Sarah Seltzer (Editor) is a journalist covering culture, activism and gender, most recently as Deputy Editor at culture website Flavorwire.com. Her print and online work has appeared in publications including Poets & Writers, The Forward, Lilith, The Washington Post, Ms. Magazine, The New York Times, Salon, The Nation, The Wall Street Journal, Jezebel, The Hairpin, Refinery29, The Toast, Rolling Stone, and many more. She is a graduate of Harvard University, where she edited The Crimson’s weekend magazine, as well as the MFA in writing program at Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her first baby, Mikey, is growing up way too fast and she can objectively report that he is very cute. You can follow her at @sarahmseltzer and reach her at email@example.com.
I'm learning right now that with a toddler, steps towards independence often result in a backswing of clinginess, both for me and for him. I had perhaps naively thought that the demands on me would…be less now that I'm not nursing around the clock, but in many ways, they have increased: there's a person in my life who really needs my help becoming a person, and he's less interested in kicking his little legs and staring at the ceiling and more interesting in knowing: What is dat? What is… >> Read More
The Senate's "Trumpcare" bill has been revealed and it's really, really bad. As Ezra Klein writes on Vox: "Policy after policy in the bill is built to achieve the same goal: making poor people pay…more for less health insurance." ThinkProgress elaborates: "The bill would strip health care coverage from millions of low income Americans by rolling back the expansion of Medicaid — and then making even deeper cuts ... the Senate bill makes even deeper, more dramatic cuts to Medicaid that, over time, would leave more low income Americans without health coverage."… >> Read More
We still don't know what's in the super-secret, super-ominous GOP healthcare repeal bill that's being hurried through the senate.
And some Democratic senators are so mad (as well as being spurred…by constituent phone calls) that they're finally trying to slow the process down in order to shine a light on the goings-on. "Without the votes to block Obamacare repeal, Democrats are turning to procedural moves they believe will underscore their most powerful argument: Republicans are hiding their repeal plan from the public and using Senate… >> Read More
My baby is 14 months now, talking like a maniac, and taking very halting first steps (his development pattern echoes his highly verbal and un-athletic parents). And in many ways so far, the last few…months have been more challenging than anything I encountered the first year—more on that later, I promise. You see, I found my first year as a mother to be beautiful, swift, and full of hard-earned wisdom. And now it's over. And so, as a new passel of friends and Kveller readers get started on those early… >> Read More
Robyn's "Call Your Girlfriend" was the cool kids' dance-pop anthem of its era, with its catchy chorus, heartfelt delivery, and the star's crazy dance moves. (I have fond memories of belting it out on…a Jewish writing retreat with a bunch of new best friends, as one does). It even lent a title to a hit feminist podcast. Now a takeoff, "Call Your Senator," by Kim Boekbinder, will inspire you to get off your tush and help stop Trumpcare (seriously, call your Senator, before you go back and listen to… >> Read More
There's a certain ideology (you know the kind) that demands "empathy for me but not for thee." It's the politician with an LGBT kid who supports gay marriage but tramples on services for LGBT…homeless teens, the "moderate" public official who is ostensibly pro-choice but rejects food stamps and government assistance for poor mothers, and the politician who ignores gun violence as it ravages group after group across the country, affecting everyone—and then decries it when it affects them. Today there was a shooting at a congressional baseball game, where GOP… >> Read More
The Supreme Court just released a decision that gives fair consideration ... to dads. The decision came down in Sessions v. Morales-Santana (yep, that Sessions) a case that was brought by a man who…was denied American citizenship, essentially due to his dad's lack of residency in the U.S. The catch? If his mom had lived in the U.S. for the exact same duration of time, the plaintiff would have citizenship. The ACLU explains what judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg argued in her majority opinion. "...Ginsburg, writing for the court, held that… >> Read More
After a long, depressing winter for politics—culminating in last week's riveting testimony on Capitol Hill— it's hard not to want to tune out the noise and negativity right now.
