I admit to never having heard of Parentdish before stumbling upon their more than slightly offensive list of 10 Parents We All Recognize (and might want to avoid).
Parenthood – no matter how you are doing it – is hard. It is incredibly taxing on all aspects of life – our bodies, our hearts, our relationships, our identities. It’s that hard-kind-of-beautiful thing that you would never trade, but that begs you, all too often, to dig deeper than you ever imagined.
The last thing any parent needs is to flip through a parenting publication to see a post that is ripping on the things that are important to them (‘The Earth Mother’) or laughing off a difficult parenting reality (‘The Hands-off Father’). Sadly, that is exactly what this post has achieved. After I pointed out the offensive nature of their piece, Parentdish tweeted that ‘hey relax’ the post wasn’t meant to offend, it was only meant as some tongue and cheek humour. But, really? REALLY? Almost every single one of the parents that we should be ‘avoiding’ are caricatures of people who are, in fact, very much us.
I was most disturbed by their use of the term “MILF“. Parentdish doesn’t seem to see how this is problematic. Let me break it down for them:
1. A proportion of mothers have heard this term as they walk down the street with their children in the form of street harassment. Perhaps the author has never felt unsafe or experienced sexual harassment, but there is zero ‘tongue and cheek’ about this term.
2. The MILF in this article is clearly described as society’s prescribed notion of beautiful, and thus relegating all of the “milk stained” mothers into some unfuckable zone of parenthood. Again, I would ask the author to consider how society already ‘desexualizes’ mothers from the moment of their child’s conception, and consider the impact of their ‘MILF’ on their readers’ sense of self.
There is so much more. I recommend you heading over here and reading the responses and thoughts of some of my readers. Some brilliant comments.
Parentdish, just a tip: If you are going to create and push a parent-focused publication, try not insulting a whole lot of us in one go? It may have been tongue and cheek to you, but it appears that I am not the only parent out there who is offended by your judgmental tone and categorizing.