There’s nothing like a multi-state road trip with two small toddlers to help young parents understand the intrinsic value of kidproofing. Those who aren’t parents or are regularly subject to the whims of small children, really don’t understand how a being less than 50 lbs. and smaller than many full sized pets will secrete, spill, and literally leave an often unmovable mark on the things you love most. I’m not speaking of those priceless metaphorical things, I mean your new cell phone, the car you just bought with your hard earned money or that couch that you’ve waited most of your adult life to afford.
Back to the road trip from Dante’s Inferno…
A few years back the husband and I had the bright idea to drive from Florida to visit some relatives out of state. Our kids, then 2 and 3, naturally required regular feedings and did not posses full control of their physical faculties. In other words, they nearly decimated our brand new car! Think permanent juice stains and the forever-faint stench of toddler pee. Think the pain of our FIRST NEW CAR (not a hand me down from Dad or a used clunker with a mystery 100,000 miles on the odometer) receiving the wear of a vehicle years into its existence.
While we treated our prized possession with the love of a newborn birthed from our loins, these creatures children we spawned dashed a dagger into our hearts with every wandering sticky finger or premature release of toddler urine. If there was any moment in my life I yearned with every fiber of my being for kid proofing, it was this.
Thank you magical creator of life, the GM engineers knew that kids are vicious heartless beings hard on cars and thought to kidproof their vehicles. Though we couldn’t afford the fancy leather interior of our dreams, our Impala’s fabric interior is incredibly durable and stain resistant—we were even able to remove the stench of human urine (YAY).
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
My dream home will look like it was plucked from a Jane Austen or Bronte novel, carved from stone and in peaceful harmony with nature! It should also be able to withstand the zombie apocalypse, I’m nothing if not practical!
Junot Diaz, with just a few simple words, framed my entire childhood of science fiction themed comics, books, movies and television shows in a new and nearly frightening light:
Look, without our stories, without the true nature and reality of who we are as People of Color, nothing about fanboy or fangirl culture would make sense. What I mean by that is: if it wasn’t for race, X-Men doesn’t sense. If it wasn’t for the history of breeding human beings in the New World through chattel slavery, Dune doesn’t make sense. If it wasn’t for the history of colonialism and imperialism, Star Wars doesn’t make sense. If it wasn’t for the extermination of so many Indigenous First Nations, most of what we call science fiction’s contact stories doesn’t make sense.
Without us as the secret sauce, none of this works, and it is about time that we understood that we are the Force that holds the Star Wars universe together. We’re the Prime Directive that makes Star Trek possible, yeah. In the Green Lantern Corps, we are the oath. We are all of these things—erased, and yet without us—we are essential.
I’m the PRIME DIRECTIVE, the reason why the Fremen of Dune (and the entire universe) needed the Quizat Haderach, we’re why the FRACKING mutants of the X-Men needed both Magneto (Malcom-X) and the Professor (Martin Luther King).
This is why Sci-fi always spoke to this home-girl’s spirit. It was a dialogue on/for/about race, gender issues, identity, “othering”, and the ongoing battle for representation; to be acknowledged and accepted as a member of a society I was born into.
Why is it that we, as a culture, have been so quick to latch on to the narrative that women are failing to achieve true equality because they essentially take themselves out of the running for the top jobs? Perhaps it is a uniquely American desire to uphold the myth of the meritocracy, the ideal of the level playing field. If we can pin a woman’s stalled trajectory on the fact that she took too much maternity leave, or she was devoted to the point of obsession to her progeny and took her eye off the ball at work, or she conceived and bore too many children, or she can’t or won’t do the hours or the face time needed to succeed, or she didn’t find the right mentor, or she couldn’t figure out the rules of the game, or she didn’t try hard enough — then at least we preserve the possibility that some women, if they play their cards exactly right, can succeed.
Stop Blaming Women for Holding Themselves Back at Work by Lisa Miller