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Showing posts from 2016

Open Letter to Shenendehowa Schools

Dr. Oliver Robinson, Superintendent of Shen
Mr. Donald Flynt, Principal of Shen High School
Mr. Jonathan Burns, Principal of Acadia Middle School
Mr. Greg Pace, Principal of Tesago Elementary School

In the wake of the election of a US President whose campaign was an outpouring of racism, sexism, bigotry, and xenophobia and a VP who believes that LGBTQ people are in need of "curing," I feel it is urgently important that I write to you about incidents at Acadia Middle School and High School West.

On Thursday, November 10, a number of children were chanting, "Build a wall! Kill 'em all! All hail Trump!"

Of course Shen students have a right and even a responsibility to start exploring political ideologies, learning about our elections, and choosing candidates to support, but in a free, democratic society, "kill 'em all" is never acceptable. It is hate speech, pure and simple. It is an affront to civil discourse, it violates Shen district rules, and it…

Blue Apron Review

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I hoping this comes across as a public service announcement and not a commercial. For several years now, I have...not enjoyed cooking (for these picky ungrateful wretches I live with). Uh-hem. So in the midst of my uninspired kitchen doldrums, after getting a coupon in the mail, I tried Blue Apron, the uncooked meal delivery service, and it was actually quite good! Maggie ate collard greens without complaint and actually asked if we could have fish more often. WTF? The portions are well-sized, and it comes with nutritional information—always nice when someone else figures that out the carbs for me. The full price (without the coupon) is a smidge more than the cost of the four of us going to Panera or Chipotle, but judging by the meals we've gotten, it's healthier. Again, collard greens!?! It's a great way to teach your tween or teen to cook...assuming that I'm not the only one whose kids aren't already totally prepared to make a freaking soufflé on Chopped Junior. I…

Civics 101

For those who don't remember high school history class, the US Constitution wasn't our first rulebook. During the war to break from England, our lauded Founding Fathers drafted the Articles of Confederation in 1777. After the war was won, they discovered that the loose rules, leaving too much up to individual states and not authorizing enough power to the central government...didn't quite work.

So they went back to the drawing board in 1789 and created the US Constitution, the amazing document that, much like the Bible, is constantly referred to but seldom read and even less understood.

I would like to remind everyone that IT DOES NOT NEED TO BE REPLACED! We do not need a revolution, Bernie. We do not need to blow up the system, Reince.

The Constitutional Convention members designed a government in such a way as to dilute the power of any one person or group and to prevent rapid changes in power. It is an excellent idea that keeps the government centrist and stable. No dem…

Happy Mother's Day?

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Normally Mother's Day is that one day we take in spring to lie about how much we value mothers and motherhood, but this year we have a new selfish spin on devaluing motherhood.

To whit:
a tweet from a woman claiming (I'm paraphrasing as I don't remember the exact quote) to tweet on behalf of all the mothers who find being a parent a happy thing that happened in their lives, "but not their reason for being."And the movie "Bad Moms." First, if you have kids but being a parent isn't the most important thing in your life, you should have gotten a shelter dog, not a created a human being. 
If you brought another human being into the world, either planned or (shudder) by accident, that person is more important than you...at least to you. He or she is not a pet or a hobby, and if you think so, you should have left the baby at a fire station or emergency room at birth.

There are nearly infinite ways to be a good parent, but ALL of them start with prioritizin…

#HeyGirl

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I've been stuck for two weeks or so between trying to understand what people intend by what they say and knowing that word choice matters. OK, OK, one word, in particular: girl.

I loved my Pilates/yoga teacher's rough translation of "namaste" as "you go, girl!" I had to smile when a toll booth worker passed me through the pay lane with a wave and a cheerful, "you're good, girl." I love the cute pink and pastel LEGO Friends sets. (Although I absolutely hate the stretched out skinny mini-fig replacements.) But despite drinking my coffee out of a pink mug in my pink office as I browse for a pink iPhone and pink MacBook, I still struggle with self-contempt in the moments when I'm emotion and (shudder) "girlie."

There should be nothing wrong with being a girl or being like a girl. It should denote immature femaleness, which should be, at worst, value-neutral as we work toward gender equality. I could put on my Humorless Feminist hat …

Too Old for This Shit

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So I did this last week: Never mind that I asked for this, minus the vacant expression, of course.

While was sitting in the salon chair having my hair turned magenta, the stylists and another customer were discussing Victoria's Secret Pink clothes, and their opinion was that if you have a 12-year-old daughter, SHE should be wearing Pink, not you, because you're too old.
Clearly, I didn't have much to add to the discussion because, well, I was having my hair turned pink, as if I were in middle school. 
But as I've said before, the lovely thing about being too old to have pink hair is that I'm also too old to have anyone tell me how I'm allowed to wear my hair.

Damned Either Way

In the space of a week, I went from SJW to transphobic. WTF?

I've been a conscious feminist since I signed a petition at the mall demanding an Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution to ensure gender equality. (I was 12; still waiting on that one, BTW.)

I was raised to accept homosexuality as normal and unremarkable and, in the details, none of my business. At some point in my life, American culture hit a tipping point for agreeing with me. First Will could date guys while living with his bestie Grace, and now finally same sex marriage is the law of the land. (But again, no Constitutional Amendment ensuring equal protection.)

I went to Berkeley. 'nuff said.

So it came as quite a surprise when my 18yo babysitter, after taking a weeklong class for high school students on gender and society, told me that I'm transphobic.

Okaaaay.

I'm not transphobic. I'm more trans-skeptical, which I guess is the same thing to the people who have reclaimed the "SJW" label…