Jan 11 2013
A couple of years ago, I received a telephone call at work from my then-7-year-old. Who, by the way, I didn’t even know could use a phone. Bad mommy, I know.
Lilly: Mama, can I be in the multi-cultural fashion show?
Me: Is it tomorrow?
Lilly (laughing): Of course it’s not tomorrow.
Me: Then this conversation can wait until tomorrow. Anyway, why would you be in a multi-cultural fashion show?
Lilly (eyes audibly rolling): I am Jewish, you know.
[Sidenote: the audible eye-rolling at 7 ought to have been a clue that she's going to give us a run for our money.] Read the rest of this entry →
Jul 31 2012
American Olympic gymnast–and, by all appearances, nice Jewish girl–Aly Raisman qualified for the womens individual all-around gymnastic final at the Olympics Sunday night (doing her routine to Hava Nagila, yet!). Big news–but apparently not as big as her parents’ reaction.
The video of her parents’ reactions as Raisman was doing her qualifier round has gone viral, and was posted here at Kveller as well as everywhere else in the world [ed. note: the IOC has blocked all footage on copyright grounds]. Raisman’s parents are transparently stressed out as they watch their daughter. They constantly fidget in their seats, looking, as one commentator noted, as though they were in dire need of a restroom. They move back and forth as though being shaken in a kaleidoscope, their eyes 100% trained on their daughter. They mumble and mutter encouragements (possibly dropping one f-bomb) in a Tourettes-like stream of words. Vanity Fair called their parental reactions “hilarious” and “SNL-worthy.” When watching them, anyone can see that they are clearly completely focused on and invested in their 18-year-old daughter’s performance, finally letting loose with a relieved yell at the end of the routine (thank you, Mr. Raisman). Read the rest of this entry →
Apr 23 2012
Acrylic nails: one of the markers of the Jewish American Princess.
I was absolutely astounded the other day when my younger stepson, Eli, who is 11, was musing about his sister Penelope’s new-found princess obsession–it had to happen sometime–and he said, “You know what’s funny? There’s no Jewish princesses.”
Bless his heart! No Jewish princesses?
I had a vague sense of the existence of the JAP stereotype in high school. I remember my friend Fran speaking dismissively of both WASPs and JAPs and wondering why she hated bugs and Asians so much, but soon enough I saw Spaceballs and was able to recognize a type–not someone I came in contact with myself very often, but sure, I knew young women sorta like that.
Then I got to college. Barnard, specifically. Hoo boy. Read the rest of this entry →
Apr 19 2012
Your baby can have this onesie too at uncommonlycute.com
Don’t put your baby on Facebook!
Yeah, yeah, we’ve heard it all before. But Wall Street Journal writer Janet Paskin isn’t refraining from posting the cute baby pictures out of fear that she’s compromising her kid’s digital security. Rather, Paskin writes, “I worried that, by publically [sic] donning my mom-hat, I might be hurting myself.” In other words, keeping baby off of Facebook isn’t for his or her own good–it’s for yours.
Paskin writes that she’d rather not post pictures or items about her baby on Facebook because “women with children fare worse, professionally and financially, than women without. Moms face more difficulty getting hired and earn less than their childless peers. It’s worse for new, breastfeeding moms, who are judged to be less competent and less likely to be hired than bottle-feeding moms and who suffer more severe and prolonged earnings loss. Even controlling for all the extenuating circumstances that make salary comparisons really hard, the evidence seems pretty conclusive: Moms earn less, and have less success, than women without children.”
Clearly, I disagree with this completely. Frankly, I’m not even sure where to begin. Of course, I take issue with the underlying premises that mothers are somehow crappier workers–if anything, mothers are perhaps the most kickass multitaskers in the universe. The breastfeeding versus bottlefeeding mom hiring stats are almost too stupid to mention.
But I am particularly offended by the idea that in order to succeed in the workplace, I would need to hide who I am. Read the rest of this entry →
Jul 25 2011
When my oldest child, Hot Shot, was 3, her active vocabulary included the word “stereotype.”
“No one can have two moms,” her little friend told her. They were sitting side by side on 3-year-old sized toilets at preschool, overheard by their teacher in the next room.
“No,” said Hot Shot, certain as a statistician. “That’s just a stereotype.”
Her teacher was surprised, but we weren’t. My partner and I had been schooling her in such things for years. Deconstructing her picture books with feminist, anti-racist critical analysis. If pressed she probably could have given a brief overview of the three major phases of the civil rights movement, a short lecture on the use of Mitzrayim rather than Egypt at the Passover table, and a comparative critique of her five favorite authors.
She was, after all, our first child.
Now is it me, or does the parenting get a little more lax on children two and three? Our second, Moon Boy, now 3-and-a-half, is exactly the age Hot Shot was when she made her toilet-seat stereotype remark, and I’m beginning to wonder if I’ve taught him anything. Seriously: he doesn’t even know his shapes. Read the rest of this entry →