Monthly Archives: October 2008

Sarah Palin’s Newsweek Cover Photo

Enough already with the over-reaction to the Sarah Palin cover picture on Newsweek.

I first learned of this so-called serious issue watching Fox News in the morning.  One of their hosts, a gorgeous blonde, was holding up the magazine and the camera zoomed in on the cover, and I thought it was…fine.  It shows Mrs. Palin close up, with about 60% of her face exposed.  Frankly, I think it’s a nice shot. 

The complaints from the news hosts were that it wasn’t retouched to take away the deepness of the marionette lines between nose and mouth and the slight creping around her eyes.

My first reaction was, “Give me a break…that’s what she looks like at her age with her facial contours.  It’s real and she doesn’t look bad at all – she happens to be a pretty woman.”

The hosts then flashed a prior Newsweek cover with Obama…at more of a distance without one obvious facial flaw and a light diffusing from the top of his head, which made him look like a moment in the movie The Ten Commandments — the halo effect told a lot about the “messiah-like” impression that this publication was attempting to create to influence the readership.

While I am not supportive of Mrs. Palin for the Vice-Presidency, as I have made clear in a previous blog, I am also not supportive of media manipulation to subliminally impact the populace to vote for the party of the media’s choice.  That said, it is the Obama cover that should be criticized, not Palin’s…hers is at least a real rendition of a real human being.

I recently took a new set of head shots and publicity photos for an upcoming book (“In Praise of At-Home Moms“) and other promotional purposes.  When I first saw them, I just about cried.  Where did all those crow’s feet, laugh lines, and creping of neck skin come from?  I work out hard most days of the week so my muscles and flexibility are amazing.  Working out and eating correctly are under my control.  Getting weekly facials to keep my skin clear and hydrated is under my control.  The changes one has through maturation (aka “aging”) are not under my control.  I’m embarrassed to tell you that seeing those photos ruined my afternoon as I have never in my life before felt so womanly, sexy, and feminine!  The photos did not seem to match my inner image.

The next day I looked at the photos again and – after sleeping on it and talking about it with my dearest friends – I just absolutely love them and told my business partner to make sure they were not air-brushed.  I never liked my current photos because they touched them up to remove all lines…making me, in my opinion, look absolutely bionic.  I love my new ones now because they are real and show me mature, attractive, happy, and, untouched, and make a statement about pride in oneself even with imperfections.

So, to summarize, I like the Palin Newsweek photo. I disdain the liberal media’s manipulations of Obama photos to further their political agenda.  And I love my new photos…you’ll see ‘em soon!

Quote of the Week

By prevailing over all obstacles and distractions, one may unfailingly arrive at his chosen goal or destination.
               – Christopher Columbus
                  Italian-born Navigator and Explorer

Happy Columbus Day weekend!

Christopher Columbus

Save Us From Feminist Studies

I am disheartened to learn that the University of California at Santa Barbara has announced a graduate program (offering Master’s and doctoral degrees) in Feminist Studies.

Tell me if you can make heads or tails of this quote from Eileen Boris, Hull Professor and Chair of Feminist Studies:  “It’s a broadening of women’s studies.  We don’t want to argue over which bodies are included in our field of study; we want to generate new ways of analyzing the world through diverse feminist perspectives.”

I have no clue as to what that means.  I can tell you one thing, however – my experience as a professional and public woman for over three decades has clearly demonstrated to me that there is no permitted diversity in feminist perspectives.  If that were actually so, I’d have been invited long ago to present my “diverse perspective” at some feminist gala or university Feminist Studies class.

I’m wondering if this Feminist Studies program will be all-inclusive.  Is it going to be critical or celebratory over home-making, traditional family values, home schooling, religion, mothering only after marriage, qualities of a good wife, at-home mothering, avoiding divorce (except in cases of abuse, addiction or affairs), and choosing adoption over abortion?

I’m wondering if this Feminist Studies program will bring up the subject of the demeaning and emasculating of men from kindergarten through life.  I’m also wondering if this program will have parallel rebuttals and counter the misinformation and brainwashing so prominent in women’s studies programs, so that the students will have both philosophical and practical sides of an issue (and that would include some male academics as well as females like Christina Hoff Sommers, who wrote Who Stole Feminism).

I’m wondering if this Feminist Studies program will invite me to give the commencement speech, sending graduates off into their lives as angry, bitter, paranoid harridans who cannot imagine being in any way dependent on or respectful of men and masculinity.

I believe there should be one entire four-credit course on “How to Regain Respect from Men.”   This course should include:

* No “friends with benefits” or Saturday night “hook-ups” where men come to see women simply as sex objects.
* No more using abortion as birth control, believing that the freedom to eliminate life from one’s body elevates one’s soul, spirit, self-esteem or value.
* No more “shacking up” and/or having babies out-of-wedlock to prove your lack of need for a man, while denying a child’s need for a father-child relationship.
* No more working yourself into a complete frazzle by working full-time while you’re putting being a Mommy and a wife on the back-burner, and wondering why you’re stressed and unhappy.
* No more buying the lie that hired help and day care are equivalent or superior to your loving touch, voice, input, and very presence.
* No more being hostile to or dismissive of whatever your husband wants or needs because that is the very definition of “oppression.”

And that’s just for starters….

