2021年1月30日 星期六

Is Your Pregnancy Test Worth $1 Million?

The big business of celebrity baby announcements.
A roundup of new guidance and stories from NYT Parenting.
Golden Cosmos

The first time I noticed celebrities flaunting their positive pregnancy tests on social media was in 2013, when a handful of reality stars ran sponsored content featuring their pink pee sticks. Eight years later, celebrity pregnancy is even bigger business, as Janet Manley explains in a piece this week:

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The amount of exposure a brand will get by sponsoring a pregnancy announcement is "exponential," said Sarah Boyd, a vice president at Socialyte, which brokers marketing deals for influencers and celebrities. The fee depends on "their fame and their relevance at the time," she said, and likely diminishes after their first child. Ms. Boyd estimated that someone like Kylie Jenner could ask for more than $1 million.

Who knew that a photograph of what is essentially medical waste could be so valuable? Also this week, Lydia Kiesling muses about why she reveres the parenting book "How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk." Alice Lu-Culligan and Akiko Iwasaki, who are both medical researchers, have an op-ed about the Covid vaccine myths that are scaring women. The bottom line: "For any woman who is pregnant, nursing or trying to conceive, contracting Covid-19 is almost certainly more dangerous than getting immunized."

Worried about your teen's intake of fruits and vegetables? We have tips for you to help them get those nutrients. Want some music you can put on in the car that will be delightful for you and your kids, too? Here are seven albums to enjoy together.

Thanks for reading!

— Jessica Grose, columnist, NYT Parenting

THIS WEEK IN NYT PARENTING

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Celebrity Pregnancy Is Big Business

These days, content begins at conception.

By Janet Manley

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Janna Ireland for The New York Times

Letter of Recommendation

This Parenting Book Actually Made Me a Better Parent

I got by with my kids on instinct (and Google) until the pandemic hit. A friend's recommendation made a quiet revolution in my home.

By Lydia Kiesling

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Angie Wang

The False Rumors About Vaccines That Are Scaring Women

We don't know everything about Covid-19, but getting immunized is still the best way to protect your health.

By Alice Lu-Culligan and Akiko Iwasaki

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Getty Images

5 Ways Teens Can Get More Fruits and Vegetables Into Their Diets

A new study found that high school students aren't getting enough produce.

By Christina Caron

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Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon

7 Albums for Kids That Adults Will Want to Hear, Too

From infectious hip-hop and big-band songs to a mix for transgender and nonbinary children, releases during the pandemic have something for everyone.

By Laurel Graeber

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Tiny Victories

Parenting can be a grind. Let's celebrate the tiny victories.

I used to get mad when my 3-year-old dumped out soap in the shower; but now I buy the cheap liquid stuff on Amazon, refill old pump-top bottles, and let her go to town. She gets clean, and I get 20 minutes. — Nikki Campo, Charlotte, N.C.

If you want a chance to get your Tiny Victory published, find us on Instagram @NYTparenting and use the hashtag #tinyvictories; email us; or enter your Tiny Victory at the bottom of this page. Include your full name and location. Tiny Victories may be edited for clarity and style. Your name, location and comments may be published, but your contact information will not. By submitting to us, you agree that you have read, understand and accept the Reader Submission Terms in relation to all of the content and other information you send to us.

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Is it time to do something about the Senate?

There is no justification for its unequal representation
Author Headshot

By Jamelle Bouie

Opinion Columnist

This week, I took a detour from my usual history reading to pick up some political theory. The book in question is "Democratic Equality," by James Lindley Wilson, a professor of political science at the University of Chicago. It was published in 2019.

Wilson aims to give an account of political equality, defined as a state in which citizens have "equal standing as members entitled to bring their judgment to bear on political matters and to share responsibility for organizing common life." The book is titled "Democratic Equality" because this ideal is most associated with democracies, which ostensibly reject "any exclusive political rank or class" as well as "any lower class of limited, second-tier citizenship."

Wilson wants to use the ideal of political equality to reframe what it means to be a democratic citizen. Rather than the right to "issue commands to the state," Wilson argues that political equality requires a democracy in which every citizen has the power to "shape common deliberation and decision making."

Rather than distributing to each citizen a certain amount of power or influence, democracy requires that we entitle each citizen to considerations that include, but go beyond, the exercise of power or influence.

The part I wanted to share concerns the institutions of American democracy. Working from his definition of political equality, Wilson concludes that we can't justify the Senate in its current form:

If protection of rural citizens is the primary basis of claims for special representation in the Senate, these states are granted such representation at the expense of other states for no reason. For another, many rural communities are located within large states, such as California, New York, and Texas. A Senate with representation more proportional to population (which would likely require a larger Senate) would be more likely to represent those rural communities than does a system in which members of those communities must compete with millions of city dwellers in their states for their senator's attention. Even if citizens of very low density rural states, such as Montana, Alaska, and Wyoming, are entitled to some disproportionate consideration, this does not justify the Senate's representational structure. Equal state representation in the Senate is both a crude and an extreme method for granting deliberative solicitude to rural citizens. Absent any other reason to think that citizens of small states are at risk of deliberative neglect in a more proportional system, then, the Senate's inequalities cannot be defended as politically egalitarian.

