Wednesday Reads: Haircuts and Consent, Daycare Heartbreak, and The Wicked Witch of the Midwest… Again

A light load of links this week. Blame Pro Evolution Soccer 2018 landing yesterday. So… Much…Soccer…

Britni de la Cretaz writes at WaPo On Parenting on how she used the occasion of her daughter’s first haircut to teach her about consent…

The next time I went to the salon for my own cut, I made an appointment for her as well. She watched as locks of my hair hit the floor. Despite the fact that she’d talked about nothing but getting her hair cut during the week leading up to the appointment, she changed her mind and opted for just a fancy ponytail.

We left the salon hand-in-hand, my daughter beaming as she walked down the street with her hair piled high on the crown of her head, topped with a big, white bow. “You are in charge of what happens to your body,” I told her. “That means that you get to decide when you’re ready to cut your hair.” This is one of the ways I am teaching her about boundaries and consent, and that her body is her own. In our home, that also means asking permission before hugging, kissing or touching someone and never forcing her to give kisses or hugs, even with relatives.

The Department of Justice has decided not to bring any federal charges in the 2015 death of Baltimore 25 year old Freddie Gray

Reps. Elijah Cummings, John Sarbanes and Dutch Ruppersberger and Sens. Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen said they were disappointed by the Justice Department’s decision, but added: “We are not surprised.”
“In light of this reported decision, we are once again calling on DOJ to actively support — not undermine — the consent decree and to provide Baltimore with all federal resources available to improve our police force. Doing anything less would be unconscionable,” the lawmakers said in a joint statement.
I wrote about the resulting civil unrest from the Freddie Gray case here… A Mother in Baltimore.

Katie Alicea asked her 4 year old why he hated daycare. His answer was haertbreaking…

After another long, hard day of acting out, I sat with him in his room for a long time at bedtime to see if he would talk to me about what is causing him to be so angry. After spending some time reading books, he said this to me, “Mommy, I wish I wasn’t here. I wish I wasn’t built. I want to be turned off and disappear or be rebuilt into some different boy. I wish I didn’t exist. I want there to just be nothing.”

Shocking, right? He doesn’t fully understand the concept of death, but he does understand how electronics and robots work and he was basically telling me he felt like he wanted to be turned off. I can’t explain the shock I felt at hearing him say this, but when he began to explain “why” he felt this way, I was even more shocked.

The first thing I did was tell him I was so sorry he was feeling that way and calmly asked him why. He sat quiet for a few seconds and then said, “Because I don’t like my skin. I want to be white like you. My skin is too dark and I want to be rebuilt into a new boy with white skin.”

My 4-year-old said this to me.

The Wicked Witch of the Midwest, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, intends to rewrite the departments guidelines on sexual assault. Speaking at the Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University, Devos had this to say…

“Through intimidation and coercion, the failed system has clearly pushed schools to overreach,” she said in an address at George Mason University in suburban Arlington, Va. “With the heavy hand of Washington tipping the balance of her scale, the sad reality is that Lady Justice is not blind on campuses today.”

Advocates for sexual assault survivors immediately responded…

Advocates for assault victims reacted strongly and swiftly, as did Arne Duncan, who was education secretary during most of the Obama administration.

“This administration wants to take us back to the days when colleges swept sexual assault under the rug,” Mr. Duncan said in a statement. “Instead of building on important work to pursue justice, they are once again choosing politics over students, and students will pay the price.”

Atheist Youtube doesn’t have a great reputation, having become dominated by a particularly pernicious strain of misogyny, racism and general fuckery. But one Atheist Tuber I have gotten to know lately is Steve Shives, who is a pretty righteous dude.  He’s fun and funny and understands intersectionality. He’s one of us. He just finished up a critical read through of Natasha Crain’s book Keeping Your Kids on God’s Side. He is quite even handed and fair in his analysis. Here’s the first of 5 parts…

Featured Image Credit: The Schmoo… I’m hosting their artwork at the Send Help Album on my Facebook page because they are only 12… TWELVE!



Louis Doench

Lou Doench is a 52 year old father of three. Twelve years ago he married the coolest woman in the world and gave up the lucrative career of being a photography student to become a stay at home husband and Dad, or SAHD. An atheist geek, or a geeky atheist if you prefer, Lou likes reading, photography, video gaming, disc golf, baseball and Dr. Who. He has been playing Dungeons and Dragons since 1976. Born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. He is also an excellent home cook, not that his children would know because they only eat Mac & Cheese. Follow Lou on Twitter @blotzphoto or check out his photography at

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