Monday, February 09, 2015

Mama Shame

I've noticed a trend lately.  This idea that if people's mother's knew about their behavior they would stop or change or adjust.  And I want to clarify, if a six year old is running loose in a store, or behaving badly, absolutely, find the adult looking after this kid.  But that's not what we're talking about.  We're talking about people (okay, men, it is usually men, and for some reason we want to tell their moms and not their dads, grandparents, siblings, spouses, or other loved ones) who are saying inappropriate things either on the street or the internet.  And somehow bringing up mama shame, is seen as some sort of victory. 

And...I don't get it.  Even if the mother is legitimately sad about this person's behavior, how is this going to adjust the behavior of this person?  And if it does, how is this a victory?  Do mother's have to remain on call to answer for every bad step their child takes ever?   And what if this person either does not or no longer has a mother?  Are we then out of ways to address this?  I would certainly hope not.  And I would certainly hope that this isn't considered a viable solution for, well, any sort of adult behavior. 

And particularly in the realm of things like inappropriate sexual remarks, this really seems to me like shifting the blame to a woman.  And that doesn't seem like progress to me at all.