Saturday, April 7, 2007

Holly wants a baby! The Media & Motherhood

In today’s society there is great pressure placed upon women to have children and to fit the ideal of the so-called “good” mother. When a woman does not seem to fit the ideal, such as Holly who is seen as too sexy and childish, desires to become a mother she is ostracized by the media and denied the ability to succeed at motherhood. However, how come the media draws little to no attention to males and their abilities of being "good" fathers?

Did you know that Hugh Hefner has four children from previous relationships? Surprising? This is because there is no mention of them in the media. The children are not present on the show and they do not live in the million dollar mansion with his girlfriends. Oddly, Hef is not criticized for his possible negligence of being a father, and he is not punished for being a "bad" father or for setting a poor example for his children.

So why does society place such pressure and set such high standards for women to achieve in terms of motherhood. Why should Holly’s potential to be a mother be criticized, while Hef’s actual lack of being a "father" and providing a "normal" and civilized home for his four children be completely ignored. In "Moms Don't Rock: The Popular Demonization of Courtney Love," Courtney Love is blamed for her inadequate role as mother, while her husband receives no attention regarding his role as a father. This proves that the media and society as a whole focus on those inferior, women, and label them as weak and incapable of being successful, even if its at something that they are stereotypically suppose to be good at, motherhood.

1 comment:

Jessie said...

I think your post is headed in the right direction and I'm posting my comment post-presentation; therefore, I believe you may not see the issue in quite the same light (not that the issue isn't appropriately framed here) now as when you first authored the post.
You make a good point about the role of fatherhood--in the Umanski piece I would have liked to see a direct quote related to the power that is generated from the absence of fathers as a category of scrutiny when parenting and celebrity are portrayed in public. The issue of Love's husband not being a factor is addressed by Umanski in a similar way to the way you're trying to use it here. Hef is absent from critique as a parent--Cobain is Love's (dead) husband--so he's unlikely to make new news :o).
I think your post is definitely illustrating improvement in your analytical perspective and abilities; however, I would have liked to see you specifically identify an example from the show and the Umanski piece, and elaborate on your argument further to tease out the issues related to why Holly wants a baby with Hef and what Hef's non-existent criticisms in relation to his parenting ability/practice, illustrate about dominant gender norms.