When I was very young — eight, maybe — I remember walking out the back door of my family’s house with my mom. I had probably just asked for a cookie or something, and my mom’s response was this: “You know, if you keep eating sweets so much, people are going to think you’ll be an alcoholic one day.”
She contends this never happened, but I remember it clear as day. That was when I decided not to drink. It seemed expedient: I could keep eating sweets, and it wouldn’t matter what people thought about my future drinking habits, because I’d know that I wasn’t going to drink and therefore wasn’t going to become an alcoholic.
So the scene in the CW’s new show, “Jane the Virgin” (which premiered on Monday night), in which the heroine’s grandmother tells a pre-adolescent Jane not to lose her virginity, speaks to me. I know that feeling. That is Catholic guilt. Apparently, I don’t even know the half of it — my mom is good at guilt-tripping, but my aunt tells me that my grandmother’s ability to discipline via shame was downright masterful. In fact, my mother even harnessed some residual power from her mother’s guilt-tripping expertise by telling me a few times over my childhood, “Your grandmother would be so disappointed.” Keep reading »
Considering that one in three women will have an abortion during her lifetime, we don’t see too many on the big screen. Even in “Knocked Up” and “Juno,” two of the biggest movies in the last decade about unplanned pregnancies, the characters barely discussed terminations. That’s one of the few reasons I’m very curious to see “Obvious Child,” a new rom-com starring former “Saturday Night Live” star Jenny Slate. She plays an aspiring standup comedian named Donna who has an unplanned pregnancy right around the same time she gets dumped and loses her job. Gaby Hoffman from “Girls” stars as her friend and the flick is written and directed by Gillian Robespierre. Yes, a pro-choice film starring a woman with a lady director! Everything about “Obvious Child” has “Jessica is going to see this on opening night” written all over it. Check out the trailer above! [YouTube]
It was a Tuesday afternoon and I was on my therapist’s couch. I described for her an incident over the weekend when I felt sad, deeply sad, for seemingly no reason at all. I had felt reclusive and shy and wanted to stay in my bed; when my husband encouraged me to go to a birthday party that night that I actually wanted to go to, I had started crying. I’m a sensitive person, sure, but even while I was crying I knew my tears didn’t make much sense.
I shared some other strange behavior changes lately. I’ve been more hungry than usual, more often and ravenously so. I get snappish when I can’t eat immediately (hangry, I believe, is the technical term). I’m usually pretty easygoing, but lately I’d been having random mood swings. I was beginning to feel embarrassed about my behavior.
“You’re emotional … your appetite has changed …,” she paused. “Have you considered that you might be pregnant?” Keep reading »
Men should be included in strategizing ways to prevent unplanned pregnancies, according to a new study by the Guttmacher Institute. Researchers looked at data from the 2006 to 2010 National Survey of Family Growth reported by men about unplanned births. Through analyzing the rate of happiness that each father felt when his child was born, they found that fathers that planned the birth of their child were more likely to be happy about their bundle of joy coming into the world. Married men specifically were very happy about having a child in this manner.
The study, titled, “Exploring U.S. Men’s Birth Intentions,” by Laura Lindberg and Kathryn Kost, looked at a whole bunch of facts about unplanned pregnancy and found the rate of unintended births vary between a man’s union status, age, education level, race and ethnicity. However, quite a few unplanned pregnancies are unwanted by men. Keep reading »
I was born out of wedlock in Minnesota, to a white mother and an Afghan (not the blanket, the country) father. It was considered pretty scandalous for my mom to be a single mother with a brown baby back in 1979 in Minnesota.
My mother had been with my father off and on for nearly seven years before I came along. Just before my conception, Mom had “escaped” down to South Carolina to stay with her sister after my father informed her that he was already in an arranged marriage with his 15-year-old cousin, who would be arriving soon from Afghanistan. My father’s family had arranged the marriage before relocating to the Unites States; apparently, they felt the need to bring tradition — the child bride tradition—along with them.
You can’t blame my father for wanting my mom for the time that he did, though, as his intended wife was a nine-year-old in Kabul when he met my mom at a Twin Cities bar in 1973, coincidentally the year Roe v. Wade was decided. Still, just before his teen wife was to arrive, my father drove all the way from Minnesota to South Carolina to conceive me in the back seat of his Camaro. Keep reading »
Thanks to Amy Benfer at Broadsheet for pointing out this article in the new issue of Self, called “Single, Pregnant and Panicked,” about the trend of twentysomething women having unplanned pregnancies. As the feature points out, we’ve all seen this trend in Hollywood — Nicole Richie, Jessica Alba, and Ashlee Simpson have all had babies in the last few years — but some of us, especially given the statistics, have probably seen it in our personal lives or experienced unplanned pregnancy ourselves. Despite editing this site, the statistics shocked me. About half of American women will have an accidental pregnancy before the age of 45. That’s kind of a scary thought, considering my addiction to high-fructose corn syrup (um, and red wine).
Keep reading »