Friday, May 30, 2014

What will help women succeed?

“When Women Succeed, America Succeeds” -Nancy Pelosi

I'm going to be downtown in Lowell on Monday for other reasons, but Nancy Pelosi will be there too.

We agree, but unfortunately we don't agree on how to make it happen. 
“Single moms are busy holding down at least one job or more, raising their families and keeping the ship afloat, so they don’t have time to be thinking about politics and what’s going on in Washington, D.C., especially when they don’t see an agenda that affects them directly,” Pelosi told HuffPo. “We hope we can give them hope by elevating this discussion and letting them know that somebody is fighting the fight for them.” Unmarried women overwhelmingly favored President Barack Obama in the 2012 election, contributing to the historic gender gap that propelled him to victory. But the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee estimates that participation among unmarried women will drop off significantly in the upcoming midterm, from 58 percent turnout in 2012 to 39 percent in 2014, the HuffPo reported.

 We currently live in a community where probably half of all children do not live with the fathers.. The socio-economic disparities are clear.

Married moms don't have the same problems as single moms.

Why are they single?

It isn't out of complete choice to have a baby without the dad's involvement.

Dads are usually present and in a relationship with the mother at the time of birth.

Of course I want to meet the needs of single mothers, but guess what? 

Women will never succeed without the help of husbands and fathers. Men aren't the problem, they're there to help us. 

You want to help single moms?

Get dad involved.

And create the expectation in young men that they should be involved. And ladies, you have to also make it happen as well. If you are no longer in a relationship with the father, you must create the opportunity (absent neglect/abuse) for the father of your child to be a dad!

That takes a lot of work.

7QT Now my coffee is really black

More 7QTs at Jen's Conversion Diary

1. Read labels. Now my coffee is really black. I wanted vanilla.

 2. My follow up on the importance of fathers, is the importance of mothers. Mothers are so important, that can alter a man's brain. 

3. Splitting the IVF Baby

If his story were a movie, then Gus' tale would start before he was born in December 2009. It would begin in a fertility clinic, where actor Jason Patric donated sperm so that his ex-girlfriend Danielle Schreiber could have a baby. Later, his parents would reunite and then split up and then, after a contentious custody battle, find the love they always knew was there, wed and live happily ever after.
But this story begins in Hollywood, so there is no marriage; there are many breakups, separate residences and legions of lawyers -- and there is a cause that other celebrities can get behind.
Everyone wants to see their mom and dad be married.

4. "Fatherlessness: Have we become numb to the statistics?"
Short answer: We're numb.
"If you're African American, there's about a one-in-two chance you grew up without a father in your house. If you're Latino, you have about a one-in-four chance. We've become numb to the statistics." -- President Barack Obamae beco
Well, Mr. President if you are telling the American public that marriage should have nothing to do with keeping dads in the homes, of course we're numb.  We're afraid that people are going to call us hateful and lose our jobs. So by default we're becoming numb.

5. What’s driving decline of the median male worker? Technology, globalization, deunionization, & missing fathers

It's a 65 page long publication. If you have time to read.

6. Want something shorter? This is seven pages long.
" “Those poor children—they won’t get to have their father.” The community deeply mourned his death. The family hung a portrait of him above their dining room table to help them remember him. I brought up the disparity in how the loss of my father was treated in comparison to Tom. When I told my mother, “You act like my father doesn’t even matter,” she responded, “He doesn’t matter.” Children whose biological parents die are given the tools, time, and permission to grieve. Children whose biological parents are missing via gamete donation are given none of these things, and in fact we are expected to be grateful for our situation— grateful to be alive at all.""
7. People apparently don't read anything, at all.

Faking Cultural Literacy from the NYTIMES

I know this only because I skimmed a Washington Post headline about the survey. After we’ve skimmed, we share. Commenters frequently start their posts with TL;DR — short for Too Long; Didn’t Read — and then proceed to offer an opinion on the subject at hand anyway. As Tony Haile, the chief executive of the web traffic analytics company Chartbeat, recently put it, “We’ve found effectively no correlation between social shares and people actually reading.”  
me numb to the statistics." -- President Bara5 
ck Obama

Thursday, May 29, 2014

If one's mother matters, we shouldn't make an exception to that rule.

Follow up on " If one's father matters, we shouldn't make an exception to that rule.

Just as I can't deny my children their father, he can not deny that I'm their mother. 

So when I read on social media, that when two gay men raise a child that one of their brains are similar to a mother's doesn't sway my opinion on the family and marriage. If anything doesn't it imply that children really do need a mother and father, and that one's man brain is adapting to that lost?

