Thursday, May 27, 2010

Somewhere in a dark corner, Facebook is eating the tiniest morsel of crow. At least for the moment.

Remember the misogyny fan page on Facebook that I recently wrote about?

It's gone.

Just like that.  The only way I know it is gone is because I've been checking in regularly.  Facebook doesn't seem to communicate with the account holders who report offensive content, which seems to be a poor choice in customer service to me, but I suppose that's their right.

Either way, the page is gone, even though I'm not exactly sure how or why Facebook finally chose to remove it.  I think it's reasonable to believe that enough of us reported the page and pushed Facebook to act, so I'm going to count this as a small victory.

The disappointing thing is that originally, I was counting this as a big victory.  After I wrote about  the hypocritical Facebook policies regarding images of women's bodies and showed images of the highly sexualized and objectified pictures of women's breasts that Facebook allows next to my banned breastfeeding picture, most of the objectifying images and applications suddenly disappeared from Facebook.  Since that post had a lot of exposure, I was hoping and believing that the hundreds of people who reported those images had helped to get them removed.  So before writing this post, I decided to check back in and see how Facebook is doing on equally applying their policies regarding images of breasts.  We know they're still removing images of women breastfeeding, so I had foolishly hoped that they're at least also applying their ignorant policies to the content that objectifies women and is actually offensive.  No such luck.  A quick search for "tits" and "boobs" on Facebook brought up many of the images from my original post that had initially been removed.   Even more disheartening were the many new fan pages and applications that go even further to objectify women's bodies.

Maybe I'm just paranoid.  Maybe I'm starting to reek of Facebook conspiracy theory.  But any way I look at it, I cannot find any reasonable explanation for why Facebook would remove misogynistic content when they're getting a lot of negative publicity over it, and then quietly re-instate that content when the buzz dies down.  From every angle, all I see is Facebook contributing to a social structure that allows for violence toward and hatred of women.

Will the misogyny page come back in a few weeks?  I don't know if it even matters.  The real misogyny page is the one that opens when you visit

Monday, May 24, 2010


Using the facilities used to be a private matter in our house.

I liked that privacy.

There was a time in life when I would have assured you that there was nothing, nothing, that would ever cause me to let go of that privacy.

Enter Rhys and Quin.  Both literally and figuratively.  Into the bathroom.  Where I am.

They stagger in teetering like dizzy drunks with big toothy smiles and triumphantly signing, over and over again, POTTY!  POTTY!  POTTY!

I am SO glad we taught them to sign, so that in situations like this when I think that perhaps my dignity is still fully intact because after all, they are so young and still in diapers thus they do not use the POTTY - I can learn that in fact, my dignity is in shreds.  Yes.  Mommy is on the potty.

And I'll be damned if I know what to do while I'm sitting there, otherwise indisposed, and one of them falls and bumps his head on a corner and is now crying to be picked up.  Now mommy is on the potty and Quin is on her lap.

At which time it is only fair that Rhys discovers toilet paper.  And this toddler who is still learning coordination somehow manages to unravel the entire roll onto the floor before I've even figured out how to reach an arm out in a weak attempt to stop him.  Now mommy is on the potty and Quin is on her lap and Rhys is on the floor in a pile of toilet paper that mommy needs and cannot reach.

I've changed my mantra.

It now goes like this.

Privacy is overrated.  Privacy is overrated.  Privacy is overrated.  Privacy is overrated.  Privacy is overrated. I bet Kyle is pooping in peace at work.  Privacy is overrated.  Privacy is overrated.  Would anyone find out if I started stashing a bottle of vodka in here? Privacy is overrated.  Privacy is overrated.  Privacy is overrated.  Privacy is overrated.  Privacy is overrated.

Monday, May 17, 2010


National Infertility Awareness week took place the week of April 25th.

I didn't write about it.

I thought about writing a post on it, and each time I sat down to work on it, I would end up spilling a frustrated mish-mash of words onto the screen.  Sometimes I sounded angry.  Sometimes bitter.  Sometimes resentful.  Sometimes sad, sellf-pitying, and pathetic.  I stopped trying to write about it.

One pregnancy and two babies later, it is sometimes difficult to know where I fall with infertility.

Then I saw this video, from Hannah Wept, Sarah Laughed:

What IF? A Portrait of Infertility from Keiko Zoll on Vimeo.

Suddenly I found my words, in the form of many "what if's" of my own.

What if my infertility-inflicted wounds do not heal?

What if a small part of me always feels like a fraud?

What if I forget where I came from?  What if I can't?

What if my sharing the joys and hardships of motherhood is hurtful to those still struggling through infertility?

What if I don't deserve to describe the hardships of motherhood?

What if people never stop asking if twins run in my family?

What if I make the wrong decision for our four frozen embryos?

What if I never stop being angry?

What if it never stops hurting?

