Posts Filed Under I’m going to get unfriended for this

The fight is real, but mommy wars are not

by Janelle Hanchett

You know what else I’m done with? “Mommy wars.” But not in the way you think. Oh, yes, we should all “support” each other. We should all “stop judging.” Support!

Fuck support.

Well, wait. Not really. Support’s cool. We should do that for our friends and family and people we meet in need.

But really, I don’t need you to be nice to me. You’re a stranger on the internet. I don’t need your positive Facebook comments, your loving Tweets, your glowing accolades. I don’t even need your supportive glances at the park. I don’t need your approval of my choices any more than you need mine.

You know what I need? An economic, healthcare and social system that doesn’t categorically value male over female.

I need healthcare providers to stop cutting women open unnecessarily to deliver their babies.

I need women of color to receive the same breastfeeding support as white ones (and equal birthing outcomes).

I need society to start asking why bare tits on magazines are A-ok but my breast flesh while nursing my baby in public is obscene.

I need women to get paid the same as men for doing the same damn job. I need more females in science, technology and engineering.

I need my daughter to not be complimented on her “thigh gap” (why is that a thing?) while girls are told they can’t wear leggings, and the media laments the ruined football careers of RAPISTS.

Maybe they should stop raping people.

I need brown and black boys to live in the same safety and freedom as my boys. I need children of color to receive the same education and healthcare as white ones.


I need recognition that postpartum depression is not bad parenting.

I need poor kids to get the same education as rich kids.

I need “religions” to stop pushing trans gay lesbian and queer kids to their deaths.

I need clothing lines to stop creating heteronormative, rape-culture supporting bullshit onesies.

(Lock your daughters up? Thanks but my boy isn’t a rapist and my girl doesn’t need your “protection.” Future princess? I’m gonna put my son in that just to see what happens.)

But this isn’t what we see. This isn’t what’s in my newsfeed. All I see is you should stay home, you should work, my formula fed baby is as good as your breastfed one, you’re gonna kill your kid with that homebirth, epidurals are BAD, “are you mom enough?”, why you gotta show your breasts in public, homeschooled kids are weird, girls should dress modestly, THAT DEPRESSED WOMAN SHOULDN’T HAVE KIDS, Brad and Angelina are ruining that she-male kid, and on.

And on.

And on.

These are the “mommy wars.”

This is society’s depiction of us. 


The internet curates, strategically hand-picks, and publishes “above the fold” the most divisive, incendiary, poorly argued self-righteous drivel imaginable, all of which can be summarized in one sentence: I am right and you are wrong.


(Hey! Let’s post some stupid article calling motherhood a “hobby” and arguing the semantics of the phrase “motherhood is the hardest job in the world” and maybe the dummies won’t notice that the US of fucking A is THE ONLY DEVELOPED COUNTRY IN THE WORLD WITHOUT PAID PARENTAL LEAVE.)

If we get them fighting long and hard enough about “covering up” while nursing perhaps they’ll fail to notice that the patriarchy continues to objectify our bodies and determine how, when and for what they may be used.

If we keep them bickering about “epidural vs. natural” maybe they won’t notice that WE CUT THEM OPEN UNNECESSARILY, OFTEN.

Divide and conquer, ladies. It’s an old, old tactic and it works beautifully. If they continue pitting us against one another, they can continue to depict us as a bunch of shit-slinging, illogical “mean girls” WHO DON’T DESERVE ANY ATTENTION BEYOND the “mommy war” click-baiting vortex.

The entire concept of “mommy wars” reduces the real and actual economic, social, and healthcare problems materially affecting the lives of women to a cat fight among irrational, silly females, thereby keeping us distracted from the ways we’re getting screwed while simultaneously reinforcing the patriarchy’s dismissal of our claims.


Yes, of course people write self-righteous bullshit claiming their own superiority. But why is that drivel front page pretty much all the damn time?




And the resulting silencing, elision and distraction from the real problems, which we ALL FACE.


But many of us have grown confused, for sure, and we’ve bought the lie, believing perhaps that the “other mom” is the problem.

To those people, I ask: What would happen if we stopped looking at individual choices of mothers and began focusing on the social and cultural conditions underlying those “choices?”

What if every time a woman sat down to boost her position and “choice” to stay home with her kids she examined which factors (and potential privilege) went into that choice?

What if every time we attacked a woman for working we wrote about no paid maternity leave?

