What It Means When Your Kids Say a Girl Can’t Be President

The other day my daughter came home from camp right before school started. She’s 5 years old and just started kindergarten. The last thing I expected was for her to start talking about the presidential candidates; however, there were older kids in camp and so perhaps I shouldn’t have been so surprised.

“The kids were chanting, “We hate Trump! We hate Trump!'” she reenacted.

I stopped for a second and collected myself to ask her if she knew who Donald Trump was.

“Of course,” she said, “He’s the guy with the blond white hair.”

So in my 5-year-old’s mind, she knows who Trump is. She didn’t say why these kids “hated” Trump, but my guess was that the kids were hearing this from their parents. After all, our parents are the first people to pass down values to us on everything from religion to politics.

I explained to her that he, along with Hillary Clinton, are our presidential candidates running to become our very next president. I did this in the simplest of language, of course.

Then she told me with a distraught face, “Some of the kids say a girl can’t be president. They say the girl shouldn’t be president.”

Read More: What It Means When Your Kids Say a Girl Can’t Be President

It’s BOLLOCKS,

Laura

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How to Get Winked at and Harassed at Work

I am so fortunate to be at a job in which both the men and women respect each other. I can’t express how glad I am to be blessed with this opportunity, but what makes me sad is that this respectful work environment is a rarity in my experience. The joy I feel in being a regular person in my full-time job and not a trophy employee for some disgustingly inappropriate male boss, shouldn’t be uncommon — it should be the standard. But unfortunately, being a “body” instead of a worker has been a common instance for me in my employed life.

Read More: How to Get Winked at and Harassed at Work

Not A Barbie Doll,

Laura

Mom At Work: the 2nd generation of working moms

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I recently went back to work. I like my job a lot. I work with smart, nice, and hard-working people. I enjoy using my writing skills, and the office environment is positive. I hunted for a job for a long time, and I was thinking I was this close to becoming a mail-order girlfriend for some guy in a foreign country when voila, a job came along. Finally.

Yet going back to work is not without its costs, but what can I do? Money doesn’t grow on trees like every parent from the beginning of time has told us.

My mom stayed at home until I was of kindergarten age. When she went back, I was not happy. I hated the fact that she worked at night. At least I saw her, but not for too long. She worked a graveyard shift, and so I remember on Hannukkah opening gifts and then leaving a thank you note for her to read when she got home. It felt sad doing that.

The first time I really angry about her being gone was when my 1st grade class had a dinosaur contest and she couldn’t make it.

That morning, she handed me a little brown felt teddy bear pin with a black bow. He was adorable, but I hated him with a passion.

“Stupid Bear,” I thought, knowing that no bear could take the place of seeing your parent’s face in a crowd full of nameless faces as you sing awesome songs about TRex and Brontosaurus.

I especially hated going to babysitters’ homes, although they were all pretty nice. I especially liked one woman who had  a quiet home and two sons my age. Still, I couldn’t wait to get home and be in my house, with my things. It annoyed me.

Now, the shoe is on the other foot. My kid is 2.5 in just a few days. She’s younger than I was when my mom first left me, so in some ways it means she will get used to it, but on the other hand, she’s too young to complain to me like I did to my mom.

My industry is rather far from my home, so I have to make quite a trek to get to work, at least until we move.

Both Grandparents and Dad helps with the pick-up and drop-off at school. Montessori was the program we chose, and so far, we are all happy. It’s just not the same though. It’s not the same hearing about your child’s day from other people. I feel cheated knowing that everyone is getting so much time with her, yet I am not. And on the weekends and evenings when I am not home as late, I eat up the minutes I have with her.

Walking through the bus station today, I saw a little girl that reminded me of her, and I felt like I could cry.

Being a mom is crappier than the books make it out to be sometimes.

If you are working, you are missing your child, and feeling as if you’re not the best worker because you may have to leave early to get your kid. Or maybe you’re on the phone with daycare or the school about your child. Maybe you are worried he or she is sick.

When you are home, you are so happy, and try not to think of work, but that can be tough.

When I was little, many moms worked, but a lot stayed at home as well. For my daughter, the tables have turned. Many moms are working as compared to staying home.

I just feel as if working has made me a “mom on the sidelines,” and the worst aspect is relinquishing control to people who may mean 100% well, but just aren’t you.

I know Dads are awesome, but the title of Mom is one that’s earned through pregnancy and beyond.

I feel as if I should always be there, and not that I cannot always be there, somehow I have decided that this means I am less worthy of a mom.

That I am failing in some ways.

Yet work brings such satisfaction and money, that I know these things are pivotal for me, and in turn, my kid. I’m a role model, yet I wish there was a better way to balance things, as so many of us moms do.

I remember the crazy feeling I would sometimes get as a SAHM, and it truly can be emotionally draining and lonely, but man, SAHM cherish the time with your kids while you have them. Soon enough, you will be getting reports on your child’s daily life from a teacher, stranger, or family member, and while it’s great for my kid to be socialized, have a village of people around her, and learn at school, it feels as if I am slowly saying goodbye before I am ready.

I guess that’s what being a parent is though: slowly saying goodbye while teaching our kids to be independent

My identity through the eyes of men: Female Otherness

As a woman who grew up in a predominately female household, I didn’t learn that we were inferior or incapable of doing things that society indicated was otherwise.

But as I left my home and became integrated into society–school,  work, college, etc, I learned differently.

To admit this is maybe weak but, for a long majority of my life I have defined myself by Men. By their standards, judgments, and beliefs about me. Or about my otherness in relation to them. My wanting access to the circle that only men belong to. Forget about the glass ceiling. I didn’t want to be the most successful female. I wanted to be the most successful person, period. I wanted the men to lay in their tears while I threw tissues to them on the ground, walking away in triumph.

