4 years ago by
While I can’t say I’m particularly interested in the college cheating scandal that erupted in the news a few weeks ago (let’s be honest, it’s safe to say that most of us know that people with money/notoriety have been able to get ahead in the college application process)—I have been following how Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin have been portrayed in the media. While both Loughlin and her husband have been charged (William H Macy, however, hasn’t been), we’ve seen lots of tabloid covers and articles about these women, these mothers, and not a whole lot about their husbands.
And then there was this US Weekly cover from a couple of weeks ago with the headline “Monster Moms Tell All.” While I don’t agree at all with these parents bribing their kids ways into school or to have better test scores, can we just talk for a second about how this scandal is being completely pinned on these women, and not on them and their spouses? Even if Willam H. Macy was not charged, it’s obvious from what’s been reported that he was also fully aware of what was going on, and I think it’s fair to say he’s probably more famous than Lori Loughlin, and maybe even his wife, but yet his picture is nowhere to be seen on these tabloid covers.
All of this to say, shame on the media for continuing to propagate these stereotypes about women and mothers, and for failing to hold their partners accountable for actions that can’t be fully blamed on these women. Now that I’m married, I’ve noticed how often I am relegated to the position of “wife” or “spouse” and ignored (never by my husband! Just by everyone else) and I find it incredibly unfair that women have to suffer the loss of individual identity in certain situations, and then have to shoulder the full burden of blame in others. Does anyone else find this frustrating? Or is it just me?
I think that is why the “Me Too” movement struck such a cord. Society is so used to women being singled out and slighted that it barely registers that there were husbands making these decisions too. You don’t write a check for $500,000 without your spouses approval. But the awful celebrity mom sells so many more stories.
It is getting harder not to notice all the bias that we face every day. Hopefully we keep speaking out and not accepting this as status quo.
I am a relatively new mother and I am constantly astounded by the way we are perceived as mothers and I never thought I’d be one to care. I am forever aware of what I am saying and doing in public to ensure I’m not negatively judged, as I have become acutely aware that every move we make seems to be picked to pieces. My husband on the other hand is only ever admired as a father and all he has to do is be seen with them.
Take note though on the magazine cover that there is a story about Meghan and Kate, unfortunately we remain in a world where (mostly other woman) love to fault woman and just love to see them feuding or pinning them against one another. (How wonderful would it be if Meghan and Kate were seen as a female force together instead of bitching woman?!) Fortunately that seems to be changing slowly because of people like you guys and websites like this! Thank you.
I completely agree that the husbands/father were obviously aware of this. I find it interesting that in both cases, the actresses have 2 daughters. I wonder if it would be different if the children were boys and they had gotten in to schools based on more ‘typical’ male sports like football?? Often times there is the whole ‘mommy dearest’ applied to situations when daughters are involved.. just a thought
I agree Sharon! Interesting point.
Really well said – based on all the reporting, William H Macy was completely aware of what was going on, and I’m unclear on why he’s not being charged. And considering Loughlin’s husband IS being charged, it’s crazy that he’s not on any of these covers with them.
Vilifying women while their husbands remain mostly unscathed is down to the media’s coverage of these events – “Monster Moms” is catchier, apparently, than “Monster Parents” – and it’s frustrating to continue to see how much media coverage colors a story. What they did was awful, but they weren’t alone in it. (Also, the whole story is not exactly shocking; when our own President seems to have used his money and influence for worse things, it’s hard to be too appalled.)
You’re absolutely right. It is very unfair how women are being singled out that way. It is always the mother who is to blame, even if it is obviously that the father must have known as well.
William Macy wasn’t charged and so he isn’t a focus for the media. Lori Loughlin’s husband wasn’t a household name and most people wouldn’t have recognized him (that’s changed a bit now), so he wasn’t the main focus of the media either. Sometimes it’s not about gender.