Nonfiction

Advice

Weekly advice column at Bitter Empire: Bitter Butch.

Anthologies

“Shy.” In Listen to Your Mother: What she said then, what we’re saying now, Putnam, April 7, 2015

Performances

What I Didn’t Expect From Love.” Story Club Minneapolis, January 29, 2015

Shy.” in Listen to Your Mother: Twin Cities, May, 2013

News & Ghostwriting

Toua Vang is first Hmong priest in Anglican Communion, June 28, 2013

Boston Tragedy: Letter to the Editor from Bishop of Minnesota, April 16, 2013

Reviews

Mallory Ortberg’s Texts From Jane Eyre, in Bitter Empire (February 4, 2015)

Jose Alaniz’s Death, Disability, and the Superhero, in Bitter Empire (December 5, 2014)

Among Others, by Jo Walton, in Disability in Kidlit (July 22, 2013)

‘Push Girls’ takes disabled people out of their usual TV roles (June 6, 2012)

Sex at Dawn, by Christopher Ryan, PhD, and Cacilda Jethá, MD, in Ambling Along the Aqueduct (January 3, 2011)

Documentary on disability rights doesn’t do justice to the fight it chronicles (December 5, 2011)

Justice & Civil Rights

For some, showing an ID to vote would be harder than you imagine (MPR, September 11, 2012)

Another trial that Minnesotans should be watching (MPR, April 27, 2012)
CeCe McDonald and the invisibility of trans people of color in the media

Mixed Blood’s access policy not only admits the disabled, but welcomes them (MPR, November 23, 2011)

Disability

‘Push Girls’ takes disabled people out of their usual TV roles (MPR, June 6, 2012)

Imagine prone restraint being used on your child (MPR, March 7, 2012)

Documentary on disability rights doesn’t do justice to the fight it chronicles (MPR, December 5, 2011)

Mixed Blood’s access policy not only admits the disabled, but welcomes them (MPR, November 23, 2011)

Headlines about Lady Gaga’s wheelchair missed a more nuanced debate (MPR, August 10, 2011)

A word of thanks for the Americans with Disabilities Act (MPR, Aired July 23, 2010)

Disability Dos and Don’ts (Aired May 4, 2010)
Minnesota Public radio commentary: etiquette guide for dealing with disabled people

What if impaired mobility didn’t bring increased isolation? (April 7, 2010)
MPRNewsQ commentary on the rise in elder suicides

Lack of snow and ice removal hinder physically disabled (Aired January 7, 2010)
Minnesota Public Radio commentary on disablism in lack of ice removal

Insurance may pay for your wheelchair, unless you need it to go someplace (December 29, 2009)
MPRNewsQ commentary on draconian wheelchair policies

Autism & Science

Fraudulent researcher did more than scare parents away from vaccines (January 11, 2011) Minnesota Public Radio commentary on how Wakefield demonized people with autism

Don’t look for the facts about vaccines to change beliefs (February 16, 2010)

Why do media report ‘the other side’ of scientific fact? (December 8, 2009)
MPRNewsQ commentary on artificial “balance” in scientific reporting

Culture

Don’t see the appeal of biking in winter? Maybe you should try it (MWP, December 20, 2012)

Still a strange land, but strangers no more (MPR, July 11, 2012) My love letter to nerd culture

A holiday to recall our origins as immigrants (November 25, 2010) An MPRNewsQ Commentary for Thanksgiving call asking white people to calm down about immigrations

Powderhorn has problems, yes. And it’s a wonderful place to live. (December 1, 2010) Minnesota Public Radio commentary on violence in my neighborhood

Family

The shy kid who stands up to protect a mom who seems different (MPR, February 28, 2013)
On my kid’s use of humor to deflect attention. Also, I read a version of this as Shy for “Listen to Your Mother Twin Cities.” (May 9, 2013)

Call me “The Complainer” (MWP, February 21, 2007)
On my superstitious parenting

There is no end to this rope (MWP, January 9, 2007)
On finding out that Arie has Asperger’s

Biological and Otherwise (MWP, October 3, 2006)
On sexist parenting assumptions

It’s Just One Scene (MWP, August 23, 2006)
My parenting: good and bad

Confessions of a Food Fundie (MWP, July 11, 2006)
My insane reaction to my kids eating normal junk food

Above All, Remain Calm (MWP, May 31, 2006)
Another column about Arie’s Tourette’s

Confronting the monster a mother can’t control (MWP, January 11, 2006)
Worries about my son Arie

The pitter-pat of little feet can become deafening (MWP, Oct. 5 2005)
My trip away from the kids

Boob acceptance too much of a good thing for this nursing mom (MWP, June 1, 2005)
Whining about lactivists

The secret life of men and boys (MWP, January 12, 2005)
Talking about how great it is to have boys

Friendly advice from the ninth month (MWP, September 22, 2004)
Complaining about pregnancy. It’s actually not terribly friendly advice, now that I think about it.