I used to think that the cure for infertility must be a baby.  What I didn't count on was the aftermath of infertility; the role of mother has been achieved, but this woman who I have become is not the woman I was when I started on this journey.

Don't get me wrong.  I am beyond grateful that IVF worked for us.  I love being a mother.  Bred into the love I have for my children is the realization of how close I was to never having them in my life.

There are parts of me that just want to live in the moment and forget how I got here.  I know that I never can.

For me, infertility has been about acceptance.  As I sit here today, I realize that my newest task is to accept the fact that while there is necessary healing that will happen, the inevitable reality is that the fabric of my being is forever altered.

National Infertility Awareness week has passed.  

The heartbreak of infertility has not.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Is it just me, or is Mark Zuckerberg starting to make Harvard look bad?

Okay, so Harvard can't help it if some of their students turn out to be greedy, arrogant, pricks.  But I mean, come on.  You're Harvard.  Surely, the admissions process must be rigorous enough to highlight sociopathic personality traits.

Wait a minute.  Did I just call Mark Zuckerberg a sociopath?

Here, a direct quote from Mark Zuckerberg, talking about why early Facebook users would submit their personal information to the site: "I don't know why.  'They trust me'.  Dumb fucks."

Sounds kind of sociopathic to me.

Anyhoo, I kind of have a general philosophy about NOT trusting people who would call me a "dumb fuck" for doing so.  To that end, I share with you what I believe is the equivalent of safer-sex for the Facebook user: ways to keep your Facebook content at least a little more private.  You don't want your profile information to be getting all promiscuous with this guy, do you?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Facebook...apparently a safe harbor for misogyny

A few days ago I wrote about quitting Facebook.  Here's the thing...

I'm not going to quit Facebook.

I'll be honest, there are a couple of selfish reasons why I'm going to continue to utilize a company whose morals  threaten to make Ted Nugent sound like a good guy.  I like staying in contact with friends and family who I don't get to see regularly (yes - I could do this via another social networking service - but until THEY all move over too, well...) and a lot of my blog readers connect to my posts via Facebook.  I'm no Dooce - I need every reader I can get.

But selfish reasons aside, there's a more compelling reason that I'm not quitting Facebook: I think Facebook sucks.

I also think that Facebook is not going away any time soon.

So I can take a stand, pack up my principals, and leave (which, to be honest, is exactly what Facebook probably wants from its less-than-cooperative users - after all, they kick people off for swimming upstream, and with 400,000,000 users, they certainly don't need me), or I can take a stand, gather my principals around me, and stay.

I don't plan to stay quietly.

I plan to regularly, methodically, and insistently expose Facebook's misogyny and lackluster corporate responsibility.  I plan to blog, Tweet, and yes, use Facebook, to reach as many people as possible to work together to ask them to change.

Facebook has no reason to care if non-users think they suck.  But if Facebookers start complaining, start suggesting, start reporting content that spreads hate and perpetuates inequality, then maybe, just maybe, Facebook will start to have reason to care.

That said, today I'm focusing on the Facebook fan page titled "Misogyny."  Since misogyny is defined as hatred of women, I would have expected that when I and several of my Facebook friends reported this page, it would have been removed.  After all, Facebook explains in their Terms of Use that:

We remove content that harasses an individual or group. Facebook also must honor requests to remove content that draws unwanted attention to specific people. To prevent this from happening in the future, please be careful to review the content of any group you administer.
Facebook thoroughly reviews every report we receive to determine whether or not the content violates our Terms of Use. Any content that is considered sexually explicit, violent, malicious or otherwise offensive will be removed. If you received a warning about an item that was taken down, then we have established that it violated these terms.
I would consider a fan page dedicated to the hatred of women as containing content that "harasses an individual or group."  And as a woman, I also have to say that the type of attention drawn to woman from such a group is "unwanted."  They claim to "thoroughly review every report" they receive to determine if there's been a violation.  I wonder how they could review this page, multiple times, and NOT conclude that it is "violent, malicious, or otherwise offensive."

And so I have to ask, why is it that Facebook is knowingly allowing a group dedicated to the hatred of women?


Click here to visit the Facebook misogyny page - on the left hand side near the bottom is the link to report the know what to do.

Monday, May 10, 2010

It's nice to meet you!

I've fallen into the unfortunate habit of over-sharing the mundane details of our adventures in erranding, especially trips to the grocery store.

I'm sorry.  

I'm even more sorry that I have no real plans to stop.  

I tell myself, "okay.  Okay.  That's enough for a while," but then we go to the grocery store and while I'm wearing Quin on my front, he discovers the wonderful world of (and do excuse the lack of sophistication in the following term) motorboating.  Not the water sport, friends.  The face-in-cleavage kind.  With loud and exuberant sound effects.  And I'm pushing Rhys in the cart and he and I are shaking hands non-stop while I say emphatically, over and over again, "It's nice to meet you!" because that's our grocery store game and he finds it hilarious and it keeps him from jumping ship and escaping to the banana display.  And then Quin decides that motorboating is significantly more fun if he grabs onto my ears and pulls outward, so now we're really attracting attention as I push our cart with one hand trying to avoid a collision while one child practices manners, the other practices a total lack thereof, and my ears are stretched beyond the realms of normalcy and any pretense of comfort.  And as all this is happening, I'm thinking how I really need to do a post on this because I have no self control and I cannot stop.  

