Avital Norman Nathman

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Mommie Dearest: Sister Wife-ing It Up

I used to watch TLC’s “Sister Wives” — a reality show about a Mormon household with one husband, four wives, and a combined 17 children =- with a mix of shame, incredulity, and, dare I say it, jealousy. While I couldn’t imagine sharing my husband like that, there was something appealing about the way the…

By: Avital Norman Nathman / December 12, 2014

Mommie Dearest: Why Are Kids’ Toys So Crappy?

One of the coolest parts of childhood is definitely all the toys. But as a parent today — especially a feminist one — toys can be one of the more frustrating aspects of raising a child. Marketing and branding has increased tenfold, and even kids who don’t regularly watch TV are aware of all the…

By: Avital Norman Nathman / December 5, 2014

Mommie Dearest: No, Feminism Is Not About Stripping Boys Of Their Masculinity

Recently, Tara Kennedy-Kline, a mother of two boys, took to the internet to proudly declare that she cannot (and will not) support feminism. If the title of the piece didn’t send up a bevy of red flags, the fact that it appeared on Thought Catalog should have clued me in to the fact that it…

By: Avital Norman Nathman / November 24, 2014

Mommie Dearest: Seriously, Stop Policing Mothers’ Bodies

Kim Kardashian recently posed naked for Paper magazine, and despite the prediction, she did not actually break the internet. Instead, she got a whole lot of people talking. While many people are naturally talking about her shiny posterior, others are rightfully discussing the racial implications of the photoshoot. Along with the thoughtful critique, there’s also…

By: Avital Norman Nathman / November 18, 2014

Are Women The New Face Of Marijuana Use?

What comes to mind when you picture someone who uses marijuana? For many it’s the stereotypical image of a lazy, spacey, and possibly dirty stoner who listens to The Grateful Dead, prefers hemp as their jewelry of choice, and is always good for a laugh or two. Recently, however, mainstream publications like Vogue, Elle and…

By: Avital Norman Nathman / November 15, 2014

Mommie Dearest: The “Mommy” Problem

“Mommy!” Coming from anyone other than your child it can certainly sound sickeningly saccharine, diminutive, and even mocking. But at the moment, all things Mommy reign supreme. This past weekend, Heather Havrilesky (who writes the awesome advice column Dear Polly, BTW) addressed this dichotomy for the New York Times Sunday Review in her piece, “Our

By: Avital Norman Nathman / November 11, 2014

Mommie Dearest: On Lena Dunham & Teaching Children About Boundaries And Consent

This post isn’t about Lena Dunham… really. So many others, including The Frisky’s own Amelia, have written about Dunham, her book, and the passages about her sister that have led to claims of molestation. But, I’m writing this because of the conversation that’s currently being had about Lena Dunham, so we can’t not talk about…

By: Avital Norman Nathman / November 4, 2014

Mommie Dearest: School Shootings, Toxic Masculinity & “Boys Will Be Boys”

Another school shooting. This time it took place at Marysville-Pilchuck High School in Washington state. Fourteen-year-old high school freshman Jaylen Fryberg, pulled a gun out during lunch and began shooting, killing two 14-year-old girls, and severely wounding three other students before dying from a self-inflicted gun shot. Like with each school shooting before this one,…

By: Avital Norman Nathman / October 27, 2014

Mommie Dearest: Moms & The Benefits Of Medical Marijuana For Sick Children

In their new documentary, “Weed The People,” filmmakers Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein profile the story of Sophie Ryan, who at seven months, was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. After much research and investigation, Sophie’s parents turned to medicinal cannabis oil, and the results were almost unbelieveable — the treatment was shrinking Sophie’s tumor.

By: Avital Norman Nathman / October 24, 2014

Laverne Cox’s Documentary Special “The T-Word” Is Groundbreaking, Must-Watch TV

“When a baby is born, one of the first question asked when is it a boy, or is it a girl? But what if it’s not that simple?” The question, posed by actress and advocate Laverne Cox, sets the stage for the hour-long documentary, “ Laverne Cox Presents: The T-Word.” Cox, an executive producer o…

By: Avital Norman Nathman / October 17, 2014

Mommie Dearest: From Helicopters To Lawnmowers, With Free-Range In Between, What Kind Of Parent Will You Be?

