Recent posts

American Vs. Other Parenting Styles

While I lived in Estonia, I observed that (along with the prevalence of condoms in stores),  there were always children walking around in public, often unaccompanied. Kids as little as 5 or 6 could be seen walking or riding their bicycles down the sidewalk (at least, during the parts of the year when the sidewalks weren’t covered in snow). This puzzled me – but as more Americans are realizing, our style of parenting is perhaps a tad too overprotective. This essay on international parenting styles points out that many behaviors that American parents take for granted are not universal. Young kids in other cultures climb trees, use knives to carve wooden figures, and are even allowed to feel pangs of hunger from time to time. Continue Reading →

Gendered Micro-Inequities In Academia

Ah, the start of another school year! I love the beginning of the semester because it’s always an invigorating time. I’m excited to be teaching an introduction to folklore class, which means I get to view my beloved discipline through new eyes. However, this is also a time to reflect on and take stock of what it means to be an academic. And for women, people of color, and other minorities, this can be an unsettling topic. Continue Reading →

What to Call Your Kids’ Naughty Bits

As someone who has been babysitting for over 10 years, I’ve probably heard fifty different words that parents use to describe their kids’ naughty bits. Really, I’ve heard it all, from pee-pee to bajingo, vee vee to private parts. As children of a self-proclaimed feminist, my brother and I grew up using only the anatomical terms for our genitalia, so it’s always interesting for me to see the other terms that children use. All of these pet-names I keep hearing have gotten me thinking about the pros and cons of using scientific terminology to describe childrens’ genitalia. I recently came across a blog post in which a mom discusses her reasoning for using pet-names. Continue Reading →

Attachment Parenting and Sexuality: Does Co-Sleeping Mean No Sex?

If you’ve been following my recent posts, you know that I’ve gotten a bit baby-obsessed as of late. No, it’s not the realization that my biological clock is ticking (though it definitely is), but in fact my new-found interest in parenting has stemmed from spending 18 hours a week at a baby boutique. Working in Western Massachusetts, I hear a lot about baby-wearing, green parenting, and, of course, co-sleeping. Co-sleeping, one of the three tenets of attachment parenting, is the practice of sleeping in the same bed as your child. Co-sleeping has tons of benefits, the most important of which is feeling close to your child. Continue Reading →

Why Hide Your Hooters?

Working at a high-end baby store, I spend a lot of time thinking about breasts. You know the drill: breast pumps, nursing bras, reusable nursing pads, and, of course, the infamous Hooter Hiders. Hooter Hiders, made by Bebe au Lait, are essentially glorified aprons specifically designed to cover up during breastfeeding. This of course leads me to ask a pretty obvious question: why do we feel like we need to hide our hooters? Breastfeeding has become more and more taboo over time, which is ridiculous, considering most of us, at one point, gained all of our nutrients from breastfeeding. Continue Reading →

The Sex-Positive Parent: An Interview with Founder Airial Clark

Airial Clark has an MA in Sexuality Studies and is the founder of The Sex-Positive Parent. She writes about the intersection of sex-positivity and parenting for multiple media outlets, teaches workshops for parents who have alternative sexualities, and offers one to one coaching for parents looking for sex-positive strategies and support. I first met Airial when we were both studying Anthropology at UC Berkeley. Who knew we’d both follow careers in sexuality education? When I learned about Airial’s amazing project, The Sex-Positive Parent, I couldn’t wait to share her inspiring message with the MSP community. Continue Reading →