Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Please Don't Call My Daughter Pretty.


My baby is pretty.

It's not something she earned. It's not a skill. It's an accident of genetics that may or may not stick around. 

Yet everywhere I go, people stop to tell me how pretty she is. I am always gracious, but I've had enough. I want people to stop calling my daughter pretty. 

I can already hear the whining and gnashing of teeth. "What kind of monster doesn't want her daughter to hear she's pretty? Doesn't she want her kid to have good self-esteem?"

Not if that self-esteem is built on something she didn't earn and didn't work for. Not if it's built on something there is no reason to value. As a recovering pretty person myself, I know that pretty often ends up being a prison. I don't want to lock my daughter in the cage of pretty before she has the chance to explore the other, more valuable, things she can be. 

Monday, August 14, 2017

The Politicization of Sleeping: Just One More Way to Blame Moms for Everything


When I was pregnant, I swore I would never share a bed with my baby. We planned to have her in our room for at least a year, as the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends, and to then make a final decision about her sleeping location.

We're science people. We knew that sleeping in the same bed as our baby increased her risk for SIDS. So we were bound and determined to find another way.

That is, until we went weeks without sleep, realized the science isn't as straightforward as it seems, and gained a healthy appreciation of how politicized all parenting decisions are.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

I Made a Person. I Also Do Everything Else Men Can Do. Tell Me How That Makes Women Inferior.


*Note: I originally published this piece on Daily Kos at the urging of a client. 
I had a baby 11 months ago. There’s nothing terribly impressive about that. After all, women have babies every day. And we live in a society in which, if women do something men can’t, we treat it as unremarkable. Birth is unimpressive, but scoring two points higher on a spatial reasoning test? Now that is amazing! 
It’s this sort of ridiculous reasoning that enables us to accept, with a straight face, that men are in some way superior to, stronger than, or smarter than women. I’m tired of it. So I have a question for the men who continue to argue that women aren’t destined for careers or are too emotional or whatever the sexist argument is this week: I made a person. I did it while doing everything men do. How does that make me inferior?