Monday Music: U2, Vertigo

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"Super Dad"

I rarely dish about celebrities, but since I’ve talked about parenting issues a few times this story seemed apropos. The Hollywood Rag celebrity blog recently quoted some anonymous source as reporting to Time and InStyle of the Pitt-Jolie partnership that:

“Brad gets up really early with the children. He changes diapers and gets Zahara and Shiloh fed and dressed for the day. He takes this responsibility very seriously.

“While Angie was busy filming Brad was superdad. He got into the routine of getting up with all the kids, getting the Corn Flakes for breakfast and getting them prepped for school. When Brad dresses the kids, he lets them pick whatever they want to wear, even if it’s weird or mismatched.”

So, doing what mothers have been doing for generations makes Brad Pitt “superdad.”

I know quite a few dads who do all these same things, my own husband included, which I think is one of the sexiest things on the planet. Let’s not label them superdads, though. Instead, let’s celebrate the few couples who equitably split parenting roles between them and not along traditional gender roles. I have nothing against traditional gender roles so long as those involved actively choose that, but let’s also not overly praise men for doing things women have been doing all along with hardly more praise than flowers once a year on Mother’s Day.

Let’s just all grow up and do what needs to be done, regardless of gender.

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Through all the travails of learning how to write novels, it’s my friends who’ve kept me going.

Writers At Play Specifically, a group of fellow writers who have gravitated toward one another due to what I’d like to think are our high ideals, but I really know it’s our perverted sense of humor. You can find a list of these extraordinary women under Playpals in the Links and Blogrolls section of my sidebar.

More importantly, though, you can find us all at our new Writers At Play web site.

When we initially created this group four years ago, we were all unpublished. Now, twelve of use are published and one has gone on to become an editor. Soon, hopefully all of us will be published.

One of us, Terri Garey (author of DEAD GIRLS ARE EASY, which is on my 2007 Books Read List) carved some time out of her busy schedule to put together a web site for the group.

So, go take a gander and stay tuned for some great content we have planned. We’re giving away free books too on our new group blog as we take questions for our two official Contest Diva’s Stacey Kayne and Lindsey Brookes. Also, today, Tawny Weber is talking about the meaning of friendship and her new title DOES SHE DARE, which comes out this month.

To quote Terri, “Our hard lessons learned are yours for the picking, our inspiration yours for the asking, and our books are yours for the winning.”

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This week’s Danger Gal profile is of Lt. Jadzia Dax, played by actress Terry Ferrell in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.

Jadzia DaxLieutenant Commander Jadzia Dax was chief science officer on the space station and a joined Trill, which means she carried a sentient, nearly-immortal creature called a symbiot in her body named “Dax.” Jadzia had access to the memories of all of Dax’s previous hosts, and their personalities were enmeshed.

To my recollection, there has never been a gender assigned to symbiots, and Dax has been joined to both men and women. Part of Jadzia Dax’s uniquely balanced personality comes from Dax’s experience of being joined with both genders, but also due to Dax’s sheer experience due to age. Jadzia possessed a wisdom derived from having lived many lifetimes and simultaneously experienced life naively for the first time. Revena over at Hathor Legacy makes a great point about how the Trill view gender, based on the fourth season episode “Rejoined:”

What’s interesting about this episode is what is not considered taboo by the characters. The current hosts of the Dax and Kahn symbionts are both female – and nobody has the slightest problem with that aspect of their relationship. . . What the episode “Rejoined” says to me about the fictional society of the Trill is that heterosexuality and homosexuality become non-issues in a society where people aren’t tied to fixed, binary gender roles. I don’t read Jadzia and Lenara’s famous kiss as a lesbian kiss — I read it as a kiss between two characters for whom gender plays no significant role in a romantic relationship.

Not only does Jadzia Dax have a basic confidence in herself, but she acts assertively in all areas of her life from work to romantic pursuits. Additionally, Jadzia’s outward femininity is juxtaposed with her ability to not just physically defend herself, but to excel at it. Case in point, she injures her Klingon husband Worf, while working out together. I don’t think Klingons are defeated very often by anyone other than fellow Klingons. Aside from the symbiot relationship, we don’t know exactly how Trill and human physiology differ, but it’s a safe bet that a Klingon would have much more muscle mass than either. Jadzia’s ability to defeat Worf has to come from technical prowess, not from physical strength. It would be an interesting exercise to compare the Jadzia-Worf/Trill-Klingon relationship to the B’Lanna-Tom/HalfKlingon-Human one in Star Trek: Voyager.

Overall, I agree with billz who said in a discussion over at Whedonesque:

Jadzia could meditate for hours or equally drink the Ferengi under the table or kick ass with her Klingon homies.

Jadzia Dax was a rare character, even more so because she was female. Star Trek: Deep Space Nine was, in fact, my favorite Star Trek series because it combined the best of the qualities that I’ve always liked about the Star Trek universe — equality among genders, ethnicities and races — but pitted those qualities against a darker universe not so evolved.

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