We are all navigating a world built on outdated assumptions about men and women's roles. Together, we advocate ways to understand and embrace the changing reality of our day-to-day lives. We call it a Role/Reboot.

Eulogizing the Playboy Lifestyle

There’s something that still fascinates people about the Playboy mansion and Hugh Hefner. Despite the magazine’s falling circulation numbers (which, with an internet is full of free porn, seems like a forgone conclusion) and rumors about the mansion being sold to pay off Playboy’s debts, coverage of the goings-on of Hefner and his buxom blondes continues to proliferate. Case in point: the recent “Crystal Harris runaway bride, Hef left at the altar” story. When the “news” broke 5 days before the wedding it spread like wildfire through the Twitterverse. Hefner chose Twitter to let people know the wedding was off, and it was immediately passed along by people from all walks of life with different reactions to the news, ranging from “well, duh” to suspicions the bride had been planning this stunt as a promotional tool for her new single.

Why do we still care so much about this old man and his empire of naked ladies? We’d argue that our ongoing fascination with Hef reflects a younger generation’s curiosity about a man who with each passing day seems more like the relic of a past era that couldn’t exist today. We’re watching the Playboy dynasty on life support.

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The day I realized that the cultural ideal of femininity was, quite literally, unattainable? The day I realized that women are supposed to be sexy and chaste, undemanding and seeking commitment, meek delicate flowers and strong backbones of the family? The day I realized that if you’re tall you’re supposed to look shorter, and if you’re short you’re supposed to look taller, and if you’re fat you’re supposed to look thinner, and if you’re thin you’re supposed to look more voluptuous, and that whatever body type you had you were supposed to make it look different? The day I realized that every woman is insecure about her looks… including the ones we’re supposed to idolize? The day I realized that, no matter what I did, no matter how hard I worked, I would always, always, always be a failure as a woman?

That was the day I quit worrying about it.


A Muffled Voice: Dispatches From a Sole Parent

Eighteen months ago I looked at my husband and said, “I have an idea. What if I return to the United States with our children and start over while you stay here in New Zealand and do what you feel you have to do?” He asked, “Are you okay with that?” I replied, “I am. Are you?” He looked at me and said with the most matter of fact tone, “Yeah, I’m okay with that.” I smiled and said, “Okay, then that’s what we’ll do.” In that moment, I knew exactly where my children and I stood in order of importance in my husband’s list of priorities. There was nothing left to say.

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