Poking the hornet’s nest: Parenting, the rhetoric of maternal sacrifice, and whether the choice is really a choice

An idea has arisen in the last several years, stating that whatever choice a woman makes is a feminist choice, because a woman made it and it therefore should not be subject to closer examination.

When is a choice not a choice?

An increasing number of people in my life have, of late, gone the path of marriage and children. Both of these events are subject to an extremely specific narrative. When everything and everyone around you is assuming you subscribe to and agree with that narrative, is modelling it themselves, is it truly a choice when one ends up following the consensus? Continue reading

Brave Isn’t

Going to the movies has become a rare occasion for me. It’s not a treat any more; I’m no longer capable of the unquestioning acceptance most films require for enjoyment.

This is in no small part due to my heightened sensitivity to the institutionalized sexism I touched on here. I spent the entirety of the advertising before last night’s film gritting my teeth or failing to withhold snark. While I resent the unsubtle implication that you have to be male to appreciate a car or go toe-to-toe with invaders from outer space, only one ad prompted the eruption of a post-movie rant.

It was the trailer for Brave. Pixar’s attempt to say, “Look, everyone, we’re not sexist – girls can carry a movie too!”

Continue reading


I’ve been sitting on a bunch of posts under the excuse that I should think them over for clarity before committing to putting them out in public.

The truth is, I have a hangup around putting myself out there. There’s an insidious voice in my head that tells me no-one cares, no-one wants to hear that, and even if they did, how dare I voice that particular thing.

Screw it. Continue reading

The Danger of Reading Broadly

I have been engaged in love affair with the written word from early childhood. A book is at its best a transcendent experience, with the power to absorb totally and colonize one’s mind long after it’s been closed. A much-anticipated book that fails to meet expectation can be a crushing, while an old favorite that doesn’t live up to memory is a disillusioning disappointment.

My fiction reading has been peppered with disappointments of late. Continue reading

Moving Past ‘Go Along to Get Along’

I, like so many other young women out there, was conditioned to believe at a young age that ‘go along to get along’ is the key to great social relations. As an adult, I’ve discovered that it leaves me intensely vulnerable to the will of others, often to my detriment. When you believe that it’s not your place to cause ripples, you don’t question intent, or whose best interest is really being served. It becomes about what the other person wants. Continue reading