It should come as no surprise that most of us here plan on voting for Hillary Rodham Clinton tomorrow. We wanted to share our enthusiasm.
Recently, someone on Facebook (because of course it was on Facebook) declared that the only reason women are voting for HRC is because they have vaginas and she has a vagina and women are blindly voting for a vagina with their vaginas. (That may be the most vaginas in one sentence). This was so incredibly offensive because A: We aren’t heathens, we obviously use our hands to vote and B: reducing women and their intellect down to their reproductive organs (YET AGAIN) is boring, lazy and completely false. Luckily, I can and did use my lady brain during this election cycle to inform and educate myself.
I would love to vote Barack Obama into the presidential office in perpetuity. Since that’s not a thing, I’m with her. Not just because I have a vagina. I know plenty of people without vaginas who are voting for her. I’m voting for her because she is standing with Planned Parenthood, and as someone who’s had an abortion, protecting a woman’s right to choose for herself is so incredibly important to me. I’m voting for her because she is standing up for the rights of LGBTQ+ people everywhere, ensuring their right to marry, adopt children, and be treated fairly at work and at school. I’m voting for her because she plans to implement a solid plan for parental leave, not just maternity leave, when a new child becomes part of a family, in addition to a fair amount of medical leave. I’m with her because her stances on incredibly important topics like racial justice, gun control, healthcare, education and so much more align with my values. Her being a woman is just a perk. I’m so proud that my son was born into the years that we’ve had our first African-American president and that he will grow up in the historic time of the first female president. We’ve come a long way, but we have so far to go. I can’t wait to see what we accomplish with HRC at the helm.
**I would like to point out that no one has accused any men of voting with their dicks, and we all know there’s at least one or two who’ve thought they were hilarious and done just that.**
When it comes to voting for an elected official, whether it be local or national, I look at who I believe will be able to lead the best. When weighing the options for president, there is only one person in the running I believe will be able to lead our country, and I’m with her! I know as far as social issues go, she will be able to keep our country moving forward, rather than regressing. I know she has the leadership skills necessary to interact appropriately with other heads of state. It’s bigger than just being excited to vote for our first female president (but come on, I’m super stoked about this aspect too): it’s being excited for the future of the United States and its residents. It’s time.
I could write a novel longer than War & Peace regarding why I am not (and you should not) be voting for Trump. But instead, I’ll talk about why I am voting FOR Hillary Clinton. She isn’t the “lesser of 2 evils,” she is a legit decent politician who stands and fights for the things that are important to me. She does not believe that healthcare should be something only available to the wealthy. She believes that women should be paid the same amount as men. NARAL gives her a 100% approval rating which means regardless of how YOU feel about abortion, she puts women’s health FIRST. Childcare is, in case you didn’t know, insanely expensive and Hillary Clinton wants to fight for you to lessen that expense. Hillary Clinton believes that LGBTQ community is full of, you know, people. People who have rights and interests just like those who don’t identify as LGBTQ. Her experience has taught her COUNTLESS lessons in foreign policy and negotiations.
I’ve been pretty stoked on Obama’s presidency. I have not agreed with everything he’s done, and I definitely am beyond angry that our healthcare plans are being cockblocked by bitter Republicans who are clearly benefiting from a private, non-universal system (and benefiting from blaming it ALL on President Obama.) But I think Hillary Clinton has the capacity to change this, and to lead our country into the future, instead of 100 years back. Fuck yes I’m voting for Hillary Clinton, and I’m fucking stoked to do it!
I’m voting because this a privilege so many people don’t take advantage of. This was not always a right for women to vote and still to this day our voices have not been fully heard. I vote so MY voice can be heard. I vote so that my daughter can be proud of me. I vote because I only get one body and I need to take care of it! I vote because I’m the breadwinner in my family and I need to continue to break through the oh-so-high glass ceiling.
I vote because I’m proud to be an American!
I’ve always liked HRC. She’s the First Lady I really remember from my childhood; I remember her proclaiming “Women’s rights are human rights” in China and her not giving a shit about her headbands and I remember her having the goddamn audacity to try to create universal healthcare. I remember discovering feminism beyond the suffragette mom in Mary Poppins while HRC fucking showed me how to walk the walk. That woman is nearly always the smartest woman in the room – can you imagine the amount of shit she has taken over the years for being strong and smart and unapologetic and having a loud laugh and RBF and all the shit that most of us get in small doses every day but, like, times a bajillion?? Like, my shoulders hurt thinking about it. And she has gladly, enthusiastically, boldly put herself out there over and over and over again because she believes in herself and this country.
