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By Charlsie Kate on Talking to Heather Doney and Rachel Coleman About Child Abuse, the Quiverfull Movement and Homeschooling Policy Reform

I work for SSA in disability, and homeschooling is an area that I find very concerning. The two scenarios are either 1. A parent claims they are disabled, and cannot work, however, they are homeschooling three kids. or 2. Parents claim their child is disabled because of social problems, low test scores, overactive imagination, and anxiety. The child has been homeschooled for many years, lives in rural nowhere, and has no contact with the outside world except church activities. Home schooling "records" from the local bible homeschool center document the claimant has an A average.

Does the fact you'd rather stay home and homeschool your kids mean you should get disability? If you are actually disabled, is it possible for you to adequately educate your children at home?
Does the fact that a child is possibily not actually receiving an education and is therefore behind her peers mean she is disabled?
These are things I think about.

Posted on March 6, 2014 at 2:49 pm 3

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

@klemay
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

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

@MILFofMagnesia
Why do you assume the experience of school children is hazing and bullying? Was that your experience? It is not that of every child.
"My kids are 3-5 grade levels ahead in math, 6 -8 years ahead in reading, and you wouldn't believe their elocution skills. We do it all in 3 hours a day of 'work'. The rest of the time? Museums, Soccer with other kids (of all ages), Math Club, Science Team, Debate Team, camping, a state and national level traveling sports team, reading, chess, reading, and just flat out messing around " ---I call bullshit
Just pretending that this is in fact true, what protection do your kids have to make sure that you aren't being abusive and that you are teaching at the level you say you are- are there tests or work they need to submit, does someone come in and check on your kids? That is the point of the article

Posted on March 6, 2014 at 11:13 am 2

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

I totally agree with you about your views on homeschooling and I think what you are asking for is the absolute *minimum*.
What really bothers me is the views among the people fighting your efforts (I read quite a few of the links, etc) that "I was homeschooled and I'm fine, so what" or that "standardized tests are too harrrrd, so we shouldn't have to do them". I would point out to them: "we are not talking about YOU, stop being selfish, the idea is that some protection needs to be in place for the good of the *majority* of children". I notice that both extreme religious people as well as the liberal nouveau hippy granola types are both exactly alike in that they are totally inflexible and convinced that whatever they think is absolutely right and will not even listen to reason at times. Their political/cultural views are way more important than everyone else's it seems, and both sides seem to take pride in fighting the norm, to the point where the welfare of their children is just incidental.
Is your child too bright, or too slow for public school? Go to a Montessori school then. None in your area and you're convinced that you're such a great teacher for your kids? Then start one yourself, you know with all that hard stuff like filling out paperwork. Is public school low quality or exposing your kids to things you don't want them to see, then send them to a religious school. Why people think the solution is home schooling is beyond me. Even if you're some PhD being the best possible teacher in the entire world, your kids still need to have time outside your sphere, to play with other kids, to learn how to socialize. Like, day in day out, all day at school, not just occasional interaction with the neighbor kids. This is how kids develop.
My strong reaction comes from the fact that my family was very dysfunctional and the thought ever being home schooled and cooped up all day with my abusive mother makes me shudder. As it was,I was subjected to all sorts of very weird and cruel punishments when I brought home my report card, and for 'failing' impossible tasks (this was due to the fact that she had no idea, as is usual with abusive parents, of what is age appropriate. e.g., when you are 5 you shouldn't be expected to cook on stove, you can't innately learn how to ride a bike without training wheels in a cramped garage without someone showing you how, etc). My mother had a sort of limited education herself, so her teaching me would have resulted in me having much less of an education than I received in public school. The emotional and physical abuse that was passed over by my teachers and neighbors was due to the fact that for a lon time we were sort of isolated, not allowed to have people over to the home, always 'out of town', etc and mostly because we were upper middle class white liberal/moderates.
I also know that the isolation of our family caused me to not age appropriately, i.e., I was around adults all the time so I didn't know how to be a kid. I never played with toys until my younger sibling was born. Children need to have contact with kids their own age outside the family. For a mother to say that they can give their kid everything s/he needs socially is delusional.
Both the religious right and the hipster contingent have a frightening amount of mothers who decide that they can do and are experts on everything, from teaching to medicine (no vaccines, no antibiotics for ear infections, etc, wow). I just don't understand it. Other people's kids are everyone's business, if you see kids kept at home, please call child protective to investigate.