Parenting can be overwhelming. Not the actual act of being a parent — although that certainly has its challenges — but the whole world of parenting philosophies. It seems like every other week we’re bombarded with a new way to parent, each one promising even more chances of insuring your offspring’s success. For a new…

By: Avital Norman Nathman / October 14, 2014

Mommie Dearest: Some Thoughts For Blake Lively On “Preserving” Her Pregnancy

If you haven’t heard already, let me be the one to fill you in: Blake Lively is pregnant! Lively, an actress and Martha Stewart wannabe (without the jail time, one hopes), announced her pregnancy via her lifestyle website Preserve. I’m actually fairly surprised that no media outlet hasn’t jumped all over writing “Will Blake Lively…

By: Avital Norman Nathman / October 10, 2014

Mommie Dearest: So-Called Overprotective Dads Are Doing Their Daughters No Favors

A tale as old as time. A so-called overprotective father writes an extreme list of demands for dating his (currently only 2-year-old) daughter, and it goes viral. Retired Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell took to his public Facebook page to rant about all the things he’ll do to any potential suitor that may take a liking…

By: Avital Norman Nathman / October 2, 2014

Mommie Dearest: Your Kids Need To Know About Consent Long Before They Head To College

Talking about sexual assault is never an easy thing. But as a parent, it’s crucial to find ways to talk to your children about it. Lately, there’s been a lot of attention focused on campus rape and sexual assault, and with good reason. Many colleges have been called out (and even sued) for not taking…

By: Avital Norman Nathman / September 24, 2014

Mommie Dearest: On Adrian Peterson, Discipline & Child Abuse

Growing up, I was occasionally threatened with “the belt,” or asked if I wanted a “patch on my tuchus” whenever I behaved extra naughty. But that’s all they were — threats. Instead, my parents sent me to my room, took away prized privileges, or assigned me extra chores. Now, with my own son, there aren’t…

By: Avital Norman Nathman / September 16, 2014

Mommie Dearest: On Breastfeeding In Bars

Sometimes it feels like moms who breastfeed in public can’t catch a break. Or, in the case of a Virginia mother, a few sips of beer.
A woman identified as “Crystal” was thrown out of Big Woody’s Bar and Grill for drinking a beer while she nursed her baby. Crystal says she only had…

By: Avital Norman Nathman / September 11, 2014

Mommie Dearest: How Not To Get Suspended

It’s back-to-school time for everybody from preschoolers to college students and you can’t throw a No. 2 pencil without hitting some advice on promoting academic success. Create routine! Eat properly! Get enough sleep! These are all well-intentioned suggestions we hear repeatedly. But I’m here to offer up one more nugget of educational guidance:…

By: Avital Norman Nathman / September 5, 2014

Mommie Dearest: 4 Reasons I’m Glad I Brought My Kid To Provincetown’s Carnival This Year

It was only by happy accident that I scheduled our yearly family vacation to the outer Cape to coincide with Provincetown, Massachusett’s annual Carnival. For the uninitiated, Provincetown — or PTown, as its called — is a sweet little seaside village on the tip of Cape Cod, known for being the first place the Pilgrims

By: Avital Norman Nathman / August 29, 2014

Mommie Dearest: On Parents Who Publicly Shame Their Kids

When it comes to parenting, one of the more difficult aspects to figure out can be discipline. There doesn’t seem to be one set method that works for every child, yet everyone has an opinion on what supposedly works best. For parents, it feels like a lot is riding on our disciplinary method, as it’…

By: Avital Norman Nathman / August 18, 2014

Mommie Dearest: Parents Need To Get Real About Sex Ed

Once upon a time, I was a high school social studies teacher. One of my favorite classes to teach was a college lecture-style current events course. I co-taught it with a handful of my colleagues and we gathered every morning in the school’s auditorium with the entire senior class. Since it was so convenient, administratio…

By: Avital Norman Nathman / August 12, 2014

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