If you looked at pictures of JLaw naked, you’re working against your own self-interest

A friend of mine told me a disturbing story the other day. She told me she was working topless in her apartment (as she is wont to do), and she heard people snickering outside. Normally, she ignores it because she just doesn’t care. But she heard someone say “facebook,” and she turned to see they were recording her.

We can guess where the story went from there.

I don’t understand.

Working with the premise that seeing breasts=good, why would one seek to make it harder to see breasts? I’ve heard a lot of “oh, JLaw et al. shouldn’t have taken pictures of themselves naked if they didn’t want the world to see them” (which I guess also means we shouldn’t have been changing in the locker room if we didn’t want people to watch us through the hole in the wall), which means that JLaw and others shouldn’t be sexting.

Is that the world you want to live in? You don’t want your girlfriend to send you a picture of herself masturbating? You don’t think people should do things behind closed doors that they don’t want the world to know about?

Condemning the person in the picture for being victimized (let’s not forget, hacking is a crime) might mean that people will heed your lesson. It might mean that, when you’re sending suggestive text messages to your girlfriend when you guys are apart, she’s not going to send you pictures of her tits in response. Because information wants to be free and she shouldn’t take that picture if she doesn’t want the world to see them.

So when you look at the pictures of JLaw, when you condemn her or any victim for being the subject of the pictures, you are making it harder to look at porn.

Unless we realize that this isn’t about porn but about power and that the viewer’s interest isn’t in seeing breasts (they’re a dime a dozen) but in shaming women.

I hate you, Tommee Tippee!

New baby is growing fast, and everything is great. But I have to rant about how much I hate Tommee Tippee bottles.

Picture from Amazon.co.uk.

Yes, you. I hate you.

I hate your shape. On your website, you boast about being an easy to hold shape. How fucking hard is it to hold a bottle? Not hard. Drunk people can do it. But because of your wannabe ergonomic design, pools of milk get stuck in your curves when the bottle is in feeding position. So I can’t empty a bottle unless I’m holding the baby in an unnatural position during feeding.

I hate your nipple. Manhole covers are round so that the cover can never be inserted as to fall into the manhole. The same physics would apply with a nipple and a bottle collar, but the nipple is made of flexible silicone. There is a lip to the nipple so it won’t flex through the bottle collar easily. But the lip on your nipples is too small. So every time I go to assemble a bottle, I accidentally pull the nipple through the collar, making you a pain in the ass to assemble.

I hate your lids. As you can see from the picture above, the lid is designed to sit completely over the bottle collar. So I can’t unscrew the bottle to add powdered formula without removing the lid. And if I do unscrew the bottle with the lid on, like say when I’m cleaning you, I’m not then able to get the lid off to clean the nipple without reassembling the bottle.

I hate your price. Twelve pounds for three bottles! I just want my Gerber bottles that Target sells at six bucks for a nine pack!

Everything about you, I hate. I would just throw you all away, but then I’d feel like I’m wasting money.

No love,

Emma

Childish behavior

I’m a mom and on some online mommies groups, and the other day I got pretty upset at one commenter who called someone’s behavior “childish.” The person in question acting “childish” was an adult who had apparently broken up with her 8-month pregnant friend after ruining her baby shower, and the commenter was using “childish” as a synonym for “selfish.”

Children can be selfish, and I’ll be one of the first to admit that. My husband sometimes says all children are little dictators. I think it has to do with the development of the thought process, and how, at a young age, a child doesn’t understand that there are other people with different points of view. Literally. I remember my psychology professor explaining this to my class back when I was a psych major. He said if you’re watching tv with your kid under a certain age, and you ask him to move because you can’t see the tv, the kid might move closer to the tv or in a way so that he gets a better view. Because the kid really doesn’t understand that you are not a part of him. Children have to be taught to see things from different points of view. Even television sets.

Despite understanding how selfish children can be, seeing the other mother (or mom to be) call an adult “childish” for the selfish behavior made me pretty upset. Maybe it was a bit of my pregnancy hormones talking, but I thought, how dare this woman, who came to this board for mothers and about parenting and children, use “childish” as a pejorative? I likened it to hate speech, as it reminded me of things I’ve heard racists say about how ____ people act like this. Or the use of Gyp or Jew as a verb. As in, “you Jewed me out of $50.” But is it acceptable, on a moms’ forum or not, to use the term “childish” to describe adults who are selfish?

