On What's the Best Time Your Family Has Ever Trolled You?

Mine was trying to embarrass my brother and he got back spectacularly (and possibly, accidentally) my brother was introducing me to some of his pothead friends, so I tell the hilarious story about when we were teenagers and our property was raided for "suspicious plant growth near the road" (who plants their suspicious plants by the road??) and my brother is being upright citizen and assuring the officers that no marijuana is being grown on this property, and he was so square. So he returns with "So, sister of mine, tell us about how much you hated Requiem for a Dream?" cue AAAGGEEESS of stoner arguments about the film's merits and haven't I totally considered this aspect, maaaan? Good move, bro.

The next is from my husband's family, apparently as children my father-in-law would peel the post-sunburn skin and chase the children around the house saying "Flexible skin is coming for you!!" So then when my sister-in-law was college-age she went on a spring break vacation to Cancun, got horribly burned, then she peeled the skin to tape inside a greeting card with no return address, with only the words "FLEXIBLE SKIN IS COMING FOR YOU!" on the card. and a lot of skin.
There are definitely reasons I married into this family.

Posted on February 20, 2015 at 7:18 pm 0

On Let's Stop Making Fun of Kwanzaa

Agreed! Especially to me since pagan-y (generally white) folks can totally have heartfelt Winter Solstice and equinox celebrations in peace (especially since most recent pagan identify stuff has been since the 1970s or so, definitely not "oh but this tradition has been in my family for generations!" people) we can leave Kwanzaa alone. Sure, someone's conservative old uncle is going to think it's stupid, but he probably also thinks Ann Coulter makes some great points sooo who cares about him?

Posted on December 23, 2014 at 6:25 pm 2

On Tips For Surviving The Holidays With Your Family

good thing everyone realized this was a joke article fashioned on just good ol' common advice and not actual instructions on how to deal with relatives! geeeeezus. Duh, of course you'd confront your obnoxious uncle in any and all circumstances, up to and including when the Bog People attack - they will be mesmerized by his gaping mouth and that gives you the opportunity you need to strike!

Posted on December 19, 2014 at 8:03 am 0

On How We Eat

I thought about the prenatal flavor preference thing when a lady I babysat for remembered with fondness when she decided when her baby was about one-years-old she let him eat a tiny bit of chocolate ice cream. Baby's face lit up like magic had just been invented, like "THIS! THIS is why I'm here!"
Although by this reasoning antacids should be my favoritest food ever.

Posted on October 9, 2014 at 9:32 pm 0

On Stories Like Passwords

This was an amazing piece. (And cheers to the Hairpin for really producing some astounding content recently!)
The onus always should be on the older person, position of power person to not do this kind of thing - get into these relationships, etc. Of course when one is a teenager, or even just the student, the thought "no no, I'm totally cool with this! It is definitely what I want!" But who is the adult? Who is the one who really knows how this is going to affect this student for the rest of their life/career/etc? They know, they don't care, and they should be the one maligned for it.

Posted on October 6, 2014 at 8:36 pm 2

On I Swear I'm Going to Be a Really Cool Bride

Bwa! And god yes, the 'oh noes I'm totally being a cool bride, nooo issues or worries, everything is just great' except until it all crashes down.

Although at my wedding the bouquet holders were uteri (from http://anycornerofheaven.tumblr.com/post/10323825555/uterus-menstrual-cup-cozy-pattern), close enough to vagina pictures, right?

Posted on August 12, 2014 at 7:08 pm 0

On Fifty Shades of Brontë

This was just astounding as an analysis. I've read Jane Eyre a few times over the years, like you as a pre-teen identifying with the spunky young girl and then changing my impression as I got older and re-read. Granted it has been years since I read Jane Eyre but I've always had difficulty parsing out the themes (and how I felt about them) from it, "oh this is a lovely story about an independent young woman!" vs "this is someone choosing between dude one who overbearing and is her boss and ages older than her and has a wife locked in the attic and dude two who loves the idea of her as a pliant missionary wife and ignores everything about who she is!" and now I may just have to re-read this tomorrow with this entire context in mind. Because while I remember the idea of her being in love with Rochester from early on, I breezed by the interplay between them leading up to the wedding, with only snippets of their relationship demonstrating their equality rather than a boss/teenager aspect. I can remember at points thinking "I really just wish she'd stay single instead" and that they only reconcile because of the time period it was written, marriage always being better, you know? But now I have a lovely reason to re-read and give it more thought.
Once again, this was really an excellent piece (and I've read Villette too).

