One of the things that freaks me out the most about having kids someday is letting them choose their gender roles on their own. I am going to make a conscious and concerted effort to let my kids know they are loved and accepted however they choose to express themselves. But I’m also realistic and I know the outside world fits little kids much more neatly into “boy” and “girl” boxes. Just this weekend, I was at a toy store and rolled my eyes to the top of my head at puzzles targeted for girls’ and boys’: the girls’ puzzles were pink and had makeup shapes, while the boys’ puzzles were blue and had truck shapes. God, could it be any more stereotypical? If I’m acting that way now, childless and single, how am I going to be when I have an actual kid whom I am responsible for?
Probably a lot like the blogger at Feminist Breeder (aka Gina Crosley-Corcoran, formerly of the ’90s band Veruca Salt) who is committed to “gender-neutral parenting,” but was given a free vanity from her dad’s girlfriend. Now she’s agonizing about putting this super-uber-girly-feminine piece of furniture in her little daughter’s bedroom. Keep reading »
One of my mother’s favorite pastimes, aside from texting me my daily horoscope, is playing Yenta for her 30-something single daughter. Only she doesn’t try to set me up with nice Jewish boys. No, she prefers to shop for my potential suitors on reality television.
It all started after the guy who I thought was my soulmate dumped me suddenly. I was devastated. Perhaps in an attempt to sooth my pain, my mother vowed to find me another guy, someone better.
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Science can explain everything, including that bro in the Red Sox hat chugging Amstel Lights. A study of 363 college students published in the online edition of the journal Sex Roles found that men with sexist attitudes towards women think more favorably of casual sex and tend to pursue “aggressive courtship strategies.” Lucky for them, women who also favor casual sex share these guys’ negative, sexist views towards women. Women with sexist views are also are more likely to respond to “aggressive courtship strategies.” The study’s authors, Jeffrey Hall and Melanie Canterberry of the University of Kansas, concluded this means sexist men and sexist women prefer partners who are like them, which I suppose is a way of saying that men with a low opinion of women have an easier time scoring with women who have low opinions of themselves. I find this sad, but it’s better these two groups date each other than sexist dudes try and pursue me. [USA Today] Keep reading »
Riding on the train home from work last week, the woman sitting next to me caught my eye. It wasn’t just her bright red lipstick or her retro dress that I noticed — it was a large, ugly, blue-brown-yellow bruise on her upper arm. As covertly as I could, I looked at the bruise, then at her face. She seemed smiley and happy, an otherwise normal woman coming home from work just like me. I turned back to my magazine. But a few minutes later, something on her leg distracted me: yes, it was another ugly-looking blue-brown-yellow bruise. Now I couldn’t read. I looked at her face again and thought about how “normal” she seemed. For half a second, I considered saying something to her about her bruises, but didn’t know what to say. So I sat there next to her for the rest of the train ride, awkwardly looking at the bruises on her leg and arm with my side-eye. We got off at the same stop, but walked off in different directions. I’m still wondering what her story was. Keep reading »
His hand writing was crap, but Samuel Clemens’ (aka Mark Twain) words were as charming as ever. Because I know you can’t read a word of this love letter he penned for his wife Olivia in 1888, I will translate:
“Livy Darling, I am grateful — gratefuler than ever before — that you were born, & that your love is mine & our two lives woven & welded together!”
I would be gratefuler than ever before to receive a letter like this. But alas, the love letter is dead. I guess a romantic text will have to do. [Letters Of Note] Keep reading »