New England is not happy. It's been a shitacular winter with no end in sight, and everyone I talk to is just done. Major topics of conversation: potholes, snow AGAIN, sickness.
I reached my low point humping a BOB stroller and 26lb child over a glacier-thanks a-holes who don't clear a curb cut or even bother to shovel at all; City of Providence that does minimal snow removal; and f-ers who don't stop at stop signs when they see a crazy lady trying to pull a giant stroller over a mountain of snow and ice. Just know: you are all on my list.
I also had a conversation with a police officer in which I tried to convince him to ticket (per city ordinance) a business that never clears their sidewalks. He was happy to get a cup of coffee from that establishment, but declined to write a ticket. And that is what's wrong with America.
Not in a good mood, so rather than snipping and sniping here and there, I'll just get it all out now.
There is this article "The New Forbidden Word," which created intense debate in my lesbian moms facebook group. Summary: the word "gayby" is an offensive slur. You shouldn't use this word, and if you do you are personally responsible for the bullying of children of gay parents.
The author did not win any points with me for this sentence, "My entire reason for becoming a voice within the gay community is to try to show the world that gay parenting is just parenting." And lost even more when I noticed that his Twitter handle is @GayAtHomeDad. So it's cool to be "Gay Dad" in order to monetize it, but otherwise you're just "normal" dad.
And then there's this: "The worst thing that could happen is that “gayby” catches on in schools
and kids like mine are openly called “gaybies” in a negative way. This
is a very real possibility if we continue to allow this word to exist." The worst thing? As in, we could be executed and our kids could be sent to concentration camps for reeducation? Or as in, we lead lives of constrained gay respectability, always monitoring our own actions to make sure our gay doesn't get too queer, and in the process we inculcate our children with a deep sense of shame about their own identities.
Gayby, bring it on. Do I want my child to be teased? No. But, if she is teased by kids chasing her around the playground, B and I will impart a powerful life lesson: always "negotiate" from a place of power.
Then in same internet group, I was reprimanded for finding the infographic below incredibly silly. And before you think I'm going for a 2fer mommy wars/feminist wars, let me explain myself. It's precisely because I think the labor that women (and men) do in their own homes is valuable that I find this infographic so wrongheaded. There was a time in the US when there was an actual movement to compensate women for their work in their own homes. You can read more about in the books The Politics of Public Housing and Storming Ceasar's Palace: How Black Mother's Fought their own War on Poverty. These books explore the efforts of poor, mostly Black, mothers to make the case that if they couldn't make enough money to lead a decent life (because their jobs paid to little, because family responsibilities kept them from paid employment, or because they were unemployed) the government owed them a living wage with which to raise their children. This wasn't "welfare" but payment for the social good of keeping a home and raising children.
That dream died at least by 1968, but in this age of the "the rent's too damn high" and "someone's got to pay that highly qualified wolf nanny," and we need something left over for a refurbished iphone, nebulizer, and bunk beds from IKEA, it's an idea worth thinking about. My big problem with the graphic is that all the adults with kids who I know (and many of the adults without kids) work all the time. If a child decides to sleep, my free time is between 9:00-10:00 at night (and it's awesome). We all work more, and we mostly don't get paid more, and no one is going to pay you to pick up your own dry cleaning. This graphic imagines a world in which a person (man) goes at works at job and then comes home to leisure world, while his helpmeet cleans his house, cares for his children, and fetches his slippers. I guess that world exists somewhere, but it's dead to me. Instead I live in a world where two adults scramble to survive financially and care for a child and eat and stuff and no one makes 90 grand. I think a better world is achievable, but living in a "mom salary" fantasy land won't get us there.
It was pointed out to me that the point of the graphic is actually to raise the self-esteem of women who do socially devalued work. Cool, but I just can't relate. I hate it when people offer me the trite self-esteem raisers. "Aw, you're doing a great job mama!" makes me what to bust out an Amy Poehler style "You don't know me, bitch," followed by "you better vote like you care about a living wage."