How Did I Not Know Kangaroos Have 3 Vaginas?

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(petponder.com)

Of course I mean just the female ones. This immediately got me wondering about the possible sexist nature of science in the media. If there was an animal out there with even two penises, let alone three, surely we’d all know about it. Or am I the last one to know about this kangaroo vagina thing? I read about it in a book by one of my favorite authors. Jenny Lawson is also a famous blogger, but she is actually a very gifted writer so she deserves the “author” title for her talents. Anyhoo, I’m reading about her adventures in Australia when she mentions the whole three-vagina kangaroo thing and my mind. is. blown. This is not something that’s ever come up on any episode of Wild Kratts I’ve ever seen.

So naturally, I Google “animals with two penises.” (Naturally.) I click on one of the top stories from Science Alert called, “Here’s Why Some Animals Have Two Penises.” A writer named Elizabeth Pennisi, whose article about where penises come from was quoted in the story. You can’t make this stuff up. I can see her in the pitch meeting now:

Editor: I’d love for one of you to take on a story about the origins of the peni–

Pennisi: Me! Me! Me! I got this. I was born for this.

Editor: Okay, Elizabeth. I like your cocksuredness. It’s yours.

Turns out, a millipede has four penises, which he uses as extra legs (because he really needed more). Snakes and lizards have what are called hemipenes, which are two evolved penises they keep tucked away in their tails ’til they’re, well, needed. No mammals have multiple penises, however, an echidna–a spiny anteater that looks like a little porcupine–has a four-headed penis.

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A short-beaked echidna. (Bushpea.com)

If you do your own Googling, you can find a picture of this little guy’s four-headed little guy, but decorum prohibits me from posting it here. (Even I have standards. But here’s a link and it looks like an alien puppy paw.) Also, you can actually buy a pillow that says “Echidna Penis” on it. It comes in nine colors on Amazon for only $24. God bless America:

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I’m willing to wager that most people don’t know about either the kangaroo vaginas or echidna penis phenomena. Unless you:

a) Have an obsession with unusual animal genitalia.

b) Are a zoologist or the like.

c) Read Jenny Lawson’s book “Furiously Happy,” and proceeded to jump down an Internet rabbit hole (that’s a rabbit with one penis and/or one vagina), or

d) You knew all of this because you’re one of those smug dickholes who knows everything about everything, always having “just read an article about that,” or “saw a documentary about that” and drinks rye (not bourbon) at cocktail parties.

After my research, I’ve come to the conclusion that all animals with weird genitalia, both male and female, have remained rather equitably out of the spotlight, so perhaps science is not as penis-headed as I thought. I’m not afraid to admit when I’m wrong.

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Though I will leave you with this: I’m not sure exactly how, but the menstruation industry is missing out on a great marketing opportunity. Possibly a mascot? I have enough trouble dealing with one vagina, so I don’t know how anyone, human or animal, could handle three. Roos, I raise my DivaCup to you.

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Is ‘Mompreneur’ a Bad Word?

image-2-1Earlier today, I fell into a stream-of-consciousness-like click hole on Facebook, during which I discovered Bump Water. The vitamin-fortified, flavored water designed for moms-to-be was created by two women entrepreneurs in Brooklyn (one of whom is married to a guy who lived in my neighborhood growing up, hence the six degrees of Facebook).

My first thought after checking out the Bump Water website was, “Shit, I wish I had known about this when I was pregnant,” followed by an involuntary twinge of jealousy for not having thought of this myself. My second thought, after perusing their press coverage and seeing outlets like the New York Post call them “mompreneurs,” was, “Blurg,” followed by a self-righteous, guttural harumph. 

I don’t know why, but the term “mompreneur” just irks me. Wait, I do know why. It just sounds condescending. Why isn’t Bill Gates called a dadpreneur? Or why isn’t a mom who is a cancer doctor called a momoncologist? I can only imagine that a female doctor would find that term insulting just as I’m insulted for women who are launching their own businesses (not an easy feat), and because they happen to be moms, are puffy painted as bored housewives who needed a hobby to keep them busy.