What if every time we sat down to write about how my formula fed baby is just as good as your breastfed one we asked ourselves what sort of colonized consciousness bullshit we’ve internalized that makes us so profoundly insecure about our choices that we feel the need to justify them on the internet?

What if every time we attacked a mom for nursing in public we asked ourselves why we think we should be telling women what to do with their bodies?

And before we attack the epidural, what if we examined the culture of birth surrounding us?

And what it means to have power? And freedom?

And be a fucking woman in this country.

Wait. Hold up.


What if we just didn’t read it? What if we just wrote the comment: “Not the real problem.”

And moved on. Disengaged. Backed out.

Conscientious objector.

I am a conscientious objector from non-existent mommy wars. (Well now that’s something of a mind fuck isn’t it?)



We’re on a battleground, all right, but we aren’t enemies, and we never have been. Not you, not me.

We’re fighters for damn sure, together on the firing lines, but I don’t believe for a moment we are actually aiming at one another. We’ve been set up and positioned so carefully that it appears so goddamn real, so compelling, one mother against the other, a thoughtfully manufactured reality constructed to keep us quiet, down, subdued,


What happens when we find it?

Turn in unison shoulder-to-shoulder to face the only enemy we’ve actually ever had?

What happens when we stop believing the bullshit, disengage from the delusion of “mommy wars,”  lift a giant middle-finger to the whole fucking fantasy? Opt out. Unsubscribe.

Pick up our weapons (or maybe lay them down), fight for what actually matters, and find ourselves, each other, freedom, change, and maybe some damn peace in the process.

So yeah, maybe it is about support. I’ve got your back. Maybe you’ll have mine. Since our feet are on the same ground, we’re fighting the same battle, and can only win it together.




Hey. There are 5 spots left in my May writing workshop.

Join us in learning to write the hard shit that matters.



63 Comments | Posted in I'm going to get unfriended for this | March 30, 2015

America, please stop raising assholes

by Janelle Hanchett

Hey America. I know you’re busy. But if you have a minute, I have a really important request: Please stop raising assholes.

I know. You’re just so good at it. It’s your jam. But seriously. It’s not complicated.

It’s not even that deep.


Sorry for yelling.

It’s just that I’m tired of you. I’m really, really tired of you.

I’m tired of the parents who raised the kids who bullied this kid until he killed himself.

And these people, who buried their transgender daughter as a man.

And these winners, who cited religious beliefs to justify the rejection of the very child they brought into this world, the one who jumped off a bridge into oncoming traffic.


Your keen perception skills may have observed that I cited examples of assholes relating to sexual and/or gender orientation. Well, that’s because the asshole quotient of America seems to elevate exponentially as soon as sexual orientation and gender are involved.

Why? Who the hell knows why. Because you’re weird, America. You’re weird.

You call this hatred “Christian” and I’m pretty sure Jesus Christ, after whom your religion is allegedly formed, was pretty clear on that topic with the whole “love one another” riff.

So, you cite somebody with an inherently and openly opposite philosophy to justify yours, even though yours results in the deaths of children.

In other words, Jesus thinks you’re a dick.

pretty much

pretty much

No he doesn’t. He’s Jesus. (Or was, anyway.) He’s Jesus precisely because he doesn’t think you’re a dick. Or maybe he does but he doesn’t hate you. He doesn’t hate people who don’t act like him. He accepts them anyway.


Sorry. Again.

I, however, am not Jesus, and I think you’re an asshole, and really, really wish you would stop doing what you do, because it’s terrible, and it’s weird, and people are dying because of you. Transgender and gay people are dying because of you.

I’m not asking you to agree with their actions. If the thought of simultaneously having a penis and wearing a dress makes you want to curl up in a dark closet and weep for the plight of humanity, that’s cool. Go do that. But do it quietly. And perhaps give a little thought to the fact that clothing on a body that isn’t even yours makes you freak the hell out but you’re perfectly okay with “conversion therapy” wherein you attempt to BULLY MANIPULATE SHAME AND INTIMIDATE a separate human being into becoming what they are NOT, even though they are hurting nobody by being who they are.

You, however, are hurting a boatload of people by “being who you are,” but somehow that’s okay in your mind, even though the dude you claim to worship said “No really, I mean it. Stop hurting other people.”


Look, I get it. Those whacky transgenders and crazy gays are hurting you. I know. I understand. It just messes you right up.