Do I agree with her on everything? Nope. That would be terrible because I have some very uninformed opinions and I’m kinda ridiculous. Was there another nominee I vocally supported because his progressive stances are more in line with mine? Yup. But he lost and she’s still a REALLY GOOD FUCKING CHOICE. Is there a chance I would have voted for a Republican in this election, no matter the nominees? Not in hell. But, the fact that they did nominate a racist, sexist, idiotic, epitome of just about everything I loathe who has triggered more rape nightmares for me, a not-rape-survivor so I can’t imagine what people with sexual assault PTSD must be going through just seeing his dumb orange face…does that make me even happier that we’re going to have a Madame President for the next 4 years? HAHAHAHAHAYES.
(Also, she has plaaaaans. I know how much an organized, driven woman can accomplish and I can’t wait. Like, she has a legit plan for the autistic community. Please check out her website and go nerdcrazy.)
I don’t think I’m going to shock anyone by saying that this world feels really fucking shitty right now, especially if you’re a woman. (I mean, if you’re a woman, the world has always felt pretty terrible, because the patriarchy is real and has been for centuries. Things have just gotten like a million times more intense feeling.) I’m also not breaking ground by saying life in general is tough and adulthood is a goddamn bullshit factory. There are soul-crushing jobs and endless bills and cars that breakdown and kids don’t know that silence is a thing and partners that you love but drive you insane. I’m a constant mess of rage and sorrow and anxiety and exhaustion and joy and I know I’m not the only one out there.
If I had to do all of this on my own, I’d collapse. (This is not a dismissal of my husband, who is a rock solid partner but can’t relate to my Diva Cup adventures even though I tell him all about it anyways because SHARING IS CARING.) And that is why I am grateful every fucking day for my friends. Social media can be the worst, unless you are lucky enough to have an amazing group chat somewhere with strong, smart, funny, thoughtful, supportive, gorgeous, badass women.
What started as a way to share dumb memes and feminist cartoons has evolved into an ongoing discussion that keeps me sane. We share our personal triumphs and tribulations. We crack each other up and support one another fiercely. We have epic conversations about the world we want and the world we live in and how to bridge the gap between those two. We talk about farts and pizza and adorable animals and our super weird dreams.
Editor Note: Trigger Warning/Explicit Content – this is a detailed account of one man’s rape. It is brutal at times, as is the case with rape. It is also wonderfully written and we are incredibly proud to give him a space to share his story.
Our guest contributor is Christopher. He is a great lover of food and music, but not necessarily in that order. His favorite thing is being alive. In fact, he intends to never die.
My story isn’t one that I’ve seen or heard too often, but I’m sure it’s happened to other men, and maybe they could benefit from this. This is a rape story. This is my rape story, and I’m still getting used to applying that term to what happened to me. We think of rape as something disgusting that happens to women and children, so when it happens to a man, it becomes a story of emasculation, of weakening, a story that should probably be shouldered or tucked away someplace dark and silent. I chose a different technique. I turned my story into a comedic narrative and delivered it to a live audience in the form of a stand-up routine. I got a lot of laughs, and the live performance filled me with adrenaline and bolstered my confidence. I don’t like horror movies; never have. Typically, when I’m reluctantly watching a horror film, my instinct is to laugh at the highest points of tension, to giggle with glee when a scene startles the piss out of me. It’s not surprising that I turned the horrific story of my rape into a comedy. Sadly, this is also somewhat of a coming-out story, as this rape was my first sexual encounter with another gay man. This guy knowingly took my virginity. He took advantage of my inexperience and he premeditated this sexual assault. This is the real story, without the strategic timing and pauses for anticipated laughter.
It was 2001, and I was an invincible 22-year-old. I was a freshly-minted homosexual in that I’d come out to a modest handful of close friends and a few siblings. In truth, I’m one of those men who have always been gay, or at least since I was old enough to understand that I was different. I’d dated girls in my late teens, but by my 22nd birthday I was ready to be my true self. Only I had no idea of how to proceed.
