Honoring All Mamas on Mother’s Day


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


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

Mother's Kiss

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 […]

Anti-Gay Politics Hit Home on Mother’s Day


A “Yes on Prop 8” sticker on a neighbor’s house led Jaime Jenett, a non-biological lesbian mother who lives in the San Francisco Bay Area of California, to write this letter: Hello, You don’t know me but I walk past your house three to four days a week on my break from work. Every time, […]

365 Take-Our-Daughters-and-Sons-to-Work Days


A few months ago I was scrolling through audio files of interviews on my computer when I was startled to hear the recorded cooing of my daughter when she was a baby. I had been hiking through dry arroyos in the desert west of Albuquerque with a biologist who was studying the decline of burrowing […]

Click! Everything I Needed To Know I Learned in Kindergarten


I was 5 years old when I first had that sensation that comes from your gut when you know something isn’t right. Not a feeling of danger, but of righteous anger at injustice. It comes from deep inside, where instinct resides. There I was, in my mud-stained jeans and forever-disheveled hair, playing in the kindergarten […]

Gay Marriage Helps Families


Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) has introduced a bill that would repeal the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which bans same-sex marriage. It would also give married gay couples the same federal benefits as straight couples. We’ll likely hear the usual response from the DOMA crowd: Gay marriage hurts families. Actually, gay marriage helps them. Without […]

Are We Too Isolated To Fight the Pink-v.-Blue Battle?


Ask me five years ago and I’d have told you I’d be first in line to challenge gender stereotypes if ever I had kids myself. I minored in feminist cultural studies! I believe boys and girls are made, not just born! But sixteen months into parenting my boy/girl twins, I’m starting to wonder how I’ll ever ensure that […]

Childless by CHOICE, Get It?

Peoples Choice

I don’t want kids. Never have. I consider birth control the greatest invention of the 20th century and I’ve been taking it religiously for nearly a decade. No pregnancies to date, and in the rare event of one I’d be first in line at my local abortion clinic before that zygote even mildly resembled a […]

No Thanks, No Giving–Part 2

First Thanksgiving

In my first post about Thanksgiving the other day, I pointed out some of the uncomfortable facts left out of the mainstream history of this holiday. Another bit of historical amnesia is the linkage between the genocide of indigenous peoples and slavery. As Dan Brook pointed out in his 2002 Counterpunch piece “Celebrating Genocide,” “1619 marks […]