As always, I have already posted a good number of these links on twitter but in case you don’t do twitter but do do links here’s them and much more –
My oldest son is six years old and in love for the first time. He is in love with Blaine from Glee.
For those who don’t know Blaine is a boy…a gay boy, the boyfriend of one of the main characters, Kurt.
So, after the success of last years Young Mums in 2010 post I thought I’d have another go at putting together a collection of Prymface stories, events and challenges that was 2011 for young mums.
Have you grown up female in the United States*? I did. I think about my experiences and how much they might have informed my current views, my sense of who I am, my wariness about men combined in complex ways with how very much I like men. I think that many men who are perfectly good people who respect women feel targeted, named, included by association when women complain about how men treat them, accost them in elevators or on sidewalks, behave too persistently in bars, and otherwise make nuisances or worse out of themselves. When I complain about these things and heartily agree that yes, all I want to do is take a walk, I don’t mean to encompass all men in these condemnations. Yet, I’d imagine that unless you grew up female, you may not have a complete understanding of why women–some women, at any rate–react this way to such behaviors.
The men currently in my life, the ones I include there volitionally and mutually, are all thoughtful people who’d never follow a woman on the street, catcall at her, or otherwise stress her out simply because she exists and is out in public. It’s not these men who are the ones of whom I’m wary. It’s the men I do not know. And there are reasons for that.
At issue, then, is not nature or nurture but how nurture becomes nature: the environment in which children play and grow can encourage a range of aptitudes or foreclose them. So blithely indulging — let alone exploiting — stereotypically gendered play patterns may have a more negative long-term impact on kids’ potential than parents imagine. And promoting, without forcing, cross-sex friendships as well as a breadth of play styles may be more beneficial. There is even evidence that children who have opposite-sex friendships during their early years have healthier romantic relationships as teenagers.
Traditionally, toys were intended to communicate parental values and expectations, to train children for their future adult roles. Today’s boys and girls will eventually be one another’s professional peers, employers, employees, romantic partners, co-parents. How can they develop skills for such collaborations from toys that increasingly emphasize, reinforce, or even create, gender differences? What do girls learn about who they should be from Lego kits with beauty parlors or the flood of “girl friendly” science kits that run the gamut from “beauty spa lab” to “perfume factory”?
The phenomenon of women who have sex for its own sake seems to baffle many people. It’s widely believed that women have sex for love, commitment, poor self-control, to manipulate men, to please men, to make babies, to sooth their low self-esteem, and just about any reason at all other than their own pleasure. (While men, of course, are rutting horndogs who just want to stick it in the nearest wet hole available.) Sex, according to this trope, is by its nature a commodity that women possess and men are trying to obtain… and the phenomenon of women who are “giving it away,” who are defying these assumptions and treating sex as a pleasurable interaction between equals, is making the media piss all over themselves.
When we first meet at a mutual friend’s birthday party, I have no idea who they are. She describes her politics as “Ron Paul-Christian,” and he says he would never support Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey in national politics because his obesity reflects a “character flaw.” A friend pulls me aside for context: “I wouldn’t talk about politics with them. They are serious,” she says, “and extremely influential among young conservatives.”
Later, I am shocked to find out that Molotov, 32, and Patricia, 31, aren’t just known among young conservatives; they regularly pop up on media watchdog sites like Right-Wing Watch and Media Matters. The Mitchells’ company, Illuminati Pictures, makes savvy use of social media to communicate their blend of right-wing Christianity and Tea Party politics. Their video, “I Invented the Internet,” garnered millions of views and introduced the Obama birth-certificate conspiracy theory to the wider conservative world. In that video, Molotov calmly demonizes what he calls the “black liberation theology” he associates with Obama.
The What To Do About The Nanny genre has rules: It will citethe author’s own life as a cautionary example of what feminism hath wrought. It will touch upon the lower orders–community college students, single black mothers, the nanny–and explain how they’re relevant to the upper-middle-class. It will be about “gender,” but focus on the ladies’-magazine variety of female concerns: motherhood, marriage, dating. And it will shame upper-middle-class women for their ambition–and simultaneously imply that they, the women who can afford nannies and have seen the inside of rambling Cape Cod beach houses, are the only people literate enough to care about women’s progress.
Despite this mounting evidence, Manning’s lawyers and supporters continued to make no mention of any preference for female identification, pronouns or the name Breanna, leaving Manning’s likely transgender status something of an open secret, and posing journalists with a conundrum: either the logs are true, and then we should be respectfully following APA protocol for transgender people and using female pronouns and possibly the name Breanna, or they are false and we should not. Whether they believed in the logs’ veracity or not (and odds are, most who believe Manning to be a hero do), I have not found a single media source who appears to have considered the possibility of writing about Manning as a woman.
