The Spiral Road to Recovery

Six months ago, I broke my ankle while playing roller derby. Since then, I've retired from roller derby (with some amorphous hopes of returning as a ref after I finish my PhD) and started the challenging task of regaining my athleticism after the ankle break. I had the help of some great physical therapy, and my day-to-day actions are pretty much back to normal ....more

Unpopular Opinion: Do You REALLY Care About Thanksgiving Employees?

I've been seeing a lot of posts popping up in my social media feeds that are dividing companies into two realms: the money-hungry corporate thugs that would dare to make their poor employees work on Thanksgiving Day and the kind, loving companies who recognize the value of family and have given their employees the day off.Today I saw Think Progress (a site I follow because they cover stories that align with my own politics very often) post "The Progressive Guide to Holiday Shopping." Other posts with similar themes abound, including calls to boycott Thanksgiving shopping or to boycott stores that open on Thanksgiving for the entire holiday season. I'm going to try to approach this delicately because I think that my point can be easily misunderstood. First of all, I support everyone's right to boycott any place they don't like for pretty much any reason ....more

The Good, the Bad, and the Curious (Links for the Week)

I've seriously neglected the weekly round-up post, but I've missed doing it because it gave me a good recap of what I'd been reading and I'd often go back through old link round-ups to find something I remembered reading but couldn't remember where. I could go on and on about why I've been so remiss (dissertation, kid, work, dissertation, being sad about losing all my running ability while my ankle was healing, did I mention a dissertation?), but I'd rather just get back to it. So here they are: the links I read that made me smile (the Good), cry (the Bad), and think (the Curious).Please feel free to add anything you've been reading or writing in the comments.The GoodCaitlin over at Fit and Feminist explains that she doesn't care if you think she looks pretty while she runs, so you really don't need to catcall her to let her know ....more

Why I Caved on the Elsa Costume

I had a plan. When I first asked my three-year-old daughter what she wanted to be for Halloween, she--of course--screamed "ELSA!" at the top of her lungs. I cringed, all my own rants about princess culture as a feminist motherhood blogger bouncing around in my head and with my friend Rebecca Hains' great book about "the princess problem" looming over it all ....more

Blogging to My PhD: More Modern Than We Wanna Be--Facebook's Rhetorical Identity Construction

Susan Cox has an excellent article over at Salon that examines how Facebook's real-name policy (and Mark Zuckerberg's insistence that we only have one identity in general) undermine the promised complexity of cyberfeminism, which Cox explains envisioned using the internet as "a new frontier beyond the oppressive bodily boundaries of race and gender where new understandings of identity could take root." Zuckerberg wrote in his 2010 book that "You have one identity... Having two identities for yourself is an example of a lack of integrity."...more

Freak Shows and Shifting Lines

In this week's episode of American Horror Story, bearded lady Ethel (played by the amazingly talented Kathy Bates) is confronted by a literal ghost that makes her revisit a figurative one. Through her interaction with hell bound spirit Edward Mordrake, she recounts her most shameful secret: the circumstances surrounding the birth of her son, "Lobster Boy" Jimmy (Evan Peters).In the scene, we see her laboring in a field against a tree as midwives hover nearby. The father of her baby and then-lover sells tickets and guides customers to gawk at her as she bears down and gives birth to her son ....more

"Tell Me You Don't Love Me Because"

My daughter (almost four) is currently going through a thing where she likes to stage elaborate dramatic enactments in her head and then draw me in to participation. A typical ride home from school goes something like this: "Mommy, first I am going to whisper something and then you say, 'I can't hear you.' Okay?""Okay."She whispers something. "I can't hear you!"Then she cuts out of the moment like a little dictatorial director whose vision has been squandered ....more

Robot Turtles and the Importance of Failure

As I mentioned in this post about Candy Land, playing board games with a three year old is not exactly the most mentally engaging activity of my day. But (as was the topic of that post), I recognize that playing these games helps little minds not only learn basic concepts about rules but also to learn how to trust the adults playing with them to enforce those rules fairly, so I think it's important to move through the Gumdrop Pass even when the game of bright primary colors and sheer luck bores me out of my mind. That grin and those glazed eyes tell it all; the inanity has taken over....more

Feminism and NFL Fandom: Is Anyone Required to Boycott?

I do not come from a home with a sports culture. My father did not watch any sports at all, and I lived ...more

Blogging to My PhD: How Teaching Composition is Like Playing Candy Land

My daughter is three, and right now she loves to play board games. This is awesome because we're a family of board game players, and I'm glad that she's getting started on picking up this important cultural heritage so that she can soon join in on the family holiday tradition of laughing at the crazy drawings in Telestrations or coming up with Loretta Lynn's "Lincoln" for triple points in Scattergories. Unfortunately (for me anyway), she's not quite up to those standards right now, so we're stuck with Candy Land and this needlessly complicated but completely skill-void atrocity called The Lady Bug Game ....more