Category Archives: WTF

Pretty has nothing to do with it…

When I was a little girl having a hard time with math homework, my grandfather once said to me in his kindest voice:  “It’s ok honey, girls just aren’t good at math.”

My father was, rightfully, furious.  I didn’t understand why.  I felt like I was a pretty smart girl, and knew that gender did not determine mathematical ability.  But still, those tiny grains of sand (which are not so tiny coming from loved ones!) all add up to one giant beach of opinion that it can be hard to see around.

Sometimes the messages are subtle;  like the fact that Chasing Fireflies carries this sweet shirt for little boys.  Part of their “when I grow up” series, little boys can be a fireman, policeman, or astronaut.   I’m not bothering with gender neutral terms like “fire fighter,” or “police officer,” because the girls on the site don’t even get a “when I grow up” option.  It doesn’t even exist for them.

In the latest round of “marketers suck,” JC Penney has just pulled their latest catastrophe from shelves:  a t-shirt for little girls which read “Too pretty to do homework, so I have my brother do it for me.”   The shirt has been pulled, but let’s face it;  in a world where anyone thinks this is ok, or the latest thing, and they should sell it to little girls, this is just ONE tiny block in the tower of sexism surrounding our girls.

Then there is Pigtail Pals.  Check out their response, “Pretty has nothing to do with it!”  I love it.   Maybe if we all continue to squawk to retailers when they shove “too pretty to do homework” messages at our girls, the messages will change.

Advertisements

The fat babies are coming to get you!

Eeeeks!  Fat babies!!!!

Eeeeks! Fat babies!!!!

So this past week I’ve gotten myself all in a tizzy over two articles  targeting “obese” babies as a cause of… you guessed it… childhood obesity, adult obesity, and every other bad thing they can throw at these poor kids.

The first article, by NPR, is titled:  To curb childhood obesity, experts say to keep baby fat in check.  This is accompanied by a picture much like the one I’ve posted here, of a sweetly chubby baby with tons of delicious and nommable rolls.   The recommendations in this article really aren’t so bad, and include things like encouraging kids to be active, limiting tv/screen exposure, breastfeeding longer.  Of course, those recommendations are actually (mostly, aside from the breastfeeding recommendation) geared towards 2-5 year olds, and NOT babies under a year old.  My issue with this article is more that the title and photo are cheap journalism which doesn’t do anything but fan the flames of fat hate already directed at kids.

In case you aren’t sure, I’m 100% anti-fat-hate.   You can go on hating fat kids and adults if you like, but I promise you that it isn’t going to cause any of them to suddenly become “thin.”

The next article, published by PBS, employs the same cheap tactics as the first.  An inflammatory headline “15 tips to combat obesity in babies,” accompanied by another sweet chubby baby.

The reason I find these tactics to be both cheap and frankly disgusting and irresponsible is because fat hate is already at a frenzy in this country.  Seriously, we don’t need to get anyone else all hot and bothered to hate on fat people or fat kids.  We already have enough hate thrown at us on a daily basis, and as someone who grew up fat I can tell you that all the hating everyone did of my body helped me not at all to become more healthy.

We already have people starving their babies to keep them “thin,” parents taking perverse pride in skinny/underweight babies, and small children worried that they “look fat,” that being thin means you are nice and being fat means you are bad.  Of course the bulk of this is going to come down on our little girls.

See, the fat shame?  That’s already covered.  That’s already so prevalent in our society that kids pick it up as they grow.  Kids are smart, they can pick up on that without anyone even saying the word “fat” to them.  The other day, my sweet girl, now an athletic busy preschooler asked me why my body is so big and wide.  She can notice differences without my having to tell her, fancy that!

What we don’t have is the world encouraging our children, at whatever shape and size, to be more active.  To get out, join teams, do their best, move their bodies and HAVE FUN, at whatever size they are.  That’s what we don’t have.  The fat hate?  We really don’t need more, and we certainly don’t need to target the smallest and most vulnerable of our population.

If you are a parent, I highly recommend this article and ideas from bulimia.com, which target body image issues among young children.   Let’s love our children at every shape and size and enable them to love themselves so that they can move and nourish their bodies without shame, without fear, without hate.

It’s never too soon to start toning!

As evidenced by this recent find at Payless, of toning sneakers sized for TODDLERS.

Dear Toddlers:  Your bodies need toning!

Random acts of ugliness

I have a dreadful cold right now, so I’m sharing something that is a no-brainer.  A super ugly scary event that happened to me this week while out grocery shopping.  It’s so horrifying that things can be rolling along just fine, and then one dumbassed bully sizes you up and decides you’ll make a good target and… BAM.

Yesterday we were leaving Whole Foods (the only reason I *have* to go there is because of goat’s milk for Bella… TJ’s has it but sporadically.), and I had put Bella in her seat, went around to my side of the car, opened the door and started to get in and… the car next to me suddenly started to jerk out of its space, scaring me half to death. His mirror clonked into my door but was not hurt or anything like that. I was like WTF! I turned around completely horrified. I had not noticed the guy there, but even if I had, it’s usually common courtesy to wait the literally two seconds it takes someone to get in their car before you pull out. He said something nasty to me, I don’t know what, and I was like, “Well, GO,” as I was holding my door closed and waiting for him to pull out.

