Jennsylvania

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Whenever people ask me if I want to have kids someday, I always say, “I don’t know.” I’m not in a position to seriously consider this question since I’m not married and returning to grad school.

But I don’t like the idea of having kids in a society that forces women to choose between their career and their family. This attitude is reflected in laws that refuse to support working women, like the fact that government-sponsored daycare and preschool and paid, extended maternity leave policies don’t exist yet. It’s also reflected in popular, antiquated ideas about gender roles that still dominate our culture.

Case in point: the fact that Fox News published this op-ed piece by Suzanne Venker with the following passages:

[W]omen shouldn’t let their success in the workplace become the biggest thing in their lives. If the ultimate goal is lasting love…women are going to have to become comfortable with sacrifice and capitulation

Surrendering to your femininity means many things. It means letting your man be the man despite the fact that you’ve proven you’re his equal. It means recognizing the fact that you may very well want to stay home with your babies—and that’s normal. Surrendering to your femininity means if you do work outside the home, you don’t use your work to play tit for tat in your marriage. It means tapping into that part of yourself that’s genuinely vulnerable and really does need a man—even though the culture says you don’t.

In other words, put down your sword. It’s okay if your guy’s in charge. It’s okay if you don’t drive the car. In fact, it’s rather liberating.

Fox News can pry my sword and my car keys from my cold, dead hands.

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I’ve been living with my sister for the past few months. She’s a doctor and she lives in a snooty neighborhood. I’ve been working as a dog-walker and pet-sitter. In spite of how ridiculous that sounds, I’ve made more money caring for other peoples’ pets than I have substitute teaching, working at my old retail job and even my old factory job. It’s still not enough to pay off my student loans or support myself totally on my own, but I can at least help my sister pay for food and my phone bill and other small household expenses while still saving for grad school in the spring.

Anyway, after I get done with my morning shift of my work, I walk my sister’s dog, a 1 1/2-year-old black Lab. She was adopted from another family. We’ve made progress training her, but she still pulls on her leash and harness and gets out of control sometimes. I take her for a few loops around our yard to see if maybe she can do her business before we walk, but she never does. She insists on going in other peoples’ yards even though it’s embarrassing for me. I always clean up after the dog; I have to bring at least two bags with me. There aren’t any dog parks or public parks nearby, and the neighborhood itself doesn’t have any sidewalks. So we have to walk along the street while cars drive by and the dog usually ends up walking through peoples’ front yards even though I struggle to pull her along on the road with me.

Today we came over the top of a hill where an older white guy was raking up leaves on his massive piece of property. I’d seen him before on our other walks. He’s usually on his hands and knees every day picking acorns and weeds out of the lawn. I pulled my sister’s dog along with me, praying that she wouldn’t go on this guy’s lawn while he was out there. But NOPE, of course she completely stopped and took a huge dump on the guy’s lawn. I got yelled at and I’d end up crying on the way home.

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Introducing the new Bret Michaels Pets Rock collection exclusively at PetSmart!”

I give up on the world.

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