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Posts Tagged ‘Salon’

Happy Earth Day everyone! It’s a blustery, sunny morning on the Blue Ridge, and life is almost back to normal. Bob left late for the hospital, so we had lots of time to discuss that five year old boy, you know the one. The parents “allowed” him to identify as a boy since the ripe old age of two, even though biologically he’s a girl. Mia or Jacob, you decide. It seems we have different opinions on that one, but I’ll just let you guess. Because I hate judging parents, I really really do.

Then before I had a chance to head outdoors and plant a rhododendron, the Bride sent me this Salon article because all her friends were talking about it: “What a Horrible Mother” by Kim Brooks:

http://www.salon.com/2015/04/19/what_a_horrible_mother_moms_arrested_for_leaving_their_kids_in_the_car/

So many touchy issues here. First of all,, I don’t believe this is an absolutist argument. There are many shades of grey, so if you’re of the opinion that one should never, and I mean ever, leave a kid in the car, you should stop reading. Same goes for those of you who believe, like the Scandinavians, you can always just plop your child alone, in public, while you run into a coffee house. Grandma Ada’s generation believed that fresh air was essential for a child, so they parked the pram on the porch and went about their housework every single day.

Today, if you run into the dry cleaners and leave your sleeping, sick child in his carseat, windows cracked open, parked and locked in the shade for a few minutes, on a 50-60 degree day, you may come back to your car and find yourself arrested!

For Dawn, a young mother in New England, it was the same: a moment of convenience followed by one of shock. She had just picked up her daughter from daycare when she remembered she was out of toilet paper. Her daughter, worn out after the day, was strapped into her car seat and busily enjoying what was her first ever Happy Meal to boot. Dawn pulled up in front of a Rite Aid, locked the doors, and sprinted inside. By the time she returned to the vehicle, three minutes later, a woman was standing by the window, beside Dawn’s daughter, who was still waiting comfortably.

“You’re disgusting,” the stranger said. “What a horrible mother. I’ve called the police on you. I have your license plate number. I’m waiting here to make sure they arrest you.”

There is a kind of moral vigilantism that has resulted from our “See something, say something” culture of fear. Perfectly normal, educated women are being arrested for a judgement call. The kind of thing I, and my generation, did all the time. Yes, I left my babies sleeping in the car in the garage when we got home from a long morning. The garage door was open and i could see them through the family room and hear when they started to stir awake. I’m pretty sure I left them in a locked car for a few minutes while running into a store, in fact it was such a commonplace thing, we didn’t think twice about it.

I remember feeling good that I had never actually locked the keys inside the car with the baby, something a few of my friends did. But when that happened to them, bystanders would help pop the lock, not call 911.

This was over 30 years ago, and in New England. But have stranger kidnappings increased since then, NO – only sensational media stories of car-jackings, and sleep-deprived parents forgetting their child in the car while they spent the day at work. Yes, we hear about the parent who walks into Walmart, leaving the baby in a car that quickly heats up over 100 degrees, resulting in death. That is ignorance, that is depravity, and it is a crime. Just like the parent who leaves guns around for that toddler to pick up…these are not accidents. I can get pretty judgmental about it.

Instead of pointing a finger, I would hope that I would react more like the woman at the end of the article. The one who helps a young mom empty her cart and plays peek-a-boo. Because the oceans are rising and mother earth needs all the help she can get, here are some free Earth Day games for your children. http://www.primarygames.com/holidays/earth_day/earthday.php

Be kind to each other.  IMG_2489

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Although we may not be caught up with all the news that’s fit to print while four generations cavort in the Florida sunshine, we did manage to see the latest Downton. Some of us watched the Masterpiece special on TV, and some caught PBS online the next day. And just to be safe, Grandma Ada had her son at home in the ice and snow taping last Sunday’s program. Naturally we were all speculating on the birth control device Lady Mary sent poor Anna Bates,her Lady’s maid, out to fetch from the pharmacy. Remember we are now into the 1920s, and Flapper fashion and suffrage is de rigeur!

Still, the same week a period drama wrestles with pre-marital sex, in fact seems to condone Lady Mary’s bohemian idea that 1) women should take charge of their bodies and not leave this messy business to the man, and B) she get to know this guy Tony “in every way” before marriage without having to deal with an unwanted “epilogue,” Pope Francis chimes in with this: “Some think, excuse me if I use the word, that in order to be good Catholics, we have to be like rabbits – but no,” he said, adding the Church promoted “responsible parenthood”. http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/01/19/us-pope-airplane-idUSKBN0KS1WY20150119

The doctors in the room all speculated Lady Mary was using a diaphragm and whipped out their devices to google this idea! Indeed, cervical caps were used in the 20s and 30s but were very scarce in this country. And just in case you haven’t heard of our modern-day saint Margaret Sanger, she thought ; “…the best method of birth control was a doctor fitted device, either the cervical cap or a diaphragm. Sanger opened North America’s first birth control clinic in New York City in 1916. Sanger and her sister, Ethel Higgins Byrne, did the work themselves, assisted by a receptionist. Sanger claimed to have fitted 488 women with diaphragms in the 10 days before the police shut the down the clinic. Sanger claimed she could not find a doctor willing to work at the clinic.” http://www.case.edu/affil/skuyhistcontraception/online-2012/Cervical-Caps-Diaphragms.html

Enter the Dutch physician, Dr Rebecca Gomperts. She is truly an inspirational woman who travels the globe to educate, enlighten and skirt the regulations and restrictions on a woman’s right to choose her method of birth control. She started Women on Waves where she would induce medical abortions with the morning after pill, mifepristone and/or misoprostol in international waters. In countries where politics restrict access to reproductive health care she is viewed as a villain, for most women she is their savior. In 2006 she started Women on Web https://www.womenonweb.org in order to enlarge her vision and reach more poor and marginalized women.

Using Mifepristone and Misoprostol is no more complicated than using other medications. You will get clear instructions about how to use the drugs, what to expect, and when to go to a doctor. If you have questions about any step of the process, you can contact a helpline. A medical abortion does not need to take place in a hospital or first aid clinic.

http://www.salon.com/2015/01/06/the_political_landscape_is_not_ready_meet_the_woman_leading_a_d_i_y_abortion_revolution/

Of course today, in this country, we can purchase Plan B over the counter. Whether we call it responsible or planned parenthood, it’s good to know the Pope gets it, even if he has to backtrack to keep the Cardinals happy. And as for Lady Mary, she is more a vixen than a rabbit, don’t you agree?

Rebecca Gomperts, one foxy lady

Rebecca Gomperts, one foxy lady

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