Your poor little ego’s feelings shrivel up in a sad little ball and cry out into the cold, unfeeling night: “But what about me? What about my religion? You were born a BOY. Act like a BOY. That’s what I know to be true and right and good and what would happen if those lines became blurred!? OMG THE FEAR!”

I get it. That’s hard. But people are dying and therefore, fuck your ego. And your hate-spewing religion.

Oops. I didn’t mean that. Yes, I totally meant that. (And THAT is why I’m not Jesus and nobody reads my teachings 2,000 years after I walked the earth.)

Incidentally, that’s not Christianity and no, you don’t “put God first” because IF you “put God first” and GOD IS LOVE then you would, by extension, LOVE ALL THINGS EQUALLY and we would not be having this conversation.

Nope. You love yourself above all things. You love your ideas and experiences and perspectives. You love them so passionately and totally and fervently that you can’t even entertain the thought that the ideas and perspective and experiences of others are, at the very least, worthy of even a disapproving silence, let alone semi-loving acceptance. No, you love yourself so fully and completely that if somebody differs from YOU you’ve concluded there must be something wrong with them and they must be CHANGED, at any cost, to fit YOUR vision of “human.”

Wow, weird. I thought God made those decisions, being omnipotent and omnipresent and all. Huh. So are you God? You must be God. No wait. You’re not God.



idea ^^^


And you insist on raising children. I wish you would knock that off. I wish you would stop doing your best to raise future assholes.

Perhaps you’re still confused, so I’ll make this very clear: If you are a member of a religion that rejects, diminishes or vilifies members of the human race who look, believe or act differently than you, you’re probably an asshole.

And if you are raising children and telling those children that members of the human race who look, believe or act differently than what your religion dictates are “evil,” and if you back those statements with hatred and derogatory terms, you’re trying your hardest to raise another asshole.

If you say “fag,” and you don’t mean “cigarette” in England (do they still say that?), if you get all bent outta shape when boys do “girl” things and girls do “boy” things, you might be raising an asshole.

You know what? Fuck that. This is more than that.

If you don’t outright teach your kids that all people deserve basic respect, even the little boy who dresses “like a girl,” you’re trying to raise an asshole.

If you aren’t teaching your kid to observe hatred and fight it, speak up and out and against the mistreatment of little girls who choose the identity of “John” and little boys who want to jump around with pom-poms, if you are not teaching them that personal identification is not necessary for basic respect and decency, that our job on earth is to do some good and help a few people out and not ruin lives or the earth or each other, if you aren’t making clear that these people are hurting nobody and deserve life and love and joy just like you or me or your kid, and deserve to not die hanging from ropes in their bedrooms or jumping off bridges in front of semis or taking pills or slitting wrists or sitting in their bedrooms wishing they were dead because YOU, America.

YOU INSIST ON PERPETUATING YOUR ASSHOLE NATURE because some boys want to wear dresses and it makes you feel funny.


You. It’s your fault.

Yeah, I said that. And I meant it. If you are not actively working against the bullying of people, if you are not teaching your kids at the very least a subtle love and acceptance of all people who are not harming others, even those YOU MAY NOT UNDERSTAND simply because they are, in fact, humans on this earth, you are part of the problem.

And people are dying.

And it’s on you.

And I don’t have one single problem saying it.

Stop raising assholes, America.

Get a new fucking jam.


Thumbs up, America.

Thumbs up, America.

114 Comments | Posted in I'm going to get unfriended for this | January 9, 2015

How I discovered I am white

by Janelle Hanchett

When I was 14 or so, I asked my grandmother why we didn’t have a “white club” at school. I don’t recall her response, but I do remember feeling particularly smug and vaguely angry that there was a “Latino” club and a “Chinese” club but not a “white” club.

Oh the unfairness! Oh the disparity! Why do we celebrate their heritage but not ours?

And I didn’t think about race again, at least not much, until I dated an African American man in college and a stranger whispered “nigger lover” in my ear one night as he walked by us in a grocery store. I was shocked. My boyfriend was less shocked.

I concluded the stranger was some strange exception of horrible racist creature. He was, after all, approximately 97 years old. (Well, 70, but he appeared 97 to my fresh young eyes.)

And then, a few months later, when my boyfriend’s roommate took me aside and asked why I have to “take a good black man who was in college,” when so many black men were incarcerated. I concluded she was crazy. And mean.

She hurt my feelings. Poor Janelle.

