Welcome to the second edition of the Carnival of Feminist Parenting. It’s 11pm here so I’m just in time to post it on its due date. ;)
There have been depressingly few (non-spam) submissions for this edition, which to me doesn’t bode well for its potential. If you’d like to see the Carnival continue, please be sure to submit those posts, be they yours or those written by other people! Although we are primarily a UK blog, the Carnival is intended to be international, so please do send in articles and posts from around the world. :)
“In reality, it wasn’t that I didn’t want a girl. I just felt some reluctance to raising a girl; not the child herself. This became clear immediately when I saw her on the screen during my sonogram. It was love at first sight. I was in awe of her and even more in awe that in a few short months I’d be able to hold and cuddle and talk to her. I immediately realized that my reluctance wasn’t to her, it was to my own ability to raise her.
On the surface, I knew that raising any child (but even more so a female child) was going to be more difficult as a feminist parent because of the societal pressures and reactions. It is the societal opposition that was indeed the problem and NOT my style of parenting or that she is a girl. So, why still the reluctance to raising a girl?”
“Anyone who has kids has at some point found themselves trapped in a conversation in which the other person pronounces, often with great insistence, that “Boys like…” or “Girls play with…”.
I want to make a few observations about such statements and the phenomena that underly them. This includes an example from the life of L, my kid who will be six years old in a couple of months, that illustrates one way that such preferences get produced, as well as a few thoughts about how to relate to such phenomena.”
“Babies are, according to our assumptions regarding what feminine is, remarkable feminine, and without even trying.
Now, on the one hand that says a lot about what women are expected to perform when they’re expected to perform femininity. Feminine performance is, to a certain extent, infantilizing for women.
But, on the other hand, it helps to explain to me why folks are so very caught up in making sure little baby boys are dressed up and recognizable as boys. Their essential femininity must be masked.”
“Sure, sex sells to adults. That’s nothing new. In fact, it’s about as old as advertising itself. Tom Reichert’s The Erotic History of Advertising traces commercial sex images as far back as the 1850’s, when naked women sold mostly men products from tobacco to beverages.
And very quickly, the progression becomes clear: selling the sex-image to men (old as advertising, older) —> selling the sex-image to women—-> selling the sex image to children?”
This was nearly a very short carnival, but for the fact that there have been a few posts and articles I’ve read over the last month that I’ve saved to share with you today. ;)
“As a single Mom, I’m deemed the Permission Asker. I don’t ever “tell” my ex I’m going away for the weekend, nor do I assume he’ll assist if Nolan needs to be taken to the Doctor, or kept home from daycare if he’s feeling under the weather. If I need a slice of time for work, my friends, myself – I need to ask permission and hope I’ll be granted it. It’s not a given, not as simple as a phone call to say: hey, I’m going away for the weekend.
I’m not an anomoly: every single Mom I know is in the same boat. Their exes can float in and out at will, taking time for camping trips and week-long vacations, while Mom is left holding the bulk of the responsibility. If she wants a camping trip – she’s going to have to plead a little – and even then, it’s not a given. I wonder why this is.”
“It’s a part of the reason why I so strongly feel and regularly advocate that anti-rape education needs to be a part of sexual health education. Of course, sexual violence is a sexual health issue. But from a strictly practical level, you can’t teach kids how to use condoms and expect that to be enough to prevent pregnancy and STDs on the whole. The current model, the way in which we teach teens (and adults!) how to use condoms and other contraception, almost always supposes that consensual sex makes up for all of the STDs and pregnancies they’re attempting to prevent. And it just plain doesn’t, as much as we wish it did.”
A couple of articles on the disturbing trend in USian (and possibly UK?) obstetric care of “Pit To Distress”, one from Nursing Birth titled “Pit to Distress”: A Disturbing Reality, and another from Unnecesarean titled “Pit to Distress”: Your Ticket to an “Emergency” Cesarean?
