Single mothers by choice

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Image from The Huffington Post

I just read an article in The Guardian about how more Danish women are opting to become single mothers via sperm donation, and now I feel a little sad. Because while I think the author wanted to make it sound like an upbeat, promising and independent-women trend, too many lines give away the fact that it is actually not a good time, so to speak.

But first some background: since 2007 in Denmark, from when single women have been offered free fertility treatment, there has been a huge increase in single mothers by choice (known as “solomor”). Now, one in 10 babies conceived with donor sperm is born to a single mother, which says a lot in a country which has the highest number of births by assisted fertility treatment in the world. And it seems that the trend is so… click here to read whole article and make comments



Let’s not pretend that abortion doesn’t hurt

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The News Story - Lady Parts Justice D.C. wants to talk about abortion often and unapologetically

Even as the Congressional hearings over Planned Parenthood’s sale of baby parts begins this week, a group of women in Washington, D.C., is seeking to change the conversation around abortion.

The new D.C. chapter of New York based non-profit Lady Parts Justice titled their first event, held August 28, “Postcards from the Vag: A Frank and Funny Storytelling Show About Abortion.” Hundreds of women came to see “Eunice, a uterus-shaped puppet with Fallopian tubes for ears” and to hear nine women discuss their own experiences of abortion in a non-judgmental manner. Said one of the organizers, “The stigma of abortion is that it's something that you don’t talk about, and that you spend time mourning and crying. That's not the reality of it for everyone.” She then admitted that she wasn’t… click here to read whole article and make comments



The first weeks of married life

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The wedding was more wonderful than I could have imagined, the honeymoon was glorious, and even coming back to reality was new and exciting. And here I am, penning my first piece as a married woman. I thought I’d reflect on the first few weeks of wedded life. If I had to sum it up in three words, I’d choose the following:


One thing I can tell you – “married bliss” is a real thing. I realise that there will be bad days and tough times, but the first few weeks have definitely been filled with all things idyllic. For me, there came the realisation that my husband really did love me. I mean, I already knew he loved me before we got married, but I felt the realisation all over again in the first few days of wedlock – as he saw me in all my imperfection and all my lack of… click here to read whole article and make comments



Less marriage, more murder

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The News Story - Murder rates rising sharply in many U.S. cities

Murder rates almost always rise during the summer, but this year’s spike has many officials scratching their heads.

The New York Times, among others, report that murder rates in many of the nation’s largest cities have seen a startling increase. Milwaukee, with 104 homicides so far this year compared to 86 during all of last year, has been the hardest hit. But places such as New Orleans, Baltimore, Washington, and St. Louis have all seen dramatic increases.

Why the sudden upsurge, after decades of declining murder rates? Reports the Times, “Law enforcement experts say disparate factors are at play in different cities. . . . [and] many top police officials say they are seeing a growing willingness among disenchanted young men in poor neighborhoods to use violence to settle ordinary disputes.”

What… click here to read whole article and make comments



‘You can’t say that!’

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Chrissie Hynde.


A 1980s rock singer claims responsibility for being sexually assaulted, and feminists are furious.

Perhaps rock stars and feminists have never been very comfortable with each other, but if they had, a beautiful alliance took a hard blow last week when Chrissie Hynde, who sang with the 1980s British rock group The Pretenders, committed the ultimate feminist faux pas.

In her recently released memoir, Reckless, which she discussed with the Sunday Times, the 63-year-old says that she took “full responsibility” for her own experience of sexual violence at the hands of an Ohio bikie gang when she was 21. At the time she was drunk, high on drugs and scantily dressed when she hopped on the back of a gang member’s motorcycle to hitch a ride to a party. Instead she was taken to an empty house and sexually assaulted.

click here to read whole article and make comments



The benefits of risky play for kids

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(Credit: Shutterstock/Salon/Benjamin Wheelock)


Children in the Northern Hemisphere will be going back to school this month but many of those in Western countries won’t be walking there or taking the bus on their own. Instead they will be driven by parents.

