The Wars Come Home

Veterans day

For military families, the war front and the home front are, increasingly, one and the same. The trauma of war invades the lives of men, women and children every day, whether they’re active duty, veterans or partners and children of service members. The very absence of a loved one because of military service can cripple […]

How My Mama Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Mexican Independence Day

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Because of what falls left of the hyphen in “Mexican-American,” I am often asked how my family celebrates Mexican Independence Day on September 16 (today). I have to confess that we never have. As native Californians, my family, just like everyone else on our suburban block on July 4th, merely lit up the ol’ barbeque […]

Selling Old-School Motherhood With the Groceries

Let's Go Shopping!

I actually might appreciate the Mom-on-the-go tips in the supermarket booklet, except I can’t get past the messages about dieting and motherhood.

Equality, Without Marriage?

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While following the ups and down of the Prop 8 trial, I was reminded of an editorial by Bob Morris in The New York Times way back in 2004. “Gay Marriage? How Straight” was a cheeky bit of contrarianism, a gay man’s lament that marriage equality could ruin what he considered the relative freedom of […]

Marriage, Unnatural In Every Way

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Following Judge Vaughn Walker’s decision overturning Proposition 8, the accusation that he is furthering “unnatural” marriage is being spouted so often that it is quite obviously a deliberate talking point: notably from Pat Buchanan, or a variant coming from L.A. Cardinal Michael Mahoney that “the union of a man and of a woman in a […]

Study: “Marriage Promotion” in Welfare Doesn’t Work

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Welfare reform’s marriage promotion programs have not only had little impact on the plight of poor families, looks like they’ve also done a pretty lousy job of pressing impoverished couples into the right-wing mold of “family values.” Mathematica Policy Research evaluated Building Strong Families, a flagship marriage-focused program operating in several states, and concluded that it’s […]

Could ANYONE Really Support “Traditional” Marriage ?

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Proposition 8 may have been struck down for now, but the nationwide fight for gay marriage will undoubtedly continue for years. Though any competition for “Most Baseless Excuse To Oppose Same-Gender Marriage” is a photo-finish, “I’m opposed because I support ‘traditional marriage’ between a man and a woman” wins by a nose. The only possible […]

Newsflash: It’s World Breastfeeding Week (Somebody Tell Tulsa!)

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On Monday, Tulsa, Okla. coffee shop The Double Shot caused an uproar by Tweeting that breastfeeding was now banned on their premises. Too bad breastfeeding is protected by state law. Mothers and advocates led a firestorm of Tweets directed @thedoubleshot explaining the law. After protesting that boobs are gross, “Settle down, folks. We just don’t […]

“Ramona and Beezus”: A Mother-Daughter Film Review

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Natalie (mom): Though I was suspicious that the latest children’s book-to-film adaptation would be a fluffy disappointment, I was pleasantly surprised by Ramona and Beezus. Many other reviewers, however, don’t share this view. Dawn Taylor at Cinematical argues the film “feels a little …off,” is “so limp,”  and drips with “maudlin sentimentality.” Arguing that the film is […]

Trans/Parents on Father’s Day

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Mother’s Day. Father’s Day. Two days when there is a frenzy of gilt- and guilt-giving in the U.S. for parenting well done or aspiring to be. Thinking about the ways my American Mexican family’s traditions and cultural influences affected mainstream celebrations, I arrived this year at a decidedly 21st-century question: “How do families celebrate these […]