Other links, other views on the Newtown, Conn. mass murder, plus a reconsideration of parenting.

Tenured RadicalTeachers are not soldiers, which recounts her own experience during a campus “lockdown” in May of 2009.

Chris at HistoricusReligion in Schools Wouldn’t Prevent Mass Shootings, in which he comments on Mike Huckabee’s inane analysis and offers a look at the real history of American civic and political life before institutionally-led prayer was banned in schools.  Two Buck Huck upped the ante over the weekend, BTW.  According to Mary Elizabeth Williams at Salon,  “There you have it. It wasn’t a mentally ill lunatic with easy access to military grade weaponry that caused one of the worst mass shootings in U.S. history. It was “abortion pills,” iPhones, evolution and homosexuals.”

Joel Achenbach at the Washington Post, on the life of the murderer of Newtown, Conn:  “Slowly, amid rumor and misinformation, a picture of the killer is emerging, and it is dismayingly familiar. Adam Lanza was yet another young, withdrawn, middle-class male who for some unimaginable reason graduated from his adolescence as a mass murderer.”

Some readers have taken issue with my previous post, and I welcome your frank evaluations.  As a feminist blogger, I was reluctant to write about the questions I have about parenting, gender, and in particular the strangely enabling relationship I have seen among some mothers and their teenaged sons in the past 15 years or so Continue reading

Gender, family life, and gun-fueled mass murder

Over the past few days, I’ve been gratified to see and hear some in the news media start talking specifically about how all of these killers are men–most of them young, overwhelmingly white and also overwhelmingly socially isolated.  Inspired by this comment from Susan, I wondered this morning how many mothers and fathers of hypothetical 20-year old daughters who 1) had problems with school, 2) live at home, 3) don’t go to college and don’t have a job, and 4) are as completely isolated as this murderer appears to have been would not have sought some kind of counseling or mental health evaluation for their child?

I do not mean to engage in victim-blaming here (of the murderer’s mother).  My question is an honest one, and it jibes with a concern I’ve had for a long time about the different standards to which boys and girls are held by their parents.  Recently, it has struck me that daughters are held to much higher standards than sons are–higher behavioral and academic standards–and that this in the end has benefited girls.  This is one reason why I think we see women in the majority among college students and M.A. students in the U.S.  Continue reading

Cake Week Thursday: retro faux-fruitcake?

Erica at Retro Recipe Attempts has gone where no woman or man has gone since at least 1972:  No-Bake Festive Fruit Cake! Even back in the day, this seems like one of those recipes that people make once, and then hope everyone else politely refrains from mentioning it ever again.

Srsly, it’s like a time machine to all of those church potluck suppers I attended back in the 1970s as a child.  I swear, every single one of those hot (or cold) dishes featured either one or more of the following ingredients:  1) evaporated milk, 2) sweetened condensed milk, 3) graham crackers, 4) marischino cherries, and/or 5) Jell-o.  (And that included the main-course dishes, too.)

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to create a palatable and festive dessert with as many of the same ingredients as you can use, instead of mashing everything up into a weird ball of dough the way this recipe calls for.  Here’s your shopping list: Continue reading

We interrupt Cake Week for an important announcement

This is why even antifeminists really need to learn some women’s history.  (Via a link from Echidne.)

I suppose the rest of us would have fewer laughs at their expense if antifeminists knew more women’s history, but that’s a price I’m willing to pay in order to stamp out ignorance.

I think I’ve told this story before, so stop me if you’ve heard this one:  Continue reading

Cake Week, Tuesday edition: pull up a chair for coffee and War Cake

Today’s post is a recipe cribbed from M.F.K. Fisher’s How to Cook a Wolf (1942), which I reviewed here a few years ago and did not love.  However, this recipe stuck with me, because it seems like an ingenious way to make a cake without butter or eggs:  hide the use of sub-standard fat with gingerbread spices!  (And/or ganja, or as M.F.K. Fisher herself would say, “what have you.”)

Now to the recipe and its explanation:

Coffee, when it is brewed intelligently, is a perfect accompaniment to any dessert, whether it be a Soufflé au Grand Marnier, or a bowl of frost-whipped Winesap apples, crisp and juicy.  It is good, too, with a piece of fruity cake, and here is a recipe for one which is foolproof to concoct, and guaranteed to make the world take at least two steps back, instead of one step nearer.

It is a remnant of the last war, and although I remember liking it so much that I dreamed about it at night. . . like all the other children who ate it, I can’t remember that it was called anything more appetizing than

WAR CAKE

1/2 cup shortening (bacon grease can be used, because of the spices which hide its taste) Continue reading