“‘Pit to distress.’ How have I not heard about this? Apparently it’s quite en vogue in many hospitals these days. Googling the term brings up a number of pages discussing the practice, which entails administering the highest possible dosage of Pitocin in order to deliberately distress the fetus, so a C-section can be performed. Yes folks, you read that right. All that Pit is not to coerce mom’s body into birthing ASAP so they can turn that moneymaking bed over, but to purposefully squeeze all the oxygen out of her baby so they can put on a concerned face and say, “Oh dear, looks like we’re heading to the OR!”
“I have a three year old daughter. She loves pink, she loves dresses, she loves shoes. I have no problem with this. I think she is adorable and very much her own bossy little person. I do have a problem with her only saying that she is beautiful when she is wearing a dress or a particular t-shirt with a little frill on the bottom. I do have a problem with her saying that she doesn’t want to eat from the blue ‘boys’ bowl, she wants the pink ‘girls’ bowl. This isn’t coming from me. It’s not coming from her Dad or her big brother. I don’t think it’s necessarily coming from daycare, at least not directly because they are pretty progressive. More importantly how do I stop it? How do I tell her that she is beautiful whatever she is wearing, or running around in the narky-noo? How do I tell her that colours are for everyone?”
“While these results are said to represent the dissolution of traditional gender roles in Britain, the nature of this as a report specifically analysing the role of fathers suggests that the stay-at-home dad is still considered an unusual phenomeneon.The subtext to the media coverage it has been given also suggests that men who do favour domesticity should be praised, despite the fact women have been staying at home and caring for their children for generations.”
Bust Magazine has an article about Another Decision You Can’t Make For Yourself.
“Tarrah Seymour is 21 and pregnant with her second child. She and her husband, Adam Sylvester, who is 23, know they don’t want to have any more children, so they asked the OB/GYN, Dr. Kayode Ayodele, to perform the sterilization during Seymour’s planned C-section. He refused because of their ages, claiming Seymour might ‘’get involved with someone else down the road and regret her decision.’’ He flat out won’t perform the procedure on anyone under 25.”
“At the start, I saw participating in infant care as being the most important thing I could do to make my fathering profeminist, and maybe that was correct—it had the merit of being a pretty straightforward mission. I did my best.
And that’s a fundamentally different framework than the one an anti-feminist or non-feminist father brings to fatherhood—for the best of them, fatherhood involves an uncomplicated commitment to breadwinning above all else, which, whatever its shortcomings, is definitely an important role to fulfill; for the worst of them, fatherhood becomes another opportunity to dominate women and expand their egos.”
Cara at The Curvature has a post titled Organization Pays Addicted Women to Undergo Permanent Sterilization.
“What we’re looking at here is the exploitation of a vulnerable population of women. (While the program is open to men, less than 1% of those who have taken the deal have actually been men.) Because I don’t know about you, but I don’t know a whole lot of people who aren’t currently interested in permanent birth control who would suddenly become interested for a rather lousy $300. I can only imagine, in fact, that someone would take such a deal only if they were incredibly desperate for money (and not only because of addiction, but also because of unbearable living expenses, etc.).”
“I’m not looking for perfection: sometimes the best opportunities for learning or teaching come when we mess up. And don’t worry about it being “good enough” in either feminist content or writing quality — I’m not going to judge the former, and I can help with the latter. I’m just looking for a picture, big or little, of some way you try to enact womanism/feminism in your life as a parent, and raise the next generation more aware of and less enslaved by kyriarchy/patriarchy.
I’d especially like to get the perspective of parents (“regular”, step, adoptive, birth, and to-be or hoping-to-be) who are not male-partnered, white, able-bodied, middle-class, American women — though even if you are all those things don’t let that stop you from submitting.”
That concludes this edition. I really hope you’ve enjoyed it! Remember, this carnival can not exist without participation from you, the readers. Submit your blog article to the next edition of the Carnival using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page or the carnival home page.