Really…hard. It's summer! Let's eat ice cream. Unfortunately, there are some politicians who want to take advantage of the season to rush the awful repeal of Obamacare through the senate, potentially gutting care for expectant moms and sick kids. Fortunately, there's concrete action we can take right now, which we've included below. TPM reports on the latest… >> Read More
New parents are obviously aware of the benefits of paid family leave, which is a hot-button topic in policy circles. Right there's a patchwork system in pace--companies determine how much leave…they'll give parents, which means that tech company employees are happy, but non-traditional families at other workplaces are seriously screwed (for instance, there's often less leave for adoption or non-biological parents). The Trump family leave plan continues this status quo, discriminating against anyone who is not a biological mom. Advocates argue that paid family leave should… >> Read More
All weekend long, I've been near tears as I contemplate the three people who were stabbed—two fatally—by a white supremacist after they stepped up to defend young women of color, one wearing a…hijab, on a Portland light rail car. I'm hoping to raise my son to intervene against bullies and stand against racism and misogyny, and this has shaken me to my core. I've been thinking: "Their moms taught them to do the right thing, to step up when they saw injustice, and this is their reward." We… >> Read More
Dads in heterosexual partnerships are doing more to raise kids than ever before--just look at the parade of papas with babies dangling from their chests in any neighborhood to see that.
But…still, things aren't entirely even, because doing things and remembering to do them are two separate types of labor. A few years back, Susan Walzer published a study about how, in many households, women still shoulder the mental burden of childcare. As Time explained last year: "Walzer found that women do more of the intellectual, mental, and… >> Read More
Orthodox female clergy are essentially under attack (not physically) by their denominations governing body, the Orthodox Union. These women, who have graduated from the single rabbinical school…willing to ordain them, are not even allowed to be called rabbis (they go by Maharat or Rabba) but they proudly provide the services that rabbis do, serving as spiritual and communal leaders. And yet, as our partner site JTA reports that the lesser titles are not lesser enough for the all-male deciding body: "Following its… >> Read More
It's every parents' nightmare, the kind of thing explored with some exaggeration in horror films and books—you give birth to a kid who turns out to be a "bad seed" from the start.
Turns out…there's actually a real set of characteristic that define a group referred to as "callous children." This callousness precedes genuine psychopathy in adults. the inability to feel empathy. And, though of course upbringing has a part to play, the condition also has a scientific basis, according to a chilling but super-fascinating article in the Atlantic, "When… >> Read More
The women in my family on my mother's side—my grandma Bunny, my great aunt Lillian, my mom—loved playing with dolls. Our multi-generational obsession epitomized something about us, our…imaginativeness, perhaps, or some kind of precious, childlike desire to escape from reality into something beautiful, whimsical and safe. We weren't fashionistas ourselves, but we loved collecting clothes for our dolls. Our love may have appeared contradictory--even as my mom encouraged me to play catch with my brother and become a feminist who went to pro-choice… >> Read More
The most viral story on my feed this past Mother's Day weekend was N.P.R and ProPublica's longform collaboration, kicking off a series about maternal mortality. This piece focused on the utterly…tragic postpartum death of Lauren Bloomstein, who suffered from a common, dangerous condition after delivering her child. The article's thesis is that America's dismal maternal mortality rate is partly a function of an aggressive focus on infants and their safety, as well as a disregard for women's pain, leaving moms "in danger." Bloomstein's story will break your… >> Read More
Across the country yesterday, Mothers' Day gatherings were both joyful and fraught. But for one group of black mothers—imprisoned but not convicted, languishing in jail without bail…money—deliverance came from a group of activists. A large coalition, including the Movement for Black Lives, organized the "National Mama's Day Bailout," which aimed at getting black mothers (and mother figures) out of jail to reunite with their kids in time for yesterday's holiday. In Atlanta, the scene looked like this: "Folks were so grateful and some… >> Read More
