Health Political Commentary

Do men think about whether they want kids every day?

Liked Don’t Show Up for Men Who Won’t Show Up for You by Jill Filipovic (Jill Filipovic)

Democratic voters were fired up about abortion — the number of Dem voters who listed abortion as their #1 issue far outpaced Dem voters who listed anything else.

In the midterms, an astounding 72% of women under 30 voted for Democrats. Among men the same age, it was 54%. These gaps persist with age: Among women 30-44, 57% voted for Dems, while just 43% of men did.

I highlight these age ranges because these are the people getting pregnant.

I am a woman who does not want and has never wanted children. This is an unpopular choice in our culture. But I must renew this decision on a daily basis when I take my birth control pill* to prevent pregnancy. Every day of my adult life, I have started my morning by making the choice not to be a mother again. 

Even for those not on the pill, reproduction is embedded in the typical adult woman’s physical lived experience, with thirty-odd years of monthly reminders of our fertility.

Maybe men also think about having kids every day. Without the daily reminder, I probably wouldn’t that often. I’m guessing most don’t? I hope not, because if they do and half of American men still care more about tax rates and gun rights than women’s right to choose whether to have (more**) kids or not, that’s even more depressing.

It is a very, very complicated thing to hold that a man can love you personally — as your father, your brother, your partner — but also devalue women as a class. Even more difficult is to truly understand that when he devalues women as a class, that includes you.

I see how women are being treated in Iran *today* and know how lucky I am to live in a Blue state. And I fear the American evangelicals who are just like the religious extremists in power in Iran, who want America to be a Christian nation so they can control women’s bodies and minds. They are chipping away at us, little by little. The courts recently ruled businesses don’t have to cover pRep in their insurance plans because they’re allowed “not to support the gay lifestyle.” It isn’t much of a stretch to extend that to birth control: they will paint women who use birth control as promiscuous and they will come for it.

*I could switch to another birth control method that doesn’t require daily use, but even with the annoyance of remembering to take it every day, the pill still seems like my best option. The side effects are minimal, and I suspect it might help prevent hormonal migraines which seem to run in the family. I know many women with an IUD and every one has told a story of agonizing pain to have it inserted, so I’d rather take the daily chore and need to get my prescription renewed annually.

I just want men to recognize just how much thought and effort women put into reproductive choice, constantly. Abortion is a last defense when our other tools fail. See also: who our culture considers responsible for contraception

** The majority of people who get abortions already have children.

Food History Political Commentary Reflection

Rethinking “Grandma’s Food”

Replied to The Fallacy of Eating The Way Your Great-Grandmother Ate by Virginia Sole-Smith (Burnt Toast by Virginia Sole-Smith)

We cannot idolize their nutrition while ignoring the classism, racism, and misogyny on their tables.

A return to home-grown bounty and scratch cooking requires an investment of time and labor from someone. And because we live in a society that cannot reckon with how much this has cost, and continues to cost us, it takes a phenomenal level of privilege to either be that someone or hire that someone.”

I am really appreciating how Virginia Sole-Smith makes me rethink my attitudes about food. I’ve internalized a lot of cultural expectations that made me feel like I need to cook dinner every day from whole food ingredients or I’m letting down myself and my family and the caregiver mentality for women that I’m “supposed” to provide nutritious meals for me and my husband. I know I’m a food snob, but I’m trying to get better. Giving thought to the underlying classism and other gross -isms behind our food judgments helps me throw out the garbage ideas.

I do also believe in supporting a local food economy, and have the discretionary income to do so, so I do like to buy from local farmers. But also remembering that I work and have important hobbies and value spending time with friends — and recognizing whole food cooking requires a ton of work that people (women) used to either have to spend a ton of time preparing, or (under-)paid servants to do for them — so using shortcut ingredients or making simple meals or ordering takeout is totally legit. If cooking food comes out as a lower priority than my other activities I enjoy more, that’s a fair choice. Especially when a lot of our food judgments are tied in with fatphobia. Society wouldn’t think less of my husband for not cooking us fresh meals every day, so I don’t need to take that expectation on myself. I like baking, I don’t especially like cooking, why make myself do something I can afford not to?

I’m going to try thinking of my restaurant costs, DoorDash fees and driver tips as a feminism fee and redistributing my money to people who have to do gig work.

We’re also getting rid of our garden beds, because we haven’t enjoyed growing food like we thought we would, and if my husband doesn’t want to put in the work, why should I make myself? Gardening doesn’t give me the stress relief it purportedly gives other people, and I’d rather spend my time doing other things. I like the idea of self sufficiency, I like looking at pretty seeds, I support the idea of seed saving and heirloom foods, but that doesn’t add up to having the patience to actually garden. Especially when buying food from other people is honestly cheaper.

Personal Growth

Where are the women?

Replied to Reading List: 70+ Life-Changing Books I Recommend by Darius Foroux (

Are you looking for good books to read? I’m sharing my reading list with the best books I recommend everyone to read. I strongly believe that reading, and educating yourself, is the answer to a better life. And ultimately, freedom.

I saw this list of life-changing books, and couldn’t help but notice the comparative lack of women on the list, even when it came to fiction. Of more than 70 titles, a mere 7 were by women (2 of those co-authored with men, and 1 was a biography about a man). Less than ten percent.

I don’t want to pick on the author of the list, because I see this happen time and again. I’m sure it wasn’t intentional. He may yet be unaware. But it makes me wonder where this deficiency starts:

  • from a lack of women in the literature of habits and productivity (I feel like I have noticed this since starting to seek out female voices in this sphere) – and is this due to publisher gatekeeping or author self-selection in what they write about?
  • from different marketing angles used to sell women’s works in those genres – do men read Gretchen Rubin and Laura Vanderkam or are they marketed to a female audience? (Not that I would necessarily include their books but they’re the biggest women’s names I can think of in the genre) Or a real, different way in which women write about these things? Are women writing in this field for women, perhaps specifically speaking to mothers? Or writing in an emotional way that conflicts with traditional masculinity respected in the business community?
  • or a cascading succession of best of lists created by people who decided what was worth reading from older lists that centered male authors? Does more effort need to be taken to seek out other voices?

I think this is just a sign of how important it is to be conscious of who we are reading in addition to what. Men and women, Black and white, straight and queer, cis and trans, disabled and neurodiverse as well as able-bodied and neurotypical. Because I can’t believe that women only have ten percent of the wisdom to share.