Blog.
I feel much more of a failure now than I did just 4 months ago when we were receiving benefits. And I fear it shows in my interactions with other people and my parenting, which is short on patience. When my daughter tells me she needs gold paint for her class project I lose my temper and tell her if she NEEDS it the school will have to provide it. I snap at the child who spilled spaghetti sauce on my partially filled-in job application. When my son doesn’t finish his dinner and slides it to the floor for the dogs I go into a tirade about food costing money! Money that we don’t have! The older two have caught on and are careful, but the youngest still don’t understand why we won’t be doing any of the fun things I had originally suggested during their fall break from school next week. “But you promised!” they whine, ignoring the attempts of their older siblings to hush them.
I regret the impatience and tirades, the curt negative responses to questions about whether we can eat out or see a movie. I’m sorry that I’m annoyed and tired; that I chastise them for not understanding or helping out more or about their whining about missing the after school program. And I’m especially sorry that in the darkest hours of the night I sometimes wish I weren’t their parent, wish that I had no one dependent upon me.
Viva la Feminista reviews Mothers on Trial by Phyllis Chesler.
For fifteen years, I worked as an activist and writer investigating the father’s rights movement and I worked on family law and motherhood issues. When I started, the father’s supremacist movement was beginning to take off on the internet, in private homes, and in church basements. It was not nearly as organized and as powerful as it is now. Chesler was one of the few experts aware of that backlash against women and mothers in particular that the father’s supremacist movement represented, and she spoke out against it. I have since ceased my activist work and I’ve moved on, but I occasionally choose projects in the field that I feel are important. Reviewing this book is one of them.
Balancing Jane on mothers swearing.
The first one recounts a mom’s decision to clean up her own language so as not to influence her children’s. She also says, “I’ve had the talk (many times over) with the kids about how grown-ups have words that they can use, but kids can’t. I’ve even admitted that I shouldn’t always use those words.” And I understand the sentiment; it’s a popular one, for sure.
But I just don’t agree. I don’t think that I “shouldn’t” use these words. There are times, in fact, when I fully believe that I should use these words. They are the right ones to get across this particular idea. I don’t use them at work, in public settings, or around other people’s kids, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a place for them. And if there’s a time and a place for me to use those words, how am I supposed to tell my kid that there will never be a time and place for her to use them?
A Bee Of A Certain Age on mother-blaming and the ‘walk to school’ message.
The reasons for children not walking to school are to my mind, obvious. Time, and safety. If you are in paid employment as well as parenting, then time counts. Even twenty minutes walking your children to school is a huge impost in the mornings when you are racing to get to work.
A series from Love Live Grow about her twenty years of experience with polyamory.
Twice in the last several years, I have considered having a child with a man. Both times, the man in question had current sexual relationships with other women, and I imagined him impregnating her. And the feeling I had in relation to that imagining would probably best be described by the word jealousy, although it felt much more primal than other times I’ve felt jealousy. Basically, I felt like I would die if that were to happen. Or maybe kill someone. But either way, the scenario of him knocking up someone else felt like a thing that Must. Not. Happen. Now, I firmly believe that people can do whatever they want with other people, and even if they didn’t want to, healthy sexuality requires an acceptance that accidents will happen. So, at the end of the day, I’m sure I wouldn’t die or kill anyone. But running up against that feeling was interesting to me, and it brought me a little closer to understanding monogamy. Before having that feeling, I couldn’t understand the jealousy I’ve heard monogamous people describe. After having that feeling, I understand it a bit better. I wonder if it’s just a fluke of my brain that I don’t feel that way about sex or love. I feel that way about babies, though, apparently, and it gives me more compassion for people who feel it on other topics.
One Day I Will Rule the World on hearing hateful bigotry everywhere and … buying another cat.
After the last few days of enduring other people’s opinions on prostitution, criminals in prison, poverty, mental illness and homelessness – not to mention the sheer volume of people of my acquaintance who STILL think it’s okay to call something “Retarded” – I came home and said to Ian, “one of these days I am actually going to pitch the fit that is always in my mind during these conversations.”
“Fuck you, I grew up on welfare.” “Y’know what? Fuck you, I grew up in what you are snidely calling the hood, and it’s just a neighbourhood, one I would happily live in again if I needed to and one that’s not well served by being stigmatized.” “Shut the fuck up about prisoners giving up their rights or deserving prison rape, my father’s in prison, asshole.” “My uncle was homeless for the last several years of his life – a situation that most certainly contributed to the shortness of it, so how about you shut the fuck up with your generalizations about their behaviour and drug use and while you’re at it, shut the fuck up about mental illness.”
Men writing about work-life balance compiled at Wandering Scientist.
So why, exactly, have we let the work-life balance issue get framed as a “working mother’s issue?”
Motherhugger on why she disagrees with claiming the word ‘slut’. (Personally, I have mixed feelings about Slutwalk, am neither opposed to the idea nor without cynicism about it).
In the advertisement for the new film, Crazy Stupid Love, a male character says something like. ‘The war of the sexes is over. We won when women started doing poledancing for fitness.’ I feel that slutwalk is like that. It shows we’ve given up. It’s not that we’ve lost. We’ve given it away. Why can’t we protest to be respected, but do it in a way that respects ourselves, our children, and women all over the world as well?
I won’t be campaigning for the right for my children to be called sluts. The word should die from disuse. As should any other word that demeans women – bitch, cunt, strumpet, slag, scrubber etc
A guest post at PhD in Parenting on that Babble post shaming women into covering up while breastfeeding.
The Babble post revealed to me a new mother who is coping with being in the vice grip of discomfort with her own newly postpartum body and perhaps even the role her breasts now play in her life. She is not the only mother to feel this way – to want to keep her breasts the sexual body part we are more comfortable hiding (or revealing and displaying) here in western society. No doubt this is shaky ground for many of us. With constraining standards of beauty and womanliness, our bodies in a state of very real flux, and infants needing constant care, we are in fact, trying to row up stream without a paddle when we engage in the small act of kindness towards ourselves. Can I love this postpartum body when there is no one telling me I should? If I am applauded for getting back into my jeans as soon as possible, surely I should hide any bodily evidence to the contrary, right?
dirt and rocks on the physical sensations of maternal desire.
In an exceptionally blessed and privileged life, being Angel’s mother has been the highlight. Once he was born, I never felt that desire again. I felt something vaguely similar when he left for college. Luckily I was able to recognize it for what it was: a physical desire to have HIM again, not any random baby.
These days I notice the urge for a grandchild is growing but those feelings are embodied in my arms.
Feministe on more reasons to like Alexander Skarsgård.
Skarsgård: And that’s also why we’re so liberal and so cool with our sexuality — because we fuck a lot [laughter].
Åkerlund: How much time can you spend playing the drums?
Skarsgård: When you’re bored, just have sex.
The full bush at The Hand Mirror.
I admit to a passing interest in fashion trends. Well ok, maybe that’s exaggerating my interest. So this may not be breaking news, but I’ve been thinking about it since chatting with a lesbian friend 14 years younger than I am.
We were talking about our bodies, and how we felt about them, and she said she shaved all her pubic hair. I asked her how her lovers felt about this, and she looked shocked and said “they all have too, of course.” When I told her I have never slept with a woman who shaves all her pubic hair, she looked shocked again.
An interesting question over at attending to apples with what do you think about during sex?
* i think i forgot to shave my legs
*that feels good
Breastfeeding in high art on The Hairpin.