Writing at the intersection of motherhood, feminism and my Latinidad

25 May 2010

Book Review: Motherhood and Feminism by Amber E. Kinser


I doubt any role is more judged than mother. Add in sexuality, class and race into the equation and for some of us, we will never be a good mother. But what are we really comparing ourselves/each other to?

We are trying to live up to a myth. A myth of Biblical proportions that has been around for less than sixty years. Stephanie Koontz’s The Way We Never Were does an excellent job at debunking the myth of a “Leave it to Beaver” family and letting Donna Reed be our benchmark. Amber E. Kinser picks up that conversation and runs with it.

In Motherhood and Feminism Kinser outlines the evolution, both natural and government imposed, of the role of motherhood in American society. At the same time she is tracking the evolution of the feminist movement in the USA. Sometimes both areas collide, others they complement each other. And that is what is fascinating about this book – How easily motherhood and the role of the women in families can be shifted by outside economic pressures and government propaganda as well as how the feminist movement often takes its cue from how motherhood is framed.

During the first wave of feminism, it was obvious that many of the women who were engaged in the fight for suffrage took a look at themselves and s,aid, “Hey, women need the vote so we can be better citizens for our children and because women are just better people than men.” The theory that infusing women into politics would clean it up remains with us today. The fact that women could not ask for their own rights for their own sake, but rather used their children as the reason why they shouldn’t be left penniless after her husband dies, also remains with us. Consider how many mothers organizations fight for rights on behalf of children rather than for women themselves.

In many ways the fight for women’s rights has and continues to be fought in the home. The so-called Mommy Wars are a proxy for where a woman should be in society and not about the well-being of children. It is also a proxy for who is worthy of support. “How dare that woman take government money to stay home with her children when my husband works hard and I budget so I can be home?” The backlash against mom bloggers earning money, directly or indirectly through free samples, is yet another battle over where a woman’s priorities should be: her career or her children?

Kinser makes the point over and over again that not all mothers movements are feminist, nor do they want to be. It is honestly easier to get a thousand women to rally for children’s health care than to rally for their own health care that includes access to full reproductive health services. And that’s where the gruff lives.

I've talked with feminists who wished that mothers organizations would just claim the damn label, but I get it. And yes, it usually falls to the abortion question. Kinser has one of the BEST rationales on why feminism must include a pro-choice stance, no ifs ands or buts. I won't quote it, as you really should get the book. I think she does a good job at tackling moms of color, queer moms and low-income moms. This is not a history of white middle class feminist motherhood...Althou she correctly states that much of "mainstream" feminism and motherhood expectations are white middle class and then she rips it apart.

Kinser's book is well written and documents a shared history that many moms and feminists often forget or aren't even aware of. Without moms, we wouldn't have won the right to vote. Without feminism, moms wouldn't have the rights they have today. We're like peanut butter and chocolate...And some us are peanut butter cups.

Lastly, a lot of people have asked me if I teach, I don't. Some of those people then follow up with why not? Or you should. If I were to teach a class, I'd start by using this book. And I just might inquire about starting off with a seminar class. But I have a few other things to wrangle at the moment.

I've already said to go and get this book and regular readers know that I'm gonna ask you to please purchase from an indie bookstore or Powells.com. Now, what are you waiting for?

Disclaimer: The only payment I received was the copy of the book. Amber and I are also both in The Encyclopedia of Motherhood, but we have never met...at least that I recall. :)
 

This month is Latino Book Month. To celebrate, I'm giving away three books to one reader. To enter, just comment on any May 2010 post by May 31, 2010. I'm too busy to make you jump thru hoops. Comment!

24 May 2010

Sometimes you have to judge other parents

A friend of mine who is also a new mom wrote on Facebook about seeing a baby in a stroller with a million toys in its face. Then she said, "Oh, I shouldn't judge." I replied, "Sometimes it's ok to judge." And I mean it. I don't mean petty little things, I mean big picture things. Yes, like the "Single Ladies" parents.

