Army of Mom

So this is how liberty dies ... with thunderous applause.


Old flames

Nope, not the good kind. Not talking about former lovers this time. Talking about getting flamed for a post that was written WAAAYYYYY back.

I got a comment today for a post I wrote on July 30, 2004. If you have time, go read the post, but here is a synopsis: some professor at UT wrote an op-ed piece (may require an online registration to see) talking about how stay-at-home moms are ruining the world. I shit you not. This was the premise of her piece. Nowhere in her op-ed does she ever say that it is ok in some situations. Nope, she just knocks it around. Hell, one of the early graphs in her piece reads:

"It is time to have an honest conversation about what is lost when women stay home. In a nation devoted to motherhood and apple pie, what could possibly be wrong with staying home to care for your children?
Several things, I think."

Then, she goes on to rail on about how SAHMs are going to ruin the world. Even though I have since entered the world of the working - and thank God that I found high-quality child care (which I pay out the nose for) for my little girl. I trust these people with her life, so I'm glad that I can trust them. She loves going. She is learning and having a great time and for that I'm blessed. But, I digress.

Anyway. I got a comment on that thread today and it looks as if one of her star pupils must have googled Ritter's name and came up with my blog because this person flames me in a very collegiate thesis style of writing. Cracks me up because this person is working really hard to defend an indefensible viewpoint, in my humble opinion. If Ritter ever once said that she thought even some SAHMs were doing a good job, it might be less offensive, but she doesn't. She acts like SAHMs are little mini-Hitlers out to rule the world and squash everyone else. I could give a rat's ass if anyone works or stays home with their little ones. I'm looking forward to the day that I can return home and be with the kiddos, but I'm not going to rant and rave about working moms or SAHMs either one. Everyone has to do what they think is best for their families. Anyway. Here is the comment that was left on that thread. Cracked me up a bit. I hope you enjoy it, too.

"I realize that because this discussion is old, my comment may never be read, however...I should first say that from my memories of her article, this kind of backlash is exactly what hit Clinton and inspired Ritter to write about the issue.That said, she was trying to bring a minority viewpoint to light. That's right, a minority viewpoint. Mothers hold a respected place in our society because most of us had one, and she is a big part of who we are. Sadly, because of this overwhelming loyalty to good, strong mothers, no one ever consider that there may be a downside. Ritter simply makes that point that it is possible to mother a child too much, and that there may be undesirable effects that we don't consider because it's so contrary to our fundamental beliefs. Her intention is not to insult or look down on mothers, and it is not to tell hard-working, dedicated souls that they are bad parents. Rather, she raises questions about the institution of the stay-at-home-mom that have not previously been considered. Why haven't they been considered? Not because they're impossible or ridiculous or without scientific and sociological foundation, but because any point against the institution of the stay-at-home mom, or any style of parenting, is taken as a personal attack by all the members of that insitution, and it is not taken well. You obviously took it very personally because you couldn't refrain from profanity.These downsides may not apply in your situation, but they might apply to other similar situations- not every dad is a good dad and not every stay-at-home mom raises children capable of cleaning after themselves and doing things independently. Ritter simply points out that SOME stay-at-home situations can have negative outcomes. It may be a tiny percentage, but a percentage nonetheless, and deserves the attention of one editorial (which is an equally tiny- or tinier- percentage of popular media editorials on the subject). It deserves that tiny bit of attention because it is an angle no one has ever considered and may help some people in their personal choice of parenting. A fully-informed decision maker is always preferable to a partially-informed decision maker, and though her claims may seem ludicrous to you, there are some (a minority, but SOME) sociological and psychological studies and academic sources that support her opinion.On to your attack of Universities and UT specifically... UT (even UT Austin) has a very strong, very vocal Conservative minority. There are more conservatives on the UT campus than Mexican and Black students combined, and the Young Conservatives of Texas are prone to huge displays of their opinions. The "FARRRR" left mentioned above is ALSO A MINORITY, and also very vocal. Most UT students are moderate or slightly left of moderate. This is almost always the case with non-religious Universities for several reasons:- University students typically come from a large range of backgrounds, and as they learn about and socialize with one another, they accept cultures other than their own as valid. There are thousands of different cultures in Texas- small town, city, inner city, suburban, border towns, ranches, Catholics, Baptists, Evangelicals, Muslims, Jews, Germans, Mexicans, rednecks, mountain-folk, small farm, big farm, displaced yankees, native americans, computer-chasing dellionaires, musicians with big ambitions, and the list goes on. It's very easy to remain as conservative or liberal as you were raised while you are growing up at home, but when thrust into a world where a redneck lives and learns alongside someone from the valley and people of different religions or sexualities befriend each other before they realize their fundamental differences, it gets harder and harder to see other beliefs, traditions, and cultures as "wrong", and everyone moves toward the middle. The "slightly left" comes in because as they begin to humanize the minorities that surround them, understand and sympathize with them. These minorities range from ethnic minorities and religious minorities to sexual minorities and ideological minorities. Yes, there are a few who swing completely to the left, but even THEY are still statistically minorities, even at UT.In addition, University students are often learning- both in and outside of the classroom- thousands of things they never knew before. They learn the history of their own ideologies and conflicts that previously they were only taught to believe or support, and sometimes this new information changes their opinion. And finally, University students are out on their own for the first time. They get a chance to experience real freedom and independence that they never had at home, and often this makes them want to throw off the yokes of judgement and criticism that followed them through their upbringing. It's hard to be judged your whole life, and it's hard to walk on eggshells and deny natural tendencies (this is for both right-raised and left-raised children because both are boxed in by the stigmas their parents and peers teach them at home which, right or wrong, are constricting). Part of enjoying the freedom of leaving home is meeting new people and doing new things, and in the wake of that experiementation, everyone has moved to the center of the social spectrum. The stereotypes you have of Universities being overpoweringly liberal and "FARRR LEFT" are a throwback to the 60's and a mistaken conviction that a vocal minority is in fact, the majority.I invite you to walk across campus and count the liberal organizations who approach you, then count the number of religious and conservative organizations that approach you. Most of the speakers you see around campus are either strongly Conservative or non-students looking to grand stand (ie, inherently extremists and not always University-affiliated)There are 7 Christian organizations at UT. The only other type of organization claiming more groups (and not necessarily more members) is Greek life (fraternities and sororities). This is applicable because most people who consider themselves Christian also consider themselves conservative.Also, Ritter is, in fact a professor, not a "professor". She has all the required education and degrees to support her opinions as a professor.Try to place your personal defensive outrage aside and consider that this is an educated opinion, and she is entitled to an educated opinion of an institution.Then understand that before you form opinions of institutions (such as Universities) perhaps you should educate yourself on the actual political and social makeup of that institution."
--Posted by Azure to Army of Mom at 3/24/2005 10:49:21 AM