Betty Friedan, founder of NOW (The National Organization of “I Don’t Know What Kind Of” Women) referred to traditional family life as a “comfortable concentration camp” from which women needed liberation.  Sheila Cronan, one of the feminist movement’s most respected leaders and spokeswomen said: “Since marriage constitutes slavery for women, it is clear that the women’s movement must concentrate on attacking marriage.”

Are these to be the heroines for our daughters?

Another “Reformed” Day Care Mom

As long as you keep sending me stories like these, I’ll continue to post them on this blog.  Today’s email came from Lori:

This is long overdue.  I started listening to your program 20 years ago, when I was in my twenties, newly married, and focused on my career.  I was in the middle of a graduate program that I had worked very hard to get into, when I got pregnant with my son.  I always thought your ideas that a parent should stay home with their child were ridiculous – I thought it was a crazy, backward notion.  That is what day care was for!!

Then I had my son. 

He was six weeks old when I left him with a day care provider to continue my graduate program.  That was also the last time he was with a day care provider.  I physically and mentally could not stand to think that someone else was spending the day and providing for my son – something I should be doing and wanted to do.  After all, who could do it better?  My husband felt the same, so I quit graduate school and all my career plans went out the door so I could stay with my son full time.  While at first it wasn’t easy, I can say without a doubt what a great decision that was!

When my son and I went to the park or took a walk, I arranged it so I could listen to your radio program at the same time.  While I was sure about my decision, I had VERY LITTLE support from many others.  I got many comments or “put-downs” about what a waste of my life this was.  I felt like you were one of the few who supported me.  You were my advocate, and when I would feel especially down and question my decision, I would listen to you and it would lift me up, and I knew I was right.

So, a belated thank you for what you gave me, my wonderfully supportive husband, and my son – who is now a smart, kind, funny, well-adjusted 16 year old.  Keep speaking up for us stay-at-home moms.  I can look back at that time of my life and say I absolutely have no regrets.

No Contact From Adult Kids

A lot of people say they’re “really close,” and then the “close” behaviors don’t exist.

One of my listeners wrote to tell me her close-knit family behaves like strangers when it comes to acknowledging family birthdays and holidays, and asked for my advice on what to do.  I answer her in today’s video blog.

Video: No Contact From Adult Kids

Or watch other videos at youtube.com/DrLaura.

Abortion Rights Still Popular, But…

Public opinion on the legality of abortion has remained relatively stable for well over a decade, with slight majorities of the public (54%) saying they favor keeping abortion legal.  The “but” is that fewer Americans have tended to express support for making abortion illegal in “all or most cases,” ranging from a low of 36% to a high of 48% over the same period of time. (pewresearch.org)

While men and women are about equally likely to express support for abortion rights (53% of men and 54% of women say it should be legal), women are more likely than men to say abortion should be legal in all cases.  Majorities of most age groups say that abortion should be legal in all or most cases, although support for legalized abortion is somewhat lower among those under age 30 (52%), compared with those aged 50-64 (58% — baby boomers).

According to the Pew Research findings:  “While the public generally tends to support legalized abortion, it is also clear that most Americans harbor concerns about the morality of abortion, and favor certain restrictions on its use.  For instance, most Americans (73%) believe that abortion is morally wrong in nearly “all” (24%) or “some” (49%) circumstances.  Only 24% say abortion is not a moral issue.”

That last group scares me.  Issues of right and wrong don’t pertain at all to the termination of a human life in utero?  I wonder if those same folks are card-carrying members of PETA.  I’m always struck by those who value a chicken over a human being.

Basically, “the public supports abortion when the physical or psychological health of the mother may be in danger, or when the pregnancy results from rape or incest.  Most Americans disapprove of abortion when the circumstances relate to economics, life choices, or a personal preference not to have a child.”  This heartens me.  As goes the value of human life…so goes civilization.

Quote of the Week

Even if something is left undone, everyone must take time to sit still and watch the leaves turn.
               – Elizabeth Lawrence
                  Southern gardening writer

Can’t Beat This Argument for Moms-At-Home

From a listener to my radio program:

Dr. Laura, I want to thank you for the special moments that you helped me have.  As a listener, my husband and I decided that I would stay home with our 2 month old baby boy even before he was born.  I must admit that it’s hard financially, but we understand that our son is more important than luxury.

Yesterday, I had a “tear-jerker” moment.  After feeding my son, I got up and started to clean the room.  After a while, I saw him moving.  He was putting his little hand above his head, feeling for the place where my arm had just been.  Then he stretched his arms and legs in front of him where I had been lying before.  I realized he was looking for me.  His little face began to prepare to cry.  I then placed my hand on his side.  “I’m right here, baby.”  He then opened his eyes.  On seeing me, he smiled his gummy smile. 

I stayed there, smoothing out his hair, until he fell back to sleep, but I couldn’t help thinking, what if I had been at work?  What if he was with a sitter or at day care?  I wouldn’t have had that moment, and he wouldn’t have been comforted. I know, because I used to work at a day care center – he would have been left crying, because he had been fed and his diaper had been changed.

As an ex-day care worker, I know that children are not cared for lovingly.  They just have their physical needs met, but not their emotional needs. There were so many kids who called me “mommy,” and that was only because I was doing her job while doing mine.  The fact was, “mommy” wasn’t there.  But I was and am here for our son.  Thank you.