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.
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
Like Yahoo's Marissa Meyer who went back to work with twins in tow, Embark CEO Sarita James, writing in the New York Times, tells her own "take your baby to work" story: instead of a long maternity…leave for her third baby, she put the kid in a sling and charged ahead with client meetings and interfacing—and managed it all on a spreadsheet. "I learned to schedule spreadsheet analysis for when Uma was sleeping and meetings for when she was likely to be awake; she loved staring at my colleagues’ faces. Uma… >> Read More
After her snapchat post showing a curvy belly and the words "20 weeks," tennis phenomenon Serena Williams has set off speculation that she's pregnant. And The New York Times connects the…dots: "Williams, 35, won the Australian Open in January for her record-breaking 23rd Grand Slam singles title. If she is 20 weeks pregnant, she would have been pregnant during that tournament. She has not played a tournament since then, withdrawing from events in Indian Wells, Calif., and Miami last month, citing a knee injury. She… >> Read More
The New York Times reports on another Trump administration move against Planned Parenthood, this time the signing of that measure that Mike Pence voted on last month, which the paper calls "a move…cheered by conservatives who have clamored to impose curbs on reproductive rights." The measure nullifies a rule completed in the last days of the Obama administration that effectively barred state and local governments from withholding federal funding for family planning services related to contraception, sexually transmitted infections, fertility, pregnancy care, and breast and cervical cancer… >> Read More
Last month, Kveller wrote about a new report on the disturbing American infant mortality rates, and how they're connected to race and racism. Turns out, the same thing applies to maternal…mortality, the subject of "Death by Delivery," a new film and investigation from Fusion. Eliza Dewey and Nelufar Hedayat report: Black women are nearly four times more likely to die in connection with pregnancy and birth than white women. (The Centers for Disease Control includes deaths related to the pregnancy up to one year after). The… >> Read More
After Democrats filibustered President Trumps nomination of Neil Gorsuch and then Republicans broke the Filibusters by 'going nuclear" and changing the Senate rules, the judge, widely expected to be…very far right-wing on abortion and gay rights, was confirmed to the court today. Pro-choice groups (including Jewish ones) are expressing dismay in press releases and on social media, rightly perceiving that a court with Gorsuch on it will be a threat to Roe v. Wade. Groups expressed anger that former President Obama's nominee, Merrick… >> Read More
Bombs in Syria, terror in Stockholm, chaos and a bad confirmation in the Senate. I've had better Friday mornings, Kveller readers, and I'm sure you have too.
So, as I sit here comforting myself…with a big cup of coffee and the new Harry Styles ballad on repeat (I'm an older millennial, what can I say?), I offer you the viral baby video that made me smile today when nothing else could. Yes, one family videotaped their baby being unswaddled every morning, and throwing up his little arms with delight. And… >> Read More
Judith Resnik would have been 68 today. If you don't remember her, someone in your family surely does. Resnik was an engineer and astronaut who tragically perished in the Challenger explosion in…1986, a generation-defining moment of horror. But she was the first Jewish American in space and a popular, playful figure as well as a brilliant scientific pioneer. Watch Kveller's video about Resnik's inspiring life below, in honor of her birthday, and discover some facts you might not have known about the astronaut: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KT4wQ7UopTA&feature=youtu.be >> Read More
As a busy working mom, my “to-read” pile is always far bigger than my time will ever allow. And yet it’s nice to have a list of books to at least aspire to read this spring. Here are some books…I think Kveller readers might love--some of which I've already zipped through on the subway, some of which I'm hoping to read during my nonexistent free time, and some of which I'll look at longingly while I'm singing the "itsy-bitsy spider." Looking for your next beach read? Don't worry, we'll do another summer list! "The Rules Do… >> Read More
The Jewish impulse to remake pop culture staples for the holidays is almost as strong as our ability to withstand millennia of oppression, don't you think?
This year, there's a Hogwarts Haggadah,…a "Hamilton"-themed Passover album, and now, of course, a big, "La La Land" style video. "Y-Studs A Cappella, a popular Jewish A Cappella group based in NYC" has been busy remaking the movie musical's opening number, the impressive "Another Day of Sun" in the supermarket aisles, while shopping for matzah. I cannot wait for every… >> Read More
We're really feeling HBO's mom drama "Big Little Lies" here at Kveller HQ. We can't get enough, in fact. We've written about its portrayal of the mom dynamic and the way the show has been been…received by critics, and we've read tons of pieces about it around the web—including examinations of the role of therapy in the show, its music, and playground bullying mirroring domestic violence. We can't wait to watch the final episode on Sunday night, and hope you'll join us. Before and after the episode airs, we'll be tweeting with… >> Read More
New birth trends come and go, from waterbirths and homebirths to vaginal seeding and delaying the baby's bath. But a hot new trend for labor and delivery on our radar is sure to be…controversial—and also to unite two powerful, opinionated groups of modern mamas: one one hand, working moms eager to take a page out of Sheryl Sandberg and Marissa Mayer's high-powered playbook—and on the other, the no-epidural-for-me "natural birth" crowd. "Office births" involve a trained midwife, a doula who doubles as a company's HR rep, and a… >> Read More
"My goal is very clear, and I wrote about it in' Lean In', which is that women run half our companies and countries and men run half our homes," a frustrated but upbeat-sounding Sheryl Sandberg told…USA Today in a comprehensive interview four years after the publication of "Lean In." It's a good goal, but one that many critics noted could only be reached through policy changes, from paid leave for both parents to higher wages and anti-discrimination laws. And, as Sandberg has since acknowledged, her book's advice doesn't broadly apply or include single… >> Read More