So he was like “You know what, NO! I won’t GO!” He parked his car, leaped out, got right in my face and started screaming at me. “This was YOUR FAULT, What the HELL are you doing, it’s YOUR FAULT!”  I was like, ummm, ok, you are crazy and you should really just go. I was not thinking clearly. I have realized that when large men get in my face screaming, my mind kind of shuts off. I shut the door to my car, and I was like dude my daughter is in the car, just GO. He was like NO and you are not going anywhere either. And I was like? GET THE FUCK AWAY FROM MY CAR. Because by that time I was fucking terrified. He was basically like NO, what are you going to DO about it. So I got my phone out and took pictures of him and his license plate number and then I called the police. I did not know what to do. He just would not leave me alone or move out of the way of my car! He did not want insurance information or anything like that or I would have given it to him, though there was literally no damage to his or my car; if anything, dude seriously almost nailed me with his car mirror. I called the police and got in my car (which they told me to do), and as I did this woman came over asking if I needed help. I told her I just wanted him to leave me alone but that he wouldn’t let me leave. She went and intervened with this crazy dude, which, good on her… I would not have done so! (I was safe in my car, so it’s not like I needed her to come intervene to stop violence or something.) She managed to get him to move out from behind my car so I could pull out, and I pulled over to the other side of the parking lot to wait for the police.
I waited like 10 minutes, and no police ever came, so I called and canceled the call. My husband said I should not have done that because it was illegal for this guy to stop me from leaving, but I don’t know; once he moved, I did not care, I just wanted him to leave me alone! I seriously did NOTHING to this person and he was just flat out crazy. He was still there ranting and raving after I left. Oh and funnily enough, he was all “OH YEAH, well I am going to call the cops on YOU?” I mean, for what exactly? Being almost run over by a driver not paying attention and then harassed by a crazy person?????? LMK how that works out for you buddy!

After we left Bella started asking me questions like, Mommy did you think he was going to take me away? What would you do if he had gotten me out and taken me away and hurt me? She broke my heart. I couldn’t even tell her that I would have ripped that guys nuts off if he had touched the car. I have never before just wanted so badly to push hit hurt someone. My mommy bear rage was going crazy when he got near my car.

This whole thing was beyond crazy. Like, seriously, crazy. It’s not like I said “Fuck your mother you fucking asshole!” Or something. I said “Well, GO!” after he almost ran me over. It was a tiny tiny thing and this guy just… crazy!!!!

I hate that my daughter is seeing so much of the rotten side of people lately.  I keep telling her that most people are good, but then she sees something like this and you know it shakes her trust in the world.   I am heartbroken that she thought that man might take her or hurt her and I’m glad she was in the car during this entire thing.

How do you handle talking to your kids about the bad behavior of other adults?

Onslaught

Consider my brain exploded

I just can’t stop thinking about this horrible case.   This little 11 yo girl who was gang-raped by 18 men in Texas.  Gang-raped, at age 11, by 18 men.  This simple fact in and of itself is enough to keep me awake at nights worrying, not just about my daughter but about that little girl and all of our daughters.  But it gets worse. The media coverage has been completely focused on blaming the 11 year old girl. It makes me feel like throwing up even to type that out. Read this article from the New York Times.   If you’re able to read that without wanting to cry, scream, and throw things, you are a stronger person than I am!  Here are a few choice quotes from the article.

Among them is, if the allegations are proved, how could their young men have been drawn into such an act?

“It’s just destroyed our community,” said Sheila Harrison, 48, a hospital worker who says she knows several of the defendants. “These boys have to live with this the rest of their lives.

They said she dressed older than her age, wearing makeup and fashions more appropriate to a woman in her 20s. She would hang out with teenage boys at a playground, some said.

“Where was her mother? What was her mother thinking?” said Ms. Harrison, one of a handful of neighbors who would speak on the record. “How can you have an 11-year-old child missing down in the Quarters?”

Those are just a few of the ways that the scumbag author of this story chose to focus his article on blaming the 11 year old victim for her own gang-rape.   Don’t miss this post, a much more thoughtful analysis of the media coverage here.  My head is too full of explosion to really think straight on this subject.   I hope her mother doesn’t listen to assholes and blame herself.  The people responsible for this rape are the men who raped her, period.   Why is that hard for any sane person to understand?

Stalked by Barbie

Well, seriously!  This chick is EVERYwhere.  You simply cannot avoid her.  Case in point:  at the grocery store last week, I stumbled across the following toy.  This was a big display, next to an endcap of an aisle.  It was turned to face the MEAT department;  you know the big aisle that runs all the way along the back of the store.  So, yeah, you really cannot avoid these images for your kids.

Yes to WHAT.

Here she is, visiting the meat department of a grocery store near you!

She said yes!  Ken has a big ol’ kiss on his face!  Ken and Barbie are face to face in a romantic way!  She said yes… in a bathing suit!  Because she couldn’t possibly say yes in, I dunno, jeans and a t-shirt, right?

Bah!  What do you think it tells both little girls and little boys when these images are the ones they see everywhere, all the time, day in and day out?  And then they approach the checkout and are bombarded with magazines featuring big breasted cover models talking about their weight loss, and big buff guys flexing their muscles.   I just want to avoid some of the bombardment but marketers sure don’t make it easy!