Beyond these few moments, and a couple others, I didn’t really think about race. Well, I thought about how people made arguments “about race” when clearly they were not. I mean why do they make race an issue? It’s not an issue. I never see it.


Oh yeah, I had America all figured out: If ya work hard, you get ahead. And if you don’t get ahead, it’s because you made bad decisions. And if you get arrested it’s because you’re breaking the law, and people who break the law are more likely to be black. Obviously. That’s why they’re always getting arrested. (How’s that for some cyclic logic?)

I knew this to be true because:

  1. America was awful to black people but that was fixed during the Civil Rights movement;
  2. Therefore, we are all on equal footing now and if you don’t succeed it’s because you aren’t trying.

I learned it in school. It was fact. School teaches the truth.

And then, graduate school, and Professor Lee.

Oh, shit.

“Not all white people are white supremacists, but all white people benefit from white supremacy.”


She made us repeat it like a mantra. At least 3 times. I read Tim Wise’s White Like Me and bell hooks and David Roediger’s Wages of Whiteness and learned how our economic systems benefit from racism and we read about the history of American immigration laws (have you ever read them?) and colonialism in the Philippines and elsewhere (yes, America has colonies but we call them “territories”), and we read about redlining and white flight (ever wonder how black people ended up in urban centers?), and we read some DuBois and Omi & Winant and literature by people of color and all of the sudden I realized I had been fucking lied to.


I understood America through white eyes. I understood the world through the mainstream, polished glasses of a nice clean history of “we used to be bad now we’re not the end.”

Go team.

I discovered I was white.

“Not all white people are white supremacists, but all white people benefit from white supremacy.”

She wanted us to see that as individuals, not all white people are bigoted. But she also wanted us to see that every white person – whether they are bigoted or not – benefits from the racially structured hierarchies in America. They benefit from racism.

Yes. Even me. Even though I am not “racist.”

How? And she explained whiteness. She explained that “white” is the standard. White is the background against which difference is measured.

In other words, it’s “white” until further notice. It’s “white” until proven otherwise. It’s “white” or it’s the “other,” and it has nothing to do with actual numbers, percentages of “minority” population. It has to do with power. It has to do with the culture of power. What do I mean? If a comedy film features a white family, it’s a comedy. If it features a black family, it’s a comedy for people of color. Think about it.

White is the standard. And I’m white. Therefore, I am standard, and that benefits me.

When I walk into a room, I don’t fear that I’m representing my whole race. I have never acted badly then thought to myself “Oh shit, I sure hope they don’t hate all white people now.”

Or, in other words, even though pretty much every Columbine-type-school-kid-murderer is white, I’ve never developed a distrust for white, socially awkward high school kids.

A few do not represent the whole.


“Privilege is passed on through history.”

Whatever. I grew up POOR!

But then I thought about how, in the late 1940s, my grandmother was the first woman editor of the University of Washington’s newspaper. After she graduated, she and my grandpa bought and ran small newspapers in northern California. The family business they built employed my family members for 40+ years.

In the late 1940s, black people were not allowed to sit in the front of the bus.

How can I deny that my grandparents’ access to education and economic success did not materially affect me in a positive way, directly, through my father? I thought about the loans my parents were able to take with financial backing from my grandparents, and how that benefitted me. My life. My quality of life. The neighborhoods we lived in. The schools we attended. My cultural knowledge.


“Why don’t we have ‘White History Month?’”

Because White History Month is every month other than February, asshole.

Oh, shit indeed.


“The culture of power determines which version of history is told and retold.”  

Prior to the Women’s Rights Movement, women were stuck in the home while men went to work and supported them. But then women were liberated and able to get jobs working outside the home.



White, middle to upper class women were “stuck in the home.” Women of color have ALWAYS “worked out of the home.” In fact, women of color were probably working in the homes of the white women about which our history is written.

So one of the most oft-repeated, trusted narratives about American history erases the history of women of color. It is dead fucking wrong. It isn’t even kind of right. They are erased. Non-existent. Unseen.

They are Chapter 10. They are a chapter that ends with “but then Martin Luther King, Jr., and all is well.”

They are Chapter 10. I am chapters 1 through forever, and every day I cash in on that fact, whether or not I support the systems making that happen for me.


I realized the reason I had never thought about race was because I was of the privileged one, because I didn’t have to, NOT BECAUSE RACIAL DISPARITY DIDN’T EXIST. I didn’t have to think about race because I was having a fundamentally different life experience than people of color. But I could ignore them, because of my privilege.

