Mullberry Whine

poured out before bed

What I Read Wednesday: Screeds and Slinkies

The Boating Party, 1894 by Mary Cassatt

I caught a short discussion on this controversial article on NPR’s Morning Edition while driving to work a few days back and, now that the madness of submitting my ERAS application is done (not to mention that I’m still feeling slappy after yesterday), I’ve finally got around to reading the piece.

The article is thought-provoking, though perhaps a bit inflammatory, as are the variously outraged (some of them viciously outraged) and applauding (some of them ferociously applauding) responding comments.  It has quite obviously struck at a rather superficial and exquisitely sensitive nerve in it’s discussion of the role – and the identity and the pride – of today’s woman, and the sometimes competing entities of family, parenting, career, hobbies and other outside interests.  Furthermore, it less-than-peripherally addresses different styles of parenting (gulp).  It’s an interesting read, regardless of where you fall among the extremes of opinion.

If you’ve a few minutes to spare in your very busy and very meaningful lives, give it a look-see – and, after you do a little righteous seething or emphatic standing-ovationing, take a deep breath and think what circumstances may inspire you to do the opposite (or at least understand why someone else might).

It appeared in the Financial Times, called Disappearing Mothers, by Katie Roiphe.

And, just to lighten the mood, you should also check out this post on Krulwich Wonders…  We all knew Slinkies were magical creatures, but now we’ve yet more proof that they are deeply (deeply) mysterious

9 comments on “What I Read Wednesday: Screeds and Slinkies

  1. Arman
    September 19, 2012

    Btw, just thought I would drop by to state that I agree with the writer of the piece 🙂 I am guilty of the same thing, I have pics of my son on my FB profile (usually of both of us), but it has led me to question over the years, whether I have lost all my other identities in just being a mom. Ironic since in the eyes of outsiders, I am a successful career women .. LOL! But yeah, I do question where I, myself as a person, have disappeared 🙂

    • mullberrywhine
      September 19, 2012

      I know where you are – over at Corporate Skirts blogging your heart out, maybe with your son nearby. 😉 But it was a provocative article, wasn’t it?!

      • Arman
        September 20, 2012

        Very thought provoking. No matter how much our generation achieves, we just can’t seem to let go of that notion that motherhood is suppose to be sacred above all else 😉

        • mullberrywhine
          September 20, 2012

          Oh absolutely! And certainly, motherhood is sacred. But I’ve had friends snobbishly tell me that I haven’t really lived, since I do not yet have children. I do not doubt that raising a child is unendingly meaningful and beautiful, not to mention trying and quite consuming. But, last time I checked, my life was incredibly full! Is there room for little feet pitter-pattering? Of course! But I bristle at the notion that motherhood should totally define me, or that my current lack of children makes me less of a woman or somehow incomplete… I don’t at all look down on those who allow motherhood to define them almost exclusively – we each of us pioneer our own bliss – but I absolutely expect that those women will accept my life – now, and in future, when we boast offspring in addition to our careers and outside interests – as a fulfilling and right and good existence. And that’s my tangentially related two cents worth. 😉

          • Arman
            September 20, 2012

            🙂 I hate it when people get like that … to have or not to have children is your own decision. Other people really shouldn’t have much to say about that 🙂 To be very honest, I think child rearing is far more work than its worth but then again that’s another controversial statement right there … lol.

  2. kindredspirit23
    September 19, 2012

    Well, I read the articles and many of the comments. It amazes me that people will spend so much time arguing about something and that it has so many different sides. I don’t think that I take a good picture; however, I put my picture on FB, Twitter, and on my blog. The only comment I really agreed with was the one that spoke so much of being afraid to put children’s pictures on FB because pedophiles will have so much an easier time of figuring things out. That does worry me. Other than that and the fact that when I use FB dating section, I seldom get to see the face of who I might be interested in. I really don’t care what their children look like then (or the sports pics or whatever else is on there instead of their own face).

    • mullberrywhine
      September 19, 2012

      It definitely inspired a lot of debate! And kudos to you for putting your personal (picture) stamp on all your social media accounts.

  3. Kate
    September 20, 2012

    I always make it a point to say that I’m a runner before I say that I’m married with two kids. That was what I was before I met my husband and something that I cling to with all my heart. That was ME before I became Mrs. A. and Momma. Now that I’m past the little kid stage and have two Big Kids, I’m having a WONDERFUL time discovering other bits about me that I knew were there, but I just hadn’t unearthed yet. I think that if women, with children and without children, could just remember who they were before Grown Up Life began and hold onto that, Life would become more about the adventure and not worrying about how they identify themselves.

    But that’s just what I think. Very provoking article indeed.

    • mullberrywhine
      September 20, 2012

      I love that – “who we were before Grown Up Life began.” And I also love the ongoing discovery of who we are, even if we didn’t know it yet. Humanity is so very complex, so very fascinating on so many different levels. It’s good to be a human – and a women, no less! 😉

      Keep running, keep writing, keep snapping, keep unearthing, and keep adventuring, Ms. Kate!

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