friday’s child

“The International Breastfeeding Symbol in Use” at This gave me the shivers, imagining an America that was breastfeeding-supportive. Lovely images.

“How Do You Feel About Aging? Secrets From Ladies In Their 60s”. This article gave me mixed feelings. On one hand I think Ari does a great job highlighting, interviewing, and respecting our older population (mostly privileged ones, which goes unrecognized in the blog as far as I can tell). This is important work, as ageism decrees that older citizens are often not taken seriously by the mainstream, thrown on a rubbish heap and thought of as “less than”. So in that respect, it was lovely to hear these women’s voices and their thoughts. On the other hand, we see just how attached to the performance of beauty these women are. In the same troubling vein, Ari’s expressed thought these women are “just beginning to think about how aging affects their attitude and appearance” seems incredibly naive. Many if not most American women spend cradle-to-grave experiencing constant referendums on their appearance and we’ve internalized – oh yes – the idea that being old or showing wrinkles is about the most pathetic and catastrophic experience awaiting us all. There is no “just beginning” to it… but often times there’s no end. (P.S. I love the phrase “crone-friendly”). I sent this article and some of my thoughts to my mother, and await her response.

“What Is Gluten and Why is Gluten Free Important?” sent to my email inbox this morning by Top Food & Drug. Pretty comprehensive 101!

“Really, IRS?” at
“According to an article in the New York Times, the Internal Revenue Service has determined that breastfeeding “does not have enough health benefits to qualify as a form of medical care.” Therefore, women cannot count expenses for breastfeeding supplies in their tax-sheltered healthcare spending accounts. In doing so, the IRS has ignored the guidance of experts at the Department of Health & Human Services and World Health Organization who are actively promoting breastfeeding because of its significant health benefits for mothers and children.”

Did I mention I posted my first piece on Squat! Birth Journal‘s blog? Well, I did. “Supermodel mum told to ‘put ’em away’ – unless she’s showing them to straight grownup males, natch.” Anyone reading who is interested in supporting Squat!, they are looking for content; I love they actively promote an anti-oppression framework!

And since I’m on a breastfeeding kick, two more posts:

“Silly Remarks On Breastfeeding Older Children” from mamapoekie (and yes, I have literally heard them all!)


“Happy Weaning”, by yours truly

“Why Should Library Have To Do A Balancing Act On ‘Sicko’?” at The more I read about librarians the more kick-ass I realize they are. h/t eoctrl on Twitter.

“#Hollaback and Fighting Street Harassement” at Womanist-Musings. In response to this piece, but not really in response if you want my opinion, Alexander Cohen wrote “”Street harassment” and ending silencing” and @asked me if I was interested in commenting. I’m not, so far, although I hasten to add it’s not as if I think the convo is worthless. Cohen’s piece demonstrates a profound lack of interest or credence granted to women’s lived realities. A conversation can’t happen until both parties are willing to listen and just for today, for now, I don’t have the energy for it, especially given how many conversations I’m invited to.

Back to the Hollaback piece; I read the transcript, and did not watch the video. I was deeply moved by May’s thoughts on what it’s like to live a life in fear and the cost to oneself and others: “I want to build a world in which good morning means nothing more than good morning and we can say it to people who do not look or think anything like us. I think that good morning has the power to change the world and the way people live in it. […] And I think as women, we will be able to wipe that tough girl look off of our faces because we will know that no matter what we wear, no matter what we wear, no matter what we wear, that the days of ‘she was asking for it’ will be over. “

Oh, the “tough girl” bit. I’ve lived it. I still live it, sometimes (I’m now remembering my days working in male-dominated pulp mills… apparently you can be “asking for it” when wearing Carhartt’s, no makeup, and steel toe boots). It fucking sucks.