One thing I have hated since I was as  young as seven years old, was the feeling that the male circle was impenetrable. I hated when boys gathered to talk and gossip or dominated classroom conversations. I wasn’t considering that these little men might just want to be around other little men, but that because I was female I couldn’t join in. It didn’t matter that I was smarter than most of them or as equal to them, or that the same jokes they liked, I did too. I just had to merely squeak by the circle, and lean in to hear what these XY’s were saying.

Then I got older, and then the circle got even tighter. When I was younger, an occasional boy would let me in, and even let me play sports with the kids on the block. As I got older though, the message was clear: If you don’t have a cock,  keep out. Having good looks occasionally meant entering into the circle, but usually then for other reasons such as, one man or a few men’s sexual needs. Maybe one or two might have found me clever and smart. Most were not considering me beyond what my appearance had to offer.

I imagine my experience is no different than many other women, however the thoughts, rejections, and acceptances from men really whittled me down. For the majority of my  early twenties, I found male attention and approval intoxicating on the level of addicting, and their rejection, painful and harsh.

When I entered stand-up, I found men to be either wonderful and helpful, or absolute toxic creatures who liked to shut me out of conversations with not just looks, but with words. Telling me I wasn’t smart  and wasn’t funny. These were the same men of course, who wanted to sleep with me.

Let’s not let the cute one succeed. Instead, let’s take her for all of her good parts, and throw the rest of her to the wolves.

The one moment of fresh air came when I entered college. While my former educational experiences taught me that the boys are more cherished and nurtured intellectually, college was a bit more fair and egalitarian. I felt like my intellect and potential mattered.

There have been many times in my life pre-30’s in which I let men decide where I would be allowed to go both personally, and professionally. I cowed to their toxic comments. I backed away at times when I wanted to be treated as an intellectual and artistic equal, yet I always had a bit of a fight in me, like a scrappy dog who refuses to get beaten down by a shinier, larger full-breed.  The same girl who wanted to beat every boy competitively, not physically, in elementary school has always been alive and well.

After spending a long time–years–working on my memoir, I realize that claiming my identity and refusing to let it be defined by anyone, especially men was my big hurdle to cross.

After six years departing from comedy, I went back last night. I went back because I will not let men tell me what I can do or who I can be. I am not 25 anymore. I am not someone’s plaything or some stupid blonde.

I am me, and after taking the time to do other important things–reproduce, finish college, get my head together–I decided I wanted to share my story in more than just the printed word again, and I won’t shut up until someone enjoys me. Until someone figures out that my story is much like many other women and people.

And if anyone doesn’t like it, F-off.

I am woman. Hear me roar.

Now? The 30’s have told me

No, I did nothing all day. I’m just a mother

It’s the year 2013, yet somehow, women’s lib forgot to notify the rest of the world that being a mother is a job.

Do I  work outside of the home? Why yes indeedy, I do. Do I make a paycheck week to week? Yes. Is it a large paycheck? No. For now. No Jewish girl wants to live on a small paycheck forever, I assure you that. I enjoy what I do, and like working, but what about my most important job. 

The one job that I cannot list on my resume.

I mean my boss, my 32 inch daughter, never hands me over a paycheck, so maybe it isn’t really–gasp–work.

Instead, I get paid in the following denominations:

temper tantrums

declarations of “No, Mommy. I sit by self. You sit there Mommy.”

Letters, shapes, colors, and number recognition.

The triumphant sound of her counting in French.

Saying her letter sounds while playing with magnetic letters.

Tears.

Hugs

Countless re-runs of “You’re a good sport Charlie Brown.”

demands

tossed food

dirty diapers

and…dirty potties.

It won’t pay the mortgage, but how much does a healthy, well-adjusted child equal?

I wish men, and strangers would value child-rearing the way I do. I wish I didn’t have to hear how “easy” it is all day long.

Of course, it’s fun sometimes, and even easy. However, no one seems to remember the sleepless nights. My sore boobs. The shouts for toys in the middle of the store. The trips to the pediatrician. The tears. The temper tantrums because apparently asking your child to wear a sweater is akin to murdering Snoopy.

I don’t have a big paycheck. I only work part-time. I write, I teach, and generally, make people laugh.

What a friggin shock it is to be in my thirties and discover that even in the millennium, people do not value what they feel is woman’s work. Do you think it is fun to do laundry or food shopping while chasing after a pint-sized Castro? It certainly doesn’t give me an orgasm, but I would just love for the people telling me how easy it is, to do what I do, as well as I do.

If my child goes to bed happy tonight, I have done my job.

If my child goes to bed cranky tonight, guess what? I still have done my job. I probably didn’t give in to one of her crazy notions. I stood my ground and taught her that sometimes, you don’t get what you want, but you will survive.

For all you people thinking that your day job is somehow more work or more important than raising my child–or any child for that matter, I ask you this?

Can you be happy all day long, and emotionally balanced, even if you are having the shittiest day and the world is about to end?

Can you teach a child to read, write, sing, play, and laugh?

Can you nurse a baby while taking a shit, and trying to brush your teeth?

Can you do the laundry while potty training a child, and putting on your makeup for your night job?

if the answer is yes, then you are potentially qualified to do my job.

If the answer is no, then I offer you this:

Your job is way easier than mine pal. I will gladly trade you my vagina for your penis and get to be you.

Or maybe I wouldn’t because then I wouldn’t get to do nothing all day, while masturbating and eating bon-bons, and have so much fun raising the best, sweetest, and bossiest two year-old ever.