A high-school senior and her classmates speak up for accurate information and against a terrible abstinence-only speaker. An eight-year-old girl chases down a Tennessee state senator to get some answers. And an Oscar nominee shows she’s more than just an exceptionally talented young actress. Today, on Today in Badass Young Women....read more
An ad campaign by the NYC Human Resources Administration would like you to know that your kids hate you for being a teen mom. Or, more accurately, that your future kids will hate you if you become a teen mom, much like the kids of current teen moms hate them. Because Daddy left, and now he’s absent and stuck with child support, and Mommy’s alone and poor, and the kid will never make anything of herself, and why did you not just keep your legs together, Mom?...read more
This entire story about a surrogate mother, Chrystal Kelley, pregnant with a fetus with severe abnormalities, is disturbing and heartbreaking. A low-income woman, desperate for money, agreed to be a surrogate for a wealthier family, something she had done before. Everyone was excited. Then, an ultrasound showed the fetus had several abnormalities — heart problems, organ problems. The parents, who had given birth to two premature babies before and knew the difficulties of raising children with health issues, wanted to terminate the pregnancy. Kelley did not....read more
By now you’ve probably all heard about the baby who was born with HIV in rural Mississippi, and now, at 2 1/2 years old, is HIV-free. The child was given an aggressive round of retrovirals upon birth — s/he was born prematurely to a mother who was HIV-positive but didn’t know it. The child was supposed to continue treatment, but the mother stopped coming to appointments, and the baby didn’t receive treatment for a year. Now, in a miraculous turn, the baby is HIV-free....read more
In 2010, a devastating earthquake hit Haiti, and people around the world mobilized to raise funds for recovery. Nearly three years later, much of Haiti is still in ruins. Part of the problem is that while there are many development groups on the ground, their works are disparate. Unemployment is high, and while there are enormous numbers of Haitians working to rebuild their communities, there isn’t a place for them to come together. JCI, an excellent community-based nonprofit, conducted a detailed needs assessment and is now working on building a community center in Haiti. The center will offer employment opportunities not just in its construction but in its ongoing mission to provide economic empowerment, child care and project development. It’s a great and important project. More details are below. And getting involved is simple. Sign up, shop online and make money for your giving fund....read more
An elementary school teacher told a story to me once. I was still struggling to learn English, so over the course of the year I asked her often to retell the story.
Years ago in Alabama, the wife of a young preacher received a delivery of red carnations from her husband. They were beautiful, but as she touched them, she noticed they were artificial. When her husband came home, she asked about the flowers. He said, “I wanted to give you something that you could always keep.”...read more
My latest in the Guardian is about that “Rise of Post-Familialism” study that has everyone in a tizzy, panicking that Western nations are facing a baby-shortage and selfish, indulgent single people are ruining the world. I take the position that the very things the study and conservative commentators brand as “selfish” are actually just smart, and the logical responses to both social progress and continued constraint. It’s one of my favorite columns so far, so I hope you’ll read the whole thing. A bit of it:
But the moral case against individualism and choice doesn’t have legs. It’s a moral good when people have a wide array of choices and increased personal freedom – not just for the individual, but also for children, family and society. And the evidence backs that up.
Newark, NJ, Mayor Cory Booker and a Twitter follower will be living on food stamps for a week following a Twitter discussion about the role of government in funding school breakfast and lunch programs. Follower TwitWit asserted that “nutrition is not the responsibility of the government.” Booker disagreed and was willing to put not a whole lot of money where his mouth is....read more
New York City Council looks like it’s going to approve a resolution in that will provide for breakfast in NYC classrooms. NYC currently ranks last among cities that provide for free breakfast programs, with only 34% of kids who qualify for free/reduced lunch getting breakfast at school. Bloomberg, obesity-fighter extraordinaire, is opposed. He’s worried that [...]...read more
Hi. I’m the writer from blue milk and I’m thrilled to be writing at Feministe. I write about motherhood from a feminist perspective and I sometimes write for the Australian feminist group blog, Hoyden About Town and other times I write for a couple of mainstream commercial publications. I also work half the week as [...]...read more
That lub-dub-sniff-lub-dub you’re hearing is the sound of my heart weeping for not-struggling young journalist Taylor Cotter....read more
A must-read in this week’s New York Times Sunday Magazine about over-zealous Alabama prosecutors bringing charges against drug-addicted mothers. It’s a troubling and complex issue. Obviously no one thinks that using drugs during pregnancy is a good idea. Obviously it is a tragedy when a baby is stillborn, or born with drugs in its system. But many of these cases involve stillbirths which cannot be clearly tied to drug use — all the prosecutors know is that the pregnant woman used drugs (even one time) and the baby was stillborn, and so they assume (and argue, with little to no evidence) causation. And because most folks don’t understand just how complicated pregnancy actually is — and after the 80s “crack baby” hysteria, don’t understand that drug use during pregnancy actually doesn’t usually cause long-term problems in the child — people hear “drug-using mom” and “stillborn baby” and it’s easy to conclude that A led to B, even though that’s not actually how it works....read more