Moms vs. pop culture

Moms are fighting against popular culture, reports the Christian Science Monitor.

What’s really happening with American mothers of all stripes – from full-time homemakers to full-fledged workaholics, all income levels, all racial backgrounds – is worry about popular culture, and what feels like a tsunami of forces threatening parents’ ability to impart positive values to their children, according to a new survey of more than 2,000 mothers. Moms report a cultural onslaught that goes far beyond Hollywood movies and TV, and into the world of the Internet, electronic games, and advertising.

“We heard mothers talking about the kind of hypersexuality that’s out there, about violence and disrespect, about body image, all the things that are not exactly news, but cutting across a huge and diverse sample of mothers,” says Martha Farrell Erickson of the University of Minnesota, lead researcher on the study, released by the Institute for American Values in New York.

Mothers don’t want the government to do something. They think it’s the job of parents and communities.

Here’s James Lileks on the ever-changing archetypical mother.

What intrigued me about the (Sony) ad was the archetype of Mom we have for the 21st century. There’s a picture of a laughing young woman who looks about 29 — jean jacket, plain white T-shirt, long blond hair, that sort of clean-cut effortlessly fabulous woman who a) has it all together and b) exists in the real world in quantities of fewer than three dozen, and even then requires a vast support staff whose Social Security and immigration status best not be examined too closely.

The copy tells us more about her: “Toured with the band for six weeks. Carried twins for nine months. Somehow flowers just don’t seem appropriate. “Excuse me? Toured WITH the band? If she played an instrument, she would have toured IN a band, but to say she toured with the band suggests she slept with everyone, including the drummer.

“Carried twins for nine months.” Right after her stint with the band, eh. Here’s little Mick and little Keith.

My daughter sent me flowers for Mother’s Day. It was appropriate.

About Joanne


  1. I wonder if moms like my youngest sister are going to be the next new thing — quietly boycotting all the chain stores, buying boy’s clothes for her 8 yo daughter’s school clothes because they aren’t hoochey (have you shopped Mervyn’s? It is hard to find tops that aren’t low cut, in sizes before there’s anything to be lowcut FOR). No cable, not even the sports channel, because you can’t block enough channels.

    Yeah, my younger sister, no conservative she. When popular culture is offensive to someone who was fashion forward in her own youth…

  2. Richard Brandshaft says:

    I’m feeling my age: I grew up in a transitional time, when the menace to youth was changing from comic books to TV. (One psychologist achieved a modest fame with a book on how comic books were endangering America’s youth. Perhaps his most famous assertion was that there was a homosexual relationship between Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson.)

    The point being that this viewing with alarm has been going on quite a while. Of course, some times it may be justified.