I was able to hang out in meltin-pot, “post-racial” land because the structures of this society allow (and encourage) me to “not see race” while continually feeding me narratives about “equality,” “multiculturalism,” “color-blindness” and “ghetto urban lifestyles.”

I spent a lot of time in graduate school in the library, writing at a computer. Like, hours. Whole days. When I had to pee, I would ask the person sitting next to me to watch my stuff so I didn’t have to pack it all up and carry it down the hall to the bathroom. I did it a 100 times.

Once I looked over at the person next to me and my first thought was “Oh you can’t ask him. He’ll steal your stuff.

He was a young black man wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt.

I was sickened at myself. I was horrified at my response. There was absolutely nothing different about him from the 100 other people I didn’t hesitate to ask, except he was black.

I realized that not only do I benefit historically and presently, every day, from the color of my skin, I have also internalized cultural narratives regarding blacks and whites that manifest whether or not I support them.

“Hey, would you mind watching my stuff for a minute?”


But what now?

Does it mean my grandmother’s accomplishments are less badass? Nope. Does it mean I do not “deserve” success? Nope. Does it mean that I am a bad person? Nope.

It means that we live in a highly racialized society rooted in a history of discrimination and that we have a long way to go. It means that watching “The Help” and feeling bad is not enough. Sentimentality is not action. It means that I have had an advantage over people of color. Yes, always. Yes, no matter what. Because even if you’re poor and white you can join the culture of power by learning the walk and talk. But you can’t change your skin color.

From the day I was first introduced to this “other story,” I couldn’t get enough. Not because I’m some sort of saint or conspiracy theorist, but because I was curious. I was interested out of a sense of shared humanity. And I was fucking angry that I had been swindled. I wanted the truth. Or, I wanted a fuller picture. I wanted more sides.

That, my friends, is pathetic in its privilege.

I learned in graduate school what every person of color knows through life experience. I learned in graduate school that we weren’t “fixed” during the Civil Rights movement.

But when this information was presented to me I felt a sense of relief, because I think deep down I always knew something was terribly wrong, but I couldn’t put my finger on it.


I don’t understand the white rage I keep reading on the internet.

Just another dead thug.

He got what he deserved.

Run over the protestors. They’re making me late for work.


I don’t understand it. What’s at stake, people? What’s at stake in accepting that racism exists? Or even entertaining the thought? Are people really so stupid they can’t fathom that other people might be having a different experience than they are? Is it really that hard to comprehend that something can exist EVEN THOUGH YOU DON’T PERSONALLY SEE IT?

(Although you’ll see your privilege if you’re willing to examine your life honestly.)

Why the hell are people so unwilling to listen?


Let’s think about this for a moment. A whole community of people are saying this exists. Data shows racial disparities in economic, education, justice, and healthcare systems. Basically, ALL OVER THE PLACE. Unarmed black boys and men are killed without recourse. Repeatedly. The comment sections of these crimes are riddled with assholes shouting “Good. One less loser.”

Still people claim “Racism doesn’t exist.” But here’s the thing: The only way you can discount the words, lives, efforts and voices of hundreds of thousands of people is THROUGH THE RACISM YOU CLAIM DOESN’T EXIST.

You can only ignore them if they’re aren’t worth hearing.

You can only ignore them if they’re liars. If they’re just looking for a handout.

If they’re not human like you.

You can only ignore them by using the very narratives you claim aren’t happening.

And let’s be honest, we can only ignore them because it’s easy, because we’ll never have to walk a day in their shoes, and it’s just so much more pleasant to turn away, look away, focus back on our lives.

But the sand is getting skimpy and our heads are showing. At this point, if we’re not part of the solution we’re part of the problem.

I’m using my voice to talk to you. I’m using my voice to talk to my kids. But it isn’t enough. We’re looking for places to volunteer. I’m looking for actions I can take.

We’re at a crossroads. This cannot go on. We’re crushed under the weight of hatred, history, silence, violence, bullshit media and the insidious defense of systematic unequal distribution of resources, and at some point, none of us will be able to breathe.


It feels small and pathetic to be one person in this mess. I feel stupid and vulnerable and slightly insane to be writing this here, now. But fuck my feelings. Fuck feeling uncomfortable. Fuck the nonsense that keeps us quiet and content and cozy in our little post-racial dreamland.