I've seen one set of parents on two different networks explaining away why they would let their pre-teen daughter dance around in a lingerie-looking costume. On ABC they have a lot of excuses, er, reasons for being ok with the dance routine:
  • It's a dance competition: I'm not familiar with the circuit and the dancers I knew in high school didn't dress like this and I went to high school in the 1990s. We were all about the Fly Girl attire and dance moves, believe me. So I did a web search for some dance competition videos and found none that look like a 7-year-old burlesque show. Even the teen dances that were "sexy" weren't gyrating the same way as the "Single Ladies" girls.
  • When you go swimming, you wear a swimsuit: In other words, the costumes are standard fare for dance competition. Again to the Bat Computer! One catalog's children's wear was fairly tame. Most were cheesy enough to be age-appropriate. Another [flash catalog, page 92] pushed the limits, but was just one this side of burlesque.
  • These are the type of routines you see at competitions: One competition site I found has a letter [PDF] for coaches and parents on appropriateness of routines and music. "The [Federation of Dance Competitions] appreciates the art form, creativity and desire to heighten world awareness of these themes through dance but deem it inappropriate to present them to audiences that include children of every age." Honestly, when I read the letter, I felt that they were more concerned with WHO was in the audience (and I don't mean 6yos) watching than anything else. 
But here's what disturbs me about this routine...Dance (including cheer leading, color guard, poms, etc) is about exhibition, competition and obtaining approval (in the form of a score and applause) from an outside source. That's all fine and dandy EXCEPT when it involves 7-9-year-old girls dancing like they belong to a burlesque troupe (FTR: I don't think there's anything wrong with burlesque when it involves adults). Those girls were learning that if they dress in a skimpy way, thrust their bodies like so, SMILE and shimmy, that they will be loved and adored. I admit there's a line and it's called age-appropriateness.

Our media is sexualizing girls at younger and younger ages. Why are parents adding to this problem?

As I said, I'm not familiar with the dance circuit, all I can do is analyze what I see, filter it thru what I know and make a judgment.



This month is Latino Book Month. To celebrate, I'm giving away three books to one reader. To enter, just comment on any May 2010 post by May 31, 2010. I'm too busy to make you jump thru hoops. Comment!

23 May 2010

Book Review: Beyond the Echo Chamber by Jessica Clark & Tracy Van Slyke

How did the internet go from the dancing hamster to being a pivotal tool in the 2008 Presidential election? Well, it wasn't easy.

In January of 1995, sophomore year of college, I found myself on a listserv run by Antonia Stolper and her husband Bob Fertik, among others. It was a feminist response to the 1994 GOP take over of Congress. It was mad, it was informative and it was fucking awesome. To this day, I still have no idea how I got on, but it changed my life. 

Women Leaders Online's newsletters gave me more information about what the hell was going on than the newspapers and CNN combined. Plus it came right to my inbox so that was nice. Then a discussion listserv popped up and my world imploded. I was instantly connected to veteran feminist activists in Westchester (NY), New York City, Wichita, DC, Louisiana and everywhere in between. Holy crap! We were debating the issues of the day and strategizing on how to rally for the next election cycle. WLO was the first online feminist organization and soon gave birth to the first pro-choice online voters guide. Sadly WLO folded a few years ago, but many of us are still in touch and are definitely connected to the organizations that are discussed in Beyond the Echo Chamber: How a Networked Progressive Media Can Reshape American Politics by Jessica Clark and Tracy Van Slyke.

 I tell you my story as a mere example of how long this evolution has been brewing. Many models have been attempted to get to where we are today and progressives/feminists are still tinkering. Beyond the Echo Chamber is a great look at where we were, are and going.

And that's just the thing...We need to know how we got here, where we are in order to take the next step forward...together.

Clark & Van Slyke do a most excellent job at addressing the need for old school media to change, specially those who cling to the title and status of journalist. "Professional journalists will need to switch from an ethic of neutrality to an ethic of transparency and disclosure in order to work successfully with pro-am reporters (pg 121-122)." A simple web search turns up articles from 2005 about how the tension between journalists and bloggers is over...yet it's still debated & discussed.

They are outlined a cautionary tale about going for power. A lot of feminists have been tossed to the side in the political realm in order to get to a Democratic Congress and White House. The tune we kept hearing was, "Once we're in power, Roe and all that will be safe." I still hear that echoed today as Illinois Dems appear to be bracing themselves for losing the Senate seat once held by President Obama. I can't get one of my Dem friends to tell me why I should vote for Giannoulias based on his record, not scare tactics about Kirk or the Supreme Court. This harkens back to the emergence of the Blue Dog Democrat. The Dem who could win a Red state/district and save the liberal way. Cause that really happened, right? On page 137, Kos is quoted as referring to this strategy as getting "more and better Democrats" and admits that at first, they want more and now they will focus on the better. Um, that's so gonna work.

My political commentary aside, Beyond the Echo Chamber is an excellent read for those of us swimming in all this Politics 2.0 stuff or those watching us from the sidelines.

This review is seriously late as the book came out in February, but if you still don't have a copy, GET ONE! And as always, I highly recommend getting a copy from an indie bookstore or Powells.com.


Disclaimer: The only payment I received was the copy of the book. 

This month is Latino Book Month. To celebrate, I'm giving away three books to one reader. To enter, just comment on any May 2010 post by May 31, 2010. I'm too busy to make you jump thru hoops. Comment!

A mother's love finally reaps its reward

After nine long years, Melanie's bill is now law. Carol Blocker is a goddess.


 


This month is Latino Book Month. To celebrate, I'm giving away three books to one reader. To enter, just comment on any May 2010 post by May 31, 2010. I'm too busy to make you jump thru hoops. Comment!

22 May 2010

I am a person, not a brand

December 2010 will mark my tenth anniversary as an official blogger. Before I set up shop at Blogger.com*, I was doing fairly regular updates of my Geocities website about news of the day, how the Chicago Cubs were doing or just how I was feeling. But marking that day when I first “blogged” ten years ago is important and causing me to reflect on how things have changed. Yes, we have evolved from ranty blogs (that’s where I started) to topic-focused blogs and mega-blogs like Feministing. But I also scoff at the professionalization of blogging.

Just about every "blogging 101" session I've ever attended has someone tell the audience to find a niche, create a brand and feminism just never seems small enough for those "experts." Narrow...narrow they say. Unfortunately for them, my mind doesn't work that way. If you ask me for advice on blogging, I will always tell you that I usually break all the rules. Write from your passion points, write what you know.

I will always be grateful for being asked to contribute to the AWEARNESS blog. While I was asked what my angle would be on that blog as we can’t all cover the same issue like green living. I wasn’t asked what my niche was and told to stay there. I was also given the opportunity to show how feminism is my niche. In other words, while I am not an expert in everything, I do have the ability to look at issues, topics and policies and reflect on how they may impact women and girls in a different way. Thus, I can write about pay equity, health care, sports and travel all from a feminist perspective.

I haven't had time to properly reflect on the closure of the AWEARNESS blog until now. I will miss the AWEARNESS blog and the flexibility we were all given to write about what moves us, why it should move you and what we can do about it together. But most importantly, it made me write for an audience. While I know others are reading this, my stats are lower than most people assume. But I knew that the AWEARNESS blog was getting some good hits. It made me stretch my writing, my skills and my abilities. The gig was tough at the beginning because we were supposed to be more fact and less opinion. The last nine months we had editors who were more hands on about how posts flowed. The entire time it made me stop and think, "How do I write for a not-so-feminist audience about an issue I want them to know about?"

So while I spent a few years writing for a brand, it helped me cement my feeling that I am not a brand. I am simply a woman with a blog and a lot of opinions.

*This blog was begun in 2007, but from 2000-2008 I wrote at a different blog that is no longer accessible. I occasionally repost pieces from that blog here. 



This month is Latino Book Month. To celebrate, I'm giving away three books to one reader. To enter, just comment on any May 2010 post by May 31, 2010. I'm too busy to make you jump thru hoops. Comment!

21 May 2010

Where you can find me this summer

After a quiet period in terms of public engagements (private engagements are a whole other enchilada!), I have three big gigs coming up.

The first is at work. For many years, our Office of Women's Affairs has been holding a leadership conference for women who work and study on campus. Each year we get a good number of women from the community, which we love, as well. The one day event has two sessions of workshops where women chose to learn more about financial management, relaxation, stress management, how to go back to school, etc. The last 2-3 years I've been in New York City and haven't been able to attend or finally provide content. This year I'm doing a blogging workshop!

THEN I'll hop in my car and head on over to Columbia and sit on a panel for the Making Media Connections conference. And finally I'll be on a panel with THE Andrew Huff. My life is complete. *wink*

Lastly, Deanna Zandt organized a panel for Netroots Nation and it was accepted. WOO! I guess when I hang with rock stars...Althou, I gotta say that after watching Baratunde, who is also on the panel, I'm super nervous. I guess when I hang with rock stars...ACK!

Not bad for summer. Especially considering that the kid & I are going to Lilith Fair, we're still planning a family vacation, all the sporting events we want to attend and we need to take plenty of time to just hang out in Chicago. Gawd, now I already feel like summer is over.

This month is Latino Book Month. To celebrate, I'm giving away three books to one reader. To enter, just comment on any May 2010 post by May 31, 2010. I'm too busy to make you jump thru hoops. Comment!

20 May 2010

Book Review: Put on Your Crown By Queen Latifah


Normally I don't do self-help books. I also have a hard time with motivational books as well. But when I was offered the chance to review a motivational book for young women by Queen Latifah, I said, "Oh, hell yes!" Put on Your Crown: Life-Changing Moments on the Path to Queendom by Queen Latifah, Samantha Marshall is an age-appropriate, perhaps too much, book of advice for the young women in our lives.

First, being that Queen Latifah, or Dana as she refers to herself in the book by her given name, grew up in an urban setting and a lot of the things she references are urban in nature, I'm not sure how well a teen from a small rural town might identify with the book. Then again, a lot of the advice is quite universal. But I can imagine that a jaded teen might think, "Well, oh yeah, you weren't stuck in a one-horse town!"

That said I thought that Queen Latifah was quite forthright in the challenges she faced growing up, the missteps she took, how she let her early money be misspent and yes, a lot of body love.

About that body love...I understand that Queen Latifah decided to lose some weight to get healthy. That's cool. But the company that helped her lose the weight is mentioned a lot. As are a lot of big companies.

One of the things that I believe is hurting our kids from growing up with a true sense of self is this competition to have things. To hear a celebrity mention a brand and the instant need to get it. So if there is one thing I wish Queen Latifah had done differently in this book would had been to tone down the brand names.

Overall, I think this would be a good book to gift to a young woman in your life. I suggest that you read it first or get yourself a copy, so you can start a conversation about the book. As always, please buy yourself a copy at an indie bookstore or Powells.com.


Disclaimer: The only payment I received was the copy of the book.

This month is Latino Book Month. To celebrate, I'm giving away three books to one reader. To enter, just comment on any May 2010 post by May 31, 2010. I'm too busy to make you jump thru hoops. Comment!

19 May 2010

Review: Flirty Cupcakes

After a week of lobbying, the Flirty Cupcakes powder blue van finally hit my work neighborhood!


I have to admit that it's too much fun trying to track down a van full of cupcakes over Twitter. I stood at one corner for a few minutes hitting "refresh" awaiting word on which direction to go. I went west to the end of a block, then assessed the parking situation and went back east...They parked 2 blocks west. I can say that I don't think I walked anywhere faster than I did on Tuesday.

I fully intended to buy one cupcake and savor it on my walk to a staff potluck and grant strategy meeting. But once I realized I could get 4 mini cupcakes, I was sold. See, I like to have an even ratio of frosting to cake. I kinda hate eating mega cupcakes where I'm eating half of the cake without frosting. Cause really, what's the point? But mini cupcakes are usually perfect in ratio.

Then I thought, hmmm...do I eat these all or wait until tonight and SHARE? I waited to share.

In the left photo, you see No Plain Jane and I think the McDreamy in the front row. In the right photo, you see Devil in Disguise and I think CBFF in the front row.

The results?

CBFF: Tasted more like a brownie than a cupcake.
No Plain Jane: This made both the kid & I say, "OMG!" I rarely like vanilla cupcakes, but I'd get a full size one of these babies.
Devil in Disguise: Thumbs up all around. The frosting is always key to red velvet cupcakes/cake and they got it perfect.
McDreamy: Good. It didn't wow me or anyone else the way that others did.

Bottom line? Add Flirty Cupcakes to your Twitter feed and/or Facebook and remember to check them every morning cause they might be flitting over near you. They are worth the effort of seeking them out and tracking them down. And start thinking of where exactly they can park near you because they seek out legal parking spots as to keep the guys and gals in blue smiling.

This month is Latino Book Month. To celebrate, I'm giving away three books to one reader. To enter, just comment on any May 2010 post by May 31, 2010. I'm too busy to make you jump thru hoops. Comment!

Feminist Parenting: Explaining old vocabulary

I am proud to say that I was a tomboy when I was growing up. I ran around, rode my bike, climbed trees, played in the mud, played sports...all the things one might think about when you think of a tomboy. The problem is that the term tomboy is outdated.

Back in the early 1980s the distinction between girly girls and tomboys was fairly rigid. At least it was to me. I played with the boys during recess and in trying to hang with them, I spent a lot of energy trying to prove that I wasn't like the other girls. Thus, I know what it means to be "one of the boys" and the games one plays to get there...including fooling yourself. When I was forced to wear dresses, I couldn't play the way I wanted. This drove home the distinction to me: Wear a dress, act like a girl; Wear jeans, act like a boy.

But today...I see not just my daughter, but many girls running, jumping, climbing and being active and sporty one minute, then they are like Wonder Woman (in reverse), magically turning into girly girls in dresses and primping their ponytails. I have told my daughter many times that she lives in an amazing time where this can happen. I tell her, she doesn't have to choose.

She has chosen to be girly, but not uber-girly. She loves her dresses, skirts, etc., but she also loves playing soccer, gymnastics and climbing.

But last week she came home from school saying that a friend called her a tomboy. "What's a tomboy?" she asked at dinner. BIG SIGH...Her dad looked at me.

I explained that it was something, back when mommy was a little girl, people use to call girls who liked to play sports, climb trees and just run around. I also explained that for me, I liked the word, that it wasn't a bad word. I could see she was hurt to be called a boy for her athletic prowess. I then tried to explain that we don't need to use that term anymore since all girls can play sports and still wear dresses. Then she rolled her eyes...that's when I know I'm covering something again.

I think she got it.

She then reported that her friend then said, "Oh, you're not a tomboy, you're a tomGIRL!"

Perhaps her friend was merely trying to find a term to tell the kid that she's an athlete and admires her abilities. I hope so. Even thou I remember being gender-policed at that age, it still amazes me when it happens to the kid. She's not going to stop being a total girly athlete, but neither is the gender police. Hopefully I can build her up so high that when people try to knock her down, she still stands tall.


This month is Latino Book Month. To celebrate, I'm giving away three books to one reader. To enter, just comment on any May 2010 post by May 31, 2010. I'm too busy to make you jump thru hoops. Comment!

18 May 2010

Seven Years

I can't believe it's been seven years since we last talked. I can't believe that our girl is almost seven. The little girl that you always dreamed about, the one you nagged me to have is just as we pictured.