I was working as a server and bartender at a chain restaurant. I was living in the DC-Metro area. I just needed that first door to open. His name was…I guess I can’t say his actual name. He had one of those names that should have been an immediate red flag, one of those names that always pops up on a 15 Most Douchey Names list. So let’s call him Trip. Continue reading
Because this is a feminist momblog, we spend a lot of space discussing women and our issues. However, we all know that feminism is for everyone, and we’ve each got some really fantastic men in our lives who may be underrepresented here. So, here’s a shout out to some of the rad dads we know and love and appreciate daily.
Dad – Pops, Old Man River, Groucho (that’s a new one I just made up but it fits, I promise). I would not be who I am without this man. LITERALLY. We are (nearly though not quite) the same person. Our political views are polar opposite (mine are correct, and his are not at all), but we still find common ground over cooking, Monty Python, and laughing at the misfortune of others. (Like the time he witnessed a dude in a tiny BMW think he was hot shit at the gas station, and he wound up pulling the damn pump out of the machine as he drove away. Oh man, did we laugh about that!) It’s a science fact that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction, and I think that’s what happened here. So sorry, Pops, this is all your fault but hey, I think you did a good job even though you probably have misgivings re: my appearance, taste in music, political beliefs, and my hatred of mayonnaise. Love you!
My Boo – I’ve talked at great length about THIS guy, and I still could write eleventy billion more words about him and how fucking rad he is. He’s got my back no matter what, he makes the best tacos I’ve ever had, he’s adorable, and he’s an amazing father to my son. He busts his ass every goddamn day, and inspires me to be a better mother, employee, friend, and person every goddamn day. We’re nearly 2 years in, and are still just as excited to see each other every day as we were then. The man talks the talk AND he walks the walk. Whatever this shit world leaves on our doorstep, I know that we can (proverbially) punch it in the face. I really cannot say enough good things about this dude, he’s the fucking best. Love you, boo!
My Little Boo – Yeah, I’ll count my kid here. He’s not quite a “man” yet, technically (even though WE WEAR THE SAME SIZE SHOE OH MY GAWD WHAT.), but shit, he certainly demonstrates a capacity for understanding as an adult does. (Not for everything, but for a lot of things, like how gay people are just, you know, people.) Being my kid cannot be an easy thing, I’ll be the first to admit that. And he’s doing a great job. His attitude is a little out of control at times (especially when he is busy getting BIGGER which is every other day I think.) But his attitude in general is kind, curious, hilarious, and understanding. We watch Wayne’s World and RuPaul’s Drag Race together, and he loves to draw with my Boo (and he’s really gotten quite good the more he practices – I’m super impressed!) Raising a child is fucking HARD. Especially when they’re smart, and they are basically YOU (I know from whence that attitude comes.) But I’ve got a great couple of dudes who make it enjoyable. Love you, Ham Guy!
My fucking homies – I’ve got a few tight homies who are rad and deserve a shout out here. My tight bros from back in the day, my boss, any pal I have who’s been there for me without expecting a “reward” for their friendship. I’m in the groom’s wedding party this year of one of these dudes! Super stoked. You guys, just keep on doing what you’re doing and always stand up and support women.
I am a world-class worrier. I worry to the point that if someone says “stop worrying so much!” I worry about why I’m so worried. Yes. I am a special snowflake. These days, the thoughts that keep me up at night are primarily focused around this rising tide of ignorance and hate that’s threatening to drown our country and the way that’s affecting my kid. I worry about how I will have to explain why some people hate his aunt and uncle because of who they love. I worry about having to explain why we are living in a culture where it is commonplace to have a mass shooting every week or so, and how he can protect himself. I worry about teaching him to respect everyone equally and treat everyone with respect and dignity and that no means no and not ever yes, and enthusiastic consent and drinking and depression and the why why why of everything. It’s so much.
But I am so thankful. Because as much as I am overwhelmed with the pressure and fear, I have a partner who is equally in this fight with me. My husband, an amazing father and a fantastic partner in life, who is hard-working and sweet and just as worried about everything, is in this fight with me. He’s just as involved in the (sometimes awkward) explanations and hugs and lessons that it’s taking to raise a child, especially a male child, in our society today. He is in the trenches with the boo boo kisses and teaching that colors are for everyone. Sometimes he is completely ignored and unappreciated by our son, who is going through a major mommy phase, but I see him, and I know others do too, and I am so proud to call him mine.