And so I'm sorry.

Friday, May 7, 2010


That song came on the radio

drumming through my veins
when I was younger I'd hear it and feel sexy

and today you heard it
you grinned with all four teeth
and bounced on chubby legs

I scooped you up
a baby on each hip

we danced in the kitchen
in front of the dirty dishes
I was supposed to be washing

spinning and twirling and bouncing and dipping

you threw your head back and laughed
and held on tight

I try to be more awake
understanding that some day
you will love to hear this story

and then some day you won't

your chore will be to wash the dishes
and you won't want to dance with me instead.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Listen, Facebook. It's not you, it's me. I want to break up.

A friend sent me a link to this fantastic post on why you should quit Facebook.  I'm not even slightly tech savvy, so I have to admit that a few of the reasons you should quit Facebook were over my head.  Since the author focused primarily on the technical/privacy aspects of Facebook, I'm adding two reasons of my own.  It is because of these two reasons that in thirty days, I'm taking the plunge.  I'm breaking up with Facebook.

1. Facebook is misogynistic.  Their tendency to allow sexualized images of women and to ban images of empowered women is not a mistake.  It is the atmosphere they have crafted.  If the virtual community of Facebook were a work environment, they would be sued regularly for sexual harassment.

2. Facebook is making money off of you.  And me.  And by continuing to stand by and accept their sexism, their privacy violations, and their big-brotherish bullying, we are saying "okay."  I make a point of sending my money in the direction of companies that I respect.  Companies with corporate values and social responsibility.  Since Facebook is a massive fail in these categories, I'm moving my consumer voice elsewhere.

I'm not going to sit here and say "okay" any more.  I'm creating an exit strategy, and I'm leaving.  Facebook isn't the only gig in town.  Sure they're huge.  But only because we allow them to be.


I started a Facebook page called "In thirty days, I'm breaking up with FB."  I had to use FB because fittingly, Facebook would not allow me to use "Facebook" in the name of my group.  I'm guessing Facebook might remove the group, or me, before I finish my thirty day exit strategy, but it's worth a try.  On the page, I will be detailing my plan for departure.  I'm certain that life exists both before, and after, Facebook.


(about 45 minutes later)
Having second thoughts.  Do I NEED Facebook for the sake of my blog?  Have deleted my "breaking up with FB page" while I mull this over.

Monday, May 3, 2010


The babies are on a strike.  Actually, one baby is on a strike, the other crosses the picket line daily.

Babies, I have found, are fond of exercising their right to strike, especially when unionized as in the case of any and all sets of multiples.  In the past fifteen months, we've had nap strikes, poop strikes, nighttime-sleep strikes, walking strikes, and independent-play strikes.

As a member of executive management on this parental team, I've become a master at negotiating peaceful resolutions, which might come in handy right about now, since our latest strike is a biggie: food strike.

While Quin eats every last bite of food that crosses his path, Rhys has become quite exacting in his food standards.  Slowly, he has whittled his formerly diverse diet down to one favored food - banana.  All other foods are meticulously cast over the edge of his highchair tray and onto the floor, where at the conclusion of every meal, Quin and Bella hover, sharing delectable discarded morsels.

It's been a steady and slippery slope.  First he (Rhys) cut out egg - one of his favorite foods, second only to the wondrous banana.  Then it was toast.  Then oatmeal.  And so on.  If I am crafty and incredibly casual, sometimes I will have a short-lived bout of success at breaking his strict "bananas only" rule.  He'll nibble my toast, or have a bite of melon.  Before I even get my hopes up, he is puckering his face and dramatically wiping his tongue off with his pudgy hand.  I find myself wondering if humans can live on a diet comprised almost solely of bananas.    I find myself feeling more thankful than ever that he is still nursing.  I find myself wondering how many bananas it will take to push us back into poop-strike territory.

And here's the big deal: I'm not worried.  

Strike negotiations haven't commenced.  He wins.  

Don't get me wrong - I have certainly noticed  this new trend.  I've talked about it with other parents.  And here I am writing about it. 

But I haven't run to the internet, or one of the several options in my vast baby book library, to get advice.  I know it is a phase.  I get it.  I know it will pass.

If I didn't know any better, I might even say I'm relaxed.

Break out the red pens and fill in my report card, please.  The comments section will now read: "is a relaxed and confident mother." 


Okay.  So maybe we happen to have our fifteen month well-baby visit this Thursday.  So what if the banana-issue is at the top of my painfully long list of questions for the pediatrician.   I want my damn gold star.