Blog: Huffington Post

What About the Children? Interrupting the Cycle of Animal Cruelty and Domestic Violence

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When I was a child, I saw a stage production of Oliver Twist. To this day, what sticks with me the most from that early theater experience is one of Dickens’ most vicious characters, Bill Sikes. I remember the scene where Sikes kicked and swore at his cowering dog until the poor creature bit his boot, resulting in Sikes grabbing for a nearby fireplace poker with one hand, and flipping open his pocketknife with the other. Only Fagin’s well-timed entrance allowed the dog to escape. Sikes’ girlfriend Nancy, however, was not so lucky. Sikes later beat her to death for turning on him to protect Oliver. Read more…

Philanthropy Isn’t Always Sexy: Why Domestic Violence Organizations Deserve Your Support Anyway


October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and we need to discuss some numbers.

From September 11, 2001, to June 6, 2012, more American women were killed by intimate partners than all of the victims of 9/11 plus all of the American military fatalities due to the ensuing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, combined. The numbers aren’t even close. According to the FBI, 11,766 women lost their lives to domestic violence during the years that 6,614 citizens and troops were killed in terror attacks and war. Read more…

What’s In A Name? Sometimes, An Automatic Rejection Email

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The other day I was reading a political article and the author mentioned interviewing “older voters.” The first “older voter” she interviewed was 53 — my age. It stunned me. I wondered, “If I’m an older voter at 53, what about the people who are 63, 73, 83, and 93?”When does one become an “older voter?” I realized the answer probably lay with the author. If the author is a millennial, then perhaps everything appears to be one big blur of old age after 50. Surely we must all have the same political concerns that emerge from our decrepitude. Enough about that. Read more…

Misogyny Is a Window That Goes Up and Down

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Misogyny is a window that goes up and down. Sometimes when it’s down, I forget the window is even there. When it is abruptly thrown open, I remember that it was never actually gone. It is only closed now and then.

2016 is the year I have realized that the men on the other side of the window are not all religious or political conservatives. Many of them are liberal in their worldview and the champions of progressive causes. They talk about how black lives matter. They denounce Donald Trump for wanting to deport eleven million immigrants. They are on the right side of history when it comes to gay marriage and who can use which bathroom. They stand up for a woman’s right to choose! Read more…

Wisdom Is Another Word For Old — Which Nobody Wants To Be

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Sometimes I feel smarter than I was 30-something years ago. I don’t remember how to do Algebra or how to diagram a sentence, but I can read several newspaper articles about seemingly disparate issues and immediately see how they are connected. Like David Foster Wallace on a cruise ship, I can walk into complex social situations and quickly discern intricate hierarchies and relationships. When I was younger, I sometimes intuitively understood these things but I lacked the vocabulary and the confidence to articulate what I observed and felt. Read more…

How to Diminish Darwinian Pecking Orders by Modeling Social Inclusion for Kids


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Do you remember being a little kid in your early years of school, sitting on the floor in a circle with your legs crossed? Maybe your teacher was reading a story or maybe you were singing a song and shaking maracas and tambourines. Sometimes a child would arrive late — late to school in the morning, or perhaps just returning from the nurse’s office or the bathroom. For some reason that child was not there when the circle formed, and as that child approaches — let’s call her Katie — the teacher says something.

“Ok everyone, scooch back a bit to make room in the circle for Katie.” Read more…


The Seussian Absurdity of Texas Abortion Laws

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In the great state of Texas where the prickly cactus grows
and the tumbleweeds tumble when the hot wind blows
and politicians thump their Bibles as the money flows…
is the Land of the Self-Induced Abortion.
And deep in the desert, some people say, if you look deep enough you can still see,
today, where Planned Parenthood once stood
just as long as it could
before somebody lifted women’s rights away.
What were those rights?
And why aren’t they there?
Enshrined in the Constitution, then taken somewhere,
from the red state of Texas, where religious fervor grows.
The old Sermonize-ler lives there.
Ask him. He knows. Read more…

