Profile for Avital Norman Nathman

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Mommie Dearest: Don’t Turn Public School Vs. Private School Into A Battle In The Mommy Wars

Wear This, Not That
Wear This, Not That: What To Put On To Go To Class
How not to dress inappropriately for class. Read More »
Cramming!
College student cramming for a final
An inner monologue while cramming for a final. Read More »
school girl

This week, many kids, including my own, are headed back to school. And, like anything parenting-related, school brings along with it its own heaping pile of judgement. What school do you send your child to? Public? Private? Charter? Or do you homeschool or unschool? Regardless of what might work best for your own child and family, there is plenty of public opinion that will tell you that whatever you’ve decided is inherently wrong.

Slate.com decided to take the helm with a piece by Allison Benedikt called “If You Send Your Kid to Private School, You Are a Bad Person.” We’re not even into the article and the judgements are flying. Clearly we’re off to a great start. But at least Benedikt acknowledges it:

“I’m just judgmental. But it seems to me that if every single parent sent every single child to public school, public schools would improve.”

I am a former public high school social studies teacher. I am a product and proponent of the public school system, and do my best to support to support local public schools (especially when it comes to music and arts programs) whenever possible. I also send my son to a local private elementary school. And I totally understand Benedikt’s line of thinking.

Keep reading »

Real Talk: On Literary Erotica, Part 2

On Literary Erotica, Part 1
Real Talk: On Literary Erotica, Part 1
The first part of the Real Talk roundtable on erotica. Read More »
Erotica On The Rise
Erotic book sales are booming. Read More »
Real Talk: On Literary Erotica, Part 1

This edition of Real Talk – read Part 1 here — delves deep into the seduction that is literary erotica. This week I’m joined by two popular writers within the genre, as well as an avid reader/blogger. We talked tropes, stereotypes, and the stigma surrounding erotica.

  • Delphine Dryden writes award-winning contemporary erotic romance for Carina Press, and mainstream steampunk romance for Berkley. When not writing, she can be found noodling around on the internet or playing tabletop games far into the night. You can find her online at DelphineDryden.com, and she is on Twitter far too much. Or Facebook if you are into that.
  • Jeanette Grey is a former physics teacher, artist, tech support consultant, and web designer, now trying her hand at writing romance. Her short fiction has appeared in collections such as Best Erotic Romance 2013, and her latest release is Take What You Want from Samhain Publishing. Find her online at JeanetteGrey.com, on Twitter and on Facebook.
  • Jessica Luther is a freelance writer and journalist, reproductive justice activist, and historian. Her main blog is JessicaWLuther.com but she blogs about romance novels at Steel And Velvet.

Keep reading »

Real Talk: On Literary Erotica, Part 1

Guess That Fan Fiction!
Guess the source material for these fan fiction experts and win respect. Read More »
Erotica On The Rise
Erotic book sales are booming. Read More »
Real Talk: On Literary Erotica, Part 1

This edition of Real Talk delves deep into the seduction that is literary erotica. This week I’m joined by two popular writers within the genre, as well as an avid reader/blogger. We talked tropes, stereotypes, and the stigma surrounding erotica.

  • Delphine Dryden writes award-winning contemporary erotic romance for Carina Press, and mainstream steampunk romance for Berkley. When not writing, she can be found noodling around on the internet or playing tabletop games far into the night. You can find her online at DelphineDryden.com, and she is on Twitter far too much. Or Facebook if you are into that.
  • Jeanette Grey is a former physics teacher, artist, tech support consultant, and web designer, now trying her hand at writing romance. Her short fiction has appeared in collections such as Best Erotic Romance 2013, and her latest release is Take What You Want from Samhain Publishing. Find her online at JeanetteGrey.com, on Twitter and on Facebook.
  • Jessica Luther is a freelance writer and journalist, reproductive justice activist, and historian. Her main blog is JessicaWLuther.com but she blogs about romance novels at Steel And Velvet. Keep reading »

Mommie Dearest: Breastfeeding Shouldn’t Make Men And Women Unequal As Parents

Yoga Mom Breastfeeds
Yoga Mom Takes Breastfeeding To A Whole New Level
Yoga mom takes breastfeeding to a whole new level. Read More »
Nursing On Facebook
Why is Facebook so against photos of mothers breastfeeding? Read More »
Breastfeeding on Time
TIME magazine breastfeeding cover photo
Time magazine's breastfeeding cover is just a tad provocative. Read More »
reaction to Erickson breastfeeding article

When it comes to mothering and the so-called “Mommy Wars,” the one debate that will seemingly never die is the one centered around breastfeeding. I’ve written extensively about breastfeeding in the past, and in my day job I work on finding accessible ways to educate pregnant women about breastfeeding, in the hopes that they’ll at least be open to trying it out once their baby is born. I’m of the mind that “breast is best,” but I’m also painfully aware that we  as a country and society  do not make it easy in the slightest for women  —particularly working women or those from lower socio-economic backgrounds— to breastfeed. I was a big fan of this year’s World Breastfeeding Week and I try and support women who want to breastfeeding but lack resources/information/help. I also try to support and provide information for pregnant women who aren’t sure about whether they will nurse or not. And, when possible, I help connect parents who want their babies to have breast milk with mothers who have an excess supply. I also will not shame, harass, or harangue a woman who chooses to or needs to formula feed their baby for whatever reason.