Ah, so many points to address. Let's see where to start.
1. I never said she wasn't a minority viewpoint.
2. She never insinuated in any way that she thinks ANY SAHM is good.
3. Working moms or SAHMs can "over-mother" a child.
4. Sounds to me like her intention was to tell some moms that they're denigrating society.
5. I use profanity all the time whether I'm defensive or not.
6. I was offended by this. It was rude and assumes to know something about SAHMs, which I get the impression she is judging the Junior League moms she knows and not most middle-class American moms.
7. Yes, a tiny percentage of SAHMs are psycho, but a tiny percentage of men have that tiny penis disease, too. Is that worth me writing an op-ed piece about how tiny dicks are bad for women who like big dicks?
8. I don't think there are too many moms who take lightly the decision to stay home or return to work. I doubt this op-ed really opened any pregnant mom's eyes with some kind of epiphany that "Doh! I'm depriving little Johnny of time with his dad by staying home and teaching him the alphabet while dad works." or "Dadgummit. I'm depriving working moms of services at the public library because they're leading mommy and me reading groups. I think I'll return to work right now!"
9. Yes, universities expand horizons for students. They certainly did for me. I became a liberal. I changed religions not once, but twice. I was also date-raped and stuck with long distance bills to Taiwan by a roommate. So, what is your point?
10. UT has a reputation for being a liberal institution for a reason. I'm sure there are Christian and conservative groups on campus, just like Baylor had gay groups (not recognized officially by the campus) and hippies that sat around the Student Union playing their guitars. p.s. I went to college and I'm not that old. I know how it works, by the way.
11. And, lastly, just because someone is "educated" doesn't necessarily mean that they're opinions are educated, too. Look at David Duke. He attended LSU. He's educated, yet he spouts all kinds of evil and bad things. Just because you have gone to college and have a lot of initials after your name does not make me value your opinion above my own common sense. I have a few initials after my name, too.
12. Continue your education and expand your mind. Much of your real-world education will come after you leave the bubble of university life and experience what the rest of us do every day.
13. Oops I missed one point that should have been at the top of this, but EVERYONE has a mother unless they were born in a petrie dish. Not every woman deserves the title of mother, but we all had one in some form or fashion. You're right about that.

*whew* Takes a lot of work to wade through that much BS at one sitting.


  • At 5:18 PM, March 24, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Seems like they've been workin on that one since July 30th....


  • At 12:26 AM, March 25, 2005, Blogger cashin said…

    Just ignore 'em, looks like they'll die alone anyway.

  • At 7:01 AM, March 25, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Ahh, he is probably writing another missive in response to this post!

  • At 8:29 AM, March 25, 2005, Blogger Army of Mom said…

    Cashin, that is just funny. And, Erica and AoD, you are likely correct in your assessments as well. Didn't bother me that much, just cracked me up and I felt compelled to respond. I have a comment that was posted about the Furry love that I want to respond to, as well. Maybe tonight.

  • At 9:36 AM, March 25, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Even with all that book-learning, it took this person nearly a year to compose a response to us lesser beings. How sad.


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