“Is My Child Gifted?” Sending Up a Flare from Lake Wobegon

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It’s been one of those weeks. I write to you with half a soul. The other half shriveled up and died while I was meeting with yet another client who could not stop talking about how gifted her child is. We once lived in a time when such conversations were in poor taste. These are not those times. The voice inside my head was screaming please, for the love of God, shut up. Her boasting was getting in the way of discussing other critical issues, like her child’s report card that included multiple comments regarding backtalk to teachers and bullying other kids. Read more…

Why We Should Talk to Our Kids About Class and Privilege

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I remember the very first, rather generic conversation I had with my daughter when she was in elementary school about how her life compared with the lives of other children on this planet. I drew a triangle for her and said, “The tippy-top point is where the richest and most fortunate people in the world are. There are very few of them. At the bottom of the pyramid is where the poorest people who struggle the most are, and there are a lot of them. Where do you think you are?” She pointed to the middle of the triangle. Ack! Where had I gone wrong? Read more…

Stop Scrutinizing Female Athletes For the Wrong Reasons


Dear Media,

Heads-up: Athleticism is not gendered.

Did I really just read this sentence in an article titled “This is What a Woman Looks Like” This one right here: “Holding her trophy while in a jewel-encrusted dress, Serena reminded us that no one should ever think femininity and athleticism are mutually exclusive.”

Right. And…who cares? Read more…

Harem-seeking Men Use Legalization of Gay Marriage to Pursue Legal Right to Hoard Women

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I just can’t take it. You probably can’t either. You’ve heard this story: gay marriage becomes the law of the land in the U.S., we all rejoice, and of course we now have Montana jackass Nathan Collier storming the Yellowstone County Courthouse for a second marriage license so that he may become a legal bigamist, crediting Chief Justice John Roberts’ dissent in Obergefell v. Hodges as opening the door to the possibility of this marital windfall. Well, give the man some Golden Grizzly Ale and a dozen Rocky Mountain oysters! And he’s not alone–others are queued up behind him, sights set on the Supreme Court, excited to increase the number of sammiches and sexytimes coming their way. Read more…

Going Offline: 10 Fabulous Books to Read With Your Kids This Summer

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In today’s world of ubiquitous personal and mobile screens, family time is becoming harder and harder to come by, and is often framed or fractured by children’s (and parents’) prioritization of digital socializing over the in-person relationships right there inside the home. Family book clubs are educational and are a great way to encourage reading, enhance parent-child bonding and provide enjoyable experiences for everyone offline. They can also serve as a very helpful tool for parents because sharing children’s and YA literature allows parents a side door into tricky conversations with their children about some of the challenging issues they face while growing up, such as cyberbullying or navigating early romantic relationships. Read more…

Why We Must Raise Children Who Care About the Welfare of Animals


This image has haunted me for over a week now, since I first saw it in my Facebook newsfeed. I simply cannot get it out of my mind, and that’s arguably a good thing. Normally I scroll quickly past such disturbing photos. There seem to be more than enough of them on social media, documenting animal abuse in every imaginable form in every country on Earth. You could place them side-by-side along a 24,000-mile invisible thread that encircles the globe at the equator. Read more…

The Value of Boredom

Lori, age 10

When I was a child, my parents often ignored me. It’s not that they were unkind to me. It’s that they had full lives of their own and didn’t like playing Candy Land. They believed that you should open the door and say to children, Go out and play. They understood the value of boredom. My two younger brothers and I sincerely enjoyed each other’s company, and that’s a good thing, because we had a lot of it. Read more…

How Highly Gendered Toys Present an Exclusively Heterosexual Worldview to Children


Today’s children are more likely to see two men or two women holding hands, more likely to have a friend or relative who is openly gay and more likely to have a schoolmate who has two moms or two dads. But when girls and boys walk into a toy store in 2015, they see a significantly more gendered, heteronormative arrangement and selection of toys than I did as a girl forty years ago! Toys, grouped by gender, are prescriptive of gender roles. It is not only a problem of limiting the ways to be a girl or a boy, as I have written about extensively. It is also a problem of promoting an exclusively heterosexual worldview. Read more…

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