To the argument that the structure of the Senate is necessary to protect the interests of individual states, Wilson responds that this is internally inconsistent. If the residents of Wyoming need to be protected from California, then so too do the residents of California need to be protected from Wyoming:

If Montanans are really meaningfully distinct from New Yorkers in ways that justify separate autonomous subunits, each protected from federal encroachment, then New Yorkers have good reason to doubt that Montana's representatives to the national Congress will grant them due consideration, however conscientious the Montanans might be. That is, large-state citizens are increasingly at risk of neglect as large-state citizens, and the arguments for state autonomy suggest that disregarding this identity has considerable significance.

Of course, while different states and regions have different identities, it's not actually true that there is something special and distinct about being an American in Rhode Island versus being an American in Georgia, and thus it's not clear that our national legislature should give more representation to the former over the latter.

I'm obviously the kind of person who finds this argument attractive, having written a lot against inequality in our political system. Still, I find this perspective novel and interesting! And some of these ideas and arguments are certain to find their way into future work.

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What I Wrote

In my Tuesday column I urged Democrats to change the rules and kill the legislative filibuster:

The first step toward victory is a government that can act. So, sure, moderate Democrats can keep the filibuster if they want. But they should prepare for when the voting public decides it would rather have the party that promises nothing and does nothing than the one that promises quite a bit but won't work to make any of it a reality.

And in my Friday column, I went through the history of the filibuster and made the case against it as a needless obstacle to the operation of government:

The truth is that the filibuster was an accident; an extra-constitutional innovation that lay dormant for a generation after its unintentional creation during the Jefferson administration. For most of the Senate's history after the Civil War, filibusters were rare, deployed as the Southern weapon of choice against civil rights legislation, and an occasional tool of partisan obstruction.

Now Reading

Philippa Snow on the actress Kaley Cuoco in the Los Angeles Review of Books.

Namwali Serpell on Pixar's "Soul" in The New Yorker.

Drew Fortune on the friends and collaborators of MF DOOM in New York Magazine.

Daniel Steinmetz-Jenkins interviews the philosopher Charles W. Mills in The Nation.

John Ganz on socialism in his newsletter Unpopular Front, which I strongly recommend.

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Feedback
If you're enjoying what you're reading, please consider recommending it to your friends. They can sign up here. If you want to share your thoughts on an item in this week's newsletter or on the newsletter in general, please email me at jamelle-newsletter@nytimes.com.

Photo of the Week

I got new bookshelves! There are more around the house, but my books live on these two. I'm excited that I can finally have all of my (physical) books in once place, so I figured I would share it with all of you.

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Now Eating: King Arthur Flour's Gingersnaps

It's very much the time of year when after dinner I settle down with a cup of tea and something sweet. This weekend, for the something sweet, I'm making gingersnap cookies. The recipe comes from the King Arthur Flour book and is helpfully online as well. A note: The original recipe calls for shortening, but I prefer butter. The difference is that with butter, the cookies will be soft, not crisp.

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup butter or shortening
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 large egg
  • ⅓ cup molasses
  • 2⅓ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ cup sugar plus 1 teaspoon cinnamon for cinnamon-sugar coating

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly grease (or line with parchment) two baking sheets.

Beat together the butter, sugar, salt and baking soda. Beat in the egg, then the molasses. Add the flour and spices, beating to make a smooth, fairly stiff dough. To make the coating, combine the sugar and cinnamon, and place in a shallow pan or dish. Drop the dough in 1-inch balls into the cinnamon-sugar mixture; a teaspoon cookie scoop is perfect here.

Roll the balls in the sugar to coat, then transfer them to the prepared baking sheets, leaving at least 1½ inches between them; they'll spread as they bake.

Bake for 11 minutes for cookies that are crisp around the edges and "bendy" in the center. Bake for 13 minutes for cookies that are crunchy all the way through.

Remove the cookies from the oven, and cool right on the pan or on a rack. Cool completely, then store tightly wrapped, at room temperature.

IN THE TIMES

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In "The Crooked Path to Abolition," James Oakes shows how Abraham Lincoln relied on America's founding texts to chart a path to abolition.

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How Democrats Planned for Doomsday

A huge coalition of activist groups had been working together since the spring to make sure that Joe Biden won and that the "election stayed won" amid Donald Trump's subterfuge.

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The Coup We Are Not Talking About

We can have democracy, or we can have a surveillance society, but we cannot have both.

By Shoshana Zuboff

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Feature

How Armed Protests Are Creating a New Kind of Politics

Americans have often ignored the political implications of the country's enormous arsenal of privately owned, military-style weapons. Did Jan. 6 change that?

By Charles Homans

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