Pope Francis: Let’s Not Promote Further Prejudice

Pope Francis: Let’s Not Promote Further Prejudice

I get the appeal of a world where there is no gray — only  black and white. When there’s only one way there’s no pesky thinking required. The only problem is we live in a complex world where ‘choice’ isn’t always what it seems.  And that’s where things get muddy. Amid the rash of stories this past week with headlines condemning those of us who are not parents: Pope Francis: ‘The choice not to have children is selfish’ * Couples Who Choose Not to Have Children Are ‘Selfish,’ Pope Says…

That Damned Uterus

That Damned Uterus

The uterus. It’s just an organ but unlike other organs — a kidney, a bladder or a lung — it carries tremendous identity significance.  Baggage, too — cultural and otherwise. Upon reproductive age, its power increases. Beyond a vexing way of making itself very evident every month, it also holds the promise of creation.  If, heaven forbid, you possess an uncooperative uterus you might just as well turn your womanhood papers in now. That’s because in today’s reproductive-charged culture the power of the uterus, the ‘womb,’ is all that. Feminine….

Jennifer Aniston: Yes, Motherhood Obsession Needs to Stop

Jennifer Aniston: Yes, Motherhood Obsession Needs to Stop

Jennifer Aniston grabbed the spotlight this week in a fiercely worded Huffington Post piece. In 913 words she accomplished what many women (yours truly among them) have spent years trying to do: bring attention to a pervasive tendency by society to look down on women who are not mothers. She was helped along in her cause by a political misstep across the pond — more on that in a minute. First, Jennifer Aniston called out everyone who contributes to the devaluing and marginalizing of women who do not fit a…

The Exhilaration of Acceptance

The Exhilaration of Acceptance

It doesn’t matter what age, what ethnicity, what country we hail from — we all desire respect, acknowledgment and acceptance. This very human need manifests itself on playgrounds, in communities and in our day-to-day encounters.  It doesn’t need to be a grand gesture. In fact, it’s the gentle gesture that often leaves the largest impact. A friendly smile, a nod of the head, an extended hand or kind word can change someone’s day. It can also change someone’s life. I know. I’ve been that timid girl on the playground. I’ve…

Gather Round Women: So You Need Some Help With Your ‘Mommy Problem’

Gather Round Women: So You Need Some Help With Your ‘Mommy Problem’

With an impish look on his face my husband innocently asked if I’d read The New York Times opinion section recently. Minutes later — with the requisite cartoon steam coming out of my ears — I was harrumphing my way through Our ‘Mommy Problem.’  I could also be heard grumbling and exclaiming loudly: Finally figured out what I’ve been writing about since 2007 did you…? Besides both having nearly unpronounceable last names, the op-ed author, Heather Havrilesky, and I do not share a lot in common with our current ways of…

“The No-Baby Boom” Nails Cultural Shift and Gloria Steinem Rocks On at 80

“The No-Baby Boom” Nails Cultural Shift and Gloria Steinem Rocks On at 80

It was easy to walk a little taller on Sunday. Why? I had just consumed, back to back, articles on women fearlessly tackling stereotypes and unabashedly breaking molds. It was as though a light was switched on as I read, illuminating just how dramatically society has shifted in the past 50 years — in particular in the way that women have come to identify and define themselves. First up, Gail Collins’ piece in The New York Times on Gloria Steinem, This Is What 80 Looks Like. Collins notes that “Steinem…

What I Wish I’d Known Then: Virtual Casseroles Feed the Soul

What I Wish I’d Known Then: Virtual Casseroles Feed the Soul

February 3, 2007 marks a turning point. It’s the day I decided to reach outside my head, to wear my heart on my sleeve, and to seek some answers. Minutes after publishing my very first Coming2Terms blog post on that stormy night six years ago my stomach turned queasy. After years of suffering silently in the wake of infertility I decided it was time to venture out, to try to find women I could relate to and who, in turn, could relate to me. In surveying the nascent IF blogosphere…

Happy T(w)ogether, Thank You Very Much

Happy T(w)ogether, Thank You Very Much

In the category of inflammatory headlines posed as a question here’s one from a self-described “journalist, mother, thinker” that begs a response: Are Childless Couples Headed Toward Divorce? The short answer from my field research is an emphatic: Hell No! The link to the provocative Huffington Post blog headline first came from a longtime pen pal who wrote me with this observation: “[this] absurd article rambles and makes no particular point. Is it saying that more non-childed couples divorce than childed couples do BECAUSE they are childless or because, if they realize things…

How We Have Yet to Change

How We Have Yet to Change

Some days it’s hard to know if we’re living in 2010 or 1985. The jacket copy ofGail Collins’ book, When Everything Changed: The Amazing Journey of American Women from 1960 to the Present, assures readers they “will be startled.” That’s true. The book is chock full of anecdotes and insights chronicling how women’s roles and attitudes about women have changed. What could be explored further, though, are opinions that have yet to change, or where bias or, worse, bigotry still exist. Collins devotes some ink to the stigma once associated…