I will, however, call out someone who uses faulty logic as reasoning for not nursing her hypothetical future child. Karla A. Erickson’s “Explaining Why, Next Time, I Won’t Breastfeed” was a recent op/ed in the Iowa Press-Citizen that purports to use breastfeeding as the cause of uneven and unequal division of labor when it comes to parenting. Keep reading »

Frisky Q&A: Laverne Cox From “Orange Is The New Black”

Reasons To Watch "Orange"
"Orange Is The New Black" is the best show on TV. Read More »
Meet Laverne Cox
laverne cox of orange is the new black on being pretty enough
Trans actress Laverne Cox speaks about "Orange Is The New Black." Read More »
Privilege In "OISNB"
Piper in prison on Orange Is The New Black
Piper in "Orange Is The New Black" is the poster girl for privilege. Read More »
Q&A: Piper Kerman
The author of "Orange Is The New Black" talks about being behind bars. Read More »
interview Laverne Cox Orange Is The New Black

A show about women in prison could have easily devolved into mindless titillation or stereotypical boredom. But Netflix’s breakout hit “Orange Is The New Black” has skillfully avoided either trapping. Instead, viewers are treated to a show with well-thought-out story lines, sharp social commentary, diverse, multi-faceted characters with compelling backgrounds, and stellar performances. One of these standouts is actress Laverne Cox, who captures audiences with her portrayal of transgender prison inmate, Sophia Burset.

Looking at her career thus far, it’s easy to see why some have deemed Laverne a trailblazer in many ways. Not only has she made the enviable leap from reality star (appearing on VH1’s “I Want to Work For Diddy”) to skilled actress, but she’s also a producer and transgender advocate. Laverne’s visibility as a trans actress of color is breaking barriers on many levels, and hopefully will pave the way for more rich roles created for trans actors.

I had the chance to speak with Cox and learned more about working with Jodie Foster, her relationship to her activism and her art, and the future of trans actors.  Keep reading »

Mommie Dearest: Let’s Talk About The Difference Between ‘Sex’ & ‘Gender’

Royal Baby's Sex
gender identity of prince george
Two blogs face off over the royal baby's sex and gender. Read More »
Camp For Boys
the you are you transgender boy camp
The "you are you" camp gives boys the chance to be girls. Read More »
Coy's Bathroom Victory
Trans 6-year-old Coy Mathis wins access to girls' bathroom. Read More »
difference between sex and gender

“So? What are you having?”

Throughout my pregnancy, that was the number one question I received, tied only with: “How are you feeling?” At first I was polite about it, telling folks that it was too early to tell, but that we weren’t finding out anyway until the birth. After I passed 20 weeks, I attempted to answer all the Nosy Nellies as diplomatically as I could. I said that we would be happy with either a boy or girl, as long as the baby was healthy. Yet as my belly expanded, my patience shrank and I found myself coming up with more creative ways to answer the increasingly frequent queries over “what” we were having. “Fingers crossed it’s not a kitten!” was one of my favorite go-to replies.

And, for those keeping track – no, we did not have a kitten, but rather a beautiful baby boy. Still, the questions kept coming. Since we didn’t know if we were having a boy or girl (and because, you know, colors are for everyone), my son wore a rainbow of onesies, which only seemed to confuse folks. Multiple times a day I would have people question why my son was wearing purple. Or pink. Or even yellow. I did not get the same stares or questions when he donned his blue, green or brown onesies. Our society, one that is heavily entrenched in traditional, stereotypical gender roles, seems to want to plug children into these boxes as quickly as possible — even before they’re born — and that can be both frustrating and confusing. Keep reading »

Real Talk: On Birth Control & Protecting Against Pregnancy, Part 2

Real Talk: Birth Control
real women talk about birth control
Part one of our Real Talk on real women's birth control options. Read More »
On Birth Control
This woman uses birth control for medical reasons. Read More »
Birth Control Myths
bigger breasts are a birth control pill myth
Bigger boobs and weight gain are birth control myths. Read More »
real women talk about birth control

This week’s Real Talk focuses on birth control: what we use, why, and our thoughts on all the issues surrounding the way we keep our bodies pregnancy-free! The first half of our conversation about contraception ran yesterday.

