[UPDATED: Laura McClure of Mother Jones responded in the comments. Very, very cool.]
So, I’m on Tumblr. And when you have a Tumblr and you follow someone on Tumblr, you see their posts on what is called your “dashboard.” The dashboard is a backend version of Tumblr that allows you to see your posts, how people respond to your posts (if they like them, if they reblog them, if they answer them), as well as the posts of people you are following.
Yesterday, on what was my now third Mother’s Day as a mom, I was scrolling through my Tumblr dashboard when I saw what Mother Jones (yes, the news journal) had published in “honor” of Mother’s Day:
In case you don’t have a Tumblr, let me explain. Skybarn posted this originally with the Title “Your Mom Said If You Love Her, You’ll Reblog This.” with the funny haha commentary “Last night, she told me.” Because, you know, moms sleep around. Whoever runs Mother Jones’ Tumblr then re-blogged this with their own commentary added on: “Yeah. She mentioned that this morning over waffles.” Because, you know, moms are whores who sleep with lots of people. And that’s funny. Ha. Ha. Ha. [I did respond to this on my own Tumblr.]
It’s not that sleeping with whomever you want whenever you want is a problem for me. Not at all. Here is why this joke is a problem for me:
1) These jokes are ONLY funny because moms aren’t supposed to fuck whenever and wherever they want (this is true for women in general, right? But heightened when that woman has children).
Moms are supposed to act in some socially prescribed way that does not include being sexual. The never-ending and unfunny “joke” about how couples don’t have sex once they have a kid because the woman (almost invariably) doesn’t want to because she is so tired from being a mom will never ever go away (for an example see ALL of Everybody Loves Raymond and its ilk). Embedded in this “joke” is the idea that women generally don’t want to have sex but especially not when they are pouring all their love and attention into the proper outlet, their children. Because moms don’t have sex or want to have sex. Those that do are the anomaly and so much so that they will sleep with everybody. Moms either DON’T have sex or they have it all the time with everyone everywhere (virgin/whore, anyone?).
THAT is why the “joke” above that Mother Jones participated in is funny. The “joke” then is that a mom who does sleep with multiple partners is a whore. Your mom being a whore equals the ultimate insult, right?
2) Because your mom’s behavior is a reflection on you. Partly because women are expected to raise children. Their boys should be respectful and their girls should be like them. So, if your mom is sleeping with your friend or multiple friends of yours, you were raised by a whore of a woman. And that’s funny, both because moms don’t actually have sex and moms who do sleep around are jokes to be laughed at, shamed, and humiliated, as are their children.
This shit is insulting and sexist and was a slap in the face to me as a mom on Mother’s Day from a news journal that I really, really love.
Can’t women just be moms and have sex and it not be a fucking joke? Can’t women just be women and have sex and it not be a fucking joke? Can’t women have multiple partners and it not be a fucking joke? Can’t women have control over their sexuality and it not be a fucking joke?
Happy Mother’s Day, you sluts, from Mother Jones.