They can’t breathe, and I’m breathing just fine.

And that is precisely the problem.


Tell me Gender Reveal Parties aren’t real.

by Janelle Hanchett

We’ve talked about baby sprinkles and push presents. And you know, I thought I might actually die from the cuteness of a baby sprinkle, and on many levels the push present makes me want to jab myself in the eyes with rusty nails. Wow, sorry, that was more graphic than I anticipated. But at least, people, the baby sprinkle and push present make sense on some level.

It’s a fucked-up level, but still, it’s a level.

I mean it never makes real sense to call something a “sprinkle” instead of a “shower.” That shit’s just wrong. And I maintain that the best “push present” around is the human that actually exits the vagina post-pushing, however, the “gender reveal party” is some next-level shit.

First of all, if you can’t call it what it is, you shouldn’t be having it. It’s a SEX REVEAL PARTY. Gender is a social construction. In other words, the “gender” of your child won’t be determined until your kid decides if he/she is a girl or a boy or both or neither. But “sex reveal” party sounds weird. And we all know people who unleash a box of pink or blue balloons to signal the genitalia of their little miracle are totally not into weirdness.

Reason number 1 it’s the stupidest shit ever.

But I should back up. Readers of this blog may not know what the hell I’m talking about (which is, incidentally, why we’re lovers). Anyway, it’s this thing where parents reveal the sex of their kid to family and friends in a party. A PARTY. Like they invite a bunch of people over and exclaim (via some totally cute method found on Pinterest): Boy! Girl!.  And then everybody pretends to care.

I’ve heard parents will like cut into a cake and the filling is either pink or blue.

Ohmygod how cute. Hold me while I attempt to recover from the cuteness.

But now, things are changing! According to our trusty pal BabyCenter, “Cutting into a cake with pink or blue filling is so two years ago. A “gender reveal” extravaganza, on the other hand – complete with games, favors, and a Pinterest board? Now you’re talking!”

Oh god help us. Games. Yes, please. Let’s play games relating to the sex of your unborn baby.  Fascinating!

They continue: “The gender reveal party trend has exploded in the last year…Why the boom? The economic hard times may have something to do with it. ‘People are looking for reasons to celebrate.’” (more BabyCenter)

NO. No no no no no.

This is not it. This is not the reason people are throwing gender reveal parties. The reason people are throwing these parties is because they have become so materialistic and self-involved they fail to recognize the single fatal flaw with an event like this:

NOBODY CARES AS MUCH AS YOU DO about whether your kid has a penis or vag.

Maybe your mom.

Nope. Nevermind. Nobody. Not even your mom. Even you mom doesn’t care as much as you do.

Those are some shitty odds, dude. And yet, it’s a fact. Truth. Written in stone. To illustrate, I made a graph.


This means you are asking a bunch of people to come over and celebrate a detail with absolutely no bearing on their lives. In the lives of other people, the sex of your kid deserves an “oh, cool,” a passing nod, a mention to their husband or wife “So and so’s having a boy! She’s totes bummed cause it’s her 4th boy, but whatevs.”

Yeah. Not sure what happened there but I felt it necessary.

You aren’t even celebrating the CHILD. You aren’t really even celebrating the sex of the child. Rather, you are celebrating YOURSELF. You’re like “Hey everybody! Come watch me learn something I care about even though you don’t!” Or, if the parents already know the sex (though the “hottest trend” is to have the doctor write the sex on a piece of paper and then it’s revealed at the party to the parents too! OMG HOW ADORABLE!”), then you’re asking people to take time out of their lives to celebrate a piece of information without any personal connection or meaning, and it’s even less interesting because they don’t even get to WATCH YOU give a shit.

“I command you to come to my house and celebrate nothing, because it means something to me!”

Yay! Fun! Balloons!

I see it as an excuse to buy shit and do adorable things with paper and cupcakes and mason jars. And that’s cool. I do it for my kids’ birthdays. But that’s kind of semi-logical because celebrating people’s LIVES makes sense. But celebrating their GENITALIA?


It’s another commercialized invention just cute enough people buy into it.

“Need some ideas for your gender reveal party?” (Oh yes, please, all-consuming mindless materialistic America, give me some ideas!)

You can use a “fun theme!” like “pregnancy cravings (think pickles, ice cream, and potato chips) or ducks (hang up a “waddle it be” banner).”


