Real mothers

Undefining Motherhood

I found this piece by Katie Phang of MSNBC: She “sounds off on Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s suggesting stepmothers aren’t ‘real mothers’ during a House Subcommittee Hearing.

Phang: “MTG may try to redefine what it means to be a mother, but she’s wrong and will fail miserably because being a parent is certainly not what she thinks it is. Being a mother is more than just giving birth to a child. It’s about unconditional love, guidance, patience, listening, and understanding. With Mother’s Day around the corner, maybe MTG needs to take a moment and learn what that special day truly recognizes and honors.”

Of course, MTG used her usual scattershot rhetorical bluster, as she did when calling for a “national divorce” to split the country into two.  This time it was to specifically attack Randi Weingarten, the American Federation of Teachers head.

Still, I know many mothers who became so in myriad ways. And I’m sure that, for instance, Jill Biden was a mother to Beau and Hunter after their birth mother and sister were killed.

Not that

What’s more interesting to me is an article entitled What Is a Mother? Not What You’ve Been Told. It’s on the website Undefining Motherhood. 

notes the pain of reading a book called What Are Moms Made Of?According to this book, a mother offers ‘Full-hearted hugs from two generous arms. Grace under pressure and know-how calm.’ Sorry to break it to you, world, but a mom is not always ‘full-hearted’ and ‘generous,’ nor is she always ‘graceful’ or ‘calm.’

“Nor is she necessarily the selfless angel we want her to be. When I Googled the question, ‘What is a mother?’, the words I saw most were ‘selfless,’ ‘strong,’ ‘loving,’ ‘sacrifice,’ ‘instinct,’ and ‘never complains.’

“But let me be real with you. Do I consider myself a strong woman who loves my child with intensity and will sacrifice abundantly for him? Hell yes!

“Am I selfless, ever trusting in my supposed maternal instinct, and willing to fully sacrifice without complaining? Hell no!

“And I think I’m a great mom.

“#notjustamom exists for a reason, y’all. Moms do a lot for their children, but most of them do a lot for themselves, and I hope the rest of the world, too.

“No one can fit the outlandish definitions our society has constructed for what it means to be a mother.”

Happy Mother’s Day to all of you moms, however you came to the role.

Social media and bias


The Weekly Sift guy linked to articles about social media and bias. He discredits the belief offered by conservatives that “social media algorithms are biased against them… But it’s worth pointing out that people who have done research on the topic have found the exact opposite

“When you think of people who have been banned from social media, the names that pop to mind are high-profile conservatives like Trump and MTG, rather than equivalently high-profile liberals.” Even when she rewrites the January 6 script or fantasizes about killing her colleagues, that’s free speech, right? (The latter may be treasonous.)

So I’m always looking for my own bias. It’s always a challenge to double-check one’s own assumptions. On 60 Minutes, Jonathan Haidt, “a social psychologist and professor at NYU’s Stern School of Business… says the people most likely to fire their social media dart guns are those on the far right and the far left.”

But damn! Jordan Klepper Fingers the Conspiracy on The Daily Show podcast over the issue Is JFK Jr. Still Alive? It would be easy to dismiss true believers as “crazy.” But “crazy” has roots in real-world facts, mixed with extrapolations that I can’t understand.


When I read that some “researcher” has “proved” that George Floyd’s death was “a Psy-Op to Usher in U.S. Race War,” I first had to ask, “What the heck is a Psy-Op?” OBVIOUSLY, I’m just not with it.

Definitions of psyop. Military actions are designed to influence the perceptions and attitudes of individuals, groups, and foreign governments. Synonyms: psychological operation. Type of: military operation, operation. Activity by a military or naval force (as a maneuver or campaign)”

One example of PSYOPS is “propaganda, a type of communication or advertisement that aims to influence a targeted group’s way of thinking or decision-making. Ultimately, the goal of a propaganda campaign is to compel a population to take action in line with a specific message by introducing influential information.”

The Deep State paid for Floyd’s funeral, so obviously, there is a nefarious objective at work. Florida’s General Counsel, Ryan Newman, explained what “woke” means to the DeSantis administration. “It would be the belief there are systemic injustices in American society and the need to address them.” The description actually seems reasonable. But Newman thinks it’s a BAD thing.

Social Media

Tressie McMillan Cottom, the writer, sociologist, and MacArthur Fellow, was on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah in early December. She talked about The Illusion of Twitter as a Public Square. I think it’s worth the ten minutes to take in her POV.

Of course, the whole Internet may be vulnerable to attacks on the infrastructure. But also underwater cables keep the system operating. “When they congregate in one place, things get tricky.”

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