Final Smore

Moms: More precious than rubes

Final Summary

The major lesson I learn from this semester is mothers have a unique influence on society. Early in a young child's life a mother is needed to provide for the basic necessities for that child. From birth a mother does not only take care of the child'e physical needs, feeding them, providing shelter and clothing, but a mother is also held responsible for taking care of their child's emotional need and developing in them a moral compass. Then there comes a time when a child must continue their development apart from their mother, at this point in the mother/child relationship the mother's role changes from main provider to main supporter. The supporter role is different from the provider role in the sense that a mother who is a provider is constantly taking care of her child's needs. In contract, a mother who is a supporter helps her child along the way only when they desperately need it. Representation of motherhood in the American society portray mothers as providers. There are many songs and children's books about a mother's love and care. There are television shows that display mothers and good providers (June Cleaver) and bad providers (Cersei Lannister). In movies and books, often times there is no mother in the picture or she was killed off early in the story so there is no provider at all. Rarely is there representations of as supporters in popular media. One good example as a mother as a supporter is Natalie Prior from the Divergent series. Her daughter is able to go off and develop herself as an individual, but she is able to offer her aid to her daughter when she needs it. In the news articles I read they gave a good example as mother as supporters. Two articles I read showed mothers taking political action to find justice for their children who had passed away.

Surveys

On one of my surveys I asked the question below to the mothers and this is some of the advice they gave me.

If you could go back in time to before you were a mother, what advice would you give yourself about being a mom (or life in general)?

  • I would tell myself to try not be in such a hurry all of the time. I remember rushing my kids around all the time in order to meet my obligations. We would have stopped and laughed more.
  • Enjoy EVERY moment. The times you cried will be as important as the times you laughed. Protect their innocence as long as you can.
  • Adapt! Adapt! Adapt!
  • Take care of yourself too. For me since I'm been single most of my life: try harder to find a husband.

News

An open letter from the mother of the first Navy Seal killed in Iraq to General Martin Dempsey

  • “The city itself is not symbolic in any way”? Oh, really? Are you willing to meet with me and with the families who have lost a son, daughter, husband, wife, father, mother, aunt, uncle, grandson, or teammate?"


Mom eats three 72-ounce steaks in 20 minutes

  • The 120-pound woman set another competitive eating record after she wolfed down three 72-ounce steak dinners in 20 minutes at The Big Texan restaurant in Amarillo, Texas, the Amarillo Globe-News reported.


Trayvon Martin’s mom: ‘I didn’t sign up for this’

  • “There’s something you can do,” Fulton said. “When you are upset about a story, a case, a tragedy that’s going on, I will challenge you to connect with one of those organizations.” She said registering to vote, and voting in small, local elections, can make a big impact when it comes to societal issues.


Visiting empty desk of S. Korea ferry victim helps mom cope

  • Still, she wants to improve safety for her younger son and her future grandchildren. Her husband joins other relatives of the victims in a square in central Seoul to pressure the government to hold those responsible for the disaster accountable.

Film: The Color Purple

The underlying premiss of the movie is in order for a child to enter adulthood, the mother must be out of the picture. The absence of the mother means that there is also a loss of protection. In tragic situations, mothers are known for intervening and being a source of comfort for their child, but if a mother is no longer in a child's life that child has to learn to cope with the trauma themselves. In The Color Purple, the reason the mother is absent from the story is to show that self rehabilitation is possible.

Disney Film

Just like film for adults, children movies use the absence of a mother to help a child gain their autonomy. In the Disney movie Tangled, Rapunzel's is under the care of her stepmother. But even though she has a mother figure taking care of her, the lack of a "good" mother figure causes Rapunzel to find her own independence apart from here mother. In the clip below, Rapunzel finally stands up to her step mother and decides that she can decide what is best for herself.
Tangled - Mother Knows Best (Reprise) (HD)

Novel: Anywhere But Here

The mother/daughter relationship between Ann and Adele is not conventional. Adele frames her decision to move to California by stating they are moving because she has her daughter's best interests in mind. While in reality, Adele wants to movie to California to fulfill her own selfish desires. This situation displays one instance why Ann and Adele have an unconventional mother/daughter relationship, mothers are generally seen as sacrificial which Adele is not. Anywhere But Here is interesting because the mother is the childlike character in the story, and it is only in the absence of her daughter that Adele matures.

Television in 2014

Motherhood can be overwhelming. You basically have to remember everything you've been taught in order to teach your children. Mothers are seen not only as their child's teacher but as their defender as well. After everything a mother does, sometimes children don't appreciate them. But no matter what their children do, the mom is always there to offer comfort and help pick up the pieces.

Advertising

My observation of commercials with mothers as the main target group is companies make commercials that focus on emotional moments in a mother's life. The three commercials I picked for my survey displayed watching a child grow up and achieve great success, a daughter take care of her mother the same way her mother cared for her when she was young, and a mom spend time with her child when they were still an infant. All of these precious moments were meant to evoke positive feelings that would potentially lead to the purchase of the product.

Magazines

During the Great Depression, the ordinary house wife could afford to live to the extent of extravagance displayed in this magazine. Vogue, today, is know primarily as a high end women's fashion magazine, but in the 1930's vogue included homemaking tips, person of interest articles, and male fashion tips. The focus of this magazine in the 1903's was to give tips to women on fashion, homemaking, and their personal life as if there was always room for enhancement and improvement.

The Feminie Mystique

In Betty Friedan’s book The Feminist Mystique she address the problem that has no name, which was the uneasiness that women felt when they discovered that they were unsatisfied with the domestic, housewife life they lived. Sparking the second wave of feminism, Friedan was focused on not only giving back women the sense of autonomy they felt during War World II, but taking it a step further to see that women were in equal partnership with men in mainstream American society. Sexual Liberation had taken place before the second wave of feminism started, but there was a share objective in both of these movements; a desire for individual happiness and a strong calling to find personal identity. The forces that sparked the sexual liberalism, feminism and women’s desire for autonomy over their own lives, are the same factors that pushed Betty Friedan to write The Feminist Mystique, and women with similar feelings to initiate the second wave of feminism.

Music

Children and Teens Books

In children books mothers are almost always present. In books for infants and young children mothers are one of the main characters, a constant presence of love, encouragement, and security. As a child is around seven, or so, a mother might be present at the beginning or end of the book to provide a lesson. In books for teens mothers are hardly ever present, and the purpose for the mother being absent is a child needs to learn independence. Book help to reinforce the idea that as a child grows older their dependence on their mother decreases and their need for independence increases.