Friday Five: What I’m Reading This Week

September 29, 2017

It’s been a long week, and next week will be even longer. Work is picking up, I have my grad class next weekend, and two weddings to attend in the span of 72 hours. I am definitely counting down the days to that 4-day weekend.

Today’s post isn’t super long, but just a collection of things I’ve read from some of my favorite women on the internet over the past week or so!

1. “Please Don’t Call Me Mama” – a short plea from my good friend and fellow blogger Betsy detailing her aversion to being called “mama” by other women. It’s a sensitive point for a lot of people, but I do agree with Betsy. In fact, I’ve noticed that one of the fitness coaches at my gym calls me and other women “mama” and it rubs me the wrong way. I’m not a mother, and it’s a bit presumptuous to do so. What if I was a woman grieving the loss of a recent miscarriage or struggling to get pregnant at all? It seems a bit insensitive.

2. “Here’s What Sorority Recruitment Is Really Like” – September 16 marked ten years since I accepted my bid to join my sorority. I love this article for multiple reasons: first, it’s the most comprehensive guide to what goes on behind the scenes during recruitment. Second, even at a small school with only five chapters, this is almost exactly my experience on both sides (as a PNM and as a chapter member.) I do take issue with the assumption that all sororities in the South are racist, because that was not my experience at all, as I had sisters of all different races. However, I do understand that my experience was probably unusual for Greek Life in the South and recognize that the Greek System continues to be a very segregated thing.

3. “Women Aren’t Nags – We’re Just Fed Up” – I’ve read a similar article to this in the past that asserted that women carry around emotional labor that men do not. I almost cried when I read it. Yes, my husband is a huge help around the house, don’t let me give you the wrong impression. This week alone he has made dinner multiple times, gone to the grocery store for me, and done other household chores, including 3 hours of yard work on Saturday. However, this article resonated with me particularly with the part about praise: while I may cook dinner (and breakfast and lunch) every day, as well as do laundry, clean bathrooms, etc. I may not often receive praise, while my husband may cook one or two dinners a week and expect praise for it. I don’t want this to come off as complaining, just a comment on life and my experiences.

4. “Choosing Not to Breastfeed Adelaide” – My good friend Elisabeth, who was married just a few weeks after me, has two beautiful children, Lincoln and Adelaide. Having never had children, I don’t know much first-hand about the experience of breastfeeding, but I found this post to be a refreshing change of pace from the other articles I’ve read insisting that breastfeeding is the only way. While I do plan to breastfeed my future children if I’m able to, I appreciate Elisabeth’s candor about choosing her sanity and happiness over potential judgement.

5. “How Mike Pence’s Boundaries Hold Women Back Professionally” – I’ve been following Brita on social media for a long time because I love the hard work and effort that she puts into her articles. While we may not always see eye to eye on certain issues, she does a great job of researching and clearly explaining her positions and why. The fact that boundaries are being brought up indicates to me that without these boundaries, someone wouldn’t be able to sexually control themselves around someone of the opposite (or even same) sex. Much like rape culture and teaching men to not rape instead of women how to avoid being raped, we should deal with the root of the issue (controlling sexual urges and being professional) instead of instating boundaries. I was, however, pleasantly surprised to see how some congressmen are already handling the issue in a gender-neutral way.

That’s all I have for today! What are you reading this week?

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