People tell me that you would be proud and I know it's true. Thanks for starting me on this road. Thanks for all our fights too. I know they were primers for the ones I'll have with the kid.

Seven years ago friends and others in my life who had also lost parents said that time would heal. I can honestly say that they were right. Seven years later my heart still aches, but I'm at a peace that is hard to explain. Perhaps it's that today was not a regularly scheduled day, we were a bit rushed out the door, I even forgot the beer bread that I had baked for an office potluck, but it wasn't until 11 am that I remembered what today was. At first I felt terrible for forgetting, but then I thought, ahh...I think this is where I should be. At least I hope this is where I should be.

Yes, that's me at about age three with my mom and my puppy. 

17 May 2010

Latino Book Giveaway & Live Chat

May is Latino Book Month and to mark this awesome literary month, I'm hosting a giveaway, but first, my peeps at Hachette Books is hosting a live chat at Blogtalk Radio.


The show is scheduled for 5/18/2010 2:30 PM ET.

Please call (646) 378-0047 or visit the Hachetee Blogtalk Radio page to participate.

Participants include:
  • Grand Central Publishing editor Selina McLemore
  • Luis Alberto Urrea, author of INTO THE BEAUTIFUL NORTH
  • Iris Gomez, author of TRY TO REMEMBE
  • Kathy Cano-Murillo, CraftyChica and author of WAKING UP IN THE LAND OF GLITTER

Hosted by HBG Senior Web Publicist & Literanista Blogger, Valerie M. Russo

Now the giveaway:

One winner will receive three books of their choosing from the books below:


You will need to send me your mailing address (No PO Boxes, USA or Canada only) and your selections.

To enter:

1. Comment on any of my posts until May 31, 2010 and include your email address in your comment

That's it. No need to Tweet, be my fan or subscribe to my feed to enter. Althou, if you send the Flirty Cupcake gals my way, I may give you another entry. I'll post the contest at the bottom of all my posts for May to make it fair. Please don't split up your comment to make more entries, (ex. comment 1: Hi. comment 2: I like comment 3: this post!) just comment nicely.

Good luck! Buena suerte!

Where I've been

OMG, I can't believe it's been this long since I wrote here! Since I wrote just about anywhere!

Since the Mother's Day piece on Babble ran, the AWEARNESS blog closed, I went thru the first week of Leadership Illinois, had my godson & his family visit (this included a visit to Brookfield Zoo and a massive brunch at home), took the GRE, finished up my graduate school application, turned in my application and then my body said, "OK missy, we need a break now," and I slept pretty much from Friday at 6 pm until Sunday 8 am.

Since the beginning of the year, I've done a lot of say no and remove myself from things I loved, but I knew I wasn't giving my all to because I was doing too much. I get a lot of accolades for "doing it all" and "knowing everyone" but I can't do it all and really don't know everyone. Thus the closing of the AWEARNESS blog is super sad for me, especially the check I'm losing for writing there, but it's also well timed. I need the break.

So if this blog is off and on for awhile that's why. Of course, once I hit publish, I'm sure I'll get another surge of energy and crank out a lot of stuff. I have a list a mile long of things I need to write about. 

So what have you been up to? What did I miss? Seriously, three days off Twitter and a few weeks away from the interwebs is like a freaking lifetime.

05 May 2010

What mothers really like

This is a cute article at Babble about what moms really want for Mother's Day. Yes, I'm quoted. And yes, I'm serious!

02 May 2010

Product reviewers have a responsiblity to the public. Think before you publish.

When I first entering the mom blogging world back in 2003, I did it for the community. A lot of moms say the same thing. Community. The ability to talk to other moms about the things that moms need to talk to each other about. Mommy guilt. Potty training. Home schooling. I use to tell people that instead of talking to your neighbor over the fence, you blogged or today, Tweet. In tech speak, moms are expert crowd sources of information about the best diaper and breast pump to use. And that's where we started to find our power as community. Then finally, finally! Corporate America acknowledged our purchasing power and came a knocking. 