Then I started to wonder, am I the only one who feels this way? So I did what any person would do: I Googled it. In searching for “mompreneur condescending,” I found that I wasn’t alone. But what surprised me most was discovering that there’s an anti-anti-mompreneur movement.

Marika Jeziorek of Mom’s 2-Hour Work Day says, “By arguing ‘mompreneur’ is a negative word, you are reinforcing the negative connotation of ‘mom,’ and are thus not improving the status of women, but are rather pushing women to be ashamed and embarrassed of being mothers.”

I don’t believe by being anti-mompreneur that I’m bolstering a negative image for the word “mom,” but I do believe that whether or not you are a mother should have no bearing on your professional accomplishments. Should a mom who launches a product be seen in a different light than a business woman who doesn’t have children? Yes, moms are busy and have a lot to balance in their lives, but so do all women, and in fact, all people.

I remember when I was in my 20s and first started a blog. It was mommy blogger madness (another term that drives me crazy). All of these mommy bloggers were able to join with other mommy bloggers in special groups with spiffy blog badges … and I felt left out. Did being a mom mean that their opinions on a certain dishwashing liquid or beauty balm was more valid than mine? Why did companies pay moms to go all over the country (and the world) to try out their products and services? What if I didn’t want to — or couldn’t — become a mom? Would I feel permanently ostracized from these blogospheric and societal privileges? So, on the other side of the mompreneur coin, there’s that.

What do you think of the term mompreneur? Are you for it or against it?

Flower Power

I got these gorgeous flowers as a very generous but unnecessary thank you for the baby shower we threw the other week. Have I mentioned that we have the best friends here in Asheville?

I love how FTD sends flowers in their budding stage so they last longer. Over the past three days, I’ve literally watched them bloom before my eyes. So pretty! Getting flowers as a thank you was a wonderful surprise. And finding out how much I truly love getting them was a nice surprise, too.

When I first wrote this post, it was simply about the fact that I loved these flowers and the surprise of getting them. But after I hit “publish”, I started thinking about why I’ve been so resistant to embrace things such as flowers and chocolate. Why do I cringe every time I even come close to resembling a cliché? At first, I chided myself for being pretentious and self-centered. Perhaps I thought I was too special for things that were so obvious and bourgeois. But then I realized that’s the eight seasons of Frasier reruns I’ve been watching on Netflix talking, not me. I wouldn’t turn my nose up at a gesture because it wasn’t good enough for me. If I like something a little different it’s only because I’m a little different… some might even say quirky. Some have flat out said weird (which I take as a compliment). And then I realized why I resist the joy of flowers and resent the housework that rightfully comes with the territory of being a stay-at-home mom.

I love wearing skirts, reading chic lit, eating ice cream in my sweatpants and drinking too much wine with my girlfriends, but I’ve come to the realization that I (albeit subconsciously) earmark certain female stereotypes as signs of weakness. I never wanted to be the blushing girl at her desk getting a dozen roses on Valentine’s Day. When’s the last time you saw a man get flowers at his desk? Men and women shouldn’t be viewed differently, but they are, and flowers or a mousepad that says “You Say I’m a Bitch Like It’s a Bad Thing” doesn’t help blur that line.

I supposed this threshold is different for everyone. I know there are people a lot less neurotic and “quirky” than I am who don’t even have a semi-feminist threshold.

I also know flowers delivered from friends to your home is not the same thing as getting a bouquet from your hubby at work. And perhaps that’s where my line lies. I can be a blubbery PMS-ing housewife in my “Head Bitch” t-shirt*  guzzling wine and ice cream** by the gallon at home, while putting on a strong, put-together face for the world. Like a superhero with two identities… or an everyday woman trying to balance work and life without going crazy. Potato, po-tah-toe…

All this from flowers. No wonder I don’t get them often:)

*T-shirt description is for dramatic effect. I do not own said shirt.

**Ice cream is used here for stereotypical purposes. In my case this would be replaced with cheese, which I wish was sold by the gallon.