Over the years, the distance children are allowed to roam has been shrinking. This map paints a striking picture of this shrinking freedom over four generations: the great-grandfather, at age eight, was allowed to walk six miles on his own to go fishing, the grandfather at the same age, only about one mile into the woods, the mother, half a mile to the swimming pool, and the son only 300 yards to the end of his street.  

“Stranger danger” - or the fear that their child will be abducted - is the reason many parents give for keeping their kids close. However,… click here to read whole article and make comments



‘No nudity, bullying, alcohol, drugs…’

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When our oldest daughter graduated with her 40-person class from eighth grade in parochial school, all the girls hugged each other and cried. She's entering public high school in a few days, and it's totally uncharted territory. None of her parochial school friends will be with her, she won't be wearing her trusty plaid uniform, and the sprawling high school building with its 1,000+ students seems as vast as the Museum of Natural History.

Even the routine high school paperwork foreshadowed ominous threats ahead. The technology policy advised repeatedly that sexting and pornography are not acceptable on school grounds. Neither is bullying, defined as acting or speaking in such a way to make another feel afraid of physical harm. Skimming the four pages of legalese, I summarized to my daughter: "No nudity, no bullying, no nudity, don't be mean." She raised a quizzical eyebrow, but let it… click here to read whole article and make comments



Hilton hotels clean up their room service

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In an age of Wi-Fi and portable screens it may not mean a lot in practice, but Hilton Worldwide’s decision to stop providing porn to guests through its video-on-demand service is an important symbolic move. The hotel chain announced recently:

We are making immediate changes to our global brand standards to eliminate adult video-on-demand entertainment in all our hotels worldwide. While the vast majority of our properties already do not offer this content today, this content will be phased out of all other hotels subject to the terms of their contracts.  We believe in offering our guests a high degree of choice and control during their stays with us, including Wi-Fi on personal devices.  However, we have listened carefully to our customers and have determined that adult video-on-demand entertainment is not in keeping with our company’s vision and goals moving forward.

The decision has been welcomed by America’s National… click here to read whole article and make comments



Paying for college: when do parents help most?

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The News Story: 3 Important College Funding Questions to Answer During a Divorce 

It’s back-to-school time, and most parents with children in college are already wondering how to pay the bills. For single parents, the picture is likely even more complicated.

U.S. News and World Report offers those going through a divorce some tips on college-related finances. First, the story advises, think about who will “‘own’ the 529 plan.” One advisor recommends that the noncustodial parent take ownership of these college-savings assets, as that parent’s finances are typically not required for financial-aid determinations. Similar questions are which parent claims the child for tax purposes, and which gets custody. For custodial parents considering remarriage, the story advises that the new spouse’s finances will also be taken into account for financial-aid purposes.

But research reveals that such tips, though perhaps helpful, can do little to address the underlying… click here to read whole article and make comments



Silicon Valley ups the stakes for parental leave

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This month, Netflix’s Chief Talent Officer, Tawni Cranz announced that the company is introducing an unlimited parental leave policy that allows new moms and dads to take off as much time as they want during the first year after a child’s birth or adoption.

“We want employees to have the flexibility and confidence to balance the needs of their growing families without worrying about work or finances,” said Cranz.

In the days following, other tech companies including Microsoft and Adobe followed suit with announcements of their own expanded parental leave policies. Google already offers 18 weeks of paid maternity leave. Facebook gives four months. Twitter, 20 weeks.

It seems this move points to a realization that generous leave policies are beneficial for both employees and the companies they work for.

In highly competitive Silicon Valley, employers are in a constant… click here to read whole article and make comments


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Family Edge looks at news and trends affecting the family in the light of human dignity. Our focus is the inspiring, creative, humorous, annoying, ridiculous, and dangerous ideas in the evening news. Send tips and brainwaves to the editor, Tamara Rajakariar, at tamara.rajakariar@

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