You should for sure ”Make those teams commit!…Ask everyone to wear either pink or blue, or provide gender-specific accessories, such as pink and blue bead necklaces, pins, leis, or temporary tattoos. One inspired couple gave out cardboard mustaches and lips on sticks.”

Make it stop. Please.

“My friend is going to make cake pops, but only one will have the colored center,” says one BabyCenter mom. A particularly creative idea comes from Tiffany: “We had a huge Easter egg hunt, and one egg had a slip of paper inside that said, ‘It’s a boy!'”

I just can’t.

Baby showers celebrate new life. People can relate to that. Mother blessings celebrate the transition to motherhood. People get that. Bridal showers, bachelor parties, birthday parties…these are ritual events signaling movement in life, new birth new growth new chapters. These events resonate with something in me, something that’s facing new moments too. Maybe I’ve been there. Maybe I’m waiting for it.

This nonsense? It’s celebrating nothing. It’s like the vacation party in the 1970s were Sue and Rick invite their 30 friends over to watch a slide show of their trip to the Grand Canyon, only in this scenario, all the guests act SUPER INTERESTED because duh! It’s baby stuff! Whee!

Also, do you have a shower too? If so, do you demand people to come over to your house TWICE to celebrate your offspring? I read about a woman who had a gender reveal party for her fourth child. Oh good lord.

Can you imagine how little interest there was in that event? Not only are you making me get excited about your FOURTH kid, you want me to celebrate its SEX?

Let’s examine a graph of people’s interest in your pregnancy based on the number of offspring, just to get a little perspective.



Are humans really so out-of-touch they haven’t realized that everybody else is busy thinking about themselves and their lives, and if you’re gonna be like “Hey let’s celebrate me!” it better be for a decent reason?

I mean if you’re gonna drag my ass to your house and force me to wear a damn pink pumpkin (cause it’s October!), it better be a major life event (not a miniscule detail skirting a major life event).


OMG. Are there people that enjoy this shit?

There are people that enjoy this shit.

There are. Aren’t there?

There are people that are like “Yay! Katie’s having her reveal this weekend! I’m so excited!”

I’ll never fit. I hate the world.

Now I know what some of you are like: “Oh come on, it’s just fun! Who cares? It’s a reason to celebrate! It’s one more reason to have fun and celebrate our babies! There’s no problem!”

Yeah, there is a problem. The problem is that it’s fucking stupid.

Why isn’t that enough?

Why isn’t the fact that it’s self-absorbed and inane sufficient reason to outlaw it all together?

Right. Because it’s just so cute. It’s just so cute and crafty and we all dig crafty cute shit! We’re women! We craft! We’re crafters! We like wearing summer dresses and giggling and celebrating our existence!

I’ll tell you what, harbingers of Satan wherever you are inventing crap like this, I’ll think of a few “creative” things you can do with that pink-filled cake pop, and then we’ll talk about my gender reveal party.




A logical argument against sheltering your kid for religious purposes

by Janelle Hanchett

I recently encountered a mother who won’t let her teenager read mythology because it violates “God’s word.” A friend of mine, a preschool teacher, told me about a family that forbade their child from participating in yoga, because it wasn’t Christian. We all know families that allow only the music, books, media, etc. that reinforce their religion, creating a little silo of existence, separate from the evil outside world threatening to contaminate their child.

This is a bad plan. This is a very bad plan. You know why? Because it’s illogical.

Why does God hate logic? Does God hate logic? I don’t see why he or she should hate logic. Logic is some totally solid stuff. Logic is da bomb.

I can’t believe I just said that. I really am a nerd.

Anyway, let’s get one thing clear: I am not a God-hater. I am not a religion hater. I am not even an atheist. I used to be an atheist. I used to be one of those people waltzing around announcing with an almost palpable arrogance: “I am an atheist. I am a ‘free-thinker.’” But then I heard a loud “pop” as my head was removed from my ass and I realized I had simply chosen a new God. Namely, Science and Humanity. I had determined that the only valid “way of knowing” is found in that which we can “see” or “prove.” And I thought this made me a “free-thinker.”


A real free-thinker recognizes that “seeing” and “proving” are slippery at best, and there are many, many forms of ontological knowledge (ways of knowing). A real free-thinker recognizes that the human brain is finite and conditioned and rather pathetic when held against the mystery of our existence. The vastness of eternity, the cosmos, the universe – whether we like to admit it or not- is impossible to grasp by our feeble brains, so the brain-created assertion that “THERE IS NO GOD” is as “simple-minded” and “small” as the assertion that there’s a white dude up in the sky running this show. It is merely a NEW form of comforting oneself. Some are comforted by “There is a God.” Others are comforted by “There is no God. Science is God.” What’s the freaking difference?

