It’s Not All Mary Poppins

That Today Show thing…

Yes, I saw the clip.

My thought: I cannot believe two (reputedly) intelligent, professional women were actually asking those questions with a straight face. I cannot believe it.

Do we seriously believe that one drink means drunkenness is just around the corner?

Do we seriously believe that one drink impairs your ability to care for children?

Do we seriously believe that this issue only applies to women? Why were no dads brought into this discussion?

How can this be taken seriously? Weren’t those women (not you, Melissa!) embarrassed by themselves? If not, why not?

It’s so ridiculous, it would be farcical if it weren’t for the fact that people ARE taking this seriously. That’s the scary part.

People are taking this seriously.

There’s a rising neo-puritanism in the states that is a scary, scary thing. We may not put our women in burkhas, we may not arrange marriages for them or deny them education, we may not put them in purdah, but —

Oh! But wait! That “purdah” thing. I think they may have something there… At least for Mothers. Because we revere Mothers, see. A Mother is a creature apart. She has no needs of her own. She has no aspirations beyond the needs of her children. She has no rights, not once a child enters the room.

So, yeah. Let’s keep women in a particular social spot, let’s tell them how they can behave, where they may breastfeed their children, whether they may work, whether they can drink. Because Motherhood is sacred. We can’t let it be profaned. How do you like it up there on your Purdah Pedastal, mommy?

Whether you drink or not, whether you work outside the home or not, whether you are married or not, if you are a woman in the states with children, this social trend should be very, very worrying.

Because neo-puritans are out there, and they want you.

February 2, 2007 - Posted by | parenting, parents, random and odd, Uncategorized


  1. One drink during dinner and one after insures that our children will live until the following day. It does not hinder our abillity to parent, it enhances our patience.

    Comment by Peter | February 2, 2007 | Reply

  2. Why doesn’t anyone ever point out to these people how priggish they sound? Melissa was pretty good there, sticking to her guns and not being led into saying more than she meant to.
    If you find having a glass of wine at lunch wipes you out for the afternoon, you aren’t going to drink it. But grown women can make that judgment for themselves. A cheerful, sociable parent who enjoys life while caring for her child sounds to me a pretty good mother. Or father

    Comment by z | February 2, 2007 | Reply

  3. I also find it aggravating that it’s fine for a man to have a beer after work, but a glass of wine at a playdate? Gasp! We had three bottles of wine opened during Jeffrey’s birthday party. No one was drunk, no one was impaired, everyone was able to drive home and able to take care of their children.
    I’ve had it with neo conservatives that make me try and make me feel as if I’m commiting a crime by BF in public, and killing my child by having a glass of wine.
    We all know that there are those that overimbibe. They are not the majority!

    Comment by Dani | February 2, 2007 | Reply

  4. My aunt and uncle often have me come over to watch their kids, their nieces and nephews while they’re in town. So we’re talking 5+ kids, not gentle sit and watch a movie kids, but rowdy climb the walls kids. This isn’t a problem for me, but even still before they leave my uncle always remembers to point out one thing.

    “There’s beer in the fridge if you want it.”

    Am I worried at *all* about moms having the odd glass of wine or cocktail? no. It’s not exactly like they’re having keggers or doing lines in the washroom or something, geeze get a grip, eh?

    Comment by Joel | February 2, 2007 | Reply

  5. She has no rights, not once a child enters the room.

    Oh, she has no rights once she’s even had the potential to conceive. *sniff*

    I’m with Dani on the birthday party. We had a party for my two-year-old, but frankly, it was about the adults, not about the kids. We did spaghetti w/homemade meatballs (OMG, killer recipe), then had chianti, of course! Duh.

    I never cease to be amazed (or horrified) by my country either, MaryP. There are many times I think I should try to convince my dh to move us to Canada. SIGH.

    Comment by Allison | February 2, 2007 | Reply

  6. It’s not OK for moms to have a drink, but we can stay loaded up on whatever the prescription sleep aid/anti-depressant/allergy med is the current fad. Unbelievable!

    Comment by MJH | February 2, 2007 | Reply

  7. I didn’t watch the accompanying video, but I read the article and it’s bad enough.

    Do people have no common sense any more? Have we lost the ability to make decisions in a reasonable, adult way? What is it that makes someone write an article like this?

    Oh, that’s right, they’re Americans.

    ’nuff said.

    Comment by Karyn | February 2, 2007 | Reply

  8. I can’t believe I just published that comment.

    But damn I can’t believe some of the stuff that *they* come out with.

    Sometimes I feel just a wee bit *superior* living in provincial, isolated, laid back, “She’ll be right, mate” Australia.

    I suppose it’d be alright if the ladies in question were having a botox party?

    Comment by Karyn | February 2, 2007 | Reply

  9. As soon as they put up the survey results from iVillage, I had to shake my head: 57% is hardly a clear majority when you factor in the margin for error in an uncontrolled survey like that. I think I mostly object to having such a skewed panel. One psychiatrist and one stay-at-home mum. Why not have two qualified professionals with different points of view, or two SAHMs? I also noticed that the psychiatrist seemed to be offering her personal opinion in the guise of professional expertise – I didn’t hear her cite any studies or examples to back up her claims.

    I agree with Karyn that this topic wouldn’t even be taken seriously here in Australia. In fact, I think I remember a similar morning show segment on drinking while pregnant and everyone was pretty laid back about it, although they were careful to distinguish between infrequent social drinking and alcohol abuse.

    Then again, I’ve never been to a playdate with funky music and lights. I obviously need to get out more! 🙂

    Comment by Kat | February 2, 2007 | Reply

  10. Mary P, I am scared. Not that we’re currently in the States, but that’s home. And I came from a VERY small, VERY conservative town (3 churches, no bars – now that’s both small and conservative, huh?), so I’ve had MORE than enough of that sort of judgemental puritanism for one lifetime. (Not that all small towns are like that, of course… but mine was.)

    So yeah, sucky.

    Comment by Ms. Huis Herself | February 3, 2007 | Reply

  11. Very, very scary indeed. I hear and read about these things, and I ponder, where are these people? Everyone I converse with does not think like that? Middle America? The Bible Belt? How sad that they are such lemmings! We desperately need another women’s movement. But would that do any good?

    Curious, Canada doesn’t have a group thinking along those lines?

    Comment by mamacitatina | February 3, 2007 | Reply

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