Friday, May 11, 2012

Slam Time (Magazine): Yes, I am (Mom Enough), but I Don't Have to Be.

Mom Enough Cover
And not because Time Magazine says so. The question is outrageous, really, but it's just a question. The fact that Time asks the question in THIS way is irrelevant. You may feel outraged and want to discredit their undignified question by not responding to it. Or, you might feel indifferent. You might want to say "YES, for this-this-and-this reason." You might want to say "NO, for this-this-and-this reason." Clearly, though, you will feel something - and that is what Time wants. Who cares. It doesn't matter. If speaking up and talking about the article is what Time wants, then give Time what it wants. Slam Time, if you want to. Praise Time, if you want to. Your view is YOUR view, no matter what it is.

There will be those who will criticize the article for asking a divisive question and there will be those who overlook the essential issues. The responses to the image, or to the question, will run the gamut. All of our responses or silences are valid. Regardless of Time's intent, this cover has provided us with an opportunity to engage in a dialogue on an array of issues important to women. What is it to be Mom Enough? That's like asking, "Are you Human Enough?" Am I human enough? Well, sure. Well, I don't know. Well, nah. Well, well. There are those moments when I don't feel human, but usually then I feel extra-human or extra-terrestrial (as opposed to sub-human). Are there sub-moms, extra-moms and enough moms - or are there just moms? In my extra-terrestrial view, there are moms of every variety - do we need to use the evaluative language of hierarchy to categorize them? Will we ever move beyond this?

I don't think it's a matter of being MOM Enough, though I admire the in-your-face, bold nature of the photograph. I don't know what Time Magazine is trying to do with this, but I appreciate the ART attached to the ARTicle. I love subversive art that gets people talking and thinking. Bravo to Time for the subversive art alone! Way to be bold. Now, be bolder and do it more intelligently (yes, those were my fleeting thoughts...).

Time surely has received the attention it sought, but something reactionary has occurred that is more significant than the shock-factor of the cover page itself. As time goes on, I'm increasingly interested in the types of responses that are arising from this article. In fact, I'm actually glad this happened because it got people talking - especially feminists. It's okay to disagree, it's okay to be divided. It's more than okay to coexist peacefully. 

Please check out the article I wrote for Gender Focus, a Canadian feminist blog. The article just went up today, and feel free to share you FIRST thought about the image. Then wait a while, and consider (and maybe even share) your second thought. I wrote the article last night. And today I have second thoughts. Tomorrow, maybe thirds. That's how it goes over here in the Masonismymiddlename Brain. We have seventh, seventieth, and seven hundredth thoughts. The thoughts never stop. Check the first ones out by clicking on the link below. And enjoy looking in on your OWN thoughts, whatever they might be.

The Two Faces of Time: Answering “Are You Mom Enough?”

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Are some moms NOT MOM enough?
Yes, I'd say so, for sure. Take, for example, the mom on the Dr. Phil show we watched the other day who let her boy take the fall for the death (murder?) of his sister..."How could a mom do that!?"
Yes, I/we can judge and condemn some mom behaviors as un-momlike. Some areas of momness are just grayer than others?

Jess Mason McFadden said...

Ha, ha. Or, ho, ho. I'm not sure I should be laughing. No, that mom wasn't Mom Enough - she wasn't Mom Enough because she wasn't Decent Enough. She's certainly human: selfish, putting herself first, sacrificing the well-being of others, even her own son, for her own good. I did feel disturbed by that story. Yes, I thought, "How could she DO that to her son?" But, I mean, the woman likely killed her daughter...so I guess that explains why she could let her son take the rap. She's a truly demented human being. I don't know. Let's dissect her brain, and see if the answer lies inside it. The poor guy. I'm kinda glad for him if he never got to suck from her tit. I'm not sure I'd want that milk! But, worse, he shared the genetic connection. Kinda like the rainbow connection without the bow. I don't know what I am saying, I cannot concentrate - our daughter is talking our ears off.