“Ableist Word Profile: Idiot” from FWD.
“Many of the ableist words which reference ‘inferior intelligence’ are actually used in settings when people want to say that someone is being thoughtless, reckless, irresponsible, or rude. So, those are all good words to use as alternatives to ‘idiot.’ One of the things about exploring ableist language is that it forces us to think about the actual meaning of a sentence; when you find yourself wanting to refer to someone as an ‘idiot’ or something as ‘idiotic’, pause and think about the meaning of what you are trying to say.”

“Death by femininity, again” at IBTP
“a titillating squirt of micro-porn to whet the insatiable appetites of typical prog-liber-o-prurient HuffPo readers.” I haaaaate HuffPo for this kind of stuff, or more specifically, for self-defining as “progressive” but being just as misogynistic as just about everywhere else. More nip slips = more page views, whee!

“Irish Apes: Tactics of De-Humanization” at Sociological Images. The subject of dehumanizing language and images fascinates me.

Race & Class
“Get Ready For The Whitest Oscars In A Decade” at Colorlines. Good thing we’re so post-race issues!

“Another 9 Year Old Girl was Killted in Arizona” – but didn’t receive national coverage. Wonder why? (Hint: I don’t really wonder.)

“Are you better off buying $200 shoes?” at SocImages. Why yes, I totally am. Thanks for the tip, Desert Companion! Hey, can I have $200? Also some rent and grocery money? I really do need “decent footwear”. And food and stuff.

“Whole Foods and the HI-LO JP Controversy” by J. Valera. HI-LO sounds awesome and like nothing I’ve personally seen. Whole Foods? Yeah, seen it.

“Honoring our Children’s Interests” at Life Learning Magazine‘s blog. “For most of us, trust and respect come easiest when our kids’ choices and decisions are in synch with our own. Not so simple to deal with are the times when a child expresses a desire to do something with which we don’t agree, which could be anything from playing violent video games to attending school.”

I agree with this. Many parents and grownups work to manage children’s lives such that compliance is the best option for the children in question. Our mettle and spiritual strength is tested when children express something that discomforts us. Sadly, grownups are in such a position of power children often have neither the knowledge or resources to object or defy. They grow and approach adulthood… and we see cultural narratives about sullen, depressed, oppositional, rebellious, adolescents where we call them silly or worse.

Hm, I’m thinking of opting out of all that. You?

Pan de los Muertos at Epicurious. We made this last night – rich, eggy, and delicious!

“Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.” ~ Carrie Fisher

“Write only if you cannot live without writing. Write only what you alone can write.” ~ Elie Wiesel

Random Awesomeness
How Decaf Is Produced

14 thoughts on “friday’s child

  1. as a decaf drinker, I found the graphic at the end of this post hilarious ;), especially since I had to scroll down to view the bottom of the picture and get the punch line.

  2. I particularly enjoyed re-reading your “Happy Weaning” article, which is thoroughly lovely. My little R. weaned — happily– at 30 months.

  3. That’s nice of you! My sorely neglected Flickr photos won’t bring you up to date, I’m afraid, but do please visit my fluffy blog. I think it might be hyperlinked to my name.

  4. I’ve only had power again for a day or so, so I’m late in reading the links (thank you, PEPCO for being unable to keep us with electricity and yet charge us ridiculous rates) and I’ve only gotten through about 1/2 of them.

    The link about the breastfeeding symbol is nice but I had a niggling feeling in the back of my head as I scrolled through the pics: Yes, the symbol is being used more frequently, but it’s being used to indicated that there are rooms available for nursing women to go to, which effectively segregates them from the rest of society and still sends the message that it’s not okay to nurse in public and that it’s okay for others to want to send women to another room to nurse their kids. I know that many women prefer the quiet and privacy of nursing rooms as they can relax a bit more about how much breast is exposed and not worry about where the next crappy comment is coming from. And for many moms with nursing toddlers who pull off the breast to look around, it provides a place that is possibly less stimulating, which may serve to keep them on the breast longer. So I’m torn – do I celebrate the existence of nursing rooms and ignore the need for acceptance of public nursing, or do I take the stance that nursing rooms only serve to perpetuate the anti-nursing mindset? It’s truly a fine line.

