This past weekend, I spoke on two panels at the Civil Liberties and Public Policy’s reproductive rights conference. One of my panels, “Bringing Social Justice to the Family Table,” tackled how to combine an activist lifestyle with family life. Along with three other panelists/mothers, I spoke about how to foster awareness of the world around us and how to engage our children in social justice issues from an early age. We spoke about our pre-kid lives as activists and how we wove it all in when we became parents. For many on the panel, including myself, that involved work in the reproductive rights movement.
I’ve written before about how becoming a mother has only strengthened my pro-choice beliefs, and I made sure to reiterate that stance while on the panel. I think there is a fear surrounding motherhood, that the moment you pop out a baby, all other aspects of your identity cease to exist and you become solely “mommy.” While there was certainly a period of transition while I figured out how to connect this new aspect of my identity with what was already there, I eventually found ways to make it all work harmoniously together.
When my son was only a few months old, I placed him snug against my chest in a baby carrier and manned a table for Planned Parenthood during a sidewalk sale event in my town. I handed out condoms and pamphlets on birth control and STI prevention while discreetly nursing my son in his sling. I spoke with people about the best ways to schedule appointments while my gurgling baby babbled happily away. Nobody seemed to bat an eye at the fact that my son was with me as I volunteered. Keep reading »
Karen Braithwaite is a mom any Barbie lover would be lucky to have: she is asking Mattel to make birthday party merchandise featuring black Barbie dolls.
Mattel already sells black Barbie dolls (Barbie’s black friend Christie appeared in 1968; these days Barbie herself is black) and certain black Barbie items, such as stickers. But their sets of party goodies — cups, plates, etc. — do not include a complete set with black Barbies. All the full sets portray Barbie as white. Keep reading »
You can thank “Girls” for this: according to some new baby name study from baby-naming experts Nameberry, Marnie is the
top hot new baby name of 2013. Why people would want their kid to share a name with a whiny, self-absorbed, terrible-singing character on an HBO show is beyond me, but there you go. One man’s warbly bitch is another’s cute baby name. After the jump, the rest of Nameberry’s list, and what we imagine might be the motivation behind the sudden rise in popularity of these names.
Keep reading »
One of the worst terms surrounding motherhood is “the Mommy Wars.” To be fair, “Mommy Porn” is a really close second (thanks, 50 Shades of Grey!), but when it comes down to it, my disdain for the Mommy Wars knows no bounds. Not only are these “wars” sexist-as-all-get-out — I mean, have you ever heard of the “Daddy Wars”? — but they’re also steeped in a hell of a lot of privilege, something that is rarely acknowledged in all the news stories, magazine covers, and internet blurbs that love to trot out the term. Keep reading »
When I was a 10-year-old, the worst thing a boy did to me was put Scotch tape in my hair. If only! Proof that society is going down the toilet: two fifth grade boys in Colville, Washington, have first-degree murder conspiracy charges against them for plotting to rape and kill their female classmate. They were discovered on February 7 after a child saw one of the boys playing with a knife on the school bus; in a backpack, the kids had a .45-caliber semiautomatic pistol (stolen from a family member) and ammunition. One of the boys explained, “She’s rude and always made fun of me and my friends.” Keep reading »
High school students wear underwear. Middle schoolers, even!
Crazy, I know. That’s who Victoria’s Secret’s new line, Bright Young Things, is targeting: the girls who are a little too young for the Pink line of mostly cotton panties, thongs, sweatpants and tees.
This is making lots of people upset.
Pink’s Bright Young Things line is an extension of those products, but marketed directly towards teens and tweens. Panties from the Bright Young Things lime include lacy panties and thongs with slogans reading “Feeling Lucky?”, “Call Me” and “Wild.” Said Limited Brands’ Chief Financial Officer Stuart Burgdoerfer at a conference in January, “When somebody’s 15 or 16 years old, what do they want to be? They want to be older, and they want to be cool like the girl in college, and that’s part of the magic of what we do at Pink.” Keep reading »
Your little nugget still shits her diapers, but that doesn’t mean she still isn’t being prepared for the most important role she’ll ever play in life: future bride. It’s never too early to start thinking about that ring on your finger. Seriously, Zulily.com, what are you thinking? A crystal-encrusted onesie advertising a newborn baby as a bride-to-be is all the proof I need the wedding industrial complex has gone haywire. [Jezebel]
New York City’s Human Resources Administration (HRA) has recently launched a new ad campaign aimed at teen pregnancy that has caused quite a stir — and rightfully so. The campaign employs some of the most shameful tactics I have ever seen in the name of preventing teen pregnancy. These offensive ads (pictured after the jump) feature crying babies and blaming language that the HRA hopes will turn teenagers off from becoming parents.
Much of the wording places the onus of teen parenthood directly on the mother. Only one ad talks directly to young men (focusing on how much money he’ll have to pay in support), while the rest weigh heavily on the shoulders of young women, with one specifically focusing on how it’s highly likely a teen mom will end up raising her baby alone.
Is becoming a teen parent ideal or easy? No. Nobody is saying it is. But the way to go about preventing teen pregnancy isn’t by shaming and blaming those who already are young parents. The money that was spent on this horrible (and most likely ineffective) ad campaign could have been put to better use in more widespread comprehensive sex-education programs within the city. Keep reading »
Connie Feda wanted to create an educational, engaging, and relatable doll for her 13-year-old daughter Hannah, who has Down syndrome. With the goal of capturing “the beauty, vivaciousness and spunk of kids with Down Syndrome,” Connie created Ellie, a doll with Hannah’s almond-shaped eyes and button nose. She soon realized that other kids could benefit from a doll that looked more like them, so she created Dolls For Downs, a new line of dolls for children with Down syndrome. Keep reading »
Rachel Braaten of Washington was arrested after this video of her giving her 22-month-old son a bong hit surfaced.”I guess it was a joke and a stupid mistake that wasn’t really funny,” the 24-year-old told authorities.
I would strongly, strongly agree with that statement. Never has a joke failed so heinously.Braaten is facing charges for delivering a controlled substance to a minor. Her fiancee Tyler Lee, the child’s father, who was not involved in the incident, facing charges of his own. Lee was arrested for selling marijuna and unlawful possession of a firearm.The 22-month-old and the couple’s 5-year-old child are in custody of the state.
This incident is a grim reminder that there are so many people out there who should not be allowed to reproduce.
Sadly, this is not the first baby bong smoking incident. Back in 2010, Rachel Stieringer was arrested for posting pics of her baby smoking a bong on Facebook. [Huffington Post]