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      There isn’t much to say that others haven’t, but let’s go through it anyway: There was never any chance that Darren Wilson would be charged; the prosecutor acted as defense attorney, not as prosecutor; A grand jury, for all intents and purposes does what the prosecutor tells it to; Doing the announcement at 8pm at [...]
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Sunday: Suburban Soccer Mom Values

I’m about to offend a lot of people.  Be forewarned.

I hate living in the suburbs.  No, really, I hate it with a white hot passion.  It’s because of the soccer moms.  Of course, not all moms in the suburbs are soccer moms.  Some of them are into LaCrosse.  They might be working or stay at home.  They run around in plush minivans and Lexus SUVs.  I don’t get the Lexus SUV.  If I were going to get a Lexus, the last thing I’d want is to haul kids around in it.  It’s even more puzzling when the neighbors in my townhouse development get one.  It’s like, “I can’t afford a single family home but gosh darnit, I’m not going to let the PTA know that.  I’m getting a Lexus SUV.”  The Lexus is the sign of “good people”.

Those minivans (but not the Lexus SUVs) are frequently plastered with soccer ball bumperstickers or banners that read, “Proud Parent – Smallville Honor Student” or “My Kid Can Beat Up Your Honor Student” or the epitome of smug, religiosity, “If you think you’re perfect, try walking on water”.  That last one really bugs the shit out of me.  Who are these people who feel the need to make you feel sorry for being able to read a bumpersticker?

The suburban soccer mom loves her children.  She let’s you know this in many ways.  She doesn’t let them play outside on sunny days because they might get snatched.  She sends her daughter to your house to play with your daughter, after you’ve been thoroughly vetted and after she has cross checked your name against neighborhood convicted sex offenders.  (Yes, I know you did this.  You know who you are.  Whoa!  Look at that! Never so much as a speeding ticket. What am I hiding?)  But she can never be too sure.  So, just to be on the safe side, she sends her bratty, noisy younger son to accompany her daughter to your house.  That’s so the two girls can’t play with their carefully selected, safe, non-agressive and educational American Girl Dolls together without his loud and whiny outbursts and thumping around with his too big for his body feet while you’re trying to relax on the weekends.  After all, you may be a predator who hasn’t been caught yet and with the little brother around, there’s at least one kid able to escape your perverted clutches and run home to tell mommy what you’re doing with the girls chained in the basement.  Bwah-ha-ha-hahhhh!

But they show their love in so many other ways.  Like, if their kid waits to the last minute to do their social studies project, not to worry, mom will drive them to the library and do the project for them.  You sit in the corner and read a book while your unloved child races through the stacks and does her own research.  The other mothers are busy at the tables lovingly working with the construction paper and the glue and the sheets of neatly typed text to paste in just the right places on the poster board whispering sotto voce, “Go sit over there with your brother, I’m almost done.”  Well, it’s a major project.  Don’t you care about your daughter’s grades??

And their children must stay protected from the elements.  They must all get buses to school.  Some crazy driver might mow them all down if they had to walk on the sidewalks of the neighborhood they chose for its quiet, privacy and safety.  You never know and wouldn’t it be better to be safe than sorry?  You’d kill yourself if something ever happened to them.  Like rain.  Yes, rain happens.  That’s why we must have a bus to take the kids from one school to the adjacent school in the afternoons where there is more space in the annex.  Oh, sure, there is a 500 ft walkway between the schools that is not anywhere near the street and skims the playgrounds between the two schools.  But if it rains, they might get wet while they are walking, in a group, with their teachers.  It isn’t safe and the threat of unpredictable atmospheric conditions is too risky.  We need a bus.  Nevermind that school budgets are finite and we might have to cut the late bus for kids in extracurricular activities who have irresponsible, uncaring mothers who work and can’t pick them up but send them home to a dark, unsafe house after school.  Safety comes first.

Children must be walked to the bus stops.  Even if they are only a few dozen yards down the street to the corner.  Mothers must accompany their children up to the age of 13.  No gender is safe from predators.  Do not let your children roam the neighborhood unattended to look for acorns for her latest art project.  Your neighbor will not approve and will call the police and you will have to answer for why you let a ten year old out of the house to steal windfall acorns from the common area.  Don’t you know how unsafe that is?  And never let a child go to the bathroom by themselves.  Boys over the age of 8 will be accompanied to the ladies room by a responsible, pre-vetted and fingerprinted, designated mother.  Best to take them in groups.  That way, they can inconvenience all the girls and women who have to dance and squeeze the pee in while they wait for the boys to get out of the stalls.  Because, you know, there are just so many open stalls in a woman’s bathroom that we must share them with the boys.  No, no, we *enjoy* waiting in line until our bladders burst.  It’s what we live for.

Soccer moms reserve the right to rescind the invitation to a birthday party that they sent to your daughter.  Yes, the present is bought and wrapped and your kid is bouncing with anticipation, invitation clutched in her sweaty, plump, paint smeared hand.  No, no explanation is given- although, she shouldn’t have said some other little girl was “dumb” two weeks ago.  Sorry, your child will be blacklisted for 2 or 3 years.  At some point in time, the soccer moms will review your case and *may* allow limited reintegration into society.  Meanwhile, your child will live in a suburban black hole.  Children may surreptitiously smile and wave to her when their mothers, who for some reason, can’t look you in the eye, have their backs turned.  Expect no further interaction.

You are a bad mother if you do not schedule your children for 5 different activities during the week, forbid your child from making her own friends, let her play outside at the playground without a security guard or don’t make sure her homework is done (just do it for them, you dunce, it’s how the game is played).

The latest no-no in the suburbs is the game of “assassins”.  This is where high school students run around the neighborhood with super soakers and try to take other students out.  This is forbidden.  Actually, I have to agree with this.  High school students are too old for this game.  12 year olds?  Ok.  But shouldn’t juniors in high school be hanging out at the mall or playing chicken in a pool with their bikini clad girlfriends on their shoulders (wait, that might be dangerous) or making a road trip to the shore with their friends on the weekend after their part time jobs at the bagel shop?  You know, sort of Beach Blanket Bingo meets Jersey Shore without the fake tans, funny hair poofs and tasteless behavior?  These are suburban kids after all, not a bunch of guidos and guidettes.  But, no, expect to get a recorded message from the principal of the high school telling you that “assassins” is a “dangerous game” played with “real looking weapons” of mass water inundation.  Police could mistake their actions as serious threats to other children and take them out.  Do you want your kid to be shot by some hypervigilant cop who can’t tell a super soaker from a Glock?  Well, do you???  Violators will be severely punished and may face expulsion, even if they are not playing this childish and irresponsibly “deadly” game on school property.  Don’t even think about it, kid.

So, I am not at all surprised that the Democratic party Congressional leadership is calling for Weiner’s resignation.  The guy is an exhibitionist.  He’s got problems.  His REAL problem, I suspect, is that he has been insufficiently conditioned to prevent acting out his mastabatory fantasies.  ({{snort}} I see the male readers squirming)  I don’t know what will come out next and I really don’t care.  To each his own.  I still think David Vitter’s indiscretions were more serious.  If Weiner was into talking about sex with what he thought (mistakenly or not) were receptive women, well, that makes him not a whole lot different than many other people, male and female.  The nice thing about the internet is that if someone makes advances to you of this kind, you can choose not to accept them.  You can dump their junk in a spam filter, you can block their tweets, you can stop frequenting where they hang out.  That’s the power and the glory of the internet.  You are not a passive victim.  I’ve been on the internet for years, decades now and I rarely encounter porn of any kind.  Maybe that’s because I’m on a Mac but it seems to me that if I want to get into bulging underwear, I have to actively search for it.

And 17 year old girls have been conditioned by their suburban upbringing to avoid like the plague places where porn might be found on the internet.  Thou shalt not go into chat rooms unattended.  If someone makes an online pass at you, report them immediately.  Yeah, right.  Even the most thoroughly indoctrinated teen has urges.  Yes, girls too.  I was a girl once.  I remember.  You guys have no idea.

Is it wrong for an adult male to talk to a girl of 17 on the internet?  A suburban soccer mom will tell you yes.  Unequivocally.  It is wrong for anyone who the parent does not personally know to talk to their children.  About anything.  Even the weather is off limits.  “It’s really hot today” is just a prelude to the cheezy porn movie music played just before the gardener trims a lovely young bush.  You can’t even be in a park eating a donut unaccompanied by a child without being ticketed for suspicious behavior.  Anything you say or do can and will be used against you in a court of suburban public opinion.  You can not win this one.

Yes, it’s paranoid, alarmist, indiscriminate, narrow minded, conformist, intolerant, nonsensical, frequently stupid and sometimes cruel.  The only reason why suburbanites put up with each other is to avoid being ostracized.  Where else are you going to go?  And, yes, the media tends to blow things up to the nth degree and feed the overprotective parental frenzy.  Cable news is chock full of stories about abducted and murdered children and their non-conformist sociopathic parents.  After Weiner’s sexting escapades, prepared for the Good Morning America piece that will discuss what you should tell your 17 year old daughter about texting and tweeting strangers on the internet with some child psychologist or criminal behavioral specialist.  The world is fraught with dangers for your innocent young teen who will never emerge from her Freudian sexual latency period unless provoked by some sleazy adult figure.  And you don’t know who that person could be.  It could be your neighbor or the postman or you congressman.

Women, no matter what age, will always be the victims of men and their base desires.  This thought is *not* incompatible with feminism.  Why are you saying that??  Men are always predators.  Girls do not have sex drives.  Women of all ages are helpless sheep before wolves, they are babies, BABIES, I tell you, even when they are not.  They are powerless to defend themselves against the onslaught of disgusting and depraved attempts to converse with them even when they are full grown adults and are no longer virgins.  Women are always seduced and powerless to the male sex drive.  They are always Tess of the D’Urberville, never Moll Flanders.  (How conveeeenient)  They have no ability to tell the pervert to back the fuck off or block their tweets or threaten to expose them.  They are tabula rasas who must be guarded like Spanish senoritas behind high wrought iron internet gates with the constant vigilance of their duenas.  I would like to thank my sister feminists for their efforts to protect me and my daughters but I do not care for their mass infantilization of women on my behalf and must decline.

Oh, please, Nancy.  Lay off already.  Haven’t you done enough damage to women by tolerating the disgusting and over the top misogynism of the 2008 presidential campaign?  Please, don’t do us any more favors.  The suburban security frenzy is way out of control and ruining our children’s childhoods.  Don’t add more fuel to the fire with these ridiculous calls for Weiner to resign.  He’s an immature guy who needs some behavioral modification.  He’s not a fricking predator.

Get a fricking grip already and ignore those damn Lexus SUVs.

For more outrages from the trenches, check out Lenore Skenazy’s documentation of the atrocities at Freerangekids.com.

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70 Responses

  1. Don’t look at me, I’m the one whose nephew proudly announced he had taught every kid in his 8th grade class at Lutheran High a dirty word they hadn’t known before.
    I will love him forever for that.

  2. You would most likely hate the Dads too…. if one saw them more lol

    • Unmarried women are not allowed to talk to suburban soccer dads. It is the reverse predator phenomenon. Obviously, all you want is to get into their pants, where the sexiest thing that *we* can see is their wallets.
      Go figure.
      Average suburbanites are pains in the asses.

      • I have a grown son, but when he was little I encountered the dads at scouts and sports. They actually would particpate more than just showing up for a game once in a while – anyway, when I was in my early thirties, those guys would hit on me! We are all married here…

        The wives you are talking about are running 2-3 kids to every concievable group function with play dates in between and then they go out to bunko to get drunk with the other soccer moms on the weekends “to get away from it all”. The family has to designate “family time” and “date nights” because the overscheduled life requires it. They are also all made up and wearing designer clothes (so are Madison and Aiden) with perfectly styled and streaked hair. How do they get up early enough to do that?

        Meanwhile, their husbands drive a sporty little car with no room for extra kids (barely enough for his own kids, but only when they don’t have muddy feet!!) and, you know “he works so hard!”. You rarely see both of those parents in the same place, unless it is play-off games for “select” soccer or special recital night… anyway – those husbands are on the prowl – in my experience!

        My husband travels a lot for work and I stay at home – so I am not one to talk. I may resemble some of the things you write about – my daughter goes to Spanish classes, swimming classes, performing arts groups, Girl Scouts, etc…. I don’t worry about the internets with my kids but I do worry about adults who seem more interested in my kids than I am.

        • Yeah, I’d worry about adults who are more interested in kids too. I don’t meet many of them. Nevertheless, a 17 year old girl, whose virtue, as far as we know, was not compromised in any way, is not a little kid anymore. If my 15 year old wanted to write to her congressman, well, I’d question her sanity because he’s a Republican, but if she wanted to have an interaction ala Colbert’s “better know a district”, I’d encourage it. Should we automatically assume that there is a devious, predatory nature to an email or tweet exchange with your congressman?
          That is not to say that Weiner was stupid or immature or definitely pushing the envelope when he struck up his email conversations with some of the women on in his address book. But presumably, he kept his sexting and his regular email separate. I don’t send racy emails to my daughter’s high school homeroom teacher even if he is so hot you could bake cookies on him. it would be unprofessional.
          So, my question is, and we should all be asking this, was his email/tweet/whatever exchange with this 17 year old girl unprofessional? If it wasn’t, what’s the big deal?
          No, seriously, what did he do wrong? If it comes out that there’s more to the story than we know now, we can re-evaluate. But let’s not assume that he’s out to corrupt all our young virgins until we have proof.

          • You’re good.

            Failing to copy and thereby validate their choices is now antisocial. Everyone is so damn suspicious when you decide to do anything your own way. To be considered is the considerable extra burden all this status-ism places on people with difficulties in social interaction, and that any one of them could be your child.

            Seriously, who would jesus cast out?

          • Well I do a few blogs and got forced into one on the film Bel Ami which I was going to ignore because, well….just because. But everything that came out of the mouth or keyboard of any reviewer or fan of Rob Pattinson, including his hotness himself, said that Georges Duroy was a cad, snakeful, wicked, hustler, etc. I began to wonder. So I reread De Maupassant after 50 years and was I surprised. He is wonderful. Absolutely radical in a seductive and subtle way. And I couldn’t really find anything wrong with what Georges Duroy did other than seduce a lot of willing females. Go to my blog and see pics of these beautiful, well coiffed, wealthy and leisurely women for yourself. Do they look like victims to you?

            So now after treading your suburban blog I understand perfectly. They are projecting their paranoia onto the character. Real life is bleeding into the book, the film, the actor, and blogs about it. Hey wait a minute! You know these women are simply hysterics. My mother was like that and I just shrugged my shoulders and thought that that was just the way she was. Fortunately other moms weren’t. God this is so sick. You have to get out of there.

            Actually Foucault details all this leading you through the labyrinth until you are shaking. His description of the Panopticon if you have never read Bentley, is a nightmare. David Foster Wallace’s lat unfinished novel portrayed the same within the IRS. Baudrillard addresses this security obsession head on. You guys really need to read this French post modern stuff. I am in pain for you riverdaughter about all of this. I used to teach in a free school (Miquon in PA) and what I did in 66-67 would get me thrown into jail now, it’s gotten that bad. Right now I hide away in a little Ozark redneck town and stay up all night to avoid all and sundry. Even the internet there are those who wait to find you saying or reporting something they think is wrong. Without Baudrillard I would go mad in this world I am getting old in. Everything is so backward from the 40’s and 50’s that with progress comes so much fear.

            It is all about surveillance and punish and that is the name of Foucault’s book. Actually his 1974 lectures at the College de France are o abnormal and it’s all in there too. That’s what is going on. You are being watched for anything that smacks of anything abnormal. You dare not display any kind of behavior that deviates a particle of anti-matter from the norm. All this is to ensure that you ared their version of a Stepford mom.

            Are you?Well I do a few blogs and got forced into one on the film Bel Ami which I was going to ignore because, well….just because. But everything that came out of the mouth or keyboard of any reviewer or fan of Rob Pattinson, including his hotness himself, said that Georges Duroy was a cad, snakeful, wicked, hustler, etc. I began to wonder. So I reread De Maupassant after 50 years and was I surprised. He is wonderful. Absolutely radical in a seductive and subtle way. And I couldn’t really find anything wrong with what Georges Duroy did other than seduce a lot of willing females. Go to my blog and see pics of these beautiful, well coifed, wealthy and leisurely women for yourself. Do they look like victims to you?

            So now after treading your suburban blog I understand perfectly. They are projecting their paranoia onto the character. Real life is bleeding into the book, the film, the actor, and blogs about it. Hey wait a minute! You know these women are simply hysterics. My mother was like that and I just shrugged my shoulders and thought that that was just the way she was. Fortunately other moms weren’t. God this is so sick. You have to get out of there.

            Actually Foucault details all this leading you through the labyrinth until you are shaking. His description of the Panopticon if you have never read Bentley, is a nightmare. David Foster Wallace’s lat unfinished novel portrayed the same within the IRS. Baudrillard addresses this security obsession head on. You guys really need to read this French post modern stuff. I am in pain for you riverdaughter about all of this. I used to teach in a free school (Miquon in PA) and what I did in 66-67 would get me thrown into jail now, it’s gotten that bad. Right now I hide away in a little Ozark redneck town and stay up all night to avoid all and sundry. Even the internet there are those who wait to find you saying or reporting something they think is wrong. Without Baudrillard I would go mad in this world I am getting old in. Everything is so backward from the 40’s and 50’s that with progress comes so much fear.

            It is all about surveillance and punish and that is the name of Foucault’s book. Actually his 1974 lectures at the College de France are o abnormal and it’s all in there too. That’s what is going on. You are being watched for anything that smacks of anything abnormal. You dare not display any kind of behavior that deviates a particle of anti-matter from the norm. All this is to ensure that you ared their version of a Stepford mom.

            Are you?

  3. Wonderful post! There are lots of fantastic suburban moms (some of whom work outside the home, some of whom do not), but they are often not the one’s driving Lexus SUV’s! Nor do they do their child’s projects for them. (Are those frustrated would-have-been CEO’s had they stayed in the workforce?). And sending a boy child over not invited to play with two girls? Guaranteed misery for all three children, not to mention you!

    I rode my bike all over the place with friends whom I hung out with when I was young. No play dates — we just knocked on each other’s doors to see who had their homework done and could play. Sadly, I think the number of predators has increased exponentially since then. (Not sure why — some victims of predators grow up to be predators or possibly easy availability of porn?). In any event, I can’t blame anyone about being somewhat cautious about predators. Still, as one cannot be with one’s children all the time, self defense classes (with an emphasis on fighting dirty if an adult grabs you) are a good idea.

    I still love being in the rain without an umbrella (unless it is ice water rain).

    djmm

    • >> Sadly, I think the number of predators has increased exponentially since then.

      Um, this is actually not true. Check out freerangekids.com. I think Lenore is compiling the statistics. The media makes it sound like there are predators around every corner but I think there is a more insidious reason for this than the actual incidences of predation of children. Imagine a society where no one can trust his or her neighbor. It would be very difficult to feel empathy for your neighbor’s misfortunes. They might have brought it on themselves. The hypervigilence of the suburbs may be leading to a less cohesive society and one that is more religious. After all, the world seems so unpredictable and chaotic. You can only put your faith in god. If I were Pelosi, I wouldn’t be feeding this frenzy. I’d be trying to reverse it.

      But all the statistics in the world won’t convince someone that predators aren’t around the corner after a couple of decades of stories about murdered children on the nightly news. You KNOW it’s true, they have to be out there. I mean, jesus christ on a cracker, there’s a story every fricking night. Right?

      You gotta wonder what the infotainment industry is up to.

      • It isn’t an increase, I clearly remember being approached frequently as a child – so I know it happened then too. Our parents didn’t know about it, so they let us run wild and unsupervised.

        Our parents wouldn’t have increased our supervision if they thought the neighbor was trying to get us to come in for some ice cream and see the great toys he has… they would have decreased our freedom.

        We knew our freedom depended on NEVER telling anyone what happened. We also knew who those people were and warned the other feral children.

        • We knew our freedom depended on NEVER telling anyone what happened

          Exactly. Parents were protected from this knowledge

        • I never had any adult proposition me when I was a child. But then again, I used to hang out with other kids. I knew what my boundaries were and was encouraged to go outside. We didn’t go into other people’s houses without permission and when I was living with my grandmother, it was unheard of to visit the neighbors without an invitation. I visited the Fryes and the Manziones as an invited guest, and was expected to act like a lady, not a kid. It was very old fashioned. Children acted like children around other children and behaved nicely around adults, in the presence of their personal grown ups. My own parents were a lot less particular than my grandparents but I didn’t get the impression my mom was stressing over how safe the neighborhood was. She just didn’t. And neither myself or my sister ever felt like we were in any danger.
          That was the 60’s-70’s. If there was danger, we didn’t know it.

          • My figure grew up before I did – I think that is why that happened but while it was confusing at the time, it happened enough that I would say something like FU to the adult knowing neither one of us would explain how that happened to my parents ;)

    • “Sadly, I think the number of predators has increased exponentially since then. (Not sure why — some victims of predators grow up to be predators or possibly easy availability of porn?).”

      djmm, I am glad you say you think that, because I believe strongly that peoples beliefs are to be generally respected. If you want your beliefs to be in line with objective truth as measured by crime statistics and other verifiable methods, then I suggest that your belief may not be in line with those numbers.

      Certainly we can all agree that we hear about it a lot more on the news, but let me pose you a challenge: Turn on CNN, FOX, MSNBC, and your local news for 5 minutes each. Count the number of time you see flashing lights either in graphics or footage of emergency vehicles. Also count the number of times you feel the presenter is yelling. Do you remember the news being like that when we were kids?

  4. I know it seems everyone was so free back then, but because people were indeed watching, had regular routines…one was checked out and vetted thoroughly , but it was done in a more seamless process. Now because of the insane over scheduling , no one is really watching, so everything must be watched . I think also another factor is there were so many kids back in the day…and safety in numbers came into play ….now at least on my street there are very few …so there are a number of differences besides possible increase in predators…there is an increase in reporting such things today , that’s for sure

    jjmtacoma, your discription of the Dad’s car ( so often called his “baby” ) cracked me up…somethings never change

  5. Escapee from Pleasant Vally Sunday here. What I find most appalling in my son’s suburban LA (I know, redundant) townhouse development is that although it is perfect for playing outside (kids’ houses close together, isolated from traffic) it is *forbidden* to ride bikes, skateboards and scooters, and that the same few homeowners are forever provoking “controversy” over noisy kids playing outside. The nasty note from the homeowners’ association to the residents is a monthly ritual. I think those puds need to get the fuck over kids playing outside during daylight. Christ that chaps my ass.

    I follow a Facebook group dedicated to growing up in my hometown. Middle-aged nostalgics often post things like, “Remember when the cops came to throw us out of the park one evening when we were all hanging out and someone tossed an M80 into the cop car and put some dogshit on the front seat?” Can you imagine pulling American Graffiti stunts now? A kid’s life would be ruined forever for that.

    (There’s other problems with the group, like literally whitewashing our memories of the era–I keep wanting to throw a stinkbomb in there along the lines of , “Remember the r@cism? I got chased around the school by kids screaming “n****r lover” for reading ‘Black Like Me’!” But at least the other members deplore the loss of freedom for kids.)

    Not letting the kids screw up? Now that is a huge mistake. Learning to recover from stumbling is an important life skill and one learned only by actually getting up when you fall. When I resettled and remarried my son had a rough start to the school year; he had some lousy grades in a couple of his classes. I told him that failure is always part of success and that if he turns it around, it will all be well. The grades started coming up and he ended up fine. Nobody is holding it over his head.

  6. RD, I think that you have consistently missed the boat on this Anthony Weiner thing, and I am surprised.

    Some feminists are old enough and wised-up enough — I thought you might be one of them — to trace a straight line from SDS/New Left 1968 Chicago through 1991 Washington DC and the Clarence Thomas Supreme Court hearings through the 2008 Democratic primaries. And now, once again, we have the usual suspects on the left telling women to take their feminism and shove it and just get over it already.

    The crux of the matter is consent.

    In at least one case — and, to my mind, one is enough — Anthony Weiner had consent to send a woman his crotch shot the way a flasher has consent to open his raincoat on the subway.

    I don’t care what consenting adults Anthony Weiner sexts with. I don’t care what language he uses when he is sexting with another consenting adult.

    Because it’s not the sex. It’s not the sexting. It’s the misogyny.

    Very disappointing that you appear not to see that.

    • And now, once again, we have the usual suspects on the left telling women to take their feminism and shove it and just get over it already

      yup

    • Misogyny is the act of depriving women of their personhood. I saw that in spades in 2008. Remember the “Sarah Palin is a C&*T” T-Shirts? That was disempowering.

      Consent? This is about consent? Are you telling me that women aren’t capable of telling the guy who sent a pic of his junk to her that that was not appreciated? Are you telling me that women will faint if they see penises and testicles unencumbered by proper clothing? Really? How do you even get to the stage where someone feels comfortable enough to send you a pic of their junk? How does that go?

      I get sent a lot of email these days without my consent. I get solicited by political parties, I get crap from Sarah Palin’s PAC, I get lots of email from Apple and Eddie Bauer and Ann Taylor and their friends. What I don’t like, I trash or throw into a spam filter. If people sent me pictures of their junk, I’d spam them. It’s not that hard.

      What would be a violation of my consent is if they sent me a picture of MY junk.

      Feminists really don’t know how to do this anymore, do they?

      • Way to build a straw man, RD.

        “How do you even get to the stage where someone feels comfortable enough to send you a pic of their junk?”

        Seriously?

        The answer, of course, is that two people eventually do GET TO that stage. It’s a process. It tends to include a flirtatious/sexualized context. And when that stage is reached, it tends to be fun and enjoyable for both parties, as it apparently was for Anthony Weiner and a blackjack dealer in Las Vegas, and good for them.

        But you sound misinformed about the incident to which my comment referred. Clearly your opinion is that an unsolicited junk shot from Rep. Anthony Weiner is exactly the same as unsolicited junk mail from Ann Taylor. You are entitled to your opinion, but your opinion does not demarcate the appropriate range of Genette Cordova’s response — or of my feminism, for that matter.

        I think that all of us should be able to communicate on the Internet with a congressman about the issues of the day without expecting or receiving an out-of-the-blue d!ck shot as part of the correspondence.

        And, yes, you can delete an unwanted crotch shot and tell the sender to f^ck off. But you can do that only AFTER he has shoved his equipment in your face, only AFTER he has given you no choice about seeing it in the first place.

        You’re OK with that? You do “postfeminism” proud.