Posted on May 11, 2014 at 8:37 am 0

On "As if sex work is only work if it’s 'good' work, if we love to do it"

Pretty much, and I mean that as a former stripper/website model - it really isn't a long-term job, it is a job full of much worse feminist compromises than the other service sector work I do now (not considering plastic surgery for one thing!) - for all the "oh no strippers are so self-confident! you learn so much about different kinds of beauty working there!" I learned my managers were racist pricks that were happy to encourage unhealthy dieting and pocket money from working moms for made up offenses. Or to tell women with back or foot problems they'd be fired if they didn't wear the requisite 6" or higher heels. And I worked at a lot of different places. I don't think that if there had been sufficient economic opportunities for 19-year-olds far from home with unemployed live-in boyfriends I would have chosen it. At least for as long, at least putting up with the abuses of so many. And not to say other service jobs don't have lots of abuses, but is that really a good argument for defending the sex industry?

I think that in a world with sufficient opportunities, we'd probably still see burlesque or other displays of sensuality/sexuality that are not money making. It is not that I'm opposed to women being sexual in a public way, but I'm wary of insisting that there's no difference between the sex industry and any other industry, and that feminists should not criticize it or want to see it gone. And I have a feeling that positive changes are going to result in making it much less profitable, which is really something I'm okay with.

Posted on March 6, 2014 at 12:40 pm 3

On Talking to Heather Doney and Rachel Coleman About Child Abuse, the Quiverfull Movement and Homeschooling Policy Reform

As one of those homeschoolers that was homeschooled not because of religious reasons but because of hippy "schools are the worst places to educate children, they're places to lock down children's minds and get them to accept busywork and being quiet and showing up at the same time with the same bell every day and not be free spirits, man" ideals, it does sadden me to hear of the abusive, frequently bizarrely religious strains of it. I had such a good time! We slept in all the time and had museum days or just cancelled school when the weather was beautiful or we were too distracted by other things and could make up our own assignments and learn in ways that made sense to us for each kid. We could use all those educational computer games all day if we wanted. You didn't have to read what everyone else wanted to read, or write about what everyone needed to write about, and if your one math book was terrible you didn't have to suffer, you could get a different one. And we knew those Other Homeschooler Families peripherally, sure, any time you went to a public homeschooler event you had the ones who cared more about if their kids only knew kingdom in reference to the Kingdom of Heaven and not from biology, or that cared more if their teenage girls were "pure" rather than knew what a verb was. They are not insignificant population of homeschoolers.
But, no, I can't quite get on board with the standardized testing and portfolios. Everyone I knew who had to take standardized tests as part of public school hated them and hated being held up by them, and eventually when some of them became adults and teachers hated administering them and teaching to the exam. And homeschoolers I knew who had to do portfolios stressed over them "does this demonstrate enough math? Is this grade-appropriate grammar worksheets? Did we document enough hours last month?" which kind of went against their ideals for child-directed learning. So I can't quite get behind that aspect. Otherwise, definitely on board with the other requests and would be interested in how more research goes.

Posted on March 5, 2014 at 6:11 pm 2

On A Thing You Should Probably Read If You Use the NuvaRing

From Hatcher (Contraceptive Technology) risks in perspective:
Mortality risk per year while
skydiving: 1 in 1000
automobile accident: 1 in 2,900
struck by lightening: 1 in 2,000,000
non-smoker age 16-34 using a combined oral contraceptive: 1 in 1,667,000
smoker age 35-44: 5,200

undergoing tubal ligation: 1 in 66,700
experiencing pregnancy: 1 in 6,900
legal surgical abortion at <8 weeks: 1 in 142,900

So, relatively, safe. Even if you're saying the risk should really be 1.5 or 2 per 1,677,000 (for Nuvaring vs combined pills). Tylenol and ibuprofen can also be deadly for some, even in patients without known risk factors but especially with certain risk factors (which you may or may not known about before taking, such as a hereditary liver condition). And I'd be certain that if I posted on the internet about the studies on tylenol I'd see dozens of comments about how it nearly killed them or someone they know. And certainly, while blood clots CAN be deadly, they are also not necessarily deadly either.

And not to disparage people wanting to go non-hormonal, by all
means, go for it. A large portion of the reason condoms and diaphragms fail is because while couples report using them, they're used "mostly" - sometimes they sit in a drawer or on a store shelf un-bought and then surprise, pregnancy. I used condoms exclusively for two years prior to getting insurance and have no problem with them.

But I love my Implanon, which will be changed to a Nexplanon next year, and I'll use until menopause unless there is some more definite reason I need to change.

To address points above:
The Paraguard is not used very often because of heavier periods and difficult insertion (Mirena and Skyla have fancy, easy to use applicators, Paraguard has a stupid one - thus can be a case of "well I don't prefer them ... how about a Mirena instead?") - when women come in wanting to discuss birth control and I tell them one uses no estrogen, 80% of women have no periods after six months, and it lasts for 5 years vs one that is completely hormone free, will very likely give them heavier periods but lasts for ten? They want the one with little to no periods, usually.

Posted on December 13, 2013 at 1:41 am 0