No one thought much of taking a product sample of Cheesy Poofs and writing about how awesome your kids thought of it. Heck, some bloggers review things that they can't possible have used! But there's a world of difference AND responsibility to the community when it comes to reviewing vegan soda pop and medical products.

Latest example is Momspective Reviews.

She received a douche and reviewed it. Graphically. And apparently a lot of women out there thought it was just sooo funny! Not me. It's not that I'm not a funny gal. In fact I'm laughing thinking of what Wanda Sykes would do with this post. But douching is something that we just should not be doing ladies.

DO NOT DOUCHE!

First, douching has been sold to women as a way to keep ourselves clean. Yes, "that not so fresh feeling" is a freaking myth. Our lady parts smell for a reason. There are a ton of microbes living in our vaginas. This is a good thing. Microbes are essential to human life. We have microbes in our guts, vaginas, everywhere. Without microbes, life couldn't exist. We aren't even close to understanding what all those microbes do, but we know for sure that they are there for a purpose. But you say that your lady parts are really smelly lately? Well, don't douche. Period.
"[The douche] pops right on in and cleans out whatever it is you think you need to get rid of." 
There isn't anything in there that you need to get rid of...And if there is, say an infection? You are going to make it worse.
"Since I had a hysterectomy a while back, I wanted to see if my reproductive cavern of darkness had any excess uterus left behind it wanted to get rid of but all appeared clear."
If you have any doubt that you have excess uterus, you should really see a medical professional not squirt water up into your vagina. Plus, if you have recently had any surgery to your lady parts (abortion, hysterectomy, removal of fibroids) your medical provider will most likely tell you to NOT DOUCHE. If you have enough time removed from the surgery and you haven't died from infection, you're in the clear.

"Hookers would love it."
I'm assuming that Momspective means that since hookers are filled with icky semen, they would want to rinse themselves clean. Oh, so funny. Not.
"[Douch brand name] is the first and only patented and FDA-cleared douching alternative"
Now let's get into this FDA stuff. Please note that this is FDA-cleared. NOT approved. Cleared. This pretty much means that the FDA says, "This won't kill you." It doesn't mean that we should use it or that it's safe to use either.It doesn't even guarantee that the douche will make your smelly lady parts fresh and clean as a spring day. And even if the FDA did approve this device, the FDA's seal of approval isn't as strong as most of us think it is. In the April 2008 Reader's Digest, Alexis Jetter outlined a litany of issues that the FDA is dealing with including a flat-lined budget despite a huge increase in work load, especially post-9/11.
"It’s a bidet you shove up your parts.  Go for it."
 DO NOT GO FOR IT!

So why am I calling out mom bloggers? Because I believe we are a community built on trust. We want to exchange information, thus we have a responsibility to each other to do the best we can to pass on good information.

Before I post something here, I try my best to research it. This is one reason why I'm a slow blogger. I'm not going to break a news story or be the first to rip off an opinion piece. I like to fill my posts with facts and citations.

I get pitches for diet supplements, medical devices, medical groups and medical advice websites. I don't do them, even if the issues if near and dear to me, because I am not going to use my reputation with all of you to sell you something that doesn't work or might hurt you.Especially if someone is making money off of you.

This is why I plead with all reviewers, especially mom bloggers, to do your homework before you review a product, especially one that impacts our health or inserted into our bodies. Do not rely just on the information the manufacturer gives you. That's why the goddess gave us the web search!

All that said. Medical research is still firming up this question of douching. One study I stumbled upon claims that douching MAY protect African-American women from pre-term birth. But I highly suggest that you talk to your doctor or midwife before doing it!

By far the articles I've read, the people I've spoken to (I've worked closely with women's health researchers and providers for over a decade) all recommend to NOT DOUCHE.

Let's be careful out there. And let's watch out for each other.