Thursday, November 29

I'm about a third of the way through Naomi Wolf's latest, Misconceptions: Truth, Lies and the Unexpected on the Journey to Motherhood Here's my capsule critique so far:

My God, how stupid can a supposedly smart woman be? I mean, I've been having babies off and on for twenty years now, but even when I started, about a decade younger than Wolf was when she had her first, and in the early 80's, I knew from the get-go to be suspicious of established obstetrical choices.

I suppose I should backtrack, in case you don't know what the book is about. Naomi Wolf is a social critic who gets her ideas for her books from her personal life and concerns. So when she was a young babe, seeking to make her name, and concerned about her appearance, she brought out The Beauty Myth, a critique of our society's obssession with women's appearances. Now, since she's been through childbirth twice, she's decided to expose the underside of the American childbirth scene. You know - uncaring medical professionals who try to wrest control of the birth experience from the birth mother so their golf dates won't be disrupted. Duh. Does anyone not know about this?

Wolf, for all of her chat about her pregnant friends, seems to get her cues on how she "should" feel about pregnancy and motherhood from television. She keeps offering dire recollections of how she couldn't be the buoyant, blissful mom-to-be that "everyone" told her she should be. Who? Who tells her that? No one's ever told me that. I and every other woman I've ever spoken to realizes that there are a variety of experiences of pregnancy, and furthermore, during those last two months, everyone is pretty much uniformly miserable, hoping somehow that the calculations were wrong and the baby is really due a month earlier than we thought.

There's more. A lot more. But right now, I've got to try to get some of my own writing in, and believe me, I'll do an extra-close scouring of it for whiny self-indulgence after enduring a dose of Naomi Wolf's.

Did you know the Dalai Lama went to Fatima on Tuesday? I didn't. Here's a photo. Here's another.
Two liturgies of thanksgiving. One by Anglicans, the other by us Romans. Can you guess which is which?

Archbishop pays tribute to Trade Center Heroes

Diocese offers Mass for football teams.

There are a few sites out there featuring quirky, odd news. Those I frequent are:, Jim Romensko's Obscure Store and Reading Room, and Ananova. If you find yourself feeling idealistic about humanity, visit any of these sites. That'll fix you.
I just returned from Mass at Katie's school. Or half a mass. I dropped her off at school, but didn't have the energy to keep Joseph quiet during an entire liturgy, so I went to the grocery store instead. I returned because the fourth grade were to be giving a recorder concert after Mass. Three songs - one of unknown origin, Jingle Bells and the ubiquitous Ode to Joy. They did well, and I was, as always, simple amazed at the perfect behavior of these hundreds of Catholic school children. The audience, grades K-8, sat respectfully during the five-minute performance (except for a couple of Kindergartners who couldn't keep themselves from singing along with Jingle Bells, and the fourth graders themselves processed up to the front with their recorders and music books with great decorum, as if they were at Carnegie Hall.
Can I blog something more weighty today, you think? I don't know. Katie was sick - I mean really, dramatically sick - last night, and I have a cold that I'm fighting with a full ground troops assault of herbs and zinc and citrus. It seems to be working. It would work better if I had more than 90 minutes of uninterrupted sleep at a time, but ah well.

Right now, I'm on my way to the library to pick up the copy of Naomi Wolf's Misconceptions I had on hold. I saw her blathering about it on C-Span the other day, and fully expect to spend some time reveling in deep hatred of the book later today, and perhaps trying to write about it for someone..somewhere...anywhere...outside the Catholic press. Got to break out of this ghetto, somehow.


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