Wednesday, November 29, 2017


So what’s this “mommie” thing I keep throwing around?  It is a metaphor for a female role that makes me angry and resistant but I haven’t figured it out.  Mommies are a bit of a paradox.  They are “other-directed” — taking their orders from the larger culture without question.  That’s fine.  Not everyone can be “inner-directed”, marching to their own particular drummer.  But a mommie, in my usage, feels that she must make everyone conform the way she is conforming.  She is an “enforcer.”  Nurse, teacher, therapist, usher, attendant.  She's where the authority meets the individual.

First, here’s a little refresher for folks too young to have known where the terms “other-directed, self-directed, tradition-directed” etc.” came from.  Who invented the terms?  It was David Reismann and 1950 was the year that began a discussion that persists.   Autonomous was the goal, but then it turned into narccissism by our times. 

“First published in 1950 as a sociological analysis of American life, The Lonely Crowd became a surprising bestseller; its authors, David Riesman and his collaborators, had expected it to be of interest only to fellow academics, and yet the book touched a nerve in the American public, resonating with a concern many felt about the changing character of the country.
  In the book, Riesman sets forth three types of “social character,” three mechanisms by which people conform to the society in which they live: tradition-directed, inner-directed, and other-directed.”

Then the ideal is described as a fourth kind, the autonomous, a person who is able to move from one source of direction to another, as is appropriate in his or her own judgment.  Mommies hate the autonomous, because mommies are often attached to Big Daddies who wish to be the only director of Mommies, using them to keep order.  Kellyanne Conway and Sarah Huckabee Sanders are good examples.  They treat us like children.  We do not feel they are authentic.

When women were relieved of involuntary child-bearing and “liberated” to earn their own livings, there was no reason anymore to attach to a man for survival.  The Fifties pretended that this would mean people could and would marry for love or remain single in happy independence.  Papa would no longer “supervise” to make the best bargain for his daughters.

The dark side of this was that in this new world of offices and advertising, the women became the supervisors.  But always under supervision themselves.  Back on the family farm, mom had territory of her own.  In the office of the bureaucrats, everything is owned in hierarchical, caste-system style.

In the office advertising media standards reigned.  Women wore the latex in those days:  Playtex girdles were such firm control that being patted on the bottom was imperceptible.  A friend of mine used to speak of the “Windexed” world, where all blemishes were wiped away.  This was particularly desirable when television showed us women in gleaming kitchens doing the cleaning in full skirts and high heels.  Their unmarried young sisters were out leaning against cars, scantily clad to ensure the sexiness the men seemed to appreciate.  A shadow version of prostitution.

These days women have their first child later in life, but the ones on our clean screens are pretty young and that’s lucky because the burden to be perfect is heavy.  Perfection is a prom queen’s goal.  She will lecture the rest of us about how to be perfect.  “Sit up straight.  Exercise daily.  Eat your broccoli.”  

Anyone resistant or less than perfect is out the door.  First all the disobedient sons, then the fathers who drink too much, and finally the fat and pimply daughters.  Mommies love pink and bows and ruffles but you’d better not touch them without specific permission for each step.  “May I twiddle your left titty?”  They choose churches according to how pretty they are and insist that all their weddings be perfect, which they must study magazines to achieve.  They dress their little girls as princesses, out playing in the sandbox while wearing tulle and rhinestones — they’d better not get dirty.

It’s not that mommies are shallow.  They do a lot of work to try to correct all the bad stuff God has dumped on us.  But mostly they ignore it in order to get through the day.  They are very willing to discuss with their sister princesses all the faults the men have.  That’s my bill of accusation.

But there are all kinds of mommies.  The Urban Dictionary  describes these variations:
Sexy attractive female, someone you wanna just back up against a wall and kiss.
Someone who is always forgiving. Someone in which whom you know that you can always rely on. Mommy will always come back, and Mommy will never leave for long. A mommy always wants the best for their child, and will always put a child first in any circumstance. A mommy is a child's best friend.
A term of irony used for a very self-serving mother with very little inherent nurturing instinct and often a victim of psychosis and/or bipolar disorder. Her ugly and abusive behaviors often include but are not limited to: name calling, tyrannical micromanaging, violent rages, insensitivity, blaming her mistakes on everyone else,
Mommy issues is actually the exact opposite of being a momma's boy. Just like having Daddy issues is the opposite of being a daddy's girl. A guy who didn't have a mother (figure) or that hasn't had a close relationship to her, lacking motherly care.
A mother who is sanctimonious about her parenting choices. Looks down at and/ or judges parents who don't make the same choices. A combination of the words "sanctimonious" and “mommy"
One who is a worthless mom in real life but posts photos of them with their kids like; #lovemybabies #kidsaremylife 2) A mom who spends 5 hours a night at the club, 10 hours a day asleep, 4 hours a day working, 2 hours a day shopping/ eating/drinking coffee with her girls, an hour and a half showering ..
mutha. (offensive, taboo, slang, mainly US) short for (offensive) motherfucker..

ma’am, marm, mum:  “I am not the queen.”

This is not a good post.  I’m squirting smudges when I want to be breaking glass.  I’ll return when I have a better grip.  

No comments: