Through this summer (and perhaps afterward — we’ll see), my links posts will appear on the first Monday of each month instead of weekly. Here are some of my favorite posts from last month….
The Critter’s action painting (photographed and posted for last week’s Wordless Wednesday) was actually done for a preschool assignment. Let’s just say we were kinda freewheeling with the assignment. Hey, it’s preschool. Of course, one hopes that as our boys grow older we can continue to find schools for them where the invisible curriculum is not primarily about learning to be still, keep quiet, follow the rules, and get the right answers. Insofar as we do find our boys overlearning the rules in school, however, we can have them wreck a journal, as MumsyJr suggests at Apprentice Mumsy.
At PhD in Parenting, Annie explains why humanism, feminism, and attachment parenting are compatible. I just love this post because it gets at the core values of both feminism and attachment parenting — both of which would have us act as outlaws from hierarchical society.
At Birthing Beautiful Ideas, Kristen explains why the way she parents is not a prison. I’m curious what list I might come up with if, like her, I wrote down everything I’ve done as “a breastfeeding, babywearing, co-sleeping, attachment-oriented parent.”
On the one hand, I’ll concede that The Business of Being Born did much to draw attention to home birth, midwifery care, and the problematic practices that plague labor and delivery units in the United States. This is not to say that Ricki Lake singlehandedly created a home birth movement in the U.S. Women were seeking home births long before Lake and Abby Epstein released their documentary. But did The Business of Being Born popularize modes of birth and models of maternity care that weren’t all that visible before the movie’s release? Sure. Absolutely.
Nonetheless, this still doesn’t mean that this one movie made seeking out midwifery care and/or choosing a midwife the trendy thing to do. For it’s not as if scores of women watched The Business of Being Born and said to themselves, “Hey! Ricki Lake is doing it! To hell with it, I’m gonna do it too!” That’s what we do when we’re following something trendy….
Instead, after viewing The Business of Being Born, women probably were inspired to think long and hard about the type of maternity care and births they wanted and then went out and made choices accordingly. This is not an act of trend-seeking: it’s an act of informed decision-making.
My favorite responses to Anne Slaughter’s well-circulated article “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All” at The Atlantic both question the very notion of “having it all.” At Salon, Rebecca Traister says “we should immediately strike the phrase “have it all” from the feminist lexicon and never, ever use it again” (link via @TheMamaFesto):
It is a trap, a setup for inevitable feminist short-fall. Irresponsibly conflating liberation with satisfaction, the “have it all” formulation sets an impossible bar for female success and then ensures that when women fail to clear it, it’s feminism — as opposed to persistent gender inequity — that’s to blame.
And, guest posting at PunditMom, Carol Schiller critiques the relentless pursuit of happiness that our culture encourages:
Don’t get me wrong. There is nothing wrong with being passionate about a goal and going full bore on it. But at the end of the day, if even being happy is a project, complete with its own to-do list, what have we got left where we can just wing it?
After all, says Karen Maezen Miller at Cheerio Road, we could just settle.