Posted on March 5, 2014 at 8:03 pm 3

By beetnemesis on The Best Time I Married My Gay Best Friend in Vegas

"And I was going to learn so much: being married to Emir was a unique opportunity, a training ground in being someone’s partner sans the passion that accompanied sexual relationships, which would allow me a sort of detached objectivity on the marriage act. Given the absence of passion and sex, maybe I could at least wrap my mind around partnership. I’d wade in slowly and see if I couldn’t figure out enough about marriage to feel confident entering one in the future."

...am I the only one who thinks this is kind of sad?

Posted on February 28, 2014 at 9:58 am 3

By Ameelz123 on The Beauty Bridge

THIS: "When I was Aerie-aged and deeply concerned with what a teenage boy might rate my face and body on a scale from 1 to 10, I was never intimidated by the women I saw in magazines. What cowed me was how tremendously beautiful my friends were."

Seriously, girls in ads or magazines never bothered me or made me feel anywhere near as inferior as my prettier, cooler, skinnier friends did.

Also, wow Jia. Best thing you've written for the site so far, IMO. Love it. Thanks for the great work.

Posted on February 10, 2014 at 6:08 pm 3

By isabelle bleu on How to Dress for Things You Hate

@Meow I have worked in service my whole adult life (and for some years before becoming an adult too); I can affirm that there are some restaurant jobs that are awesome and some that you take out of desperation. I can further affirm that awesome jewelry can help you maintain your sense of dignity while customers yell at you & your inability to make what they want magically appear on the menu, while your boss steals your tips, while you work an unpaid extra hour because the last table out just wouldn't leave.

Posted on February 5, 2014 at 6:39 pm 5

By pterodactylish on A Bold Notion for Baby Showers

"“I’m taking his last name because I hate my last name,” stated as though it’s a fresh and free-willed motive, totally uninfluenced by orthodox, for effacing a piece of one’s identity;"

Woah. So it's ok to take our father's names but not our partner's? Next time you want to snidely assume someone is effacing their identity, consider that these ties to our fathers (hi patriarchy!) isn't something everyone wants. I say I hate my last name, but in reality I hate being legally tied to a man that emotionally abused and abandoned me. And adopting the name of someone I choose and love -- versus someone we don't and didn't-- seems a lot more like choice to me. Isn't that what feminism is supposed to be? Choice and freedom?

Posted on February 4, 2014 at 4:24 pm 5

By Megasus on Joan Didion on Woody Allen

There's also this piece from Vanity Fair in 1992 which really helps you understand the whole situation even more, and it is epicly fucked. There's tons of stuff in there I didn't know, like that Soon-Yi is both developmentally and learning disabled. Whole new layer of yuck on that aspect too.

Posted on February 3, 2014 at 2:22 pm 4

By queequeging on Joan Didion on Woody Allen

I loathe Woody Allen and adore Joan Didion, so thank you for sharing this. I've never understood why I'm always the only person in groups of people discussing movies who can't stand Woody Allen -- not even his older stuff. I feel like he invalidates the whole "can you enjoy the artistic work of a bad person?" debate because, to me at least, his weird misogyny and inability to create empathic characters/situations is so incredibly evident in his films. I don't understand how other people (especially women) don't feel that when they watch. I can't even really articulate why sometimes, all his movies that I've seen just make me want to say "UGH."

Posted on February 3, 2014 at 12:47 pm 6