18 July 2010


Any comments that I deem to be just looking to start a debate or be incendiary will be deleted, especially if you are commenting as "anonymous".  Thank you :) .

29 May 2010

Loaded Statement of the Year

I was browsing mothering.com, and found this doozy of a statement

"On the issues of vaccinations we believe in informed consent. This means we look at both sides of the vaccine issue. However, one of our objectives, and for which members and guests come to our forum, is to bring to light the information that is not mainstream and readily available. Though Mothering does not take a pro or anti stand on vaccinations, we will not host threads on the merits of mandatory vaccine, or a purely pro vaccination view point as this is not conducive to the learning process."


They are free, really, to promote whatever crackpot theory ideology they wish.  And, really, if they want to delete all posts related to the benefits of vaccination or herd immunity or whatnot, feel free.  But at least have the balls to admit a bias.

I don't blame parents for being scared.  I blame institutions who pretend not to hear any information contrary to their beliefs.  What is happening on mothering.com's vaccine forums isn't education.  It is indoctrination.

28 March 2010

Autism Awareness (or lack thereof)

 Recently there was a big o controversy on the blogosphere, which I think stirred a lot of people.  A blogger, SmockityFrock, recently wrote about a visit to the library where she witnessed a child who was displaying classic autistic behaviors.  She, ignorant to autism, responded honestly and how many, many people respond.  Her original post was deleted, but you can find it on google cache hereAdditional blogggers have commented (some indirectly), and this was a response I wrote to one of the posts, but then realizes, Aha! I have a blog.  And here is my reply...

That post stirred me in a way few have.  Chris could be that kid, and you know?  Sometimes the best thing you can do is just encourage the child to stand their "patiently".  I can't tell you the number looks I've gotten when I praised a hyper, flapping, jumping up and down child for being "good" in the grocery store.  Yes- he was being good.  He wasn't crawling on the floor, he wasn't running away from me, he hadn't pulled off more than a few of those things that stick off the side of grocery shelves, and instead of tantruming he put the toy back after the 5th request.  That is fabulous visit to the grocery store.

That said, I sort of sympathize with Smockity, to a point. I have judged before I thought more broadly about a situation.  I think most people do at some point- it's part of being human.  From a religious standpoint it is why sins can be forgiven, because otherwise we would all be doomed.  If someone calls me out for how I phrase something I try to step back, analyze it somewhat objectively, and if I have made a mistake (which more often than not, I have) make amends for those mistakes.  Not because of some fear of religious retribution (I am not religious) but moreso because I just want to be a good person.

What I think distinguishes SmockityFrocks' post, and is causing such outrage, is her apparent indignation at the suggestion she may have been ignorant and self-centered in her understanding of the situation.  Rather than listening and taking a step back when people questioned her post she became defensive.  And that is understandable, many people do become defensive when their views are questioned.  But, then, how does a person learn when they are unable to see their mistakes?

Humility is difficult- it is hard to say "I am sorry, I was wrong".  Sometimes I think we focus on other virtues (patience, forgiveness, etc) and forget the power of saying sorry.  I am certain that many (but likely not all) of the angry responses she has recieved would have been softened had she just typed those five letters.

01 March 2010

La la la la...

I've been meaning to blog.  Really.  I set this whole goal of blogging daily back in 2009.  And then my immune system decided it might be fun to partake in pandemic flu... and I realized that goal might be a bit too lofty.  Especially as one is hacking up a lung.

But here I am, and I will resurrect this blog and, somehow, become a blogger.  I'm almost 2 months into my post h1n1 recovery, so that excuse no longer counts.  Besides, nothing is trendier than jumping on a decade old bandwagon.  More posts coming soon!

25 October 2009


After my last blog, I've been obsessing over finding female superhero toys.  Really, obsession might be an understatement.  I know nothing about superheroes- I was much more of a barbie and princess girl as a child.  Well, aside from the pink power ranger... I didn't really get into kickass female leads until I was an almost teen (tween?) and discovered Buffy. 

What I've found, so far, has been less than exciting.  Wonderwoman is still around- and perhaps the strongest character.  I found out about Power Girl, and her breasts that, in most animations, tend to scream breast reduction and pain.  Although this action figure version of her isn't half bad.  I've also learned that, despite the name, x-men have the most varied and unique cast of women leads.  Although, honestly?  I haven't read much on their backstory.  Maybe I'll have to invest in comic books- purely for educational purposes, of course.

I've also learned that people tend to pose the characters in submissive and disempowering poses .  This illustration, for example, portrays two super heroes on their knees, with hands behind them, smiling.  Really- could you imagine Batman or Superman being posed like this?  What is so threatening about a superheroine that we must strip away as much of her power as possible? 

Hopefully, this generation of girls, growing up with the likes of Word Girl and Dora the Explorer will more readily embrace superheroines as reflections of their own selves, rather than leaving it to the guys.

24 October 2009

Imaginext Toys, or how my vagina disqualifies me from having a complex imagination

Fisher price makes a lovely set of toys under the brand Imaginext.  It covers virtually all the subjects which fascinate children- superheroes, firemen, astronauts, aliens, and more.  The toys are high quality, affordable, and interchangeable.  Kids love them, and from a distance they look surprising gender neutral.

On closer examination, the Imaginext line contains exactly zero female characters.  No firewoman, no batgirl, not even a stray paramedic with long hair.  Because, apparently, girls do not play with the toys and boys would not buy them if they had girl characters.  Or at least that is what Fisher Price Corporate would lead you to believe.

Apparently they have a separate line for girls, called “Precious Places”.  The Precious Places sets are pink, with lots of ball gowns and princesses.  Oh, and they have male characters!  Princes!  No reason to have a female firefighter when you can use magic to save the swan and still make it to the ball in time!

All sarcasim aside, children- both boys and girls, need to see male and female characters in their toys.  They not only need to see themselves in their toys, but also see their brothers and sisters to help them construct a healthy understanding of gender and gender roles in our society.  Fisher price does a reasonably decent job doing this with it's Little People brand, so why not carry this tradition on to Imaginext?  What is so wrong about making a Batgirl, or a firewoman?

If you agree this is an unacceptable practice on the part of Fisher Price, and it's parent company Mattel, please join me in e-mailing Fisher Price Corporate at fpconaff@fisher-price.com .