What if I became a crack addict or died, and there was a legitimate reason for another adult to step in as a parent? 

That doesn't change maternal lost for my children, or the connection they should have on my side of the family. 

We can give social supports to children who have lost parents or have seen their parents break-up, but we really can never replace our parents. Love lost. 

Sometimes when I sit in Foster Care Review, you wonder if we just gave the parents all these supports prior to DCF involvement we wouldn't be here. Sadly, we may have parents who are more then willing to 'give up' on their kids seeing how many social supports they may qualify. Our goal whenever possible is to make parents, the best parent they can be. Sometimes a parent can be overwhelmed seeing how well their child may be doing in foster-care, something that parent didn't experience as a child. 

There is a public policy that instills the importance of one's father and mother and obligations that come with heterosexual behavior (both of you, not just one may become a parent), and yet culturally and with powerful legal exceptions we can't identify this ideal publicly and openly in our conversations without the false accusation of hate or that one is obsessed with homosexual acts. We carved out so many loopholes in our laws, that we can't figure out if Jason Patric is the father, even though he is the father! 

People give me hypotheticals time to time, but about this situation or that situation. But I'm consistent. Start with mother and father, if parents can not parent (death/incarceration/drugs/mental illness) we look at their kinship connections and start with an aunt or uncle on either the paternal or maternal side.

The question is "Are you kin"? You know... like family. 

How do we connect kin, by finding out who had coitus with who and make a kinship chart. 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The sky never falls, when you live in a bubble.

We live within ourselves, by choice not having to deal with society's ills. We can carefully craft put social media feeds, and not even click through if we choose. Pop the bubble and look not at the sky, but what has fallen on the ground.

Monday, May 26, 2014

More on dating...

Last Friday I did a 7QT on dating. By default I dated, not simply hung out with my husband. In a recent discussion on FB, we spoke the pros and cons of cohabitation. To live with someone for the purposes of to knowing them, feels odd. Shouldn't you know them, before that? 
I asked my husband if we learned anything about each other after marriage/living with one another?
We could not think of anything.
One point I made was that I learned a lot about my husband from his family, when we dated. The idea was downplayed.
But a point was made, what if one is estranged from most/some of their family?
Depressing, but a point that was properly made.

Friday, May 23, 2014

If one's father matters, we shouldn't make an exception to that rule.

From Rhode Island College 

Proposed Rights

• The right of fathers to have paternity established at the time of birth. When a mother chooses not to include the father’s name on the birth certificate, the father is not recognized as the father and has none of the rights to family services.
• The right to have value placed on the father’s emotional and physical contributions to his child’s life. Often focus is only on the father’s financial contributions.
• The right to play an equal role in parenting in cases of divorce. Physical placement of the child tends to default to the mother, while the father must prove that he is a good father in order to be awarded full custody.
This is what marriage was in our prior understanding. It covered these obligations and needs of children. 

But we have to make exceptions, not on orientation but with money.  

We now have a chutzpah situations, in D.C. a woman gives her eggs to her wife, the wife has the baby.Neither of them had a fertility problem, they just didn't want the father to be a dad.  She complains that she is now forced to adopt her own biological child, despite using costly medical procedures to bypass any and all legal rights and obligations of the father. 

No matter how much emotional affection and piano lessons that this child has, even as an act of love. The fact is that the child's mother INTENTIONALLY deprived this child out of every opportunity to be loved by his father and paternal kin.  

Straight people do it to, and it's wrong. Wrong. 

" There is absolutely nothing to gain from reproductive technologies, besides 'happy customers'. But sometimes not even happiness to the customers is guaranteed, social parents can and have demanded refunds from the companies that manufactured their children because their children did not turn out how they paid for them to. The gamete banks depict posters of smiling children but more importantly they caption these words at the bottom of their posters: "have the family of your dreams!". So what are these companies doing? They're advertising children to couples. How on earth is this ethical? "
It's ethical, because rich people had money to change the law. Money. You have money, the rules do't apply to you. 

7QT “How would you ask someone on a date?”

More 7QTs over at Jen's Conversion Diary

1.  How would you ask someone on a date?

2. The question comes from a post on Monday, highlighting a Boston Globe Article. 

3. The Professor "She says she was nervously anticipating controversial questions about sex and intimacy, but instead one student asked, “How would you ask someone on a date?”" 

4. Dealing with marriage and family public policy there is little the government can do in terms of our culture. Our government more or less comes from our cultural values. While the government and make it legally beneficial or detrimental to marry, it just can't make anyone actually marry. It's frustrating when you try to talk to people and they may flippantly state that I want pregnant women to forcibly marry the father of her unborn child or make divorce illegal.  