I come from a long line of strong women, for that I am thankful. I watched my grandmother do plumbing and electrical work around her house. I watched my mom research and do things on the computer most people my age can’t figure out. My Dads never treated me any different than the boys in the family. My family never told me I couldn’t do anything because I am a girl. Those things are important to me as I raise girls of my own.
We never talked about it though, my husband and I. I never actually said the words “I want to raise our girls to have no gender boundaries”. He just does it. He shows them that men can do the things that have historically been deemed “women’s work”. They see him do dishes and cook. Clean and do laundry. He takes care of the plants in the house. (I have a black thumb, I couldn’t keep a plant alive to save my life.) He also shows them girls can do whatever the hell they want. He has taught them to change and rotate tires, change the oil and do other car repairs with him. He just showed our youngest how to turn the water off to the house and had her help fix our leaking toilet and shower. Never once did he blink an eye or think it was strange for her to learn these skills.
He also allows them to be who they are. Some days that’s glitter and pink everything including a crown. Some days that sports jerseys and jeans with muddy shoes. He loves them and never judges them. My girls embody the mixed up world that is a young girl’s feelings and mind. They laugh, they are prissy, they fart while giggling hysterically, they are messy. They love makeup and cars. They dance and play basketball. They watch their dad closely as he holds open the door for them on their way into a building, and they return the favor on the way out. He sits through dance classes and has learned the difference between a lindy and a ball change. He also spent two weeks building a Lego VW Vanagon with them, including working engine and a peace and love poster. The girls have given him “makeovers”. He has had his toes done by them. He says that he doesn’t want to wear makeup outside the house but some boys do and that’s cool. He said he doesn’t want to wear dresses, but some people who were born a boy want to, and that’s cool too.
Bottom line is he doesn’t see limits for his kids just because they were born without a penis. He teaches them things he would have taught a son. He tells them to be kind to everyone. And love who they want (just no dating until they are thirty). He has taught them life skills, ways to be independent; the things I was taught as a young girl. But knowing their Dad has their back is the best thing he can do for them. Girls are complicated, girls are emotional, girls can be anything and everything they want and knowing that their Dad believes this too is the greatest thing he has ever done for them.
Here’s a small list of some of the stupid-awesome things my dad has done for me that have gone above and beyond the call of dad duty:
- driving me to see a friend’s shitty band play at Jaxx during a snow storm in high school
- driving into DC when I forgot concert tickets at home
- driving to Charlottesville to get me when my car broke down, then going back to get the car a few days later
- not disowning me for fucking up at college and allowing me to move back home after dropping out
- not dying when he had a surprise heart attack (very important)
- driving to DC in the middle of the night when I missed the last Metro home
- driving to somewhere outside of Baltimore in the middle of the night when my car broke down in the snow on the way home from a concert
- driving to Richmond at 2am to help me move out of a shitty ex-boyfriend’s house on no notice
- driving to Richmond in the middle of the day to help me move out of a shitty apartment on no notice
- providing legal advice when necessary (including “don’t do something that will require me to pick you up from jail”)
I’m definitely a fuck-up who has trouble showing how grateful I am, but I wouldn’t be where I am or who I am without my dad – my #1 buddy. Thanks for everything you’ve done and continue to do (because I still don’t have my shit together), and for being one of the good ones.
I have an amazing partner. He’s my person in so many ways and I try to tell him that every day. He doesn’t just support me, he encourages me. He’s the reason I always have clean underpants and my credit score isn’t in the “YIIIIIIKES” category any more. He’s smart, he reads faster than I do (trust me, this is impressive), he’s interested in things, he makes me pee myself laughing, he’s got artistic talent and the swagger of someone who knows who the fuck they are. He’s been through some shit and has never given up. He’s the reason I have the (mostly) pleasure of raising two sons and I absolutely love parenting with him. He gets all the high-fives from me.
