"Mommy, Mommy, MOMMY!" I'm sick of it....but not from my kids (who use this mantra quite frequently). I'm sick of seeing it in headlines and on TV, and hearing it on the radio.
This happens every May in the media-driven build up to Mother's Day. In its search for content on, about, or for mothers, the MSM (mainstream media) puts the word "Mommy" in a headline or book, often adding "War" to it - and they have an instant debate or a "most viewed/emailed" article on their web pages.
I love being called "mommy" by my children - and will miss it when they grow beyond this endearing term.
But from anyone else, particularly the media - NOT!
Do they think calling full-grown women who happen to have children "Mommy" is cute and catchy? Personally, I - a full grown woman who happens to have children - find it sexist and condescending. You rarely, if at all, see articles or talk shows about men who juggle family and work headlined "Daddy," do you?
The annual May "Mommy"-mania started last Wednesday, when the NYTimes ran two pieces, an op-ed and a book review with the condescending headline "Mommy Books," about women and the work/family choices they make. I wrote about it last week in a blog I called Beyond Taking Your Kids to Work, in which I pleaded for women to start taking their own advice and stop whining about their choices.
This week, it's Sunday's Washington Post Outlook Magazine, which featured an Op-Ed titled "The Mommy War Machine." Although I heartily agree with the piece's content -- that the "Mommy War" between working and SAH mom's is a media/marketing creation aimed at selling books and providing talk shows with sexy catfights between the two -- it again used the term "Mommy." And the intellectuals at NPR are no better...constantly using the term "Mommy" and "Mommy War" during yesterday's discussion about the Post's Op-Ed on Talk of the Nation
Even the Post's Leslie Morgan Steiner, who writes the paper's On Balance blog which I read religiously, often uses the term "Mommy" in her articles. While I couldn't agree more with Steiner regarding her position on the alleged conflict (both external and internal) between SAH's and working moms, she continually uses the term "Mommy" to describe the women who are valiantly struggle with this issue. Her Monday blog was infuriatingly titled "Upsetting the Stay-at-Home Mommies."
And it's not just the media. Political operatives, looking for a clever way to define the important voting demographic of women ages 35 to 50 - often label us as "moms" or "mommies." I wrote about his more than a year ago on iTalkNews when a female writer for The NYTimes wrote “If the Democrats have their way, the 2006 Congressional elections will be the revenge of the mommy party.”
Shame on her! And shame on her newspaper for using the term "mommy party" in a number of subsequent articles!
"In the context of politics, 'mommy' comes off as a simplistic label implying a stay-at-home mom who lets her heart drive her decisions at the ballot box," I wrote back then. "Yes – I am a Democrat, socially more than fiscally. And yes – I am a mother of two children. And yes – I am among a demographic that may play a key role in this November’s mid-term elections. But that does not give anyone – except for my own kids – the clearance to call me 'mommy.'"
Stereotyping me, my friends, and all women with children in towns and cities across America as simply "Mommies," without regard to our other roles as partners, spouses, employees or employers, decision-makers and the like ---- is equivalent to being called "sweetheart" or "honey" by an ignorant construction worker or boss.
In fact, I even find it creepy when my husband calls me "mommy."
So this May, I'd like to issue a challenge to the MSM: move on from debating the non-existent "Mommy War," and stop defining me by the work my uterus did - and start defining me by who I actually am as a complete person.
And some flowers would be nice, too.
The men that I've been seeing
They got their soul up on a shelf
You know they could never love me
When they can't even love themselves
And I want someone to love me
Someone who really understands
Who won't put himself above me
Who just love me like a man....
What do you think when someone other than your children refers to you as "Mommy?" Am I just being oversensitive, too PC - or spot on? Get it off your chest and let us know what you're thinking by clicking below on "Comments" and joining the conversation.