I had a piece posted on Offbeat Mama today

It’s called What Your Language: How We Emphasize Family Diversity When Talking To Our Kids. I wrote a similar post here a month ago, called On Raising Progressive Children. If you haven’t already, feel free to read either or both!

About Libby Anne

Libby Anne grew up in a large evangelical homeschool family highly involved in the Christian Right. College turned her world upside down, and she is today an atheist, a feminist, and a progressive. She blogs about leaving religion, her experience with the Christian Patriarchy and Quiverfull movements, the detrimental effects of the "purity culture," the contradictions of conservative politics, and the importance of feminism.

  • http://thaliasmusingsnovels.com/ Amethyst

    I don’t know if this comment will make it past the Offbeat Empire’s no-drama policy, so I’m making it here. Like many OBE readers, I fall under a few different minority demographics. Unlike some who commented on your guest post, I didn’t find your words patronizing or tokenizing at all. I think it’s admirable how you’re making a conscious effort to teach your daughter that the world is bigger than your family, and that what’s normal for you isn’t normal for everyone. And, yes, when your family is normative in most ways, it does take a conscious effort.

    • http://patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism Libby Anne

      Thanks. The comments there did bother me a little bit, because my intentions are in the right place and I am trying. They did make me think of something, though, that I might blog on. I should remember that even with a very normative family, in addition to what language I use my daughter will also pick up on what I model. When we have LGBTQ friends over and don’t treat them differently, when we take cookies to the Hispanic family that moves in across the street just like we did to the white family down the road, when we treat everyone with the same dignity and respect and aim for understanding across different backgrounds and are interested in learning about and learning from those who are different from us, Sally will see all that too. Sally doesn’t just listen to my words, she watches my actions too.

  • http://offbeatmama.com Ariel

    The comments on Offbeat Mama were *extremely* frustrating to myself (Offbeat Mama’s publisher) and Stephanie (the editor). We debated removing them entirely, but opted to let them stand — with a pretty strongly worded response from Stephanie.

    Thanks again for contributing, Libby Anne. I’m looking forward to future Offbeat Mama submissions from you!

    • http://patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism Libby Anne

      Thanks. :-)

      One part of Stephanie’s response was I think especially important: ” there are ways to politely flag language and offer constructive help for how it could be improved, and there’s being rude.” One thing I like about my commenters here – and the same is probably generally true of your commenters – is how often they offer additional thoughts and perspectives in a supportive and helpful way, shedding light on an issue and offering further understanding, thus making the blogging experience especially rewarding and a growing experience. But it’s also possible to turn what could be a helpful and enlightening comment into something condemnatory. As an example, a couple commenters on the Offbeat Mama post, further down the comments section, took issue fairly strongly with me telling Sally she could have kids when she’s 25 or 30. I had only thought about reinforcing that childbearing is a choice and not something you have to do right away as I was taught growing up, but the commenters were right that I was normalizing a specific age for child bearing with my words. But rather than saying “you might think about how you’re normalizing 25 or 30 as the proper age for child bearing by saying it like that” the commenters somehow managed to draw attention to that in a way that made me feel defensive and attacked. I know this wasn’t their intent, of course, but it’s important to realize that there’s a way to make a comment that challenges someone to think in ways they hadn’t thought before and a way to make a comment that simply makes them feel defensive. Which is, of course, what Stephanie was pointing out. :-P

  • Steve

    It’s really ridiculous to think that Libby would invite some minority couples *for the sole purpose* of making them learning lessons. Really? She just treats them like everyone else and hopes her kids learn something in the process. That’s not tokenism

    • Paula G V aka Yukimi

      It’s like they projected the negative experiences they have had with people who don’t get it (a big percetnage of the population admittedly) on Libby Anne, I mean, that they chose the worst possible explanation to her words instead of right one in this case. If they wanted to be so harsh they could have taken the chance to go to this blog and check if they were right and then they probably would have realised you are an accepting person who doesn’t consider their gay friends a token. Also, what everybody above me have said about expressing criticising in a constructive way.

  • http://www.offbeatmama.com Stephanie

    I just wanted to chime in and say thank you again for letting us run your post. :) I would love to hear more from you again!

  • Lesley

    Hey! I just want to say I found your blog because of the offbeat mama post and have really been enjoying it. I’ve seen what happened with those comments happen on other blogs: An early or first commenter says something critical and snide and everyone else jumps on and is like , “Yeah, I was thinking that too while I was reading your post and because one person commented on it I feel I can too.” And it seems almost always a moderator has to stop people negatively commenting on one little thing so a constructive conversation can be started. I’m sorry you had to experience this. I really admire how you are raising your children and am glad to have found your blog!


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