How do you feel about using “childish” as an adjective to describe a negative personality trait? Am I being too sensitive?

I’m so sick of racism!

Some of my Israeli in-laws are in town for a few days, which has been…interesting. And at the end of a long week, I almost lost my shit. Basically, they have spent the entire week shopping and when we propose to do something else, they go along with it at first. But then, when we’re half way towards our destination or whatever, they change their minds and say they want to go shopping instead. They also want to take a cab everywhere, insisting that it’s somehow cheaper than the bus. Apparently math works differently in Israel.

Anyway, so last night, they took a cab back to our place and apparently the cab driver got a little lost or didn’t know where we lived and then told them that his cab broke down and dropped them off at a street corner not too far from our place. My sister-in-law, in ending the story, said “He’s Arabic.”

Ok, first, no. He’s Arab. At least, that’s how I learned it, Arabic refers to the language. Arab refers to the people.

Second. How the fuck did you know? Are you really that good at telling a person’s cultural/linguistic identity just by looking at him (I know she didn’t ask)? Because I know a lot of people aren’t. A good friend of mine (Arab) told me a story of being in the subway and seeing a couple sit across the train from him. They started talking about him and making fun of him in Arabic. My friend was pretty goodnatured and smiled at them with a smile that tried to convey “yeah, I understand every word you’re saying!” But they just made fun of him more. So when he eventually reached his stop, he wished them a good day in Arabic. (I want this story to be true so bad!) But there’s actually a better chance, statistically, that the cab driver was Pakistani. I guess they all look the same.

My issue is, how do I deal with this? I just ended the conversation and walked out of the room. I don’t want to get into a discussion with someone who thinks that racist and Israeli are synonyms. And the more I would argue my point, the more it would come clear that racism is so intertwined with her politics (I know. I’ve been down that road before). It’s just so disheartening. And what I don’t get is how holding any stereotype about any group doesn’t justify another person holding a stereotype about another group. If you truly believe that all Arabs are ____, then you must also believe that there is some sort of trait inextricably linked to their faith or heritage. Which would mean there are traits inextricably linked to faith or heritage or skin color. And if you believe that, how can you be puzzled or upset when other people hate you for being Jewish?

Just change the fucking name already!

I’m from Baltimore, but for most of my childhood, we had no football team, so people I knew were Redskins fans. Since I wasn’t interested in football, I didn’t pay much attention to it. But for as long as I can remember, some have been advocating for changing the name of the team.

I still haven’t figured out to watch The Daily Show or The Colbert Report online while in England. Not that I ever was much of a fan of The Colbert Report. I just find his satire frustrating. It seems like too many people seriously think the way he pretends to. Not his fans.

Enter #CancelColbert. As I understand it, Colbert or the show wanted to draw attention to how offensive the name Redskins is by offending another minority group. And he succeeded. Of course it was satire. I don’t think anyone is saying that it wasn’t. But I feel like the upset by the people promoting #CancelColbert kind of proves his point: it’s not cool to use offensive terms to describe people. By contrast, the backlash against #CancelColbert seems to miss not only #CancelColbert’s point but also Colbert’s. Example:

misuseofyodaNot only is the use of Yoda bizarre (I can’t imagine him defending racism or telling someone to fuck off), the point of Colbert’s satire was in no way to tell those offended by the name Redskins to fuck off. I see no difference between Colbert fans telling those offended by his joke to calm down, it was just a joke and Dan Snyder telling those offended by the team name to calm down, it’s only tradition.

Of course people were offended by Colbert. He intended to be offensive. If you didn’t take the offense from it, you missed the point.

 

No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.

A corollary to the Heraclitus quote is that no two men ever step into the same river. Or so I tell myself to explain why I feel like I constantly disagree with people over the things we both read. Today, I’ll talk about the minority opinion on Lupin in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

Relatively early in the novel, Lupin comes to Harry, Ron, and Hermione when they are at Grimmauld Place and offers to help them. He doesn’t know what they are doing and says he doesn’t need to know, but he can still help. After all, he has 20+ years of experience on them. He was privy to a lot of the goings on within the Order that the trio wasn’t, so he also probably has some intel.