In an article for the Huffington Post last week, Catherine Pearson wrote about extreme breastfeeding pain that arises either from a poor latch, a tongue or lip tie, or many other problems that…can come up in those first weeks of motherhood. It's a fairly common and fairly excruciating phenomenon that doesn't get discussed much in the space between lactivism and the lactivism backlash. Here's her own story (ow): "When my own son was born two years ago, I struggled enormously at the start. Despite seeing two different lactation… >> Read More
Ivanka Trump's book is out this week (read our list of alternatives here), and the critics are using its debut on shelves as an opportunity to whip out their funniest, most acerbic one-liners and…zingers. The biggest targets are the writer's (or ghostwriters, as the case may be) obliviousness to her own immense privilege, as well as the use of quotes from people like Toni Morrison on slavery to illustrate mundane issues like... answering too many emails. But enough from us, here are the lines we chuckled at from… >> Read More
Right now, many American women are in a panic because of the provision in the hastily-passed AHCA (aka Trumpcare, the GOP Obamacare repeal bill) that would allow states to exempt insurance companies…from covering pre-existing conditions. These include many "conditions" commonly faced by moms and women, from C-sections to surviving abuse and rape. The ACA was flawed, but its guarantee of coverage for those conditions has been its best-received, most life-saving quality. As a result, women are taking to social media, email and more to talk about… >> Read More
Finally, my baby was asleep at a relatively early hour, and dinner was done. My husband and I had a glorious window to watch the pilot of "The Handmaid's Tale" on Hulu, the…new, much-hyped adaptation of Margaret Atwood's dystopian novel that chronicles the state, and religion, controlling women's reproduction. We curled up and queued it up, and within five minutes, I was in near-hysterical tears. The scene of protagonist Offred's daughter being taken from her, something I knew what was coming, hit me viscerally in a new way now that I… >> Read More
We can't have any nice things.
On a day which feels particularly cruel, news-wise, our new administration has taken aim at the former first lady's signature pro-children programs, "Let Girls…Learn" and her healthy lunch standards for American schools. CNN reports on the new administration's end to the "Let Girls Learn" program, which was aimed at teen girls in other countries where education isn't necessarily valued as much for women. Based on the details, it seems to be a move that's less substantive and more of an "eff… >> Read More
A Los Angeles hip-hop station has been asking rappers who stop by to take a turn at freestyling beloved kids' book classic "Llama Llama Red Pajama." The results are more than just funny--they're…genuinely catchy! I can't get them out of my head, to be honest. Migos takes a staccato stab here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XX7JAHddY84 Ludacris' take is a party anthem with a little PG-13 twist at the end: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PFtHeo7oMSU Here are some more. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oxlA7CFmv_0 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kfN2UTDI7-w >> Read More
I just finished pumping at my previous job around New Year's, when my baby was about 9 months old, although I took my handpump on occasional jaunts after that, including, memorably, to the D.C.…Women's March. I still nurse before and after work, but when I was done, I was so done with those little yellow-capped bottles, those aggravating plastic parts that needed washing and sorting and boiling (ha! I stopped doing that one after a week). Now, I still remember the daily routine with a mixture of pride and horror,… >> Read More
Prematurely-born babies, especially extremely early "preemies," face many severe, often fatal health risks.
While nothing can take the place of preventing prematurity, scientists are slowly…working on solutions. The most intriguing of which is a study that builds towards creating artificial wombs that can help reduce risks for the most extreme cases. These plastic, fluid-filled incubators, have recently been tested on lambs and the results were promising. The Verge reports on a study published in the journal Nature. "Inside what look like… >> Read More
This morning, the news came out that a feisty German crowd hissed when Ivanka Trump tried to defend her father's execrable at best record on women's rights, and she was grilled with questions that…she answered with platitudes. That's right: a German crowd booed American Jewish celeb Ivanka Trump for hypocrisy, and their sentiment was exactly on point, matters of decorum aside. Oh, the irony. But here's the problem with Ivanka, and I think Kveller readers will agree with me on this one. Despite occasional mild amusement or horror,… >> Read More