This simple tactic could right oh so many of the wrongs in our society.

(Photo by Kira auf der Heide on Unsplash)

As a first-generation American in a large Italian immigrant family, I would often experience and witness the “schiaff.” A schiaff (or schiaffo in its proper form) translates to slap or smack.

More specifically, the schiaff was a smack upside the head. Oftentimes, the recipient of this demoralizing act wouldn’t see it coming. While it did not cause great physical injury, the schiaff had the power to stop a person dead in their tracks. It was demeaning. Shaming. In one fell swoop, it could render a person speechless while also robbing them of their pride and dignity.

Schiaffs were given by…


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Never underestimate the role your feelings can play in writing a read-worthy piece.

After helping my daughter self-administer her first haircut (down there), I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I wanted to scream. And so I did in a story I wrote called Patriarchal Pussies. To date, this is my most viewed and highest-earning story on Medium. And here’s why I think that is.

I just wrote.

Before, during, and after having helped my daughter with this seemingly mundane task, I had a lot of feelings about it. When I have a lot of feelings about anything, I often feel compelled to put fingers to keyboard. With this particular story though, I didn’t think I would…


Dr. Thomas Lieb, Towson University

It was the childish behavior of parents that brought my old professor back to mind.

What a year it’s been for teachers and their students. Although this whole remote learning thing was beyond frustrating, I never did get all the shade being thrown at school administrators and teachers by parents.

We parents have so much to complain about, don’t we? And it’s usually over really small things. This year, it was as if we forgot that we were living amidst an unprecedented pandemic, something that none of us — parents, students, teachers — had ever experienced before.

After a parent posted the question “What’s wrong with teachers these days?”, …


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The aftermath of my pregnancy left more than my belly a mess

A few years ago, my sister-in-law was complaining about the weight she still wanted to lose after having her second baby. She was perturbed about the girth around her middle.

I looked with envy at her unblemished bellybutton and her thick, but smooth-skinned midriff.

She was motivated and disciplined about going to the gym and I knew she’d soon be back to her pre-preggo, fit self. I reminded her about how she had lost the weight after her first baby and that she’d undoubtedly do it again. …


When, if not now, will teachers discuss all of the parts of the female anatomy?

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

This article contains content about child sexual abuse and may bring up strong unpleasant thoughts and feelings. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed by these thoughts or feelings, please contact the Rape Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) 24-hour hotline at 1.800.656.HOPE (4673).

I was sipping a hot cup of coffee when I received the text from my 12-year-old daughter, who was up in her room in remote health class. It was a photo she took from her teacher’s PowerPoint presentation — a diagram of the female reproductive system followed by a sarcastic smiley face and thumbs-up emoji. …


Girls are more than sugar and spice, and boys are more than snips and snails

Photo by Kevin Gent on Unsplash

What are little boys made of?
Snips and snails
And puppy-dogs’ tails,
That’s what little boys are made of.

What are little girls made of?
Sugar and spice
And everything nice,
That’s what little girls are made of.
— popular early 20th century nursery rhyme

Before I was a wife and mom, baby showers killed me. Sitting in one room for nearly 5 hours on a weekend didn’t feel like a good use of my time. Having to make small talk with people I (mostly) didn’t know, while feigning joy at the expectant mother as she opened an endless sea…


Photo by @cpuciata, used with permission, https://www.instagram.com/cpuciata/

And just
Like that
I am
Full grown
And the certainty
Of life becomes
Unknown

The news came
So suddenly
And other times
More gradually
When I discovered
No one is free from
Life’s atrocities

Too many
Disorders
And disease
Occupying
Every space
Of this family

Robbing
Father
Of his
Memory
Mother
Of her
Empathy
Sister
Of her
Security
Brother
Of his
Vivacity

Concurrently
The world outside
Unraveling

Humanity
At its worst
Alongside
A worldwide
Catastrophe

Once light
Carefree
I longed for
Time to slow

Now heavy
I hurry
I long for
The time
To go

Tensely
Waiting
Wishing
Praying


Must we always share how much we love our partners on our social media feeds?

Photo by Barefoot Communications on Unsplash

You know the couple. They write beautiful tributes to each other on Facebook. These tributes vary in length and are shared on anniversaries, birthdays, father’s and mother’s day and sometimes, even on a random Tuesday.

I’m not a hater. These tributes can be sweet and sentimental and I can appreciate that my friends are so in love with their spouses. We can definitely use more love and positivity in this world, especially now with all that is going on.

But like all social media, when people’s best lives are the only lives you see and hear about, all day, every…


Image by Karolina Grabowska from Pixabay

Memory
Early morning
Sleep still in my eyes
Curled up in his massive bed
Watching him dress for work
Anxiously waiting as
He begins to knot his tie
Here it comes
Whoosh
Smooth silky fabric
Swipes down my face
I feel
Visible

Memory
Sitting together
On the large soft sofa
In front of the big bay window
My small arms wrapped around his neck
My face buried in his chest
Sweet subtle cologne fills my nose
I feel
Safe

Memory
Big smile on his face
Surprise in the garage
Running to see it
A new car
A station wagon! …


A patriarchal pussy is well-groomed. Perfectly trimmed from every angle — from its top to its sides to its underbelly. It’s childlike. Obedient. Pleasing to others. Hairless. Unnatural. Smooth for a hot minute before it all turns to stubble.

The pussy of a free woman is none of these things. Its hair spills out of her underwear. Wild. Fluffy. Natural. It doesn’t give a damn what you think about it.

When did the taming of our body hair start? When did hair become so despicable? So unsightly?

As a sexually experimenting teenager in the early 90’s, I was less concerned…

Janey Doe

Licensed Social Worker. Mom. Fascinated by humans, hypocrisy, and how all shitshows lead to self-discovery.

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