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Posts made in January, 2011

Baby Napped

On the news last week there was a story about a family who has finally been reunited with their daughter after she was stolen from the hospital 23 years ago. Talk about a parent’s worst nightmare, right? The news played clips of the father and mother’s plea 23 years ago to “please bring our daughter back,” and how they “had no interest in pressing charges.” Of course they didn’t, right? Because number one priority – don’t hurt my kid and I want her back.

But now! The woman who is being charged with the baby-napping is facing charges and, although the parents are being pretty chill about it, they’re ok with that end result. This seems like a typical “oh my god, I can’t believe it, after all these years” story, except for one thing that keeps nagging at me.

As far as I could tell it was a solid two days of interviewing the parents, splashing the same two photos of the now 23 year old reunited with her parents and then one of her as an infant with the woman who snatched her from the hospital, and discussing what could happen, if anything, to this woman now that she has been caught. The main focus of the investigation – as far as the news is concerned – is whether or not the woman harmed the girl in any way. Was their abuse? Was their sexual abuse? If these things aren’t present, if the 23 year old woman testifies that these things didn’t happen, the court will probably go easy on her. And the news people, and presumably the television audience, seem relieved by this fact. The fascination is not with how the young woman is coping with this massive life change, this awful crime and the family that has suffered for it, but with what will happen to the woman who stole her. Why? Because the woman successfully raised daughter that was not her’s to raise? Because she didn’t “hurt” the child? Because look! now the baby is all grown up and she looks alright, so no harm no foul, right? We don’t want too harsh a penalty… she is a mother after all.

I feel like this is a classic case of sexism in a weird reversed way. The way women are given the benefit of the doubt because they have ovaries. Like the debate over women in combat (the government is protecting our frail, lady bodies… even against our will), like women being excluded from the draft (yay no draft for women! because we couldn’t stand to send our mothers, sisters, and wives … just our sons, fathers, and brothers into war). Like, because she is a woman, we can only blame this on her maternal extincts. She had had multiple miscarriages, she may have been temporarily distraught, so distraught she was compelled to take a baby from the hospital and raise it on her own. Maternal instinct? To steal someone’s child? No. If this had been a man, no matter how well he cared for the child, public opinion would be completely different, the reaction of the media would be horror, not pity.

The crime in this case is not against the child. That’s not the point, at least not the total point. Yes, the 23 year old woman probably feels like her life has turned upside down, and her identity is forever shaky. I get that, and that’s completely unfair and awful. But the real crime is against the parents who have suffered, and felt a loss their daughter may have never felt for 23 years, never knowing what happened to their child, never knowing her, never knowing why or how. The woman who snatched that baby girl should go to jail for a very very long time, and the fact that she didn’t abuse the baby she stole, the fact that she loved her as if she were her own, should hold no baring in this case, whether in the real court, or in the court of public opinion. Just because women are seen as being “naturally motherly” does not make it ever ok to take another person’s child, and it is ludicrous to make any excuses otherwise.

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Rules to Blog By: Passion

Oh man, so this story starts out the weekend before Alt when I had drinks coffee with Mariela. See, she forgot her purse, which had her ID and we ended up drinking tea at the coffee shop kitty corner from the bar. I couldn’t have asked for a better mess of events because it lead to better discussions and less of a hungover the day after. She is one of those rare people who actually went back to the beginning of this blog and read the entire history up until now… or at least close to it. She’s read angst, and goofyness, and embarrassment, and stupid blog stuff I tried and then abandoned 1/2 way through. And that’s why...

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Pig Story. Oink.

August of 2009 Kamel and I decided to go to the Puyallup Fair – Washington State’s BIG fair… if it’s not the biggest, it’s the favorite. I do not know these actual statistics. The fair is full of amazing food (scones, deep fried things, corn dogs), rides and games (my favorite is the horse race one where you roll the ball into the numbered rings and you try to get your horse to win the race), and every farm animal you could think of. I love animals. Why do I love animals? Because at the fair they are all clean and pretty and they don’t have poop smeared all over them. I want to touch every cow, and peer...

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Adventure-ing: Alt Summit

When I got home from Alt Summit I immediately walked into the bedroom and cried. Like the ugly cry where you just stand there, (me with my hands on my hips, purse thrown on the table, coat hanging off a chair) and let the tears run down your face. Why? Because from the very first panel my brain had exploded and I was left to fend for myself for the next 3 days without it. Truth. Why? Because up to this point I had been gearing up to begin applying for teaching jobs all over the country. I had wanted to do this in grad school, I had thought this to be a wonderful existence. Teaching writing, surrounded by colleagues and students who had...

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First 1/2 of Engagement: The Truth About Fighting

I first wrote about how things have shifted in my relationship after becoming engaged HERE, but that was only the beginning story. And even now I’m only in the middle of it, but the more I navigate engaged life – a brief, but unique experience – I am realizing more and more how important it is. In a lot of ways being engaged gives you the opportunity to prove to yourself, and to each other that yes, you really want to do this thing, because the reality is their are many, many opportunities to choose not to. Now that 1/2 of our engagement is over (HALF!) I realize that it’s been split into quarters. The first being...

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Who the hell is she?


Lauren

I am a writer living in Seattle and I believe that life is a grand adventure and only boring if you believe it to be. Plus! You don't need money to have fun.

I live with my husband, a photographer by education and a maker-of-video-games by trade, and a baby named gabe in an apartment on the hill.

I am romantic about most things and I cry... about almost anything. I tell stories to entertain you, I spread stories to keep you in the loop. I am not a grammar freak, but I do know how to spell it. I am exceedingly proud of my scrambled eggs and I really could eat an entire pan of cupcakes. If I met me, I would be my best friend. I tend to be irreverent.

If you would like to chat with me or see what else I'm up to you can follow me on Twitter (betterinrealife), on facebook, or email me at betterinrealife at gmail.


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