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Twistie’s Olympic Wrap Up

Friends, I have spent the last couple of weeks the way I spend every Olympic cycle: glued to the television spouting stats. That’s not the way I live my life, even though I do happen to watch a lot of television, if I’m completely honest. But sports? Not so much. If I happen across an exhibition or a competition in figure skating, I’ll watch. I have also come to find curling oddly hypnotic… but you don’t see that as often on American television, and it’s rare to run across it randomly.

But the Olympics, well, they’re something other than else.

Most of the world counts the Olympics in terms of medal counts and victories against traditional rival countries. I’m certainly not above rooting for the home team or hoping someone I’m not wild about loses, either. And yet there is a deeper meaning to these Games, one that I love – indeed, prefer – to celebrate.


I’d Just Like to Point Out…

… that for the first time ever, there are more women than men on the US Olympic team.


for the first time ever, every single participating nation sent at least one woman athlete.

When In Doubt, Blame Mom

Okay, I know Joan Crawford isn’t up for Mother of the Century, and I’m down with that.


Last week Liz asked me to share my thoughts about the recent study that claimed to link autism to maternal obesity, and I don’t even have to go very far in depth with the study to have an opinion. There are a lot of people out there who have taken the study apart, pointed out that what was found was a weak correlative link rather than any sort of causal mechanics, and questioned every possible aspect of the study.

I’m not going to deal with the specifics of this particular study. Do a Google search, find an article or three.

What I’m going to discuss here today is not one single study that may or may not hold a clue to one potential health question… or may be a steaming pile of cassowary refuse.

What I want to talk about today is the assumption that when something is ‘wrong’ with a child, it’s the mother’s fault.

Well Done, Sister Suffra…whats?

Oof, your pal Miss Plumcake has been under the weather in a big way, and the novelty of being sick as an entire kennel worth of big dogs has seriously worn off.

My fascination with your Eureka responses, however, hasn’t.

I find it interesting some people –and I don’t mean anyone specifically, it’s just a general observation– who are by thought and deed feminists are still hesitant to saddle themselves with the label.

I can’t really judge them though, I was the same way…when I was twelve.

Whenever I brought up a bit of social injustice, my beloved, brilliant, Harvard-educated grandfather who truly did want me to be a huge success and thought I could do anything in the world, would sneeringly ask “Oh, are you a feminist now?”

The implication being that feminism was the same as man-hating. I didn’t hate men so I’d say “Of course not Dada!”

To many men of my grandfather’s generation, “feminist” became ill-informed shorthand for the type of woman who wanted a world where it was acceptable to treat men the way men were used to treating women. A horrifying thought, and as is so often the case, fear turned into disdain.

Feminism became a dirty word.

I’d like to think as a society we’re past the idea of feminists as braless bogeywomen coming to steal hardworking men’s titles and testicles. We just want equal treatment with our brothers, and the right to make decisions about our own bodies.

What’s so scary about that?

Also, and this is one of those things I care about that apparently no one else on the planet does, women who fought for the vote weren’t suffragettes: They were suffragists.

The word suffragette was originally used as an insult.

The newspapers –a boys club to this day– removed the gender-neutral -ist suffix and replaced it with the cutesy, diminutive, feminine-thus-powerless -ette to be dismissive of those “hysterical” women with all those silly ideas floating around in their tiny female brains who probably just needed a rest cure, ideally in a room with yellow wallpaper.

I know many of us learned the word either through Disney’s Mary Poppins and the sweet but daffy Mrs. Banks

…or through David Bowie’s 1972 scorcher, Suffragette City.

Both great songs, but let’s just agree they are not the most thoughtful exegeses of the suffrage movement.

Well, that’s all I’ve got for today. Next week it’ll be back to fun, frills and fatness, but feel free to keep commenting on these posts. I love the discussion.

(Wham! Bam! Thank you, Ma’am!)