    That said, I personally bought a T-shirt with the breastfeeding symbol on it when I was pregnant with Gwyn and still wear it, as well as a tote bag with the symbol and a T-shirt for Gwyn. Both she and Tallon have worn that shirt. I’ve been asked about it when I’m out – particularly the bag, since it’s sturdy and makes a good grocery bag – and people’s reactions to the symbol are positive.

    The articles on extended nursing/weaning made me a little wistful, since of late I’m feeling like Tallon weaned too soon, even though it was totally his idea. I sometimes see him lying down and drinking from his sippy cup and the look on his face reminds me of the contented happy look he had when nursing. Those moments make me feel like I should still be nursing him, like maybe he misses it. The idea that people would get upset by extended nursing boggles my mind, since if people saw a picture in National Geographic of a mother nursing a 2 or 3 year-old, they wouldn’t think anything of it.

    I haven’t yet read the article about children’s interests but it’s on my radar for this afternoon. I just wanted to comment that lately I’ve been saying to my husband, “I don’t want Maeve to do any of the extracurricular things she does because I did them as a kid or because she thinks I want her to. I want her to find something she’s passionate about and I’ll support that without question.” I’ve known kids who played the piano because their parents made them and they were good but they didn’t enjoy it. I took ballet classes 6 days a week but it was because I wanted to and I certainly don’t expect Maeve to do that. She has a friend who wanted to play the cello. The girl’s mother said “We own a clarinet. You can play the clarinet because I don’t want to pay to rent a cello.” I don’t understand this kind of mentality. I mean, I don’t have a lot of money but I scrape up enough every month to pay to rent Maeve’s flute.

  5. @Mamapoekie
    You’re welcome!

    Thank you for your points about segregation and breastfeeding! They are very important (and remind me of the “segregationist” vs. non issue regarding cycling). Many of the examples in that post don’t have to do with separate rooms, but your points are valid!

    “We own a clarinet. You can play the clarinet because I don’t want to pay to rent a cello.” I don’t understand this kind of mentality. I mean, I don’t have a lot of money but I scrape up enough every month to pay to rent Maeve’s flute.

    There are of course many parents who really can’t afford any luxuries. But I think I know what you’re talking about with some families, and I think this can be a side-effect of over-managing a kids’ life – parents start to feel a cynicism regarding their kids expressed interests. I’ve heard these kinds of refusals framed with “we won’t do this because you won’t stick with it”. This, alongside “You have to earn X grade or be in at least one sport” or whatever, erodes a child’s natural drives and preferences. As far as shelling out for things my kids ask for, I’ve found trusting my children leads to children I can trust.

  6. You’re right about some people not being able to afford luxuries and the need to work with what you’ve got. And I would say that was the case with this family, except I I think know them well enough to say that it isn’t – they’re better off than most people, financially, and they pay for ballet lessons and horseback riding lessons for this child. And she’s the youngest of 4 girls. So I think it’s a case of “we have a clarinet that we bought for your oldest sister who doesn’t play anymore and we don’t want it to go to waste”, which is silly since they could easily sell it and get several month’s worth of cello rental with the proceeds. Plus, the mom is a no-nonsense kind of person who is terribly efficient and has a big enough personality that she probably doesn’t really hear what her daughter is saying. S. is a shy kid around most adults and doesn’t really give her own opinion on anything. That makes me wonder if she’s really talked to her mom about it.

    Of course, I could be totally wrong about it all and it could be a question of money.

  7. “I think it’s a case of ‘we have a clarinet that we bought for your oldest sister who doesn’t play anymore and we don’t want it to go to waste’, which is silly since they could easily sell it and get several month’s worth of cello rental with the proceeds.”

    Yes, I know what you mean on this one. I think often parents put their stock in some reality and then require or pressure their kids to fulfill it. “Expectations are just deferred resentments” and all that.

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