        • Is an unsolicited crotch shot illegal? Is it so awful that we must all be offended? Like i said, I’ve been on the Internet for decades and no one has ever sent me a junk shot and I’ve had plenty of flirtatious conversations. Honestly, I don’t know what it would take to get to the point where pics like that would be triggered but I suspect that it’s a pretty high threshold. If you don’t think so, then your sex life on the web is a lot more interesting than mine.
          This is just another example of women reverting to stereotype on the Internet. Some female bloggers get bent out of shape the first time some male jerk tells them to shut their ugly piehole. But I keep telling them that insults are just black pixels on a screen. They cannot hurt you.
          So, if someone were to send me a junk shot, what might be a good response? Send a response back titled, “is that all there is?” or “what a cute little pet turkey, is it yours?” or “could you autograph your pic? I want to show my friends.”
          The guy is horny. He has a limited imagination stocked with standard porn scenarios. But in the end, it’s just multicolored pixels on your display. It cannot hurt you.
          While children under the age of consent should be protected from this crap, you, as a grown up PERSON, can handle it.
          Well, not “handle” it, but you know what I mean.

          • RD, a good defense against constructing straw women is to name names. Are you thinking of Violet Socks’ posts on the topic? To whom are you referring?

          • Gosh, it wouldn’t be fair to single Violet out. Sometimes, she’s spot on. This time she wasn’t. But she’s hardly alone.
            I think some feminists and I have different ideas about what the word feminism means. I’m the “women are complete persons” variety and believe that women need to be accepted fully into society as equal to men in every respect except upper body strength.
            Some feminists prefer a separate but equal strategy where women are thought to be gifted with attributes that are equal to men but are different. I don’t think that strategy will ever work as long as those attributes are not the ones that society values. I find a lot of the latter type of feminists Are popping up all over the place. I call them Red Tent Feminists. It’s an attitude I don’t share but if they want to waste their time tilting at windmills…

      • You felt disempowered by a “Sarah Palin is a C&*T” T-shirt?

        Maybe if a picture of the “Sarah Palin is a C&*T” T-shirt arrived in your unsolicited Ann Taylor junk mail, you would understand what I am talking about.

        Good luck to you, RD. You’ve had it rough lately.

        –Cleaver

        • The shirts were hate speech and their wearers were participants, if perhaps unconsciously, in “a constant moral conversation about which people deserve to be hated, and therefore destroyed.” * And it did not happen in a vacuum. A great number of people argued in favor of the violent destruction, rather than simple electoral defeat, of the erstwhile GOP candidate. That is what made the shirts’ message surpass their immediate target.

          * http://morgansjoke.blogspot.com/2011/06/cant-you-take-joke-on-tracy-morgan-and.html?spref=fb

  7. Try being a mom of color in a predominantly white, conservative neighborhood and your pain as expresed above gets mutiplied by 10000.

    Great post!

    • I can’t actually feel your pain but I can imagine how bad it is.
      Divorced women with children get the cold shoulder too.
      We should get together and form a support group but the suburbanites would probably report us for violating some association by-law.
      Well, when your last kid graduates, you can leave and never look back.

    • Runa, I can’t begin to imagine. You clearly have more intestinal fortitude than I do.

      • Oh , I think we need the club alright.
        Where i live its all about exclusion :-)
        I’d love to move to the big m bad city but like the rest of American the housing downturn has caught us at a bad time. As soon as it improves, I am so outta here :-)

  8. Suburban life used to be different. I can recall mom telling me to go out and play in the street with my friends, when I was five. Not many years later, I walked wherever I pleased and stayed did whatever I wanted; the only rule was to be home by dinnertime. When I discovered the bus system at the age of thirteen, I was ALL OVER the city of Los Angeles.

    There were three teenaged girls who followed Weiner on Tweeter. Their parents knew all about the interaction and approved. He sent them nothing but boilerplate. Everyone knew all about this early on in the scandal, and a few knew it before the scandal broke. The recent news stories about the girl in Delaware were simply a method to make Weiner look like a predator of the underaged.

    • “There were three teenaged girls who followed Weiner on Tweeter. Their parents knew all about the interaction and approved. He sent them nothing but boilerplate. Everyone knew all about this early on in the scandal, and a few knew it before the scandal broke. The recent news stories about the girl in Delaware were simply a method to make Weiner look like a predator of the underaged.”

      I think that is absolutely correct. My earlier comments don’t address the role of the GOP and the media in the Weiner business, but this hysteria about the 17-year-old is completely cynical and transparent.

      • Ahhh, but that’s where you’re wrong. The suburbanites are horrified at an adult male striking up a conversation with a child up to and including college aged kids. They are not cynical at all. They are genuinely concerned for the safety if their kids no matter how irrational this fear is. If you don’t live here, you have no idea how bad it really is. These parents have been conditioned to believe that anything less than 24/7 vigilance is both dangerous to thei previous offspring as well as indicative of a seriously irresponsible parent.
        Adults who interact with teenagers, even at the age if consent, should carefully consider whether it is worth the risk to their reputations and professional standing. Anything not completely innocuous and generated from an email reply tplate can potentially be used against you.
        It’s crazy but very real.

        • I was talking about the GOP and the media, cynically and (faux) hysterically whipping up the suburbanites and others.

        • RD, you didn’t follow the story as it happened. The three girls were called Betty, Veronica and Ethyl by those who followed it closely. Not their real names, obviously. Ethyl was the Delaware girl. (You can almost hear her pouting: “Why do *I* have to be Ethyl?”) In all three cases, the parents knew all that was going on and encouraged the kids to take an interest in politics.

          That Christopher fellow on Mediaite contacted the families. He got permission to write about Betty and Veronica, and did.

          Daily Kos wrote about those two as well — using their real names. Markos Moulitsas — being his usual sweetheart self — refused to keep the real names a secret, even though reasonable people pleaded with him to keep the identities confidential.

          That Markos. Ain’t he a peach?