The participants are:

  • Rose Fox is a book and magazine editor, event organizer, and activist. You can find them on Twitter, LiveJournal, Dreamwidth, and many other social media platforms as ‘rosefox’.
  • Carrie Murphy is a poet, freelance writer, and birth doula. She tweets @carriemurph.
  • Patricia Valoy is a civil engineer, writer for Everyday Feminism, and host for Let Your Voice Be Heard! Radio. You can find her on Twitter or read her blog on feminist issues from the perspective of a Latina. Keep reading »

Real Talk: On Birth Control & Protecting Against Pregnancy, Part 1

I Got An IUD
A first hand account of getting an IUD. Read More »
I Have A Nuva Ring
A guy found my Nuva Ring ... inside of me. Read More »
Permanent Birth Control
Your arguments against our permanent birth control are BS. Read More »
real women talk about birth control

This week’s Real Talk focuses on birth control: what we use, why, and our thoughts on all the issues surrounding the way we keep our bodies pregnancy-free! The second half of our conversation about contraception will run tomorrow.

The participants are:

  • Rose Fox is a book and magazine editor, event organizer, and activist. You can find them on Twitter, LiveJournal, Dreamwidth, and many other social media platforms as ‘rosefox’.
  • Carrie Murphy is a poet, freelance writer, and birth doula. She tweets @carriemurph.
  • Patricia Valoy is a civil engineer, writer for Everyday Feminism, and host for Let Your Voice Be Heard! Radio. You can find her on Twitter or read her blog on feminist issues from the perspective of a Latina. Keep reading »

Mommie Dearest: Royal Poops And All

It's A Boy!
kate middleton has baby boy
Kate Middleton and Prince William have welcomed a baby boy. Read More »
Give Kate Space
Stop getting all up in a pregnant woman's business, y'all. Read More »
Frisky Parenting!
twins
All the posts The Frisky has ever done about parenting! Read More »

If the last nine months have taught us anything, it’s that Royal Baby Fever is a real thing. Princess Kate has most likely amassed more headlines than any other woman when it comes to her pregnancy. And, with the Royal Baby having finally descended upon us, I have a feeling that the royal family will not be out of the spotlight anytime soon. It seems as if everyone has a stake in this baby.

In fact, many people have already doled out copious amounts of advice to Princess Kate, from Snooki to baseball player David Ortiz. Many websites and morning shows have also chimed in with their own cutesy bits of mothering advice for Kate. And, that’s sweet in all, but in reality, it’s all just show for us. None of this — and I hate to burst your bubble — will actually impact Kate or Will when it comes to their new baby boy. Keep reading »

Real Talk: Mothers Of Sons Respond To The George Zimmerman Verdict, Part 3

This Is Shameful
This Is What's Shameful
Amelia's response to the Trayvon Martin verdict. Read More »
Juror B37 Reacts
juror b37 on anderson cooper
Juror B37 thinks George Zimmerman's "heart was in the right place." Read More »
Racial Politics
racism trayvon martin
Racial politics in America need a good, hard look. Read More »
trayvon martin

In the wake of George Zimmerman’s not guilty verdict this past weekend, I wanted to gather a group of parents to discuss the jury decision as well as the larger impact of Trayvon Martin’s murder. I especially wanted to hear from fellow mothers of boys, in hopes of fostering dialogue about how we as mothers can move forward given what happened. I gathered an incredible group of women and over the next couple of days, I welcome you to read our conversation. Part one of our conversation ran on Wednesdaypart two ran yesterday, and this piece is the conclusion.

The participants:

  • Jamila Bey hosts the radio program, “The Sex Politics And Religion Hour: SPAR with Jamila.” The show can be heard in NYC, DC, Miami and Chicago and online. Find her on Twitter.
  • Sarah Werthan Buttenwieser is a writer living in Western Massachusetts. Find her on Twitter.
  • Carolyn Edgar is a lawyer, writer and single mother of two who publishes the blog CarolynEdgar.com. Her work has been featured in a variety of outlets, including Huffington Post and CNN.com. Follow her on Twitter.
  • Denene Millner is a New York Times-bestselling author of 21 books and the founder and editor of MyBrownBaby.com, a blog that measures the intersection parenting and race.
  • Shay Stewart-Bouley is a non-profit administrator, freelance columnist who writes on issues relating to diversity for the Portland Phoenix, and blogger at BlackGirlInMaine.com where she muses on race, motherhood and middle age.

Read on, after the jump: Keep reading »

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