5. Our government at both a state and federal level would not of done what it has been doing over the past decade, if our culture of marriage but also dating became obsolete. The government has tried several programs to get cohabitating parents, who were unmarried to consider marriage. It tried through out the 1990s and 2000s, because we all understand this importance. We had bipartisan support, which was why not only did we have DOMA but federal funding in support of at-risk families to include dad in the picture. 

6. Also sometime ago, people were praising a book "Kissing Dating Goodbye" or something.  It seemed outdated. Because dating was already obsolete, when I was a teenager in the 1990s. 

7. Currently people use dating sites with algorithms. From an article last year, "Online Dating in an Algorithm World"
"But do you ever wonder what happens behind the scenes at the online dating sites? Did you know you could find a date or a mate based on medical issues, pets or ethnicity? Did you ever wonder why you were being asked so many questions while setting up your profile? These questions create the dating algorithms that some believe will increase your chances of finding a better match.
Good read, I'm going to borrow the book mentioned in the article.  

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

I'm not a good person,

and my values should be placed in ash heap of history.

Not sure really if we are going to be better off.

My law degree sits on the wall, it isn't the decision that bothers me as much as the condescending view of marriage the judges have that permeates in social media. That is where I feel blindsided.

Commitment and even love are terminable in a way that obligation is not because both are subjective and can, to some degree, be chosen or unchosen. On the other hand, one may ignore an obligation, but cannot will it out of existence. An obligation is objective.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Lost Scripts on Creating Relationships

Rehashing old thoughts from high school, specifically the assembly from the 9th grade.  Sex was about being safe. Teenagers can have sex, but they couldn't form relationships. Mixed messages that confused us. Marriage was to postponed in our minds, that we lived in an environment unable know the scripts that would bring us there. 

I had boyfriends in high school, but my husband was the first man I dated. I lucked out, that initially we had 100 mills between us the first few months. It forced us to date.  

But dating matters. It's a script to know someone without the expectation of anything physical. We lost the scripts, and because it was lost we didn't know how to create and build a relationship that would lead to a health marriage. 

"College class tries to revive the lost art of dating" Boston Globe May 16, 2014

"It’s not surprising, says Cronin. This is a generation that has grown up with relatively low expectations in the realm of happily every after. Theirs is a world where most embrace group activities, punctuated with the periodic hookup, and communicate largely in digital bursts of 140-250 characters instead of in person.Cronin says this all came together for her during a lecture she gave about the campus hookup culture eight years ago. She says she was nervously anticipating controversial questions about sex and intimacy, but instead one student asked, “How would you ask someone on a date?”
“How would you ask someone on a date?” 

Good Question.  

Twelve years later our views on marriage radically changed.

Sorry, I have to admit my frustrations sometimes boil over. I'm angry and sadden. Yes, we know marriage was in bad shape. This is from last September. 

Back in 2002, (Remember this when you read the quote) PBS Frontline covers the decline in marriage and the effects on children. That's right, PBS. It reads like it was directed from the Family Research Council. This was when marriage, meant marriage, and not some paranoid media campaign to target anyone who says marriage is really in a grand conspiracy against homosexual persons.
""Let's Get Married" traces the evolution of the public policy debate over marriage -- from Daniel Patrick Moynihan's explosive 1965 report on the erosion of the African-American family, to 1992, when Vice President Dan Quayle's criticism of TV character Murphy Brown's unwed pregnancy made headlines. But FRONTLINE's interviews with social scientists and researchers reveal how -- on both the right and the left -- there is a growing consensus that, all things being equal, two-parent families are best for children."
For those who don't remember, marriage as a matter of public policy and the community was a pretty serious discussion about the needs to stop the fragmenting of the family. The focus was a foundation, and not 'the frosting.' Remember when they reference two parents, it was a reference that both parents were in fact biological kin to the child. Now when people say two parents, it doesn't matter if both are strangers.

Ten Years Later

I believe that marriage is the union of one man and one woman not out of ignorance, or animus; not because it's popular or convenient, but because it is the truth. Ten years after the MA SJC abandoned this truth, we are only beginning to see the legal and cultural consequences of such a radical shift.. But a generation from now, the eternal truth of marriage, even if labeled "hate speech," will still endure.
For our families,

Andrew Beckwith Massachusetts Family Institute
In all seriousness, we all have a mom and dad and our wellbeing is dependent on both, not one or the other.

We get it. Marriage is broken. Looking at current trends, it is shattered. But we want to fix it. It won't happen over night. If we want to value the well being of children, the wellbeing of mom and dad together and not separated matters.