One of the biggest reasons I love him is because he listens. He sits through my intersectional feminist rants and pays attention and now recognizes The Patriarchy before I do (sometimes). He has never assumed I can’t do something or understand the world because I’m a woman. He respects me and my choices, he’s never shamed me for my past or who I am. He values my input and we have amazing conversations about the world and society. We don’t always agree, and we’re both okay with that, because we both realize the other is a fully-formed, autonomous adult entitled to their beliefs and convictions. He’s changed the way I view the world, and I’ve changed the way he does. He’s never been intimidated by me, at least not how most men in my life have been.
We are equals and partners. We have each other’s fucking backs no matter what. We trust one another and challenge each other and every goddamn day I’m happy that my life’s path crossed his. I love you, dearest, Happy Father’s Day.
There are a lot of huge, terrible things in this world. Like, a lot a lot. I don’t have the energy or strength to discuss those right now. So I’m going to rant about something that isn’t truly important but has made my life a sort of living hell. And that thing is LEGO Dimensions, or the worst video game in the world.
My oldest son is 14. Like most teens, he’s obsessed with video games. The autism might make this fixation a little more intense, but I’m sure a lot of parents can feel me on this. Video games for kids are terrible now. Not their content, but this new thing of buying a million add-ons for each game. There’s Disney Infinity and Skylanders. We have an extensive Amiibo collection, which, as far as I can tell, do absolutely nothing. You can unlock special suits and characters, but from what I can gather, you can also unlock those things just by playing the game. But, no, we need to spend $13 a pop for plastic figurines in a variety of characters and variations – Mario, Gold Mario, Fireball Mario, 32-bit Mario in classic colors, 32-bit Mario in modern colors, Mario with his arms in a slightly different postion. Seriously. It’s a load of bullshit. But Cal has always been a Mario freak and we indulge.
My child has had a shitty illness for this week. When his fever finally dropped to 99, I sent him back to school. He did not get better. I took him to the doctor. She prescribed him antibiotics, we went to fill the prescription, and that is when I learned that our health coverage was GONE. My insurance company had canceled both of our plans. Just like that. I argued with the smug, British fucker saying I’d had no idea, that they hadn’t notified me. He argued back saying they had, indeed, notified me by mail. He said they mailed me a letter April 6, and told me the address to which they mailed it. Continue reading
I hate a lot of things. Like. A lot. Mayonnaise, Michael McDonald, abortion protests, peep toe booties, the months of July and August, pets, dirty dishes, Pretty Woman, overbearing parents. (An abbreviated list for sure.) But in that “overbearing parents” category is the “mama bear.” And to the mama bear, I say, “Ugh, shut the fuck up.” Continue reading
Today, I reached a milestone in my life. Today marks a year since the day I stopped drinking. It’s been a year, but it’s also been a lifetime, the blink of an eye, a long sigh and small voice saying “I knew you could do it!’.
I didn’t tell anyone that I was stopping. I didn’t even tell my husband. I didn’t want it to be A Thing. I didn’t want to chance failing and having people look at me thinking “Ha! Remember that time she said she was going to quit drinking?” because people are judgmental dicks and they do things like that if you fail. I didn’t want to answer the repeated “Ohhhhhh are you pregnant? Are you trying to be?” questions that always follow up declining a drink because that’s the only reason you wouldn’t be drinking, right? After a few months, I slowly told one or two people, making jokes about being “Late-Edge”, but the momentum felt good. It felt like I had made the right choice for once. When I hit the six month mark, I was at wedding for one of my favorite people and I had the best time. I danced, I sang, I smiled, I laughed and I didn’t drink. Tiny victories. Small steps.
At one year, I’ve learned that those lists that always appear around the New Year, “I Quit Drinking for One Year and Everything Is Awesome!” aren’t quite true. My life did not immediately become easy. In actuality, it became much harder. I drank a lot to deal with depression, even before I knew I was dealing with long-standing depression. I drank to deal with anxiety and sleeplessness. I drank when I was happy about something and I absolutely drank when I was sad. I drank because it was Tuesday and the sun came up. When I stopped drinking, I had to deal with all the feelings I had been trying to suffocate. After years of trying to ignore and displace ugly feelings, now I have to feel them all of the time. It sucks, to be quite honest. Anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medication has helped immensely, as has my incredibly supportive husband and friends, but it’s sucked having to relearn how to deal with things like a normal human being.
