Search
Follow Kveller

You are browsing the archive for abuse.

Feb 24 2014

News Roundup: Jewish Montessori Day Schools Are Trending

By at 4:26 pm

All the parenting news you probably didn’t have time to read this week.

montessori

-Parents are trading old-style Jewish day schools–which are deemed too clannish and stale for the modern generation–for the Montessori model. The Times profiles two Brooklyn-based Montessori schools that straddle the line between innovative education and tradition. (The New York Times)

-Studies of Romanian orphans reveal the long term effects of childhood neglect on the brain. One orphan, Izidor Ruckel, now 33 and living in Boulder, wrote a book about his lonely childhood and subsequent rocky relationship with his adoptive parents. (NPR)

-In Salon, Elissa Strauss observes that the latest trend in the ongoing “mommy wars” pits “bad mommies” against the “good,” but–ironically–the “bad moms” can be just as obnoxious and sanctimonious as their “good” counterparts. (Salon)

(Then read Kveller contributor Courtney Naliboff’s defense of overachievers and “good mommies” here.)

-Prompted by the recent New York Times expose, Invisible Child–which followed 12-year-old Dasani, highlighting the plight of 22,000 homeless children housed in New York City shelters–incoming New York mayor Bill DeBlasio moves over 400 children living under the worst conditions into better residences. (New York Magazine)

Like this post? Get the best of Kveller delivered straight to your inbox.

Feb 3 2014

News Roundup: How Are We Supposed to Feel About Woody Allen?

By at 4:22 pm

All the parenting news you probably didn’t have time to read this week.

woody allen

- Dylan Farrow, adopted daughter of Mia Farrow and Woody Allen, published an open letter in the New York Times, claiming she was sexually abused by Allen when she was 7. Meanwhile, Allen’s documentarian highlights some inconsistencies in this now decades-long case. So what are we to make of all this? Elissa Strauss writes for The Sisterhood that it’s OK to be ambivalent. (Forward)

- The abortion rate in the United States is at its lowest point since 1973, when the supreme court legalized the procedure in all 50 states. No conclusive evidence yet as to why, but many are linking the drop to the availability of new, long-acting contraceptive methods. (Washington Post)

- Another newborn has contracted neonatal genital herpes from metzitzah b’peh, a controversial circumcision rite in which the mohel places his mouth directly on the circumcision wound in order to draw blood. The practice is not used in most Jewish circumcision ceremonies, but many in the haredi Orthodox community still adhere to the rite. (JTA)

- Preschool is totally trending right now, with more and more states from both sides of the political divide making a serious push for government-funded preschool. (NY Times)

Jan 7 2014

Explaining to My Son Why He’ll Never Meet His Grandparents

By at 12:52 pm

family of three icons

On a recent morning before school, while zipping up his fall vest, my son Lucien announced that his father and I will make the best grandparents ever.

“When I have a son,” Lucien added, “if I have a son, I’ll let him come see you when he’s 5 or 6 years old.”

I gently explained that in most families grandparents get to know kids from day one, not when they are 5 or 6. This comes as a revelation to Lucien, because he has no grandparents.

I haven’t spoken to either of my parents, or my two brothers, since long before Lucien was born. The estrangement was my choice, the hardest–and best–decision I’ve ever made. But when I decided to cut my parents out of my life at the age of 28, after a childhood of physical and verbal abuse, and young adult years filled with dysfunction, I didn’t think about how the choice would one day shape my child’s life. I’ve protected my son from my family, but I’ve also kept him from knowing what it means to have grandparents. Read the rest of this entry →

Nov 19 2012

A Letter To My Daughter About Fighting Back

By at 9:44 am

playground in israelTo My Darling Daughter,

I watch your eyes glow when the kids in preschool want to play with you. I see how it matters to you what they say and how they smile.

I watch your bottom lip tremble when someone hurts your feelings.

And I watch you on the playground–your face flushed, and your breath staggered as you chase the child that was mean to you. I know you, and I know you are blaming yourself for their bad behavior.

I know you are trying to get a second chance at friendships not worth having.

You are so much like me that it takes my breath away.

Please. Don’t be this way. Read the rest of this entry →

Jun 11 2012

As a Horace Mann Alumna, I am Troubled

By at 12:19 pm

johannes somary horace mannThis afternoon I attended a concert of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. The first two pieces on the program were Richard Strauss’ Death and Transfiguration and Don Juan, which both seemed fitting because I was thinking about the man I studied AP Music History with my senior year of high school, Johannes Somary. I was, and am, not a particularly musical person, but I needed a year of an arts requirement to graduate and decided instead of taking a semester of ceramics or drawing, I would do something year long and serious with a trusted faculty member whose course was supposed to be the best of what the school had to offer. I’d hoped it would open new worlds to me, to appreciate and understand music. Obviously, that I am still attending concerts and appreciating music shows Mr. Somary’s lasting impact. Read the rest of this entry →

Nov 4 2011

Mayim Bialik is Not Happy with W Magazine

By at 1:39 pm

w magazine ai wei wei photo shootMost articles I can find on the outrageously disgusting “photo shoot” in W Magazine this month are about the “artist” who directed the shoot from under house arrest in China… how powerful. How meaningful. How profound. What. Ever.

The shoot depicts a set up of a model being arrested in a “protest/riot” scene (ok, fine). Then she is hooded, handcuffed and seen in the back of a cop car (a little weird but I am still on board in theory). Then she is undergoing electric torture, silken hair standing on end, handcuffed to a chair (I am flipping out now both because of the sexual play on torture and also the fact that I am wondering what someone who has God forbid undergone this torture might think of this sexualized model undergoing mock electric torture for a photo shoot in W Magazine). And finally, she is showering naked under the gaze of 2 officers, her exposed back to us, rear end thrust into the air as water trickles down her arched back. (I am now officially done finding this photo shoot interesting.)

Here are the images. How’d I do with my descriptions? Sigh.

Is this fetish and I am just not getting it? Am I an out-of-touch mom who need not concern herself with high fashion? Is this some sort of political statement mixed with fetish and I just can’t discern the lines?

Or is it just another example of society becoming increasingly comfortable mixing women’s systematic abuse and torture under the guise of “art”? I understand fetish culture (I think). I am not condemning fetish fashion, fetish sexuality, or fetishism in general. Or maybe I am? Is this the end of me understanding fetish? Or is it more than that?

Don’t tell me I am taking this too seriously; I have been accused of being “too serious” since I was about 10 years old, so that doesn’t deter me anymore. This is serious. The statistics of physical and sexual abuse, rape, imprisonment, and sexual trafficking of women and girls in this country (in your very own cities, friends) and all over the world should offend us and disturb us greatly. If nothing else, it should not be acceptable for women and girls to be sold as prostitutes anywhere. Nowhere. Never.

I wish Ai Weiwei could have made his political statement in a way that didn’t place women at the center of a prism of the combination of torture, imprisonment, abuse and titillation. If any good comes out of this photo shoot, maybe it will be in making someone somewhere speak out against this kind of obscene excuse for art.

I’m not prudish, out-of-touch, or an old fuddy duddy. I am just deeply disturbed.

In case you couldn’t tell.

Tags

Recently on Mayim

Blogroll