xtina: A heart made out of a motherboard. (geek heart)
The Itsy Bitsy Bug

The itsy bitsy bug went in production code
Down came the system--server overload
Up went a patch that fixed the server strain
Till another bitsy bug was found in there again

More modern lullabies. )
xtina: (Default)

I have a backlog.

*) Alternet: 40 Books About Sexuality That You Have to Read

Some are articles, instead of books, but hey.  Nice to print out and save somewhere.

*) Rebel Raising: Is that child crazy?

If you lived in a world where you were constantly confronted by new things, which you were expected to assimilate and understand quickly and without showing concern? If you pretty much never got to choose your own activities? If you were regularly touched, lifted and restrained without your permission? If you lived at the mercy of, however loving, people who were in total charge of your comings and goings, your access to food and drink, your access to activities you enjoy?

I'm not trying to say that we all traumatise our children horribly for no reason. This is not mother-blaming central. But too often we don't see children as people; we don't think, hey, if I were taken from something I was absorbed in, strapped into a pushchair and hurried down the road without anyone checking I understood what was going on, would I scream and struggle? Probably.

*) Raising My Boychick: What is appropriate parenting advice?

I don't think there is no place for parenting advice; that is, to unwind that double negative, I do think parenting advice has its place. The point of the previous post was that while it's sometimes tempting to dismiss parenting advice from someone solely because of their child-less/free status, that's not actually a good enough (or good at all) reason.

So what is appropriate parenting advice? It certainly is not "unsolicited… not-so-masked criticism of [one's] parenting." That's inappropriate at any time, from any source, yet is one of the most common — and most infuriating — types of "advice" parents get, and why we get so defensive on the topic in general.

Advice on parenting is least likely to be received as an attack — or to phrase positively, is most likely to be listened to and reflected on, whether adopted or not — when it is: solicited; humble; experiential; and in line with the receiver's own basic parenting philosophy.

*) Fugitivus: Not a real post

I'm a pretty big believer that wherever you are, that's where you need to be. I don't want to say that's where you "deserve" to be, because that drags in ideas of entitlement and punishment that are really arrogant and cruel. But I do believe that individuals only stay in a place as long as that place is meeting their needs. Not all their needs, and maybe not always the good ones, but people don't stick around for free; there's got to be some return investment, even if that return investment is only "staying here helps me avoid something I perceive to be worse."

*) Fugitivus: Stuff What Boys Can Do

[...] asking men to be allies isn't really a cut and dry case. Privilege is its own kind of oppression; to maintain privilege, one must maintain a very specific and strict mode of behavior. Stepping out of that behavior strips you of your privilege, and leaves you vulnerable for a pretty significant degree of attack. There are times when an ally can pull an Afterschool Special, and there are times where even deigning to disagree could get a guy beat to within an inch of his life. I'd like to see, and hear, more ways that men can be allies in all the different contexts they find themselves in.

Originally posted at Xtinian Thoughts.  Comment here or there.

xtina: (Default)

I have a backlog.

*) Alternet: 40 Books About Sexuality That You Have to Read

Some are articles, instead of books, but hey.  Nice to print out and save somewhere.

*) Rebel Raising: Is that child crazy?

If you lived in a world where you were constantly confronted by new things, which you were expected to assimilate and understand quickly and without showing concern? If you pretty much never got to choose your own activities? If you were regularly touched, lifted and restrained without your permission? If you lived at the mercy of, however loving, people who were in total charge of your comings and goings, your access to food and drink, your access to activities you enjoy?

I'm not trying to say that we all traumatise our children horribly for no reason. This is not mother-blaming central. But too often we don't see children as people; we don't think, hey, if I were taken from something I was absorbed in, strapped into a pushchair and hurried down the road without anyone checking I understood what was going on, would I scream and struggle? Probably.

*) Raising My Boychick: What is appropriate parenting advice?

I don't think there is no place for parenting advice; that is, to unwind that double negative, I do think parenting advice has its place. The point of the previous post was that while it's sometimes tempting to dismiss parenting advice from someone solely because of their child-less/free status, that's not actually a good enough (or good at all) reason.

So what is appropriate parenting advice? It certainly is not "unsolicited… not-so-masked criticism of [one's] parenting." That's inappropriate at any time, from any source, yet is one of the most common — and most infuriating — types of "advice" parents get, and why we get so defensive on the topic in general.