          The girls were all continually harassed by Dan and Mike to make some sort of accusation against Weiner. Eventually, Veronica — who had not actually been following Weiner; she simply was Betty’s friend — decided that she wanted her Warholian 15 minutes, so she made up a story about Weiner. Soon thereafter, she retracted the whole thing. It was a proven lie, since she never had been in contact with Weiner in any way. Veronica’s parents took away her internet privileges for six months.

          Look, I know what you are saying about ridiculously cautious suburbanite parents. But this particular tale does not fit that stereotype. This is something different.

          • But it is the helicoptering parent cohort that Pelosi is responding to whether the story is bogus or not.
            The soccer moms will not be ignored.

          • “Soccer moms” are a bullshit construct. It’s just another convenient place to put your woman-hatred.

        • RD, I’ve read your comment closer, and I think I understand it better. The suburbanites to which you refer are not the actual parents of Betty, Veronica and Ethyl. You’re talking about the people that the scary, scary (and misleading) headlines are designed to scare.

          It’s a classic case of “The children! Why doesn’t someone think of the children!”

          • Exactly. The media is being cynical and exploitative but the fear is very real even if it’s irrational.

        • “These parents have been conditioned to believe that anything less than 24/7 vigilance is both dangerous to thei previous offspring as well as indicative of a seriously irresponsible parent.”

          The ultimate privatization, isn’t it? You are the sole Rent-a-Cop guaranteeing your child’s safety. There is no reasonable expectation of a functioning public space with decent citizens.

  9. well he will get rehabed and then back to business as usual :lol:

  10. Great piece RD. One wonders about the world they are growing up in, no? So different from when we grew up. I like the idea of free range because how else do people learn except from experience?

    Am editing a fab book right now that is going to be a read for B’s gen of kids! It’s like Holden Caulfield redux by one of our gen! You can bet it is fab!

    As for the Weiner thing? Geez do your effing job, no? Just do your job! Politicians “heady” with power we do not need right now.

    xxoo!

  11. “but what do you really think…”

    But I don’t live in the suburbs, I’m a single father in an urban area. My kid’s school is ranked way below average, it is officially an “underperforming” school under NCLB.

    The school is majority minority, so a lot of that “underperformance” has nothing to do with how good the school actually is, it’s partly a reflection of how much English is spoken at home, and partly a reflection of so-called “at risk” children who may struggle academically.

    It’s not so bad here. My son is learning a lot. So why not move if it’s so horrible where you live, I wonder…

    • Actually, I am looking forward to moving. You are preaching to the choir.

  12. I don’t think there are more predators today ….I think kids get killed more today in order to shut them up…back in the day, the predators let one go home to dinner and life ….because the likelihood you would” tell ” was way lower… So I wish I could say today’s Mom’s valiance was foolish. But a post assult life is less likely today imo. You mostly don’t get a 2nd chance

    • Whether or not the predation is more deadly these days is quite a different problem than the actual number of incidences if predation. And despite what the media is telling us, the rate of abduction and sexual assault of children is extremely low. It’s like being hit by lightening. Sure, if your struck, you’re dead meat. But getting hit by lightening takes perseverance.

      • Today is so diffrent….the idea we should just “get over” a congressmen doing even this, is so foreign to back in the day thinking..it’s like messages from another planet. The vigilance today is higher because the permissiveness is greater…and that’s no plea for the return to Victorian times …actually they are already here on the home front as you point out

        • Permissiveness? In the burbs? You must be kidding. These kids are supervised within an inch of their lives. That doesn’t mean that they don’t do a lot of stuff once they get to high school but they live in an artificial womb for so much of their lives it’s hard to see how they function when they travel outside their comfort zones. They’ve got so many rules and their every breaths so strictly regulated it kinda reminds me of those kids in the German movie The White Ribbon, minus the parentally administered beatings. I worry they can’t think for themselves.
          Frightening really.

          • It’s fascism.

          • I agree with you, but I think there’s also a *lot* of permissiveness. Probably not the kind of permissiveness paper doll is referring to though.

            The internal price of the overscheduled panoptical family is letting your kids act like total assholes. They get to whine, they get to talk back, they don’t have to say please and thank you and they don’t have to be polite to anyone, not the guy in Safeway or the aunts and uncles or neighbors or whoever. In some ways the kids have to be allowed this freedom to be snotty or they’d go even crazier.

            In the old days, say when I was ten, three decades ago, those kids were considered spoiled and everyone knew it. Now my daughters are surrounded by kids who don’t know how to say please and thank you, who can’t chew with their mouths full, and who have literally zero skills for playing and working well with others.

          • You’re just wrong. Kids are not “supervised within an inch of their lives.” The plural of anecdote is not misogyny-laced data. “GOD, these fucking women are HORRIBLE mothers!”

            Yeah. Right. It’s always the mom’s fault. All the blame none of the credit.

        • I think I get what you mean, our parents didn’t have to worry about scary people having access to their kids that they didn’t know about – like texting, facebook or whatever. They actually had to come to the playground where we were.

          Now that I think about it, my friend’s mom used to worry about us being picked up by the Green River killer walking to Angle Lake because we wore so much makeup… True story.

  13. New photos of Weiner have surfaced; he took them of himself in the Congressional Gym standing in front of the mirrors. He’s nude in one of them, others show him grabbing his towel-draped bulge. In the congressional gym, no less.
    News sites have the pix or links to the pix but don’t look if you’re squeamish.

    • “Don’t look, Ethel!”
      But it was too late. She’d already been mooned. Flashed her right there in front of
      the shock absorbers.

      • too funny! I think the Weiner thing is just funny – the name, the behavior… oh the jokes write themselves.

