Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Holidays and Low Income Families

When I think of my childhood and the holidays I remember one holiday out of all of them. It was the year my father had broken his back on his construction job and my mom couldn't find work. We were broke but we had a place to live and that was about it. I had the free lunch program at school to fill my belly and my parents at home everyday to talk about my day. I look back and realize how poor we really were but back then I remember worrying about my dad and hoping he would feel better but never thought about being poor. Being an Atheist it is funny to say but my best holiday was when the local priest came to my house with a nun he was dressed up like Santa and brought me a doll. It was the most magical Christmas for me. Santa came and saw me at home while I was still awake and let me open my gift on Christmas eve. The nun handed my mother a package of food that we needed and Santa/priest gave me and my brother a single present. I have never been so thankful for the holiday.
I don't remember my parents ever saying we were struggling and at 5 I am not sure I would have even understand it but I never worried my parents and brother were there with me. Let's as a community make sure our children in these tough times get those little memories because that is what they remember if we are strong parents.

Monday, December 7, 2009

McDonalds not hiring a transexual Teen?

I read today about a 17 year old transexual who was told by a manager of her local McDonald's that they don't hire "faggots" first off I ask where is that managers mother? Who uses that word along needs a strong talking to. We live in a time where our gay community is under attack after attack and that word is one of the most dangerous words in our vocabulary right now.

The one part of this story that gives me hope is that this young women has a family who has allowed her to transition and I hope that means she has support at home. I am so thankful if this is the case. Our children should always have such support from their families. I always loved the idea that it takes a village to raise our children but the fact is our village has people like that manager so until our communities can lose such biggotry and hatred it comes down to our families being our children's biggest advocate.

We need to remember when our children are little we tell them they can be anything in the world they want when they grow up but in reality there are so many battles they must fight to make that the case and sadly we don't tell them that or if we do they only learn it through life experences. I just hope this strong young women learns strangth from this experence and to keep fighting and not see this as a reason to hide who she truely is.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Why am I a girl?

Parents always know the "where do babies come from" question will hit us someday and hopefully we all figure out how we will deal with it when that question comes up.
Sex is an uncomfortable subject for most parents to figure out. There are so many sides to that question that don't just include the scientific explanation to it. Sexuality is another side of that question but at least for my family it was easily dealt with. We are raising our daughter to understand and accept all. She loves her gay uncles and understand that even though they are both boys they are just like mommy and daddy when it comes to love. It was an easy lesson that she seemed to get. It also helped that she has some friends with two mommys and it is something here in our town is out in the open thankfully.

But with the South African runner, Caster Semenya, I realized there is a tougher question, gender. What makes us a boy or a girl or more importantly what are we when we are in between. This is a question that I am baffled by.
When I was only a month along in my pregnancy my brother reminded me that I could have something in between a boy and girl. I blew it off, I knew of hermaphrodites but figured I wouldn't have to worry about it. And when I had a little girl I figured the idea of dealing with hermaphrodites was one more thing I didn't have to worry about.
Now I wonder how will I teach my child about gender. What makes her a girl? I know it can't be as easy as her genitals and hormones. It can't be her uterus or overies, I know many women who don't have those. External organs are all in the same category. We have horrible things being done all over this world to little girls removing parts of external organs that can't be what makes us girls. She watched me go through hormone treatment for endometriosis and my female hormones were essentially turned off that didn't make me any less a girl.

Is it what we are born with? Because if that is the case I know a lot of kids who were born blonde with blue eyes but are now have brown eyes and dark hair. I can't except that logic.

And of course there comes in transsexuals which I believe very strongly in my support of the trans community and the idea that the mind and the body can be at odds. In that case I always am under the idea of it is what you feel inside is what you should be referred to. When my daughter meant a wonderful young transexual at a conference for our zine my daughter asked if she was a boy or girl. I told her she was a girl who had to fix her body to match her mind, like how I have to wear glasses because my eyes weren't how my mind needed them to see her body wasn't made how her mind needed it to be. I told her sometimes when mommys make babies we don't do everything right and that is ok, mommys aren't perfect at everything.

Caster says she is a girl so my first thought is to have the same response as above. She feels she is a girl so there for she is a girl and that is the end of the subject. But then I wonder do all hermaphrodites feel one more than the other? Should they have to choose between these two boxes? I know I am in no position to answer those questions. I don't think anyone person could. When is it important to put these boxes around our gender? Why do we identify as one or the other? My view of love don't require it. Not all man and women are able to have children as it is so that doesn't require it. So why do we identify as one or the other. I always saw myself as a strong women and looked for women role models more than male. I feel a kingship to women and that we are in a sisterhood. I would feel so lost if I found out that I wasn't truly a women in the world eyes. There is so few things in this world I feel a strong connection to but womenhood is one I would be devastated if I couldn't feel apart of. As a women and a mother I want to let Caster stay apart of my sisterhood no questions asked. But maybe with all the women I look up to for strength she is that for those who are in between.

Perhaps she can be both why should I put her in a box?

At this point I will just have to wait to see if this question comes up with my daughter. I just hope that when it does come up she can be as understanding as I wish the rest of the world can be of Caster at this time and let her be what she feels she is and not push her into a box.

Where is your mama?

We have all seen the news about grownups having tantrums and losing their cool in our politics and entertainment (not to mention adults taking no responsibility for any of it). This blog will take on issues going on in the news but from the view of this mama and the amazement I have that these adults don't have their mamas on their a** for this kind of behavior. I have a strong political view but mostly I will try my hardest not to push it just know that I have blue glasses on no matter how hard I try.
I am not a perfect parent by any means but I find since having my daughter 6 years ago I look at things differently and that is what I will be writing about. So people, note that there is a mama out there watching you even if your mama isn't calling out your behavior or judgment I will.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Hip Mama Fiction Contest!!!

grab your pencils -

Announcing the first Hip Mama Fiction Contest-

For all of you beautiful liars out there- Hip Mama is gonna be breaking some fresh ground and doing a Short Story Contest judged by Kerlin Richter (me) and the awesome Ariel Gore .

First Prize is $100, your Short Story as the feature in issue 44 the Creativity issue with a profile and picture of your brilliant self, AND a Lifetime Subscription to Hip Mama which we don't even sell any more.

Ten runners up will get a four issue subscription, their names and story titles in the zine and their full stories will be published online.

what about ?

Write any short story you want just make sure there is a Mama in there somewhere. It can be any genre, any style, from any ol' point of View, only rule for content is THERE MUST BE A MAMA.

how long?

Keep it under 2500 words.

where to?

The best way is if you can attach it as a word document and email your story to put in the subject line Short Story Submission and your name.


Mail it to me old school at P.O Box 12525, Portland OR 97212.

how much?

$25 per story entry fee, or splurge and for $60 and I will mail back your story with comments.

You can pay the at the site and include your receipt # in your e-mail, or mail a check with your entry.


Deadline for Entries- April 1st 2009.

Comments will be mailed by May 30th at the latest-

Friday, June 6, 2008

Who Are YOU?

I'm almost done with my school work from Winter semester, and ready to finish the Summer issue of Hip Mama-
Our theme is identity and I am finding this to be a richer topic by far than one magazine, but hey, I'll do what I can. 
Anyone out there who wants to send me 200 words on Identity feel free, 
tell me who you are- and how you choose what it is you tell people about yourself and whether or not you think they know you once you tell them-
What is our Identity?
Is it something we craft, discover, change, make-up.
What has changed in how you see yourself?
let me know-