Archive | January, 2011

Troubling phrase of the day: “natural parenting”

22 Jan

This phrase is generally used in reference to the following non-inclusive set of parenting practices: home or low-intervention birth, cloth diapering or elimination communication, organics, extended nursing, babywearing, and anti-vax, all fine in their own way and many of which I practice (except anti-vax, which is just stupid and selfish). But that phrase has all sorts of nasty implications:

•implies that any other kind of parenting is “un”natural
•assumes a monolithic definition of “nature”
•assumes that “nature” has any meaningful valence in a technological, capitalist society
•aligns “natural” with something like “tribal” or “primitive, suggesting that “tribal” people are closer to a desirable state of nature, which is primitivist a la Fabian

I will be avoiding this one.


We have the Oscars …

10 Jan

… they had Court Presentations:

“When Lady Adeline arrived at her aunt’s house, she had to undergo the gaze of the persons assembled to look at the dresses of those who were going to court, whose remarks, as she passed, kept alive that flutter of spirits which prevented her from indulging in softer feelings … they went to their carriage through a line of persons drawn up on each side, all of whome bore testimony to Lady Adeline’s beauty” (Lady Charlotte Bury, The Exclusives, 1830, 3.101-02)