“Modern Family” is one of the few shows on TV right now that makes me genuinely laugh out loud every episode. I adore all of the characters, their weird quirks, and increasingly absurd story arcs. From the beginning, if I had to choose a favorite character it would probably be Phil. A talented real estate agent, dorky father of three, and loving husband of Claire, I always felt like Phil was a unique male character in the primetime sitcom landscape. On the surface, he seemed like a stereotypical goofy dad who is only slightly more mature than his pre-adolescent children, but as I kept watching, I realized he possessed depth, intelligence, and warmth. Was he immature on the surface? Yes, but there was more going on underneath, and because of that, he was lovable and real.
This season though, something has changed. I’ve noticed that while Phil is still hilarious, he’s lost some of the layers of complexity, and I’m afraid I might soon have to diagnose him with the dreaded Doofus Husband Syndrome… Keep reading »
This piece was originally published at Patheos.com and is being reprinted with permission.
The spring of my sophomore year of college I was president of my university’s Students for Life chapter. The fall of my junior year of college I cut my ties with the pro-life movement. Five years later I have lost the last shred of faith I had in that movement. This is my story. Keep reading »
I have very mixed feelings about a piece on NYMag.com’s blog about “hipster sexism.” The
authors Alissa Quart and Lauren Sandler author Alissa Quart described “hipster sexism” as:
Hipster Sexism consists of the objectification of women but in a manner that uses mockery, quotation marks, and paradox … ads, photographs, television shows, films, and T-shirts, which represent young women being defined, but always ironically — with a wink and a nod — by their sexuality and/or bodies.
Old Sexists (or Classic Sexists), they explain, are Republicans in Congress — people my parents’ age — whose outdated beliefs about gender and sexuality could be attributed to just not getting with the times. Hipster sexists “should know better,” the authors write, but don’t, and try to pass it off as funny and/or ironic.
Keep reading »
“Disney is releasing a Latina princess soon, mija,” I declared to my daughter as we drove away from her school and on our way to pick up her dad. “Good!” she said firmly. But of course, I rarely let that be the end of any conversation. “Why good?” I probed.
What followed was a discussion of how we both recognized that Latinas deserve a princess that looks like them — this is despite the fact that my husband and I worked hard to minimize “the princess effect” in our home. Princesses were far from banned. Rather we opted for a different approach: we emphasize strong princesses like Leia, Wonder Woman and Xena (not a real princess, but warrior princesses counted). I also would bring up real-life princesses who did good in the world whenever I could. Oh, the way I used to bring up Princess Diana and Queen Noor! Goodness. We also discussed the strong traits of the Disney princess kingdom: Ariel was adventurous, Belle loved to read and Rapunzel knew how to wield a cast-iron skillet. As you can see, we aren’t anti-Princess, but we are anti-”I’m a pretty-princess waiting for a prince to save me.” Keep reading »
I’m a TV junkie. Once my kid finally falls asleep, you’ll find me splayed out on the couch, flipping through the over 800 channels we apparently subscribe to. And my tastes run rampant: I’m just as happy sitting through an hour of “Alphas” on the Syfy channel as I am watching Barry’s antics on “Storage Wars” or crossing my fingers for a “Charmed” marathon on TNT. I DVR “30 Rock” to watch each week as well as the latest episode of “Top Chef.” Truly, there is very little I won’t watch.
Oh, except Nickelodeon’s new channel for moms, NickMom. You probably won’t find me watching that anytime soon, despite being a mom. On October 1st, NickJr — a channel originally created to provide age-appropriate programming for preschool children — began airing a block of nighttime programming “just for moms.” When I heard the news, I started wondering what I, a self-professed TV fiend and mom, was lacking from my already jam-packed television watching schedule. Keep reading »
I’ve always loved Halloween. The candy, the Jack-O-Lanterns, the parties, and of course, the costumes. I’m no stranger to awesome Halloween costumes. I’ve been everything from a box of crayons (four-years-old) to a genie (10-years-old) to Britney Spears pre-public meltdown (27-years-old, while eight months pregnant — it was a truly brilliant costume if I say so myself).
One thing I love about Halloween is the ability for both kids and adults to play pretend for an evening. One thing I don’t love about it, however, is that if you lack the time/desire/sewing skills to scour Pinterest and create a homemade costume, your choices for children are sadly limited. Keep reading »
When most people think about street harassment, they think about what women wear or about how women should respond to catcalls. But there are other, more subtle, effects of street harassment and how it affects women’s existence in public space. Recently, The Wall Street Journal noted that only 11 percent of the participants in India’s Delhi Half Marathon were female and one of the reasons they gave for why women in India don’t run is the “stares and calls from drivers, cyclists and pedestrians.” In other words, women don’t go outside to exercise when they live in fear of street harassment. Keep reading »
A funny thing can happen in politics: You make a comment and it might come back to bite you weeks, months, or even years later. That’s what just happened to Representative Roger Rivard of the Wisconsin legislature, who’s found himself in a very tight race with a Democratic opponent, which means the gloves are off when it comes to digging up dirt.
Some rather nasty comments he made about rape 10 months ago are suddenly in the national spotlight while they passed without a ripple originally, illustrating how in politics, you’re never truly safe from your past. Keep reading »
“Girls” star Lena Dunham evokes a passionate response from bloggers and journalists, especially in women’s media. So I’m a bit nervous about admitting that my thoughts on Dunham’s oeuvre is neutral, even dispassionate. She’s overexposed for a small and fairly meh body of work: “Tiny Furniture” wasn’t that great and I got bored with “Girls” about three episodes in and stopped watching. Her role in the zeitgeist doesn’t interest me much, either. I’m sick of talking about how she takes her clothes off in her work. I’m sick of talking about whether she is racist or just dopey. I’m sick of talking about whether she’s the voice of a generation, or a voice of a generation. It’s not jealousy or hatred that I feel, just a profound feeling of I’m over it. IMHO, Lena Dunham gets a lot of attention for all the attention she is getting. But still, she is everywhere. Keep reading »
I grew up in the ‘80s on a tree-lined neighborhood that skirted the edge of New Haven, Connecticut. Nobody really traveled down my short street unless they lived there or were visiting, and my family was friendly with all of our neighbors. With a backyard that was mostly brambling bushes and trees, I spent the majority of my childhood playing right out in front of my house, alternating between frolicking in the garden (much to my mother’s chagrin) or biking up and down the sidewalks with friends. A good portion of that outside time was spent with friends, by myself, or with my younger brother in tow, but mostly unsupervised by adults. Sure, my mom stuck her head out every now and again, and a neighbor was never far off. But the majority of my outside play was independent and unstructured. Keep reading »