A Word for the Homemakers


I've really enjoyed these "home-living" posts by Libby. Sometimes it seems like the Religious right has the corner market on home-living. They applaud women like me for being sweet, shy housewives with children. They approve of my desire to homeschool and to try to make my marriage work out even in hard times. Meanwhile in the secular world, I feel that I'm considered to lack career ambition, be overly attached to my kids, and probably co-dependent with my husband. I am imagining this dichotomy, … [Read more...]

Oh That Sarah Jones! Censoring the “Nones”


On July 4th, the New York Times published a story on Sarah Jones. I've known Sarah Jones, both through blogging and in person, for over a year now. Like me, Sarah grew up in a conservative Christian homeschooling family. Like me, Sarah is now a feminist, a progressive, and a nonbeliever. Of course, our stories diverge on multiple points---Sarah was abused as a child in a way I was not, she was ultimately allowed to attend public high school, she went to a conservative Christian university, and … [Read more...]

Preschool Dating Drama


Sally is growing her hair out, but she absolutely hates having it washed.  "Sally, if washing your hair is this hard, we can cut it shorter," I suggested during a recent bath, as Sally was literally in tears over having her hair washed."But I want to marry Aiden," Sally objected vehemently, "And he said at the library, 'you better keep growing your hair out!'"O_oTo be honest, I was completely taken aback by Sally's comment. She's five years old for goodness' sake! I wasn't p … [Read more...]

Child Neglect in a Helicopter World


I find myself a bit conflicted here. I'm seeing a story about a South Carolina mother charged with neglect pass across facebook. "Mom Jailed Because She Let Her 9-Year-Old Daughter Play in the Park Unsupervised," the title reads. My friends are outraged, and are recounting stories of playing alone at the park themselves at that age. But when I clicked on the link I quickly felt that the title---and my friends' defenses---were a bit misleading. This was not a case of a girl walking to a park … [Read more...]

My Daughter, the Encourager


"Dad, did you have your meeting yet?" Sally asked Sean recently. Sean had mentioned the meeting earlier in the day, and Sally had remembered."Yes, I did," Sean replied."Good job, Dad," Sally said.Our daughter Sally is many things---curious, creative, compassionate---but one thing she has shown herself to be, time and again, is an encourager. It's funny, my parents always said that children who aren't spanked grow up to be selfish, spoiled, uncaring brats. Not so. I don't spank … [Read more...]

Stranger Danger?


Last week I took Sally and Bobby for a walk. Sally was on her new, bigger bike. It wasn't actually new---it was Sean's twenty years ago, recently pulled from a barn and fixed up---but it was new to her, and it was the first time she'd been out on it. Bobby, age two, was on his pink car-scooter, which had been Sally's before him, a gift from one of my sisters. He operates it by using his legs to push off, similar to using two oars in tandem, and the speed he can achieve is truly impressive. He … [Read more...]

Q&A #1: Basic Questions and Conversations


This post is for 101-level questions and conversations about feminism, race, LGBTQ issues, disabilities, and related topics. General chatter should stay in the Lesbian Duplex, and discussions that focus on abortion should take place in Abortion Debates. If this is your first time in a Q&A thread, please read the post that marked the genesis of this feature---Whose Job Is It to Educate? If you are here to ask a question, remember that no one is obligated to educate you and be willing to do … [Read more...]