Advice on parenting is least likely to be received as an attack — or to phrase positively, is most likely to be listened to and reflected on, whether adopted or not — when it is: solicited; humble; experiential; and in line with the receiver's own basic parenting philosophy.

*) Fugitivus: Not a real post

I'm a pretty big believer that wherever you are, that's where you need to be. I don't want to say that's where you "deserve" to be, because that drags in ideas of entitlement and punishment that are really arrogant and cruel. But I do believe that individuals only stay in a place as long as that place is meeting their needs. Not all their needs, and maybe not always the good ones, but people don't stick around for free; there's got to be some return investment, even if that return investment is only "staying here helps me avoid something I perceive to be worse."

*) Fugitivus: Stuff What Boys Can Do

[...] asking men to be allies isn't really a cut and dry case. Privilege is its own kind of oppression; to maintain privilege, one must maintain a very specific and strict mode of behavior. Stepping out of that behavior strips you of your privilege, and leaves you vulnerable for a pretty significant degree of attack. There are times when an ally can pull an Afterschool Special, and there are times where even deigning to disagree could get a guy beat to within an inch of his life. I'd like to see, and hear, more ways that men can be allies in all the different contexts they find themselves in.

Originally posted at Xtinian Thoughts.  Comment here or there.

xtina: (Default)

* On parenting advice and the idiocy thereof, at Raising My Boychick:

But then I spent years in a parenting and natural living community before getting pregnant (before even deciding to try), so I also know the sting of being dismissed simply for not having had kids yet. I know how much it hurts — and how wrong it is — to tell someone they can't possibly know anything about children just for not having their own yet. And after I spent a couple years spending much of my time around other parents, reading parenting books, studying midwifery and everything baby-related (you should see my book collection!), and my parenting ideas gelled? They didn't change when I had the Boychick. People told me "you'll get a stroller, you'll learn to love disposable diapers, you'll let him cry — just wait, and you'll sing a different tune." And they were, simply, wrong.

And more on the topic of "You don't have kids, so your input is invalid".

* Dream, at Fugitivus, wherein she writes about this dream she had, and how it represents her leaving her abusive relationship… and leaving a friend in one.  Trigger warning for abusive-relationship content in full effect.

Two awesome posts.

Originally posted at Xtinian Thoughts.  Comment here or there.

xtina: (Default)

* On parenting advice and the idiocy thereof, at Raising My Boychick:

But then I spent years in a parenting and natural living community before getting pregnant (before even deciding to try), so I also know the sting of being dismissed simply for not having had kids yet. I know how much it hurts — and how wrong it is — to tell someone they can't possibly know anything about children just for not having their own yet. And after I spent a couple years spending much of my time around other parents, reading parenting books, studying midwifery and everything baby-related (you should see my book collection!), and my parenting ideas gelled? They didn't change when I had the Boychick. People told me "you'll get a stroller, you'll learn to love disposable diapers, you'll let him cry — just wait, and you'll sing a different tune." And they were, simply, wrong.

And more on the topic of "You don't have kids, so your input is invalid".

* Dream, at Fugitivus, wherein she writes about this dream she had, and how it represents her leaving her abusive relationship… and leaving a friend in one.  Trigger warning for abusive-relationship content in full effect.

Two awesome posts.

Originally posted at Xtinian Thoughts.  Comment here or there.

xtina: (Default)

As I'm currently entertaining the idea of having a child, I've been collecting feminist parenting blogs.

On the one hand, feminists are more likely to be women, so the prevalence of "mother" over "parent" makes sense.  On the other hand, grr.  That's for a later post, though.

Anyways.