Why can’t we just keep our minds open and accepting to god and no-god and creator and non-creator, based on the truth or our existences, as they evolve and unfold in whatever messy directions they may take?

Clearly I have some strong opinions on this topic, but it’s another piece of writing. Let’s stick with the whole sheltering-your-kids discussion.

This plan, though it sounds sort of good in theory (kids won’t be exposed to “impure” things that will lead them to trouble), fails in execution. It may not fail with every kid, but I promise you it will fail with many, if not most.

First of all, it isn’t sustainable. Haven’t you ever thought about that? Unless you plan on homeschooling your kid for the rest of her life, or locking her in a basement, which I think is like totally illegal, your child will at some point, LEAVE YOUR FOLD. She will walk off, into the world, where sex and drugs and liberals live (sorry, I couldn’t resist.).

Also gay people.

Your child will live in the world. Period.

So how is it logical to prepare your child for a life IN THE WORLD by sheltering her FROM THE WORLD? See? Illogical.

Further, do you really have so little faith in your kid’s judgment? Think about what you’re saying: “Hey kid, since you’re clearly incapable of choosing for yourself that which is moral/immoral, good/bad, spiritually uplifting or draining, I have decided to POLICE EVERY ASPECT OF YOUR LIFE on your behalf even though some day you will have to make these decisions on your own.”

To prepare you for those decisions, I’m going to never let you make those decisions.

No really dude I don’t get this. This makes no sense.

And check this out: Do you or do you not want to empower your child to carry with him the connection with God you’ve fostered? Do you or do you not want your child to develop a real, sustaining belief?

If you want that, why would you take it upon yourself to create, nurture and sustain that relationship? Are you God? Because it sounds to me like you’re trying to be God.

And if you are policing every area of your kids’ lives, making sure it all complements your religion, then you are effectively erasing any REAL experience your child may have that would in fact foster a faith in whatever it is you’re trying to instill.

In other words, God either is or isn’t. Your God is small or your God is big. PICK ONE.

If your God cannot sustain the evil of the world, if your God cannot stand face to face with the crap of humanity, well what’s the point of having a God in the first place?

If the only way you can have a relationship with your God is to never encounter that which goes against him, well then, wow. Creator of the universe? Huh. No. Sounds pretty weak sauce to me.

Plus, if your child chooses another path, if your child is exposed to yoga and Greek mythology and suddenly “goes astray,” isn’t that better than a FAKE EXISTENCE BASED ON YOUR TEMPORARY POLICING?

How little interest do you have, really, in the individuality of your child? I don’t let my kids do and watch whatever they feel like. In fact, we don’t even have a television. I won’t let my daughter read the Hunger Games, but not because it’s “immoral,” but rather because I don’t think she’s mature enough to handle the immorality. Murder. Too much for this kid at 11-years-old. My kids also don’t watch horror movies. I’m not talking about making reasonable decisions based on a child’s maturity. I’m talking about BLOCKING age-appropriate material because it doesn’t align with your religious beliefs. I’m talking about forbidding certain things because it doesn’t reinforce your own religious stance, even if the child has an interest in such things.

Isn’t it better to just tell kids the truth?

Hey kid, yeah, watch this TV show, but notice the way the women are objectified, acting like fools to gain the attention of men.

Hey kids, go ahead and drink, but know your mama’s an alcoholic and you’re playing with fire.

Hey daughter, yep. Fine. Have sex before marriage, but let’s talk about unwanted pregnancies and all that entails.

Sure, get hooked up with kids who are stealing and doing drugs, but know that the depth of pain in your heart as you try to look at yourself in the mirror each morning will be immeasurable. Also you might go to prison.

Wow, listen to that song, kids, the way it makes life seem like nothing more than the endless pursuit of material goods.


Hold what gives you peace. Hold what gives you meaning.

But by God let your kids find the same.

Let them find the power they need.

Let them find the faith that withstands all attempts to shake it. Whatever that looks like. Truth becomes truth when it is LIVED, not when it is TOLD.

This is where the freedom lies. And really, in the end, isn’t that all we want for our kids?

Joy, and the freedom to live it.

Or at least the chance to find it.