Friday, May 16, 2014

7QT Being a Pall-Bearer

More 7 Quick Takes at Jen's Conversion Diary.
1. Long week. We had the funeral on Monday for my husband's uncle. It took some time for the planning, but all went well and we needed to get back into our routines again. The kids had a lot of school work that evening to catch up on.
2. I have a Twitter account for links in regards to the family and public policy. I'm not an original when it comes to tweets.
My advice to Harvard Poli-Sci students is to get out into the streets and see how public policy in regards fatherless and the decline of marriage.  You want to rebuild our communities or simply talk about your privilege?  It will be a long road ahead to repair the damage, longer than an election cycle, and you will have to be bipartisan. 
4. It's Pall-Bearer, not Paul Bearer. 
5. I was a Pall-Bearer for the funeral. I'm only 108 pounds, but there were five grown men, plus the funeral ushers. I knew to be in the middle of the casket.

6. The use of photos for a funeral is interesting. We had a large photo collage, video of photos with music, a folded pamphlet with photos and prayer cards. It worked, as these items were used at the funeral home.
7. We had a Mass and graveside service. My two oldest were altar servers. We had extra severs, because I know my kids may break down. One did.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Or be married to the mother. (@MassGov) tweeted at 11:50 AM on Thu, May 15, 2014:
If you wish to establish paternity, you must sign a voluntary acknowledgment, or get a court order. #ChildSupport

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Family Structure as a Privilege

It's a privilege to talk about privilege. 

I wrote this on Facebook a few weeks ago. 
  Each person is like the top cup on a pyramid of red drinking cups. Some cups are several levels high and others are knocked to the ground and slightly crushed or not on the ground but definitely off balance. The fact their social capital has been built up over generations (layers of support) in regard to wealth and family stability. To who you were born to, plays a lot into life. We have an obligation to make sure that each red cup standing up in the right direction, but almost impossible to replicate the same stacking/social capital/privilege another person may have. 

Then here today May 2014

From Campus Reform "Harvard plans mandatory power and privilege training for poli sci students" 
“A mandatory power and privilege training that examines components of race, gender, socioeconomic class, sexual orientation, ability, religion, international status, and power differentials for every incoming HKS student starting August 2014.” 
I was a poli-sci student at UMASS Dartmouth, then UMASS Lowell in the mid-late 1990s.   

What about the privilege of family structure? 

There was lots of research in the 1990s on family structure and childhood outcomes. 
"We estimate that as much as half of the disadvantage associated with father absence is due to the economic insecurity and instability. Another quarter is due to the loss of parental time and supervision, and the rest is probably due to a loss of social capital attributable in large measure to the higher incidence of residential mobility among single mothers and remarried mothers."

My advice to Harvard Poli-Sci students is to get out into the streets and see how public policy in regards fatherless and the decline of marriage.  You want to rebuild our communities or simply talk about your privilege?  It will be a long road ahead to repair the damage, longer than an election cycle, and you will have to be bipartisan. 

Friday, May 9, 2014

7QT Rejected Sticker on the Mini-Van

More Quick Takes at Jen's Conversion Diary

She has a book out. I have not read it yet. 

1. It's Wednesday as I write this and I worry will I have anything to talk about on Friday. All of a sudden things planned and unplanned have become hectic in the household.

2. How hectic? Hectic enough we don't know when to plan a funeral, because they have to do an autopsy and they don't do autopsies on weekends.

3. After a few attempts we finally got replaced the windshield on the mini-van. Two weeks ago we needed the fuel pumps fixed. Then we had the annual state inspection and got an "R", because the minivan had too much rust. 

4. The mechanic down the street fixed it in a day for one hundred dollars! I live in an urban setting with schools and local business truly in walking distance. My poor husband works if a 'business park' off the highway an hour away. Our live would be so much easier if he worked closer to home.

5. In regard to #2. It was an extended family member, but he didn't have children and his wife needed help planning the funeral. But May is so hectic. Like really hectic. Insanely hectic. So we need to figure out how to schedule in a funeral. There was no foul play involved in the family member's death, but he had a organ transplant several years ago.

6. I'm making a cupcake mosaic of the MineCraft Sword for a birthday on Friday evening. That's right on a Friday evening. Because I knew before the death of my family member (which was sudden), people would already be busy with everything.

7. Still waiting on the RSVPs.... so far only a handful of boys coming. How do I order pizzas?

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Dancing Around the Idea of Marriage

 Yesterday on my Twitter feed I followed a wonderful discussion on generational-based family social programs. There was no mention of the word marriage though. I understand in many ways why they refrain from marriage. It has become meaningless for many. It is either a fairy-tale or a legal abstract in awkward conversations.