I did not lose a large amount of deadweight friends, thankfully. Most of the people who abandoned the S.S. Friendship boarded their lifeboats back when I had a baby. Apparently, babies are kryptonite to people who like fun. This actually worked in my favor because by the time I came out as sober, the friends that were around were friends that I knew were friends regardless of what I did or did not do. This is definitely not to say that I didn’t get the occasional “But, you’re not done drinking forever, right??” or “Ugh. I miss Fun Erin.” to which I patiently explain that Fun Erin may have been fun for you, but Fun Erin was torture for me.
I also did not quit drinking and magically lose all of the weight. I am not a lithe swan of a woman, but to be honest, I hated being a lithe swan of a woman when I was skinny and drinking. I’d much rather be where I am now, stress-eating and dealing with all of the feelings, but way more comfortable in my skin. I’m cool with my higher jean size and fatter ass if it comes with fatter self-esteem and the ability to validate myself.
This has definitely not been easy. My city is a city of Lost Boys and Neverland. It’s a city that encourages and glorifies those that haven’t grown up and don’t need to. It’s a city that loves to hold a fundraiser but can’t figure out how to do it without a bar. It’s a city punctuated by pitchers of mimosas at brunch every Sunday and dollar beer night and endless summer afternoons at the river with beers and that’s awesome. But it’s not for me. I can’t handle it and that’s ok. I’m slowly finding my way without it. In the meantime, if you want to hang out and play board games, go fishing, see movies, eat delicious food and make fun of everything, I’m here.
I’m still here.
I’ve discussed the fact that I (probably) can’t have kids, and how much it sucks. I mean, I’ve mostly come to terms with it – but there is a neverending grieving process involved. I want a daughter who’ll kick ass and end up running the world. I like to imagine her, this funny, smart, brave kid – and all of the things I want to teach her. Since it doesn’t look like I’ll ever get that opportunity, I still want to share my philosophies with y’all, because they’re a damn good way to live your life and I think every child, especially the girl chirren, should have these words of wisdom spoken to them from birth.
Don’t let others define you. Your life is going to be full of people attempting to tell you who you are – they’re going to try to label you so you fit into a category in their life. The problem with that is you can start believing the labels, tailoring who you are to fit someone else, everyone else. You are your own person, you define who you are, labels are bullshit. Embrace all of the wonderful complexity of you and defy anyone who tries to simplify you – their inability to accept life fully is not your problem, don’t reduce yourself to make things easier for the unimaginative.
You make your own joy. Every day, every moment, is filled with choices – choose joy as often as you can. Don’t rely on others to make you happy, you’ll always be disappointed. But if you’re already happy, you’ll shine brighter than everyone around you. Find what brings you peace and happiness and pursue it fiercely. Encourage others to do the same. Be a beacon of joy.
Don’t hide from pain. You’re going to get hurt – physically, mentally, emotionally. Don’t let the fear of pain keep you from chasing life. You might end up with some scars, be proud of them. A scar means you won, you survived, you’re still here. Scars are never ugly. Protect yourself as best you can, but at the end of the day, take the risk for what you want. Continue reading
Today’s guest post comes from Althea Egon: I am a crafty geek, toddler wrangler and artist who is prone to wild fits of kitchen singing. I have been a bicycle mechanic, a teacher and a cubicle slave. Identity crisis is my middle name… My friends say I’m restless. Huzzah!
Although my husband and I didn’t choose to bed share with S…we ended up doing so because of her needs/temperament. I must admit that I didn’t even know what bed sharing or cosleeping was prior to having my own child! I thought that, “Duh! Babies sleep in cribs!” But try as we might a crib was not in the cards for our first born.
There are some benefits of bed sharing and this article does a good job explaining that it is not unsafe or detrimental. Western culture made the shift away from bed sharing, a practice the rest of the world uses in the majority. There seems to be lot of hostility and misinformation directed towards parents who do bed share or cosleep in the USA.
Obviously my daughter will not sleep with me forever and yes it can be exhausting. However because I choose to breastfeed (still going strong at almost 20 months) bed sharing makes night parenting much easier on me. Studies have shown that breastfeeding bedsharing parents/child are awake no more than children who sleep in their own rooms.
It has been hard because when I mention that I am exhausted… And well meaning people tend to judge our decision to bed share (a decision that developed organically) as detrimental to me and my daughter. I don’t agree with this theory. I am tired because I am a parent. Continue reading