Viewport width =
May 6, 2019 | by  | in The F Word |
Share on FacebookShare on Google+Pin on PinterestTweet about this on Twitter

The F Word – Work Mums???

When Michael Hill Jeweller rocked up with their latest Mothers Day ad, the feminist community breathed a collective sigh of frustration. There, emblazoned on the back of a consistently-late bus, was a beaming man with his arms around two women. He was anonymous, but his acquaintances’ titles were displayed big and bright: Mum, and ‘Work Mum.’

The advertisement encourages us to “Celebrate All [Our] Mums,” but we’re still too busy trying to decipher what exactly a ‘work mum’ is—and more importantly, why the fuck she would want a shitty necklace from a company that thinks male colleagues applying maternal titles to her is in any way complimentary?  

The ad is almost hilarious with its odd brand of saccharine ignorance, but unfortunately, like many other bouts of ignorance, beneath its surface lurks a problematic notion that is far from a new concept.

In this case, it is the idea that women are mums. Even the ones that aren’t. Even the ones that don’t want to be. And even the ones that in no way have a maternal relationship to the guy they (apparently) are the (work) mum of.

The concept hinges on the idea that women are inherent caregivers. That women are companions to men, even before they are individuals. It is also why women end up doing so many fucking chores for men (40% more, according to The Office for National Statistics), or why fathers get commended for “babysitting” their own damn kids, whereas mothers are constantly exposed to unfair critiques and ridiculously high expectations.

This stereotype not only reduces women to a single role, it also banishes men from that same identity, and ignores and/or rejects everyone else.  

No one takes pride in being a ‘work mum’, Michael Hill. But more importantly, no one should take pride in having one.

 

Share on FacebookShare on Google+Pin on PinterestTweet about this on Twitter

About the Author ()

Add Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent posts

  1. VUW Halls Hiking Fees By 50–80% Next Year
  2. The Stats on Gender Disparities at VUW
  3. Issue 25 – Legacy
  4. Canta Wins Bid for Editorial Independence
  5. RA Speaks Out About Victoria University Hall Death
  6. VUW Hall Death: What We Know So Far
  7. FANTA WITH NO ICE
  8. New Normal
  9. Come In, The Door’s Open.
  10. Love in the Time of Face Tattoos

Editor's Pick

Uncomfortable places: skin.

:   Where are you from?  My list was always ready: England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, puppy dogs’ tails, a little Spanish, maybe German, and—almost as an afterthought—half Samoan. An unwanted fraction.   But you don’t seem like a Samoan. I thought you were [inser

Do you know how to read? Sign up to our Newsletter!

* indicates required