8 Interesting Articles From Around the Web - On Parenting, Food Fraud, Family Stories, Guns, Feminist Houswives, Life After Work, Mommy Blog Bashing, and Syria

A mixed bag this week, probably because I haven't posted articles in awhile. Hope you find something that resonates with you . . .


1. I know there are tons of cheesy parenting posts circling the web lately (and I've been known to write a cheesy parenting post or two), but Candace Walsh's Huff Post article on life with small children particularly resonated with me -

"[Seeing an old photo] reminded me of how vulnerable young motherhood is, how it oddly makes you public property, visible, a tableau to judge, a person to advise or criticize, well-meaningly or not. It reminded me of how my formerly predictable life became startlingly unpredictable: My children had minds and bodies of their own, screaming, laughing, sleeping, waking, pooping, regardless of when it was convenient for me. And it reminded me of how submerged I used to feel, as lumpy as my mom purse, breasts swollen with milk, baby weight riding along on my back, my thighs."

2. This short yahoo article on food fraud is just plain frightening - "olive oil, milk, saffron and coffee [have] joined honey and fish as the most commonly fraudulent products on the market."

3. I loved the simplicity and genius of Bruce Feiler's New York Times article on the family stories that bind us.

""The bottom line: if you want a happier family, create, refine and retell the story of your family’s positive moments and your ability to bounce back from the difficult ones. That act alone may increase the odds that your family will thrive for many generations to come. "

4. The New Yorker published a short, well-stated piece on the cultural aspects (are there any other?) of the gun debate -

"And so the real argument about guns, and about assault weapons in particular, is becoming not primarily an argument about public safety or public health but an argument about cultural symbols. It has to do, really, with the illusions that guns provide, particularly the illusion of power. . . .

We should indeed be as tolerant as humanly possible about other people’s pleasures, even when they’re opaque to us, and try only to hive off the bad consequences from the good. The trouble is that assault weapons have no good consequences in civilian life. A machine whose distinguishing characteristic is that it can put a hundred and sixty-five lethal projectiles into the air in a few moments has no real use except to kill many living things very quickly. We cannot limit its bad uses while allowing its beneficial ones, because it has no beneficial ones. If the only beneficial ones are the feeling of power they provide, then that’s not good enough—not for the rest of us to be obliged to tolerate their capacity to damage and kill."

5. This New York article on the feminist housewife has become such a target of controversy that I'm almost scared to repost. And I agree that the author relies on certain stereotypes about women and men, but I'm also happy that she showcased alternative paths to happiness and fulfillment.

"Kelly calls herself “a flaming liberal” and a feminist, too. “I want my daughter to be able to do anything she wants,” she says. “But I also want to say, ‘Have a career that you can walk away from at the drop of a hat.’ ” And she is not alone. Far from the Bible Belt’s conservative territories, in blue-state cities and suburbs, young, educated, married mothers find themselves not uninterested in the metaconversation about “having it all” but untouched by it. They are too busy mining their grandmothers’ old-fashioned lives for values they can appropriate like heirlooms, then wear proudly as their own. "

. . . .

“But you don’t need to choose,” protests Alicia. “There’s no reason why you can’t work, be a wife and a mother.”

But I want to choose,” says Caitlin. “Maybe it’s different for my generation, but I don’t have to prove anything. Or if I have to, I don’t want to. I’m in love.”

6. Erin Callan's New York Times article on whether there is life after work really made me think about how we interpret success in modern day society -

"Inevitably, when I left my job, it devastated me. I couldn’t just rally and move on. I did not know how to value who I was versus what I did. What I did was who I was.

. . . .

Sometimes young women tell me they admire what I’ve done. As they see it, I worked hard for 20 years and can now spend the next 20 focused on other things. But that is not balance. I do not wish that for anyone. Even at the best times in my career, I was never deluded into thinking I had achieved any sort of rational allocation between my life at work and my life outside.

I have often wondered whether I would have been asked to be C.F.O. if I had not worked the way that I did. Until recently, I thought my singular focus on my career was the most powerful ingredient in my success. But I am beginning to realize that I sold myself short. I was talented, intelligent and energetic. It didn’t have to be so extreme. Besides, there were diminishing returns to that kind of labor."

7. I'm a little sick of mom blogger bashing (seriously, what's the big deal? If you don't like them, don't read them. or pinterest them.). But if you're going to bash, then PLEASE be this funny about it. Paul Rudnick had me laughing out loud.

"I believe that childhood is a brief, perfect state of being, and so I’ve tried to enclose my family in a shimmering sphere of enchantment, a realm that I call WonderPlanet, right here in our Park Slope brownstone. On WonderPlanet, anything is possible, as long as everyone loves one another and Goldman Sachs comes through with Daddy’s Easter bonus. I teach my children that money is like fairy dust, because when we sprinkle it around we can dream and sing and fly, usually in business class, and we can bake heart-shaped cookies that we can share with all the other children who aren’t allergic to stone-milled spelt flour, carob chips, whey protein, and smiles.

Some people have criticized me for not going back to work after my children were born, and for hiring a nanny. But I think of nurturing WonderPlanet as a full-time occupation, and someday I do plan on returning to my career as an advocate for women over forty who still want to grow and maintain waist-length hair. In addition, I’ve begun to sell a selection of trademarked WonderPlanet collectibles online, including hand-thrown ceramic mugs inscribed with the mottoes “Wander Into Wonder,” “I’m a Stay-at-Home Dreambuilder,” and “End Bullying Today—Buy a Mug.” I’m also marketing a line of meadow-dried teas, called Peaseblossom Morn, Smoochberries ’n’ Yarn, and Private Tutor. And in just a few weeks I’ll be introducing my WonderPlanet homewares line, in collaboration with Target, which will feature handwoven raffia boxes designed to hold smaller handwoven raffia boxes."

8. Finally, and most depressingly, the Atlantic published an article on Syria's rape crisis, which brought a whole new dimension to the phrase "horrors of war." WARNING - THE FOLLOWING QUOTES CONTAIN GRAPHIC AND HORRIFIC INFORMATION -

"a confession from a defected Syrian Army soldier [states that] he was ordered "to rape teenage girls in Homs at the end of last year."

"The girls would generally be shot when everyone had finished," the soldier said. "They wanted it to be known in the neighborhoods that the girls had been raped, but they didn't want the girls to survive and be able to identify them later."

. . . .

"a group of Syrian army soldiers had come to their house in Homs, tied up their father and brother, and raped the three women in front of them. The woman cried as she went on to describe how after raping them the soldiers opened their legs and burned their vaginas with cigarettes. They allegedly told the women during this: "You want freedom? This is your freedom."

1 comment:

  1. Ugh, The Syrians, so disgusting. It reminds me of what the Greeks did during their Civil War in the late 40's.



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