Sometimes I wonder what the heck happened to humanity. It seems like it should be the most non-controversial thing in the world for a woman to say she found purpose—greater than any other pull in her life—after giving birth. How could that be a hot topic? When superstar Adele made similar statements in a Vogue interview, she found out the hard way that our culture is mired in anti-motherhood propaganda from women who call themselves “feminists.”
In the March issue of Vogue, Adele said her life has been completely transformed by becoming a mom. Her son, she says, “makes me very proud of myself. When I became a parent, I felt like I was truly living. I had a purpose, where before I didn’t.” She added, “My main thing is Mum, then it’s me, then it’s work.”
This triggered an unhinged reaction from Slate’s Elissa Strauss, a pro-abortion, kids-will-ruin-your-life feminist:
This is a bold, potentially controversial, statement for a celebrity mom. Adele, ADELE, didn’t feel like she was truly living before she became a mom?! She, the universally adored force of nature behind, at the time, one of the bestselling albums of all time, felt like she didn’t have a purpose?
This type of sentiment has backfired for female celebrities before. When Natalie Portman dared to suggest that motherhood might be “the most important role of [her] life” in her 2011 Oscar acceptance speech, she received a lot of pushback. “Is reproduction automatically the greatest thing Natalie Portman will do with her life?” asked Salon’s Mary Elizabeth Williams at the time. There’s been similar resistance to calling motherhood “the most important job in the world.”
Can’t they let anyone just be happy? Perhaps the most frustrating thing about these harpies is their constant need to judge other women who don’t toe their line. Whatever happened to “a woman can be anything she wants”? Doesn’t that also include being a mother? (And being happy about it?) The really confusing part is that the women who are upset about Adele finding joy and purpose in motherhood are the very same women who turn around and berate any politically conservative mom with children who works outside the home. Does anyone remember how Sarah Palin was attacked for running for vice president with five children to look after? Nevermind that Todd Palin was a full-time dad—that wasn’t good enough. She should have stayed home and baked some cookies or something!
Feminist mommy-blogger Adena Cohen-Bearak set the women’s movement back a hundred years when Sarah Palin ran for vice president with this sexist sentiment:
5 kids, including a newborn with special needs AND a pregnant teen. Even with all the help in the world, how will she be available to those kids in the way that a mom needs to be, if she is both Governor of Alaska AND the Republican VP nominee? And if she is elected with McCain? Will the kids ever see her again? I don’t mean to sound old-fashioned; I’m far from it. But as a mom, and a working mom at that, I know how hard it is to juggle everyone’s needs. How can she juggle the needs of her family, the nation, and herself?
Oh, I don’t know, maybe the same way you do? It seems that only conservative women get this treatment. Democrat Nancy Pelosi has five children and no one has ever written in gasping hysterics about whether or not she was capable of being a mother and a member of Congress at the same time. And no one has ever asked about any male candidate’s ability to care for his children while holding elected office or any other high-profile job. Why on earth should Adele be singled out like this and questioned about her commitment to her career versus her child? Whose business is it? And why aren’t those women who are complaining about her ashamed of their rudeness?
So which is it, “feminists”? Should women love mothering and find purpose in it? Or should they be superwomen and have that dream career and a family? How about you pipe down and let women be whatever they want to be? It’s 2016. I’m pretty sure we don’t need your permission anymore.