  • Mothers for Women's Lib: "Feminism changes a mother, and motherhood changes a feminist – here is a place for us to talk about raising our children as feminist mothers, the challenges we face, or feminist issues which are especially important to us as mothers. As feminist mums, we have a unique take on this thing we call feminism, and we have a lot to say!"
  • Raising My Boychick – Feminist Thoughts Inspired By Parenting A Presumably Straight White Male: "I'm a walking contradiction: knitting feminist fulltime parent, Wiccan science-minded woowoo massage student, queer-identified male-partnered monogamist, body-loving healthy-eating fat chick, unmedicated sane and stable bipolar. But it feels all-me."
  • Rebel Raising: "This is a personal blog. I know. Awful, isn't it? It's mostly about mothering two small kids as someone who's a feminist, queer and environmental activist."
  • Attached Feminist (infrequently updated): "1. To provide a forum for older women to share information and advice with younger women 2. To discuss the intersection of feminism and motherhood in America today 3. To promote awareness of Attachment Theory 4. To compile the wisdom of women of all life stages into policy recommendations 5. To get women-friendly policy ideas into the hands of policy makers"
  • Free-Range Kids: "So I started this site for anyone who thinks that kids need a little more freedom and would like to connect to people who feel the same way. We are not daredevils. We believe in life jackets and bike helmets and air bags. But we also believe in independence. Children, like chickens, deserve a life outside the cage. The overprotected life is stunting and stifling, not to mention boring for all concerned. So here's to Free Range Kids, raised by Free Range Parents willing to take some heat. I hope this web site encourages us all to think outside the house."
    - This one is not explicitly feminist, but it is still tremendously useful and valuable.
  • Daddy Dialectic: "Daddy Dialectic started as Jeremy's journal of his experience as a stay-at-home dad. Today Daddy Dialectic is a group blog by and about dads who embrace caregiving and egalitarian relationships, a definition of fatherhood that we believe is more in tune with the landscape of 21st Century America."
    - I am super-interested in this one, because Josh is interested in being a stay-at-home parent, and I want lots and lots of paths for how to dismantle the "mother == nurturing; father == provider" nonsense.
  • blue milk: "blue milk is part 'blue stocking' and part 'mother'. It is a journal of experiences. I write about what's on my mind."

If you have others, please feel free to share.

Originally posted at Xtinian Thoughts.  Comment here or there.

xtina: (Default)

This is the kind of shit that terrifies the hell out of me, with regards to my ever having a child.  The thing that freaks me out is that I will make some mistake, and I will be taken to court over it, and potentially lose my child*, and there's no way of knowing what's a child-threatening mistake and what isn't.

Hm.  Allow me to amend that.  Clear example of child-threatening mistake: not locking the cabinet door, the one with all the toxic cleaning supplies.  Clear example of I have no effing clue: leaving my 10-year-old in the car whilst I duck into the store to grab a few things.  Or letting my kid ride their bike around the neighbourhood.  Or, god forbid, letting my 9-year-old ride the NY subway all alone.

It bites because I already have anxiety, and so I already don't want to let my child leave the house ever unless they're tethered to me.  I'm trying to read up on free-range child-rearing so I can figure out what society has decided is okay for children to do (operate tractors, yes; go to the mall**, no), and it feels like there's no winning.  Either I guard my child at all times and I'm accused of overprotection, or I try to let them learn how to do things on their own and I'm accused of neglect and abuse.  And I know there must be this really dirt-common middle path wherein one can do wacky things like hoshit put their child on a plane to [somewhere else] ALL ON THEIR LONESOME or let their child play in the backyard WITHOUT SUPERVISION *FSDJ%KLFE@ or things of that ilk without getting CPS called on them, but fucked if I know.

That's the fun of getting all your knowledge about the world from TV.  It's assumed that of course stranger danger, when really one should be worrying more about noncustodial relatives, for example.  Or "I couldn't let my child walk to school!", even though they're far more likely to be injured in a car accident.  Argh.

I will survive.  I just needed to go wharrgarbl for a second.

* NB: I do not currently have a child.

** The worst part is, I think the parent in that story did in fact fuck up.  And so people focus on "She made a mistake!", and leave out the part where she was brought up on charges for this.  Which is entirely leaving out the blatant classism ("You're rich and smart, you should know better!") and argh I just can't even get into it.

Originally posted at Xtinian Thoughts.  Comment here or there.

xtina: (Default)
* I, for one, am impatient for when Semagic totally works for DW.  It is an unreasonable impatience, and yet here I am.

* Today's "poly happy moment" - when I learn that both my partners are ahead of me in Gemcraft.  My arms are broken and it's really hard and shut up!  *amused*

* Whenever I get too opinionated about parenting, I go reread The Story About The Baby, and I realise (a) until I have a child, I am full of it, and (b) bwahaha.
xtina: (Default)
* I, for one, am impatient for when Semagic totally works for DW.  It is an unreasonable impatience, and yet here I am.

