By Jessica T
About this blog: I'm a late thirties mother of a ten-year-old and infant twins. My family moved to Menlo Park 6 years ago from Virginia - where I grew up, went to college, got married, had my first born, and got an MBA (in that order). I'm a manag... (More)
About this blog: I'm a late thirties mother of a ten-year-old and infant twins. My family moved to Menlo Park 6 years ago from Virginia - where I grew up, went to college, got married, had my first born, and got an MBA (in that order). I'm a manager at Google, Inc. (Please note: The views expressed in this blog are my personal views and not those of Google.) My husband grew up in Los Angeles and is a novelist and professor at San Jose State University. Our daughter attends the Menlo Park public schools, and I was a member of the Menlo Park-Atherton Education Foundation board for three years. I am now a board member for the Center for Literary Arts at SJSU. I struggled with secondary infertility for five years and recently conceived and delivered fraternal twins - a healthy baby girl and boy in May 2013. I've worked (and pursued my graduate degree) since my elder daughter was twelve weeks old. I supported my husband throughout his graduate education, and now I'm the primary breadwinner for our family. I have coped with the pressures and angst of what that means for many years. I am lucky to have a husband with a flexible schedule; he shoulders the lion's share of housework, cooking, and childcare in our home. I'm looking forward to engaging with men and women who can relate to the challenges of modern day life in Silicon Valley. (Hide)
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My family reads the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue
Uploaded: Feb 21, 2014
I got home from work last night to find my husband uncommonly smiley last night. "What's up?" I asked. My eyes followed his to the coffee table. There it was in all its tits and ass glory, the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. A little background: my husband gets Sports Illustrated thanks to a pittance of airplane miles. Last year he signed up too late to get the Swimsuit Issue and felt strangely deprived (I can't blame him - I was insanely pregnant with twins at the time.) But, here it was, the prized issue, at last!
My daughter, the ever curious ten-year old, had already perused the entire magazine. She had even torn out a photo for me to giggle at with her. It was a young woman topless, wearing only a scarf, covering her nipple kneeling on the beach. "Look, Mommy! Her milk is letting down!"
I asked her, "So, what do you think? Sexy or sexist?"
"Sexist!" she replied. My husband looked sheepish.
"But Daddy isn't sexist," I said. "He just likes sexy." (After all, he had baked us a fresh lasagna for dinner, whisked the twins off to bathe them, and did the dishes.)
"No, Daddy is a feminist!" my daughter confirmed. At this point, we all began signing our favorite Ani Di Franco
Feminism ain't about women
That's not who it is for
It's about a shift in consciousness
That will bring an end to war
After my ten year old went to bed, I admit, I read the magazine cover to cover. Believe it or not there's a section on how being in the Swimsuit Issue was a defining moment in the models' philanthropic and artistic careers! As my husband listened to my commentary, even he had to admit how ridiculous it was to see women objectified in this way. And it's crazy to see corporations like Target shamelessly and opportunistically supporting these images.
I don't mind sexy. I don't mind racy bathing suits. I don't mind that my husband still gets an eighth grade boy thrill at flipping through the pages. After all, I do too. But I was aghast and sad to see that even today, when the sexiest women I know are brilliant engineers and product managers, Sports Illustrated still thinks it's ok to celebrate women as sex symbols who can only succeed in careers like bathing suit model, mother, and celebrity philanthropist.
This evening, my husband volunteered that the Swimsuit issue's cover was downright offensive. (The cover shows three women in only bikini bottoms touching each other's bottoms with playful smiles on their faces.) And my daughter and I ordered the matching purple "Feminist" t-shirts
we've had our eyes on for weeks. (Thanks, Sports Illustrated!)
What is it worth to you?
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