Marriage was more than bringing two people together. Matrimony is the holistic ideal that brings everything together. Discussing the issues around generational public policy, means you do not address the child or parents separately, but together

I'm not being critical of the discussion, I fully embrace the conversation. The discussion understood our reality and how broken our understanding of marriage has become. At most we could speak of income and family stability. We're all talking about marriage in the same way that Pope Francis might speak, but unable to use the term. We are discussing the same thing. Yet as a matter of law,  marriage is not the same thing. Marriage is a twisted piece of legislation formed by financial interests from the legal and fertility industries.

Fragile families have limited ability to have their concerns being addressed, but what is the ideal for the fragile family?

Will there always be government intervention in their lives and for their grandchildren?

When can the government step back and let go and let family be able to provide just not financially but also emotionally for themselves?

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Catholic All Year's Answer Me This

Catholic All Year's Answer Me This 

1. Are you becoming your mother?
Only half of her

2. Coffee or tea?

3. What foreign country would you like to visit?
If there was no hassle traveling? I really lost my desire to travel, but I would love to participate in an anthropological dig of some sort in a warm climate. 

4. Do you cry easily?
Yeah, but once I'm done I'm totally fine. I would even do it over work, when I was a lawyer. I would sit in my car and cry for five minutes. Never in public. It felt good. 

5. How often do you wear heels?
Rarely, I forgot how to walk in them. Also I when it comes to heels I would a good pair. Cheap heels are a disaster. If I had the money I would wear heels. 

6. Do you play an instrument?

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Adult Children's Differing Views of Their Parents

When I talk about Marriage from a Child's Point of View I usually mean as an adult child, and not when the child is too young to feel and understand the scope and dynamics of their parents' relationship. If there is a relationship at all. 

Warning two differing and polarizing views

For All the Good Moms and Dads (Melinda Selmys)
I'm gay, but I don't see any reason whatever to think that my parents are to blame. I'm the oldest of eight children. When I was growing up, my mother had an cross-stitch that she had made hanging beside the door as we exited our home. It showed a picture of a nest, and was accompanied by the words "There are two important gifts that we give our children. One is roots, the other is wings." My mother's entire parenting style is summarized in this simple proverb. Even though she was insanely busy when I was growing up (and she's still insanely busy now) I always knew that I was loved, that I was supported, that she was proud of me and that she was there for me no matter what I did, believed, or chose. Even though my father was busy trying to provide for a family of eight, I had a tremendous amount in common with him. We did things together, he recommended books to me, took me on skiing trips, and taught me how to build a deck. I'm close to all of my siblings, male and female. When I compare my relationships with my family to the relationships that my friends have with their families what stands out is not that my family of origin was lacking, but that it was exceptional. (my emphasis)
I am a new breed of bastard (Anonymousus)
I am a new breed of bastard, because I was not conceived within my father's marriage, I am not his daughter. I was intentionally 'donated' away. I know who he is now and I hate this identity that he and my parent(s) have given me. I am not worthy of my father's or my genetic paternal family's acknowledgement, love, care. I don't belong. I am an outsider. I bring shame to them. Sometimes I wish I never found out the truth of his identity. It would have been much easier if I did not care. I don't want to care anymore. The truth is too painful. Be careful for what you wish for. This is a terrible way to bring new life into the world. 

Friday, May 2, 2014

7QT Minor Inconveniences / Broken Mini-Van

More 7QTs at Jen's Conversion Diary 
Apparently Jen wrote  book, "Something Other Then God" that was just released. I had no idea! (just kidding)
I always purchase my books at the local shrine. So it may be a few days/weeks, because I like to shop local. 
You can purchase it here from the publisher, but buy local if you can. 

My Seven Quick Takes

1. Spring hasn't arrived yet. It's been quite dreary and the trees are just barely blooming. No tulips this year.

2. This killed our week of spring vacation. Also everything was getting cancelled or rescheduled.

3. My 11 year old minivan has been in the shop for most of the week for the engine yet they can't figure why the engine light is going on. It needs the windshield replaces a SECOND time, because they didn't do it correctly the first.

4. There are six of us and the second car only fits five and my husband works an hour away. Logistics and patience are key to not losing your sanity when you lose the mini-van. 

5. First day back from spring vacation one kid gets sick in school.

6. Second day back and yet... another kid gets sick.

7. Oh yeah, someone went through our vehicle searching for change at night. Usually our car doors locked. I heard people arguing, but it's Lowell and thought nothing of it.

A peeled Easter egg from last week.