I’m late blogging this week (you’re thinking, “She has a blogging schedule?”– YES, I blog, once a week, on random SURPRISE days, but usually before Friday but sometimes on Friday and sometimes not). So anyway, I have been having a hard time invoking my 2012 Word of the Year: LAUGH, because WTF, North Carolina? Seriously, you voted to add marriage inequality to our state constitution on Tuesday? As a huge supporter of LGBT rights, I’m appalled, and though the vote wasn’t a surprise, it was still a kick in the gut. So I was having a hard time pulling a “Cindy cooks funny shit” post out of my ass.
Then people started sending me funny reactions to the North Carolina vote, like this:
And then THE NEXT FREAKING DAY Obama is all “Gay marriage – I think it rocks!” And yeah, that’s pretty damn historical, Barry, but again, I must ask, WTF? You couldn’t have done that maybe before the polls closed? So then I was sad and happy and angry at the same time (new word alert: shangry). It was uncomfortable.
I haven’t taken down our Vote Against Amendment 1 sign yet. I told Matt I was still in mourning and it was like if he died and I wouldn’t be ready to take off my wedding ring yet but maybe tomorrow we could take it down and he was all you’d take your wedding ring off the weekend after I died? So maybe it was a BAD ANALOGY. Analogies in which your husband bites it are to be avoided.
WTF, week, in general, really? First, my home state becomes a cliché of redneck homophobes with its sweeping vote of less than 20% of registered voters to enshrine Amendment 1 in our state constitution. Then Barack Obama finally evolves to what I suspect has been his long-held position to support marriage equality. Then it was so cold I had to don my winter work-at-home socks, the Smartwool Expedition Trekking Socks, which you may remember from my Winter Work-at-Home Wardrobe Guide, and then, well, you know, MOMMY WARS erupted. [For my take on the last round of the mommy wars, Romney vs. Rosen, click here.]
This is what the media tossed at us this week as images of motherhood. Both also happened to be a “mommy blogger,” which is probably why I equally and completely relate to each photo.
First we have an infographic called “The Rise of the Mommy Blogger,” which was commissioned by H&R Block, of all corporate people, and I instantly recognized myself in the ruffly-aproned, skirted woman holding the over-swaddled baby while balancing a laptop and dangling a bracelet-mouse from her arm. In that I am also white and have a laptop, and clearly “inspire millions with my style, wit and words of wisdom.”
The second image of motherhood this week?
Well, I recognized her because that is CLEARLY ME nursing my until-now-undisclosed ten-year-old boy, who I’ve precariously perched on a wooden school chair from the 1950s. Wait – it might not be me, but I do have jeggings, which I am only occasionally embarrassed to wear. Actually, I am her MOTHER and I occasionally nurse her, but she is tall enough that she no longer needs a stool. I guess what I am saying is that I would breastfeed my grown children if I could look as awesome as the mom on the cover of Time.
The momosphere EXPLODED on this one, in part because of the sexualized breastfeeding image but mostly because of the headline: ARE YOU MOM ENOUGH? But I can’t really be angry at Time, because next week, I’m sure the editors will feature a nude-but-tastefully-covered David Beckham circumcising a baby with an ARE YOU DAD ENOUGH? headline. They’re working on it right now.
[OK, so I get it that the headline is about Dr. Sears' attachment parenting philosophy and how its demands (and its most vocal proponents) could make anyone wonder if they are, in fact, mom enough. But I would have paired an article critiquing Dr. Sears with a photo of BILL SEARS HIMSELF BREASTFEEDING A GIANT PRESCHOOLER. For truth in advertising. Or just because it would make me laugh. Or throw up. One or the other.]
Somewhere in between June Cleaver and Hot Breastfeeding Mom lies the truth. If I knew how to make an infographic myself I would make a Venn Diagram and show how the tiny circles of women fitting this week’s mothering images would barely even intersect with the GIANT CIRCLE of “regular moms”. The June Cleaver circle and the Hot Breastfeeding Mom circle would sit atop the big “Moms” circle like Mickey Mouse ears. And you know what? They would all be mom enough.
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The fight for marriage equality may be down for the count in North Carolina, but it moves to Minnesota in November for another round. Please support these great organizations to get out the word and get out the vote: Human Rights Campaign, Freedom to Marry and in Minnesota: Minnesotans United for All Families. In North Carolina, the fight moves to the courts with the Campaign for Southern Equality’s “We Do” project. Raise your voice.