Friday, September 7, 2012

Moms Moms Moms

Every election, I start to really hate the word "Mom."  This year during Michelle Obama's otherwise glorious speech, the phrase "Mom-in-Chief" spewed forth from the teevee and I shuddered with an ancient revulsion.  I hated it with the white, hot passion of 10,000 sun.  But I get it:  It is of paramount importance that Michelle Obama not scare anyone. Yet (and I cannot overstate this), if you ever thought Michelle Obama was scary, that's really your damage not hers.

But let's take this out of the strictly Michelle realm while being clear that I just love Michelle Obama to bits and would like very much to be her IRL friend.  I want to hang out on the couch and drink wine with her.  I totally bet she says "fuck" sometimes and thinks dirty jokes are hilarious.  Outside of the Michelle realm, though, I think the "momification" (god, another shitty word that's entered our ridiculous vernacular) of accomplished women is part of an ongoing sexist tradition that insists that women absolutely have to fit neatly into one of two roles: fuckable or nurturing.  It's damaging and belittling and, for lack of a better word:

It. Bugs.

So, for the purposes of posterity, I would like it henceforth committed to the public records that I am only "Mom" to my daughter.  The rest of you bitches can call me Meg. Ms. Bon if you're nasty (ask your parents).


Here's a question for you guys, on a different topic: I bought Laney a skateboard today.  Laney has a uniform of tee shirts and jeans cut off into shorts.  To be clear:  not cutoffs;  Laney insists that hers go all the way to the knee.  Laney will not wear dresses.  Laney cannot stand for her hair to be pulled back.  Laney thinks princesses are bullshit.  Except Merida.  Merida is cool.

Laney's reached that age where she's starting to think of who she wants to be more than who she just is.  She's donning an identity.  Don said to me tonight that Laney is definitely a skateboard girl.  Not a tomboy, though.  Something else.  She's Sam, not Carly, for those of you that'll get that reference.  The cool girl, maybe?

Examining the pop culture references from my own youth, she's not Marcia, Jan or Cindy.  She's not Justine Bateman or Tina Yothers.  She's not Denise, Vanessa, Rudy or Olivia.  She is architecting this new identity from something she perceives in pop culture that I think might be something new.

Am I right?