This week’s Web roundup has us pondering if “empty-nest syndrome” is really a myth; praising a single father because his (tumultuous) learning curve has led him to appreciate all that mothers do; wishing for a rainy day so we can stay in and watch the growing list of 2012 films by female directors; drooling over the reinvention of 1960s style for the modern woman; and hoping someone will develop a funny and clever sitcom on the adventures of dating for 40-plus-year-old women living in a 21st century high-tech world.

Empty Nest? Or More “Me Time”? 

Empty nest? What empty nest? The house will be “full of me,” says 54-year-old mom Michele Weldon, who will help her third (and last) son transition from home to dorm life this August.  In her article “One Mom’s Effort to Dampen Down the Media’s Empty Nest Hysteria” for AlterNet, she questions the theory that a suddenly child-free house negatively impacts “the quality of life” of the “abandoned” adults. And Weldon isn’t just dampening down this theory, she’s going for an all-out thunderstorm on the idea of “empty-nest syndrome.” She writes:

In the United States, our declared empty nest plight is another divisive tactic to wage yet one more war on women and mothers, and women against each other. If we survived the breastfeeding battles, working vs. stay at home wars, then moved on to the have it all or have some of it conflict, we qualify for the Empty Nest vs. Full of Yourself fight. It is Mommy War IV.

Weldon isn’t taking part in the Mommy Wars. Instead, she’s sticking to the sidelines and appreciating  this phase, in which  she gets to be—and has earned the right to be—”a spectator, not the managing director,” of her children’s lives.


A Single Father on Learning to Appreciate the Roles of Mothers

I had taken the women in my life for granted, and I could [see it only] after the passage of time, and my own single parent experience.

How often do we encounter acknowledgment of the skill it takes to be a good mother? We should hear this kind of appreciation for women far more often, and twice as often from men. Edwin Lyngar gets it. These are his words. In “What Being a Single Father Taught Me About Feminism” he shares, candidly, how he came to understand and appreciate women and mothers. The journey wasn’t pretty: a bad marriage, a worse divorce, an anger-ridden post-divorce period, a new identity as a single father, and finally a transition from “hovering father” to really seeing his children, for the first time, as “precious and fragile.”


A Shifting Scene for Female Directors . . . a Shift for the Better

We recently highlighted the game-changing women dominating the Emmy Awards this year as writers and directors and the continued groundbreaking exploits of Indian-born director Mira Nair. There’s a tad bit more good news to share about the landscape of women in film, particularly as directors. Julie Delpy, Leslye Headland, and Ava DuVerney recently talked to the Los Angeles Times about the challenges they face as female filmmakers. In return, Melissa Silverstein took to her Indiewire blog, Women and Hollywood, for an analysis of the interview. And although, in her words, things still “suck,” there seems to be a shift for the better. Among the pluses: women land the majority of non-studio movies, female writers have a significant opportunity to write more substantive (and realistic) roles for female actors, and women are increasingly writing about gender-neutral stories (meaning no sappy romantic comedies). Be sure to check out Silverstein’s lovely Pinterest mosaic (pictured above) of 2012 released films directed by women. We love watching this collection grow!


Fashion Candy–196os ‘Mad Women’ Style

What do you get when you reinvent fashion from the sixties inspired by the fashion sense of the adwomen in AMC’s hit show Mad Men, for the 21st century?  You get a visual feast of “Mad Women in the Present Day“–gorgeous, sultry, provocative, creative, and stunning looks from photographer Nathan Elson and stylist Tracey MacCorquodale. Tania Braukämper, of, says the pair “weaves [the 60s style] into the shoot in a modern way” so effortlessly that “nothing . . . feels like you couldn’t wear it today.” At this rate, with this kind of creativity and reinvention, the sixties might be here to stay.


The Adventure Continues: Dating in a 21st-Century World

Our Eleanore Wells of the Spinsterlicious Life continues to amaze us as she braves the dating world (yes, we used “braves” intentionally; it’s a madhouse out there). This time she’s stepping into territory. Before she embarks on the journey, she shares with readers her trepidations about the service but also her excitement—many of which we think you daters (past and current) will relate to.  We’re going to continue keeping tabs on Eleanore, particularly because of her declaration “Online dating needs to be shaken up a bit.” Really? We’ll be watching and reading.

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  • Karen August 15, 2012 at 11:00 pm

    I don’t know about Empty Nest hysteria, but I have to say this is a wonderful phase of life. My children are launched, I’m here if they need me, and now is a time for me to enjoy life as an “Empty Nest Expat” until future grandchildren come.

  • Kerensa August 15, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    Hi! I’m Kerensa Cadenas and I work as a staff writer for Women and Hollywood. On behalf of Melissa Silverstein and myself we just wanted to thank you for the shoutout! We really appreciate it.