Monday, July 23, 2012

The Good, the Bad, and the Curious (Links for the Week)

It's time again for a round-up of the things that made me smile, cry, and think. Feel free to add your own (self-promotion is great!) in the comments.

The Good

How I Learned to Wear a Dress shares a touching moment with her college freshmen son, which prompts a list of 20 (plus one) Do's and Don'ts of Parenting:
We worked at this and we’ve boiled the first nineteen years of our parenting down to a short list of recommendations. The list is imperfect, just like all parenting is.
Strawberry Mohawk has a great parenting piece about how securing your own oxygen mask first is necessary even when you're not in a plane crash:
Sometimes there are many facets to one lesson though and I realized another to this one friday night. I was driving my car home in inconsolable tears. Everything was wrong ... and nothing (I'm sure you know the story). "I'm so tired" *sob* "I have nooo friends" *sniff* "the house is always dirty" *snort* "and I have nothing that fits" *wail*. I was actually on my way home from a movie, so normally I'd be feeling revitalized, but I think some time to myself was just too far overdue.
Offbeat Mama provides a list of six ways to raise powerful girls. Here's one of them:
A white dress shouldn't get in the way of a girl playing in the dirt. Our old neighbors had a daughter about Shoshanna's age, and they were always yelling, "Don't play on the ground, you're gonna get your dress dirty!" Man, I felt bad for that kid. Maybe I'm just not fancy enough (very possible), but I can't think of an occasion that's so important that it should require clothing that actually restricts the wearer's interactions with the world around her. I love a darlin' little sundress at least as much as the next mama, but I try not to freak out when I notice that my girl has just poured an entire bucket of mud and worms all over it.
This Beyonce fan video making the rounds made me smile:

The Bad

Basically everything about the Colorado shooting is terrifying and so, so sad. While it certainly isn't the most sad aspect of it, I have been incredibly shocked to see so many online commenters attacking parents for taking their kids to a midnight movie instead of focusing on the grief, pain, and healing of the victims. 

George Zimmerman's interview where he calls the tragic shooting of Trayvon Martin "God's Plan" is sickening. Rev. Adam J. Copeland has a good article on the Huffington Post that goes over some of the reasons this line of logic is problematic.

The Curious

This excellent article from blue milk's Andie Fox looks at some of the complexities that Marissa Mayer's appointment as Yahoo's CEO is bringing up regarding motherhood and work.
We want space for mothers who do not want a caring role to be their central identity – fair enough – but in the process, we also readily dismiss the hard-won wisdom of mothers trying to describe that transition of motherhood to us. 
When mothers are apprehensive about Mayer’s ability to combine work with the initials tasks of recovery and bonding, it is possible that this message is not condescending but rather compassionate. Be careful committing yourself to a plan that may end up breaking your heart. Still, Mayer may not find motherhood a life-changing event; returning early to work may be a genuine pleasure for her. She would not be alone in that experience and she will have significant resources to assist her with it: nannies, cleaners, chefs and personal assistants. Her life will be like that of many fathers. 
But the question I most want a journalist to ask her is: What is your husband like? Because her ability to juggle her job and family in the way she wants to will depend critically upon him. Will he get up (again and again and again, through the night) to the baby? Will he suppress his cough and his urge to go to the toilet for hours on end so as not to wake the sleeping baby in his arms? Will he make those decisions that need to be made when the baby is running a fever? Will he take on the lion’s share emotionally the way a mother does to allow her partner to continue his career? Men’s lives can be turned upside down by their babies, but the real shock for me – and many of my female friends who were primary carers for our babies – was how little it changed our partner’s lives. (Go read it. It's great).

I find the entire concept of transethnicity curious, not because I actually think that transethnicity is a valid claim to oppression but because I think it's an interesting way to view intersections of privilege and oppression at work.

After that Tosh scandal, several people have come out to remind us that rape jokes can be funny, his just wasn't one of them. Kate Harding has a round up of 15 rape jokes that she thinks fit the bill, including this one by Wanda Sykes:

A guestpost over at Offbeat Mama discusses her decision to implement No Media Mondays in her house. The thought filled me with a little bit of dread, which probably means I could use some media limits myself:
While I'm not quite ready to give it up altogether, I decided to make a change in my habits at least once a week. I started No Media Mondays in our house. This is a day once a week that we completely unplug. My computer is never opened, the TV stays off, and though I keep my phone on me for safety reasons, I don't use it for anything other than that. Even my car radio is turned off and replaced by my terrible singing voice or just talking. It was a scary prospect. You really don't think about the time that you spend — five minutes here, 10 minutes there — using electronics. A day without media doesn't seem totally overwhelming, but when faced with the actual reality of it, it seemed uncomfortable.
Sociological Images has an interesting post on skin tone and the arbitrary lines we draw around race.

Amy Odell argues that focusing on magazine's use of Photoshop is distracting us from the real culprits that are so invested in sending us messages about beauty and thinness.

So, that's what I've been reading. What about you?


  1. Thank you for the mention. Glad I made the GOOD list. ;)

    1. You can make the "Bad" list and still be good! You just have to make me cry! :) But you made me smile, so thanks!