A daughter mourns (MWP,  August 11, 2004)
A eulogy for my dad, Joe Woods, who died suddenly on July 21, 2004 at the age of 59.

Making space for dad at the baby shower (MWP, June 30, 2004)
Why women should include men in all aspects of child rearing

An angry white mom’s open letter to Channel 9 (MWP, May 19, 2004)
An open letter to the media asking why a child molester moving into wealthy Lakeville made statewide news for days while the endless parade of perverts who move to my neighborhood goes without notice

The truth about pregnancy (MWP, April 7, 2004)
More complaining about pregnancy (I do tend to go on, don’t I?)

Toddler rage and tantrums at GOP politics and policies (MWP, December 17, 2003)
Arie’s first tantrum, plus of course potshots at Republicans

Celebrating a new woman with a new moon ceremony (MWP, August 24, 2005)
An invitation to a Lakota new moon womanhood ceremony

The most important thing in life isn’t losing weight (MWP, November 5, 2003)
I discuss reaction to my recent weight loss

An anti-fan tries to become a good sport (MWP, September 24, 2003)
I discuss sports and Jan’s obsessive Red Sox addiction

No alpha earner in this working family (MWP, July 2, 2003)
My first column; discusses the media’s portrayal of stay-at-home dads and the women married to them

Politics

Berglin’s departure from the state Senate is a hard blow to those she helped (July 26, 2011)
Weepy goodbye on MPRNewsQ to my hardworking lioness of a Minnesota State Senator

Where Have All The Bluebloods Gone? (April 19, 2007)
Satire on miniscule tax increases for the wealthy in Twin Cities Daily Planet

Earn It! (MWP, November 12, 2006)
A less-than-enthusiastic article about the Democratic takeover of Washington

Imus and Coulter: can you tell the difference? (MWP, April 18, 2007)

Please don’t shred my constitution (I got up early and everything!) (MWP, April 19, 2006)
On civic involvement

Do men even have a place in the abortion debate? (MWP, March 8, 2006)

Losing my voice: George Bush might want to consider it (MWP, Nov. 16, 2005)

Lies, lies and more big, fat, hairy, stinking lies (MWP, July 18, 2005)
A column attacking Minnesota Republicans and their big fat hairy stinking lies

Why I use the F word (and you should, too) (MWP, April 20, 2005)
Why all women should call themselves feminists

Our children may one day be amazed we mistook religious zeal for moral values (MWP, November 17, 2004)
A call to arms after Bush won the election (and gratitude for past progressives)

Throwaways: an ugly sign of the times (MWP, February 11, 2004)
An article about the lack of community interest in the death of a young Black man believed to have gang connections

Dear right-wing nutbars: an open letter to the religious right (MWP, August 13, 2003)
Attacking gaybashers

Letter in response to “nutbars” (third letter down)
Two more letters in response to “nutbars” (third one down entitled “Therapy via Copley-Woods,” Fifth one down entitled “Not a nutbar.” Oh. And yes, you are, honey.)

Recent Posts

On Gender Categorizations

Dax Schwartz just started a story that I FUCKING LOVE based on a tweet that made her super angry.
I went to look at the tweet, which was a list of lesbian categories from high femme to stone butch with our accompanying weapons of choice:
c93fa2uuiaa9-zd
I thought it was funny, although in soft butch/butch the weapon was not sledgehammer, so I was not represented.
And we had a really interesting conversation about how freeing it felt to me to have a woman ask me at a bisexual conference: “Do you identify as butch?”
And to be able to say back, after some hemming and hawing: YES.
For me, identifying as butch (which I get is a bit of a ‘fuck you’ to certain gay communities as I am bi/pan and some folks might think I am not allowed to use it) was incredibly freeing, relaxing, and affirming. So many of my anxieties about my presentation, etc. just melted.
I call myself a ‘swishy butch’ instead of ‘soft,’ because there is nothing soft about me except for my gut, but it’s basically the same thing. And defining myself, with the help of that lovely woman, felt like power.
Whereas Dax, as well as, I think, several of my other friends, found this enraging gender policing essentialist bullshit.
I won’t speak for her in too much detail, but I believe that her self identification as flouting the binary is also essential to HER peace of mind and identity.
tl;dr
People who come from very different perspectives can come to opposite and yet entirely correct conclusions on the same image. OH MY GOD IT’S DIALECTIC!
#dbtFTW
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