Motherhood Is Not Inherently Deserving of Praise

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Mother's Day has been a bit weird for me for years now. When I turned 18 and left home for college, things changed between my mother and I. Or rather, they didn't change, and that was the problem. I've often thought that, given that I'm the oldest and my mother was still parenting preschoolers when I left home, she just couldn't figure out how to have a relationship. She could still order my younger siblings around and expect them to obey, but that didn't work on me anymore.Things got so bad … [Read more...]

Busting the Mommy Myth

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Last week I wrote a post commenting on an article titled Motherhood: The Strongest Bond, writer Denise Stirks. Denise argued that moms have a special bond born of their love for their children. She talked about the empathy she feels for other moms, whether it be a mom trying to quiet her baby on an airplane or a mother trying to arrange childcare so that she can cover her shift. She spoke of this bond and common empathy for other mothers as though it is universal and almost magic.I critiqued … [Read more...]

“But you look so young!”

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"You have two children?" my colleague exclaimed, "But you look so young!" By the standards of my left-leaning town, I am a very young mother. As a result, I get this sort of thing a lot. Usually I try to explain about how yes, I am a young mother, but I had unusual circumstances, or that it was a good thing because it meant I wouldn't go on the job market with pregnancy and babies still ahead of me when I finish my graduate degree. This time, though, I decided to try something … [Read more...]

Solving the “Problem” of Stay at Home Moms

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Early on in graduate school I met a woman who identifies as a second wave feminist (personally, I'm third wave all the way). She told me that she's opposed to stay at home moms, because every time a woman drops out of the workforce, or declines to enter it, she stands in the way of gender equality and makes things harder for women as a whole. How? Well, the greater the number of women who drop out of the workforce, the more likely employers will be to view women as a risky investment---and the … [Read more...]

Fascinating Video: Dutch Men Experience Labor

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Last month, two dutch men experienced labor. Or at least, they came as close as cis men can come to experiencing labor. They strapped themselves to machines that simulated labor by tightening their stomach muscles, and set a goal to get through two hours of it. You can watch the results for yourself.I think their responses look pretty darn accurate. What say you? … [Read more...]

Beating the Shame Game: On the Stigma of Early Marriage and Young Parenting

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It seems that there is a very narrow time frame when it is acceptable to have children in our society. If you have children too early, you will be judged for it, and if you have children too late, well, you'll be judged for that as well. And of course, exactly what age is acceptable for child bearing varies from region to region and subculture to subculture.I grew up in a family and community where early marriage and early child rearing was seen as desirable. Perhaps not surprisingly, I mar … [Read more...]

Why My Son Bobby Needs Feminism Too

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I've noticed something as the mother of two children, one daughter and one son. I can dress my preschool daughter in girls' clothes or in boys' clothes, but if I dressed my baby in purple or put him in a dress, well, I'd get some serious stares.We often say that "patriarchy hurts men too." It's true. For example, I grew up in a community where boys were expected to grow up to be providers and girls were expected to grow up to be homemakers. Girls didn't have any options, but boys' options … [Read more...]


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