@bethanyshondark

Bethany Mandel is a writer on politics and culture and a stay-at-home mom to two under two in New Jersey.


‘Fuller House’ and the Disappearance of Marriage

A year and a half ago, I reviewed the first season of Fuller House for this site. Despite enjoying the throwback, I was ultimately unimpressed with the fact that it was just a more adult version of the show I grew up watching. In my review I wrote, As an adult, I’m enjoying the series … Continued

Entertainment

Zooey Deschanel Knows Nothing About Food Science

Hollywood actors and actresses play many roles on-screen, but apparently some of them believe they are Jacks-of-all-trades in the real world as well. They believe they can be UN Ambassadors, immunologists, and also food scientists. But just as you shouldn’t go to Angelina Jolie for advice about international diplomacy or to Jenny McCarthy for information … Continued

Celebrities

Don’t Troll Taylor Swift Because She Had a Good Year

Donald Trump has a way of making things weird. Well, this isn’t exactly Trump’s fault, but instead a side-effect of the hysteria around his election. Suddenly, the most uncontroversial statements have a way of making headlines. Case in point: pop star Taylor Swift reflecting on 2017 and saying, “I could not have had a better … Continued

Celebrities

‘The Crown’’s Intriguing Embrace of Faith

The Crown, an original series on Netflix, is extraordinary viewing, especially for those who understand the captivating power of history. The truth is always stranger than fiction, and that adage is on full display in this drama set during the first years of Queen Elizabeth II’s rule. While watching, I often find myself turning to … Continued

Entertainment

What the Keaton Jones Bullying Story Tells Us About Young Men Today

The internet is forever. It is the most powerful tool in humanity’s arsenal and it is unrelenting and it is cruel. This is a lesson parents should be teaching their children over, and over, and over again. Which is why it’s so disappointing to see parents not only not understand the internet, but also subject … Continued

Parenting

Are ‘Wrongful Birth’ Lawsuits the Future of Pregnancy?

On the cover of New York magazine this month is an eye-popping headline: “The Son I Adore Is The Son I Shouldn’t Have Had.” The accompanying photo features a gorgeous blue-eyed toddler, looking over his mother’s shoulder straight into the camera. What kind of mother could possibly write such a piece and what could be … Continued

Parenting


The Oversharing Parent Problem

Parents embarrassing their kids is a time-honored tradition. No matter how cool the parent, OR how innocent the offense, kids invariably find something their parents do positively mortifying. Growing up, it was the fact that my mother gave me a hug and kiss in public or that she spoke at a school board meeting for … Continued

Parenting

What Elizabeth Smart’s Story Taught Me About Resilience

Elizabeth Smart was rescued on March 13, 2003, less than a week after my sixteenth birthday. That birthday was particularly memorable: it was the first since my mother died less than three months earlier. I was estranged from my father and living with my best friend’s family and had been back to school for only … Continued

Culture

Twitter Killed Our Attention Spans, and Just Killed Itself

How long have I been on Twitter? I joined two boyfriends before I met my husband, who is the father of our three children. To put it another way: Most of my adult life. I have tweeted 129,000 times; I’ve live-tweeted debates, elections, everyday interactions, and everything in between. I tweet too much; I know … Continued

Culture