Harry rejects Lupin’s offer because Lupin’s new wife is pregnant. He tells Lupin “I’m pretty sure my father would have wanted to know why you weren’t sticking with your own kid,” and “My father died trying to protect my mother and me, and you reckon he’d tell you to abandon your kid to go on an adventure with us?”

I think Harry has a fair point, and Lupin doesn’t do himself any favors when he goes on and on about how he made a mistake in marrying Tonks. Charming fellow, Lupin. Ultimately, Harry calls Lupin a coward and Lupin walks out.

Reading this, I couldn’t separate Lupin’s desire to help Harry, Ron, and Hermione from what had been said earlier in the series that some things are worth dying for. I read Lupin wanting to help the trio as the best way for him to protect his family, even if it places him in danger.

Fast foward to the end of the novel. Lupin and Tonks’s kid is born, and the new parents join in at the Battle of Hogwarts. When Lupin joins, Fleur asks him about his new son, he shows her a picture and says, oh yeah, the kid’s fine. That’s it. There is no mention of him cowardly shirking his fatherhood duties to have an adventure.

Later, Tonks appears. Harry asks where the kid is, and she says offhandedly that her mom will watch him before going off to join her husband. There is no mention of her cowardly shirking her motherhood duties to have an adventure.

Spoiler alert: they both die. When Harry sees them, he thinks how peaceful they look. He doesn’t spare a thought for their orphaned kid. And this really grates me. Why was it cowardly for Lupin to want to help Harry, Ron, and Hermione try to weaken Voldemort but not cowardly for him to want to fight in the battle? The same result–Lupin abandoning his kid–occurred. If that was Harry’s argument of why Lupin shouldn’t be fighting Voldemort, what difference did the timing make? Granted, Lupin made crappy arguments for wanting to help early in the book, but that didn’t mean he didn’t have good reasons too–namely making the world a better place for his kid.

I just can’t shake the feeling of a “prolife” message in the book. That somehow, the baby was worth more to Harry unborn and that once actually born, he cared less about its fate.

Most of the people I’ve talked to about this side with Harry in the beginning, even if they think he was harsh to Lupin, and don’t see the contradiction in Lupin being cowardly when he actually could make a difference and heroic when he was just acting as cannon fodder.

Don’t buy a nook if you ever plan on leaving the US

As you can infer from the title, I’m a nook owner and a recent emigrant from the US. I moved to the UK about two and a half months ago. When our movers schleped in all my, my husband’s, and my kid’s boxes of books, they told us to get an ereader. But I just can’t resist a used bookstore.

Anyway, so I do own a nook and recently had an issue with it. For some unknown reason, one of the ebooks that I purchased through Barnes and Noble’s website relocked itself. I bought the book in December, read it, then wanted to reread it the other day but I couldn’t. To unlock an ebook, you have to enter in the number of the credit card used to buy the book. Unfortunately, the credit card I used to purchase that book had been stolen, so this task was not so easy. So I went to Barnes and Noble’s customer support. I was told that this would be an easy fix. Just delete the information from my stolen credit card, enter a new card, then reset my nook. Resetting my nook would delete all the books currently on it, but I could then download them again from the Barnes and Noble website (though I’d have to unlock them again).

Dutifully, I complied. Again, this deleted and relocked not just the problem book from my nook, but all the ebooks I had purchased from Barnes and Noble in the 2 1/2 that I had the nook. I went to re-download the books to my nook and unlock them, and it didn’t work. I tried again. Nothing. So I went back to Barnes and Nobles website to ask what was going on.

For the first time in my 2 1/2 years of owning a nook and “purchasing” ebooks, I learn that I can only do so with a US credit card with a US billing address. Not only can I not buy anymore books through Barnes and Noble, I can’t even access the ones I had “bought” before. I don’t think this is a licensing issue. I can still download my books from a foreign IP address. I just can’t read them.

I was not told this when I purchased the nook. I was not told this the first time my nook acted funky and customer service advised me to reset it (I was also abroad and chatting with tech support from a foreign IP address when that happened). I don’t remember reading this when I had “purchased” ebooks on the website. I was not told that, if I leave the country, the nook would be of little use to me and all the money that I had spent on reading material wouldn’t allow me to read those books ever again.