Via Shakesville, Reason # 3582668 for Why I Won’t Vote For John McCain.
From a man who cheated on and later divorced the wife who waited through the many years he was a prisoner of war. The mother of the two sons he adopted and the daughter they had together:
Mr. McCain, who with his wife, Cindy, has an adopted daughter, said flatly that he opposed allowing gay couples to adopt. “I think that we’ve proven that both parents are important in the success of a family so, no, I don’t believe in gay adoption,” he said. [New York Times]
Proven? Who’s “proven” this? As a single, straight mom, I call bullshit.
Are gay parents somehow less equipped to give a child a loving home? Are straight parents somehow more equipped?
Yep, evil liberal blogger that I am, I failed to produce a post honoring mothers and motherhood and all those who aren’t mothers but step in to fill the breach. I’m sure it’s because I’m an anti-family, abortion-forcing, pants-wearing, male-hating feminazi. (Yes, I got an email cursing me for my failure to post and accusing me of just that. And no, it wasn’t from my mother. 🙂 )
Or it could be because I spent part of the day cleaning the house in preparation for my trip to Ohio this week, (I leave Wednesday.) and part of it reading several books from the TBR pile that’s been building up, instead reading blogs and other such.
It was a lovely Mother’s Day. I reaped my gifts from two of my three children (all of whom shall go unidentified to protect the guilty party who forgot what day it was and didn’t come home till after midnight) – a beautiful pot of narcissus and a card that made me cry from one child and an amethyst geode from another who knows her mother’s love of rocks and crystals. I also received pink and white pansies in coffee mugs from my niece and nephew, and a neat little book, “Who Else But A Mother?” and another card from my mom. In addition, I was treated to breakfast Saturday morning.
But for all those who were irritated by my failure, this one’s for you:
TRex had a great Late Night post at FDL last night, which I missed until tonight, and since it’s a tad late to be commenting there, I figured I’d post my thoughts here. (That is why I have a blog, right?)
I can’t imagine what it must be like to raise a daughter in this media climate. I just can’t.
I don’t think I need to run this down for you guys. You know the deal. The world of fashion and fashion publishing (and the movie industry, and TV, and music videos, and on and on) present an ideal of “beauty” that is an image of sickness, of starvation.
He also quotes author J.K. Rowling writing at her website last year.
From the Telegraph:
Waif-like models were condemned by JK Rowling yesterday as “empty-headed, self-obsessed, emaciated clones”.
The author of the Harry Potter novels said she did not want her daughters, Mackenzie, one, and Jessica, 12, to emulate women whose only function was to support the trade in “over-priced handbags and rat-sized dogs”.
“I’ve got two daughters who will have to make their way in this skinny-obsessed world, and it worries me, because I don’t want them to be empty-headed, self-obsessed, emaciated clones; I’d rather they were independent, interesting, idealistic, kind, opinionated, original, funny a thousand things, before ‘thin’.”
Amen and hallelujah.
I have a beautiful fifteen-year-old daughter. She’s everything I – and J.K. Rowling – could want in a daughter.
This is one of my favorite photos of her, from this past spring. I just love that expression. You can tell she doesn’t suffer fools lightly. (She was trying to take a nap while Mom kept snapping pictures and annoying her with the flash.)
Gorgeous, talented, intelligent, kind, thoughtful… she’s all of that and more.
But, she thinks she’s fat.
Why? Because she’s 5’7″ (and still growing!) and 130 pounds. She is no Mary-Kate-and-Ashley-sized pixie, folks. She’s strong and active and, yes, she can take on both of her older brothers, including the football player. I call her my Amazon princess. But, fat? Hardly.
Unfortunately, despite what I say, despite what her dad says, despite what her grandparents and brothers and aunts and uncles and cousins say, despite what her doctor says, despite what the boys who want to date her (ugh!) say, she believes she’s fat because she’s not an anorexic twig.
Gee, thanks, ultra-thin-obsessed media. Bad enough that our “news” media spends more time talking about Paris and Nicole and Britney and Lindsey – rather than actual … y’know … news.
But this kind of nonsense doesn’t help:
This is the cover of the newest issue of a women’s magazine (name and other items blacked to prevent the possibility of lawsuits) .
What’s the first thing you notice? That big-ass cake, right? And what’s right above it? Yeah, that headline.
Anyone else ever notice this? Magazines marketed to moms or the over-30 woman do this every month. Big dessert taking up half the front cover, while “LOSE WEIGHT” headlines dominate.
Can you say, ‘mixed message’? I thought you could.
Then of course, there’s the checkout-line tabloids, with covers pointing out every little flaw in various swimsuit-clad celebrities. (This, after other magazines have air-brushed and Photo-shopped them within an inch of their lives to eliminate those very same flaws.)
I think the best things we can do for our children, but especially our daughters are:
1) Eliminate or severely restrict television viewing. I can tell you, the Disney show Lizzie McGuire did nothing but teach my daughter to be an air-head more concerned with popularity than getting good grades and being a kind person. Getting rid of the TV was the single most-effective way of eliminating that “role model.’
If you do allow TV, talk to your kids about what they’re seeing. Counteract the negative messages that anorexic models are sending out while pimping make-up and clothing.
2) Stop buying women’s magazines! You think your daughter doesn’t get the messages that you’re also being sent? “Eat cake, but…” “Only thin girls get the boy.” “Be sexy at an early age – preferably before you even hit puberty!”
3) Teach your children to be loving and kind and empathetic – and praise them for showing those traits! “What a kind boy you are for sharing your crayons with _____!” “What a great grade! I’m so proud of what a smart girl you are!” “What a good helper you are!”
4) Teach your daughters that being a “good girl” has nothing to do with being submissive, or silent, or accepting of bad things or bad behaviors. That it doesn’t mean acting like a brainless twit or never sweating (popular when I was young – a caution against being ‘too physical’) or being emaciated.
5) Teach your daughters to be proud of their accomplishments in academic and physical activities.
6) Teach them to stand up for themselves – even when it causes you headaches. (Yes, nothing is worse as a parent than when your daughter stands up for herself against you, but dear goddess, it’s a blessing when they stand up against injustice and against the abuse of themselves and others.)
7) Teach your daughters that it’s what’s inside that is beautiful. And that beautiful insides create beautiful outsides.
Shorter me: Teach your daughters to be more like Hannah Lundquist and her classmates.
Parents magazine interviewed WhyMommy for their October issue, in honor of October’s designation as Breast Cancer Awareness Month!!
Check it out here. And don’t forget to click the Team WhyMommy button over there on the right (no, the other right … under the … yeah, right there) to learn more about inflammatory breast cancer and to join the team!
I haven’t read Parents in … – well, my youngest is 15, so it’s been awhile – but I’ll definitely be
picking up this issue! Okay, honestly? When I go grocery-shopping, I’ll just stand in the aisle at Tops and read the article. Parents mag is great, but really not helpful for parenting two teens and a twenty.** Shoppers, just go around me.
– – –
** How about helpful advice like:
“When Your Adult Child Moves Out, Breaks Up With His Girlfriend/Roommate, and Moves Home – All Within One Week!”
or “How To Stop Teen Girls From Shamelessly Throwing Themselves at Your Sons – And How to Stop Your Sons From Capitalizing on It!”
or “How to Feed Teen/Twenty-something Males Without Going Broke (Or Losing Fingers)!”
or “Teaching Our Teen Daughters to Avoid Fashion/DietingMakeup Advice in Magazines!”