* Today's "poly happy moment" - when I learn that both my partners are ahead of me in Gemcraft.  My arms are broken and it's really hard and shut up!  *amused*

* Whenever I get too opinionated about parenting, I go reread The Story About The Baby, and I realise (a) until I have a child, I am full of it, and (b) bwahaha.
xtina: (Default)
Okay, I hadn't thought of this.  That is such a good idea!  I should do that.

In other, yet peculiarly related, news: holy fucking shit what the fuck.
xtina: (lists)
I am not a parent, so I don't know, but these look interesting: How to Train Your Children to Behave on Cue - a series of articles (the last of the article contains a link to the next in the series) on training your children.

[eta] Two stories:

1) I recall Mom doing the no-threats thing, with regards to loud voices in a restaurant.  She said she'd leave if I kept acting up, and I did, so she did.  I think she told me that we didn't go out for a while after that.

2) I did that with these two children I was sitting, ages ago.  One was 10, and the other was 4.  I worked evenings, so I could watch them during the summer, no worries.  I knew they should go out and play and things, so I said I'd take them to the pool, if they behaved.  If not, I would in fact turn the car around and go home.  I don't think they believed me.  Yall, I enjoy reading far more than I enjoy leaving the house.  So they acted up, I turned around and took them home, I sent them to their room, and I sat on the couch and read.

For some odd reason, I had far fewer problems with them after that.  I didn't threaten, I just said "You do A, I do B".

(And I have always, as far back as I remember, disliked that counting-to-three crap.  "So they know they get to do it one more time?  Brilliant.")
xtina: (Default)

Via [info]siderea:

Why Children Lie

An article in the magazine New York about lying in children, how it's reinforced by their parents, and about how fighting is a good thing.

Originally posted at Xtinian Thoughts.  Comment here or there.

xtina: (livejournal)
- Work today was good.  Finally got around to having that meeting about the bug tracker, which means hooray, implementation.  The tracker was developed with SQL Server 2k, but I'm using 2005, to get used to it.

- Amanda at Pandagon reviews the book Born to Buy, by Juliet Schor.  Excerpt: "I found the book to mostly be fascinating, especially the second part where Schor conducts a research study on two populations of children, one in the city of Boston and one in a suburb, to see what kind of effect this increasingly commercialization had on the well-being of children, and found strong evidence that kids who watch excessive amounts of TV and otherwise engage in excessive amounts of participation in marketing to children suffered strongly for it both physically and mentally, and more to the point, that the engagement with the commercial culture caused the depression, anti-social behavior, excessive weight gain, lowered grades and other ill effects on children."

Interesting.  My wishlist for books is incredibly huge.

- You know, I like bagpipes fine, and don't understand the antipathy towards them.

- I have 700 tags.  oO

- Whuh... why is Faye's shirt sparkly?  [eta] Uh.  Well, it was sparky...
xtina: (Default)

My book today is Why Gender Matters: What Parents and Teachers Need to Know About the Emerging Science of Sex Differences by Leonard Sax.  I am in ♥s with this book.

Basically, Dr. Sax discusses the differences between boys and girls, focusing on those in the birth to teen age range.  What he seems to seek is to both show that raising children in a gender-neutral environment may be actively harmful to both genders and that different doesn't mean better.  I really appreciate the effort he's going through to emphasize that he's looking to improve how each gender is educated, not necessarily what.

Some of these differences are deeply neat.  I'd heard before of the fact that girls can generally hear better than boys, or that boys tend to be more aggressive than girls.  What I hadn't heard was this:

Apparently, there are rods and cones in one layer of the retina.  Rods are black/white sensitive, and cones are colour sensitive.  The rods and cones talk to the ganglion cells.  There are two types of those, magnocellular (large) and parvocellular (small); M cells talk to the rods, and P cells talk to the cones.  M cells send their information to the region of the cerebral cortex that handles spatial relationships, and P cells send their info to the region that handles texture and colour.

Every part of that above is different in males and females.  "We're not talking about small differences between the sexes, with lots of overlap.  We're talking about large differences between the sexes, with no overlap at all.  Every male animal had a thicker retina than any female retina, due to the males having more M cells…"

That is fascinating to me.  All of this book is fascinating to me.  And I haven't even gotten to his chapter of LGBTE (exceptions) kids yet.  *delighted*

Originally posted at Xtinian Thoughts.  Comment here or there.

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