I had mantras, straws at which to clutch, that worked for some of the time. In moments of lucidity I could laugh at their disparate origins. A partly-remembered maxim from a former counsellor: that the ability to cope with uncertainty is a sign of mental health. Viv Richards, murmuring to the interviewer in Fire on Babylon that “I always backed myself”. Back yourself to raise this baby, I murmured in turn, not actually saying a word but imagining myself speaking through gritted teeth. The universal message of my colleagues, that they thought us best equipped among parents to take care of a child with the disability the numbers offered us. People wouldn’t consistently say that just to be nice, I reasoned, even in a workplace culture that prizes niceness above many other things.
you thought I didn’t really notice. But I did. I wanted to high-five you.
Yesterday I had a pair of brothers in my store. One was maybe between 15-17. He was a wrestler at the local high school. Kind of tall, stocky and handsome. He had a younger brother, who was maybe about 10-12 years old. Thy were talking about finding a game for the younger one, and he was absolutely insisting it be one with a female charcter. I don’t know how many of y’all play games, but that isn’t exactly easy. Eventually, I helped the brothers pick a game called Mirror’s Edge. The youngest was pretty excited about the game, and then he specifically asked me.. “Do you have any girl color controllers?”
All around me, people use the word retarded without a second thought. Sometimes, I’ll say “Um, dude, really?” and they’ll say “Oops, my bad! But really! I was being so retarded!”
Sometimes, I let it slide. I realize that it’s a word that’s ingrained in our society’s vocabulary and people use it without a second thought to its meaning.
If Lisbeth is autistic, what does that mean? She’s a very visible and well-known queer autistic character, then, but what comes of that? Her role as an avenging Fury is that much more magnified, since disabled people are far more likely than non-disabled people to be victims of violence and sexual assault. Lisbeth is not just acting against the violent force of misogyny, but against ableism and homophobia. Her interactions with her odious financial guardian demonstrate the intersection of those two forces: he makes it clear that her same-sex relationships are part of her overall inability to function like a “normal” person. For a woman who is disabled or otherwise deemed “unsound,” non-heterosexual and/or non gender-normative behavior is considered part of her pathology. The very fact that she is considered mentally unfit and is therefore a ward of the state goes from being a plot device (it’s part of a conspiracy to control and silence her, connected to her father, a former Soviet spy under the protection of the Swedish government) to being “too real.” It becomes a commentary on the systemic denial of disabled people’s agency and autonomy.
Recently I’ve been very worried that I’m too old to be a mommy blogger.
I know that I look as young and stunning as the day you first read that blog, but the ugly truth is that I’ve been aging. Behind your back.
Well, now that I think about it, it’s not that I am too old, but it’s my kids who are too old. But I’ll be damned if I’m too exhausted to edit the first three sentences of this post. Old age and all.
My children are 13 and 10, so we are past a lot of the stuff that mommy blogging is made of.
Or should be.
1. YES. Also, lawful. Also, God gave us all eyelids and necks for a reason. Close the former or turn the latter.
2. Do I care if my child sees another woman’s breasts? NO.
Comments on recent posts on Care2.com about breastfeeding certainly show that the need to normalize breastfeeding is urgent. Too many people still compare it to urinating (breastmilk is food, not waste) or to sex (nursing is feeding, not sexual activity). In response to the “what if a child sees THAT?” questions from those against nursing in public, most breastfeeding advocates will argue that is exactly what needs to happen. Children, both young children and teenagers, need to see babies being breastfed. If parents take the time to explain to their children that breasts are used to nourish babies, then perhaps boys and girls will understand that breasts are not simply sexual objects.
All it takes is reinstating a few simple scenes like this one from the 1970s to help children understand how babies are fed.
Since welcoming her sons Miles, 6, and Frederick, 3, actress Mayim Bialik seems to have become the celebrity voice for attachment parenting.
The former Blossom star is open about her parenting decisions, from extended breastfeeding to co-sleeping, and now she’s set to share her experience as a mom with the masses in a new book titled Beyond the Sling.
These days I’m a pretty hearty soul. I have a fair degree of equanimity that has been hard-won. Still, I’m only human. And as I pen this I’ve just returned from a lunch date with old family friends. I found myself, quite suddenly, stuck in a corner (literally and figuratively) while these old friends argued toward me about
Would Steven Spielberg adapt Herge’s racist views (“of his times”) expressed in Tintin in the Congo to make a movie in 2012 and market that movie to kids?
Of course not. No one would see it. People would be horrified. Herge’s racist views are universally recognized as the aberration that they are. Why is Herge’s “dated” sexism celebrated in a loyal adaptation from one of our most acclaimed directors?
The continual viewing of stereotypical representations of both males and females cannot help but have an impact on the way that children develop their own ideas about what it means to be a boy or a girl.
Although this new collection features work by some undeniably cool cats—like iconic punk rocker Ian MacKaye, hip hop chronicler Jeff Chang, and skater/photographer Mark Whiteley, to name just a few—what makes the titular dads rad is not their tattoos, subcultural street cred, or half-pipe prowess. It’s actually way more radical than that: These are men who are deeply invested in questioning and challenging what coeditor Tomas Moniz terms “the social stereotypes of fathering that for so long have been used to justify gender-specific parental roles.” If that sounds a wee bit dry or self-righteous, don’t stop reading. The contributors may be earnest, but didactic they are not.
