Okay, peeperellas. It’s time to make a list.
Recently, we received a link from a reader letting us know about a post on Her Bad Mother. Catherine, HBM’s boss-lady, received an email from a reader saying that they were ashamed FOR HER that she’s wasted her education by becoming a mother with no job. Because being a mom is embarrassing, right? Women who choose to stay at home are just moochers, right? Catherine responds:
There is, it seems, this deeply ingrained but internally contradictory cultural idea that mothers are public property whose choices should be publicly scrutinized and judged but who themselves should not be part of the discourse of the public sphere, that is to say, share their stories and experiences of motherhood and family life out in the open and seek out dialogue and community there.
They’re repeating a story that asserts that the lives of women are not only not interesting, but not even suitable for the public sphere, unless those lives look more like men’s lives, or the lives historically celebrated as the kind that are lived by men. (It is worth noting that this story is often told by women. The disdain toward ‘mommy bloggers that one sees in the cultural commentary produced by some young feminists and the antipathy toward women who leave professional career tracks to ‘just’ be mothers expressed by the Linda Hirschman’s of the world are both expressions of the biases of this story.) It’s an old story, a disempowering story, and a stupid story.
This is one of the reasons we at Hathor get so jazzed over mommy blogs…. and why we’re so bewildered that, out of all the people someone could be ashamed of right now, someone could pick STAY AT HOME MOMS as the shamiest shamers who ever shamed the world.
Here’s the beginning of our list, collaboratively written by several Hathor bloggers:
People Who Are More Shameful than Mothers Who Choose To Opt Out of the Workforce (An Abridged List):
1. Charlie Sheen
2. Karl Rove
3. The parents in The Nanny Diaries
4. NBC writers
5. WI governor Scott Walker
6. Rush Limbaugh
9. Roman Polanski.
10. Rupert Murdoch
11. Michael Bay (for sexist behavior)
13. Kenneth Lay
14. Bernie Madoff
15. Bush, Paulson, Bernanke and the rest of the TARP “Let’s punish banks for wrecking the US by giving them billions!” gang
16. Pretty much the entire financial sector
17. The Catholic church
18. South Dakota
19. Ann Coulter
20. Child molesters
21. Dick Cheney
22. Naomi Wolf
23. Martin Harty (for this)
24. Michelle Bachmann, who has never been rated higher than “pants on fire” for a public statement by politifact
25. The House Republicans for their attacks on women, the country, common sense and…idk kittens. Everything.
26. Bobby Franklin, particularly
27. Everyone actively involved in pushing non-sense mortgages
28. Real estate flippers.
29. The real estate market, which behaved in a predatory fashion last decade
30. For profit colleges and universities, that exploit low income students and vets in order to take advantage of federal funding
31. Anti-union parents who don’t get that teachers deserve a living wage
32. Westboro Baptist Church
33. George RR Martin fans who harassed him so much while he was writing his book
34. Rabid P&A fans
35. LDS church
36. Companies that outsource jobs to foreign countries
C’mon, readers. Who’s more embarrassing than stay at home moms, whose hard work at a risky job makes it possible for some families to make ends meet? If you can’t think of anyone more embarrassing (no judgment here — maybe you’re at work and can’t really work up ye olde blood pressure just now), then let’s take this thread as an opportunity to celebrate parents who try to be the best parents they can — regardless of whether they stay at home or not.