        I think my kids could handle this kind of thing and they see it on tv (like it or not). It isn’t the same as some guy cornering a 14 year old in a locker room – that would freak me out – but not pictures, those can be deleted and laughed about over dinner.

    • Poor guy. He is so sick. Does anyone really think modern kids don’t know or haven’t seen just about everything there is to see. All this repression, and that’s what it is, just brings about a huge curiosity to see all this forbidden stuff.

      God knew what he was doing forbidding Adam and Eve not to eat of THAT tree.

  14. […] Sunday: Suburban Soccer Mom Values I’m about to offend a lot of people.  Be forewarned. […]

  15. Wow, you got fp’ed at Memeorandum and linked by Atrios on the same day! I guess you’ve been rehabilitated or something. They probably just didn’t like the riff raff you used to hang with.

    I remember dealing with soccer moms when my oldest played football. One week I was informed that it was my turn to bring half-time drinks for the team.

    I was told not to bring sodas or anything with sugar or caffeine in it. And when it was my turn to bring an after-game snack I was told no cookies, candy or other sweets. They told me to bring fresh fruit or yogurts.

    Apparently some of the boys had never eaten any refined sugar or anything with artificial coloring. If they were to consume a carbonated beverage or, god forbid, chocolate, they could go into shock and die. Even worse, they could become “hyper.”

    Lord knows we wouldn’t want anything like that at a football game.

  16. All of this is a very pet peeve of mine. I really could go on all night. When T was in elementary school in the 40’s we went to the sat matinee at the Narberth theatre. My mother was from NYC and she used to fret and warn about de-gen-er-ates hanging around movie theatres in the afternoon just waiting to pounce on children, especially little girls.

    My friends and I knew all about the perverts in the last row. We loved them. We would wait until we were sure they had taken it out and were looking at us and playing with it. Then we would start:

    In very loud whispers

    Hey look what he’s doing back there. See his thing! See it see it! Look. Look Dick look. See Jane see. And we would laugh and giggle until the poor guy ran out of the theatre. And we never told because we knew we wouldn’t be allowed to go to the sat movies anymore. I am still that way. Handle the problem yourself except here in the midwest where I am now, you are expected to go to an authority to handle the problem, It’s a big no no to do it yourself.

    But as Baudrillard says and it applies to the Weiner thing. (o that’s so funny!) It’s all about Deterrence. I find the PC feminists very difficult to understand or convince of anything. So I don’t even try anymore.

  17. http://fuckyeahethnicwomen.tumblr.com/post/2147412027/tuareg-woman-by-helga-tuareg-gender-customs-may

    This is an amazing pic of a Tuareg woman whose gaze will burn right through you. You can tell she wouldn’t put up with any of this crap. She would kill you.

    • That’s a wonderful photo. It’s the Tuareg men who veil–keep your eyes down and m ind your manners, dude.

  18. Looks like everyone went home to bed. NIte.

  19. Nothing offensive here. Seriously.

  20. Not sure I really followed the logic of this…I have gone to plenty of soccer, lacrosse, basketball, baseball, softball, etc and I don’t think I encountered these moms. Probably because I’m not much of a joiner…as to predators, we discovered a couple of years ago the old guy around the corner was just that…explained alot about that (poor) weird kid who lives behind us that he used to babysit…as to Weiner, seriously, if he is that infatuated with his junk – please, just quit and go into porn. I hear it can be a very lucrative career. And if my daughter (17) was following this nutjob on twitter, I would be mad as hell…not because of her age, but because of his apparent preoccupation. I work with a few slackers (big time)…regrettably, the only reason they get away with it is their race. So, these days my motto is JUST DO YOUR JOB.

    P.S. I drive a Jeep.

  21. In my suburban neighborhood, most of the houses don’t contain children. In some cases, the children are grown ups or in college. In others, there are childless couples. One set of children who are too old for this, never leave their yard and often skateboard back and forth on their driveway. The other child appears out maybe once a day for three minutes to walk her dog. Her social skills are pathetic, always two or three years behind what they should be.

    The local elementary school assigns more work to fourth graders than I had in high school and as much as I had in college. It is at the behest of a few parents who are mortally afraid that their ten year old will fall behind.

    There is a little bit of danger in the neighborhood but not much and not what is imagined. About two years ago, a woman in her late 40s maybe ten houses up the street murdered her mother in an argument about her gambling losses that she wanted mom to cover.It was the first murder in town in over 20 years.

    A more frequent occurrence is petty crime (burglaries) committed by older kids and covered up by the parents. Rumor had it that parents were trying to cover up the rape of a high school girl by a high school boy. That’s way more than “normal” but typical of the Johnny or Mary can do no wrong syndrome. Teachers and other authority figures are often bullied or threatened with the possible loss of their jobs by over anxious parents.

    The results are not what is intended. My girl friend manages an office with 45 people. It is surprising how many of the employees in their 20s are not quite functional. They work hard and are often smart but don’t take direction or criticism well. A surprising number cry at work when anything goes wrong.

    And yes, this afflicts even the best educated. One of the worst offenders had an Ivy League degree and the maturity of a 12 year old.

  22. Move.

  23. sorry but I didn’t get the chance to read all your post but as far i see you got a lot of comment I am actually jealous

  24. Is that just this generation? Not quite functional has been all the rage since I came of age in the early 80s and judging from the stories I hear it’s been going on for a while.

    The worst offender having the most prestigious degree? Upper Class Twit of the Year syndrome is nothing new.

  25. Good god. Strawmoms, anyone? Those two “cartoons” in the above post are misogynist as well as stupid. Just make up something and then talk about how much you hate the people who do it.

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