Any Black woman can tell you a multitude of stories of overtly racist things said to them by their White girlfriends and this video montage hits quite a few of the most common. It start the talented and outrageously funny Franchesca Leigh Ramsey. For those White people who are shocked by this video, yes, White people do at times say the most racist things.
My partner and I are rearing three wonderful girls. We’re doing our best to help them to develop enquiring, critical, engaged minds, and a sense of justice, and a desire to be good people, who care for themselves and for others. But much as I would like to, I don’t think I can raise them to be feminists.
The reason is straightforward. If we are able to help our children to become independent thinkers, then feminism is a choice they must come to on their own. My guess and my hope is that each of them will develop her own commitment to feminism, but it must be their own commitment, not mine.
Now here’s an interesting take on the question whether a divorced woman should be allowed to keep her ex-husband’s last name. It’s not her name but his name! He only lent it out for the duration of the marriage!
Set this against the background of the still-dominant tradition that women should relinquish their last names at marriage and you come to a very odd conclusion where a woman’s last name is something that should change back and forth, depending on what man defines her family membership.
And another from Echidne with New York Times. I’m Pointing the Finger at You:
I’m very annoyed by the kind of articles, quite common in the so-called women’s sections, where the writing seems to have gone like this:
1. I have a plot idea! We are going to say that all women now wear false eye-lashes.
2. I’m going to find some data that seems to back up my argument that this is a trend. Anything will suffice! If the sale of false eye-lashes has doubled in Dinkytown (from two pairs to four pairs, say), then I have data for a trend!
3. But most of the piece will be interviews with women who wear false eye-lashes now and how that is a statement of feminist intention and something that they really want to do. (These are real women, probably, telling their stories. The crime is that the stories are used as evidence to prop up the idea of a trend, even though anecdotes can be found on almost any behavior if one searches.)
I definitely don’t have rules – I’m pretty disorganised. In fact, I often have to guilt-trip myself into sitting down to write. It is so easy to let your life get filled up with other stuff – cooking, cleaning, going to the bank, looking after your baby. These everyday things do come through in my songwriting, though. Most of my songs are defined by a sense of loneliness, of isolation, that I probably get from spending a lot of time on my own.
The little images that I get from sitting alone in my apartment – the way the light is falling through the window; the man I just saw walk by on the other side of the street – find their way into snatches of lyrics. I write in short spurts – for five, 10, 15 minutes – then I pace around the room, or go and get a snack.
Miles Davis to Nancy Reagan at a White House dinner in 1987 after she’d inquired as to what he’d done with his life to merit an invitation.
Eh this is completely wrong. He was actually quite fond of the Reagans. It was at a White House dinner however. Here is what actually happened. From his autobiography.
This from Something Changed and I want Jarvis Cocker to love my blog, too.
I am a disabled parent, physically and mentally. A disabled parent of a disabled child, no less. I will live the next ~12 years, longer if I choose to have more children, worrying that my child will be taken from me by my TAB ex-partner who is constantly looking for ways to denigrate my parenting, or that my future children will be taken from me by authorities who believe that my partner (also disabled) and I are unfit parents. It’s fucking terrifying. It frightens me more than almost anything.
I have long believed that a happy partnership means that both partners have to contribute fairly equally to the household and that no one should be left with the worst job of all: monitoring the other’s contribution.
To make this possible I think a fairly clear division of labour can help to reduce the amount of boring negotiations over household chores.
This is roughly how we have come to divide ours (for now, obviously things will change as kids grow etc)…
“This was the best summer ever,” the seagull gushed, watching her as she dangled her legs off the edge of the pier.
“Could you tell me why that is,” she wondered, looking at the water in which the seagull was reflected. His reflection was broken into thin, detached ribbons of seagull.
He looked at her like he was confused. It was his way of saying no.
Even a hint of “Happy Holidays” made Mom crazy, because we were Evangelical Christians.
Though, admittedly, we were pretty terrible at it. We were lazy, we were undisciplined, we abandoned abortion protests for bagel runs. That’s probably why my folks tried to pass by obsessing over the details. Growing up, my little sister Brittany and I weren’t allowed jeans, TV, music, or the Sweet Valley High books, because Mom thought the girls on the cover looked slutty.
Then we moved to the suburbs when I turned 13, a teenager in a world aching to corrupt and seduce me, and my parents suddenly got very worried that I’d rebel against the deprivation by shooting Nine Inch Nails into my veins or something. To head me off, they got way too enthusiastic about what they believed to be safe, secular pop culture.
What makes the hideousness of other people’s Facebook pictures of yourself so jarring is the contrast with the perfection of your own, painstakingly curated pictures. In the pictures I posted, I look like the hip, millionaire co-founder of a chain of smoothie restaurants where the gimmick is you can order ahead with an iPhone app.
And if you want to die and go to vintage heaven.. then introducing the Thompson Family.