Fom Yatsuo no tsubaki (1860-1869) by Taguchi Tomoki. Public Domain.

This Week: A Tradwife Reconsiders, the Nudes Internet, and Postpartum Secrets

Welcome to the weekly Fairer Disputations round-up: your one-stop shop for the best in sex-realist feminism. This week, Mary Harrington on Lauren Southern reconsidering tradlife, Jane Coaston on the sexualization of everything online, Helen Roy on postpartum secrets from the premodern world, Wollstonecraft’s religion, misappropriating motherhood, what Rachel Lu is reading—and more!

Featured Author Mary Harrington recently interviewed influencer Lauren Southern on her experience living as a “tradwife”—and the problems of embracing internet ideologies in real life.

At The Atlantic, Jane Coaston discusses the internet’s tendency to sexualize everything—while losing the connection with real sex.

Finally, Featured Author Helen Roy explores universally recognized—but little-known—principles for postpartum care.

More Great Reads:

What I’m Reading: Rachel Lu

I recently got a chance to enjoy the new Word on Fire volume, With All Her Mind, featuring seventeen short essays from Catholic women reflecting on the value of the intellectual life. This would be a great book for young mothers, overworked professional women, or really women in any space who feel like they need “permission” to carve out some time just to read and learn. It’s approachable and easily browsable, and has contributions from many Catholic writers I admire.

Holly Ordway writes about the life of a female academic, and I especially appreciated her reminder that writing is work. (It’s pretty hard sometimes for a work-at-home mom to get people to understand this. Isn’t this just your idea of fun? Basically a hobby?) Leah Libresco Sargeant, though, balances that out by reflecting on the value of other kinds of work, including drudge work. Susanna Spencer explains how intellectual activity contributes to a life of virtue, for people of all backgrounds and in all stages of life. Jennifer Frey delves into the value of leisure, and Haley Stewart offers sympathetic encouragement to mothers who struggle to find time to read

What I especially noticed about this book was that the contributors clearly all understand how time-poor women tend to be, so they cut right to the chase. You could easily read two or three of these while your toddler naps. But they all support the same central idea: it’s not decadent or selfish for women in all situations to want time for intellectual growth. We need and deserve that.