Young Mamas Need Support, Not Stigma

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As we approach Mother’s Day (May 13), we’re inundated with celebrations of motherhood, but some kinds of mothers are not invited to the party. Hallmark cards and flower commercials rarely show queer mothers, trans mothers, stepmothers, disabled mothers or young mothers. Making matters worse, a good number of these groups are not only ignored, but actively […]

You, Too, Can Be a Queer Parent

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“Do you have to use that word?” My mother made a face that looked slightly ill. Despite being a bit insulted, I feel compassion for her plight. I know my mother loves me, but she hates the word “queer,” and really wishes I could be a little less odd, too. “What word? Queer?” She nodded […]

(Young) (Male) Americans Prefer Boy Children

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In a previous post I’ve argued against framing a preference for boy children as “culturally ‘Asian.’” New data from Gallup, sent in by Kari B., shows that this preference is alive and well among Americans, at least among men. While women are most likely to have no opinion and are about equally likely to prefer a girl […]

This Is What the National Organization for Marriage Is Scared Of?

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Yesterday marked the day that gay and lesbian couples across New York were finally legally able to marry. According to The New York Times, 659 marriage licenses were issued on Sunday alone. The anti-gay National Organization for Marriage held their rallies in protest, of course. The Associated Press claimed that thousands showed up. NOM tried […]

Ending the Cold War With My Father

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When my father was honored for his 32-year career in the CIA–a career that spanned the Cuban Missile Crisis to the fall of the Berlin Wall–he invited me to the ceremony. At 23, I didn’t know what to say. Not because his being in the CIA was new information–it wasn’t–but because we were so different. […]

Mother Loses Custody Battle For Having Breast Cancer

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Judge Nancy Gordon of North Carolina ruled last month that Sofia, 11, and Bud, 5, should be raised by their father, Kane Snyder, rather than their mother, Alaina Giordano. The main reason? Giordano has stage four breast cancer that, though currently stable, has metastasized in her bones. Giordiano’s breast cancer was not the only concern–Giordano […]

Hip Mama: For Uncommon Parents

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Crack open issue number 47 of Hip Mama—The Body Issue—and here’s what you get: a photograph of a pregnant woman in the desert, posed like a warrior, belly full and exposed; a piece about the physical changes birthing can bring, complete with a photograph of the author’s sagging bum and loose tummy skin; “99 reasons to […]

Honoring All Mamas on Mother’s Day

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On Mother’s Day, it’s easy to get caught up in the Hallmark image of Mom. Even in the 21st century, the idealized mother often appears as straight, married and, if not stately or stodgy, at least mature in years. But how many mothers actually fit that stereotype? The Strong Families Initiative (led by Asian Communities for […]

Motherhood and Feminism, Part 2

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In Part 1, I figured out how to be both a good mother and a good professor. Even though being out of the mom closet seems to be more acceptable in academia these days, there are nevertheless those higher up–deans, provosts, presidents–who one hesitates to tell. While society seems to believe a male can do […]

Motherhood and Feminism, Part 1

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I did not expect that being a mother would make me more of a feminist. In fact, I feared quite the opposite, worrying that my feminist convictions would wane under the weight of overfilled diaper bags and the expansive responsibilities of caring for an infant. When I had my first child, a son, just after […]