Have you all heard of this group called “Million Moms?” You can find them on facebook or google them. I refuse to link to them because I don’t want to generate traffic to them via my site. Apparently this group has taken it upon themselves to “end the exploitation of our children.” (via their website). This is a really good goal, don’t you think? Children are exploited all over the world. Arranged marriages at 10 years old, child labor, hunger, institutionalization of disabled children. There’s all sorts of child exploitation to fight. That’s a noble and worthy cause, ending the exploitation of children.
But that’s not what these people want. They call exposure to my family exploiting children. They believe that Ellen Degeneres being JC Penney’s spokesperson is exploiting children. They want to keep their children from “negative influences” – namely, me.
Don’t let their website fool you with the doublespeak. There might be some things they want to boycott or promote that make sense. But these are the people who spearheaded the boycott against Chaz Bono on Dancing With the Stars and are backed by the American Family Association, which is a major player in the war against equal marriage rights. In fact, the latest “boycott” revolves around an Archie comic that portrays two gay characters getting married.
I struggle with involving myself in these arguments. I’d rather fight for better insurance coverage for infertility or worry about my job interview from last Friday. I’d rather advocate for kids who have no voice or animals who are being abused or something that doesn’t force me to stand up again and again and say that I am just as worthy as any of you of being visible, being valued, and being loved.
I learned a long time ago not to subject myself to the comments written on any given article about gay issues. The depths people will sink to cloaked in the veil of anonymity never ceases to amaze me. But I’d never taken the time to really explore One Million Moms website and realize the true breadth of their hate. They have 29 pages of “issues” ranging from J. Crew “planting the seeds for gender identity confusion” to Grey’s Anatomy using “blasphemy” (I didn’t even know people really used that word seriously anymore), to Clorox’s new commercial showing two hot guys. I’m trying to figure out why they haven’t boycotted Healthy Choice since Jane Lynch (an out lesbian) is their spokesperson.
Sure, do I think some things on tv aren’t appropriate for my children to watch? YES! So you know what I do? I change the channel. You know what my parents did when something wasn’t appropriate? They changed the channel. Heck, turn off the tv altogether if you have to. Don’t shop at JCPenney, don’t buy Clorox, don’t watch Glee, don’t watch Grey’s Anatomy, don’t buy from sponsors who advertise on those shows.
But I draw the line at you saying that exposure to gay people is child exploitation. These folks have every show with any sort of gay theme on it on their radar. It’s becoming exhausting to continually stand up and say “we’re just the same as you.” Children aren’t born with this prejudice, adults pound it into them. My own son said, “I wonder what gender I will marry, male or female?” That’s how it should be. My kids should be able to go to the prom with the date of their choice without it being a federal case.
The hardest thing is that this group purports to be Christian, and routinely misquotes the Bible to support their cause. Of course they go right to the “clobber passages” to back up their bigotry. And every time I sit down to argue these issues on someone’s blog or in the comments section of an article, I feel my blood pressure go up. I’m not going to get anywhere, and all I’m going to do is increase my stress level.
So what can I do? I can live. I can take my kids to school. I can be present at baseball practice and gymnastics practice and I can post a picture of my family on my desk. I can answer questions from people who ask them, about how I knew who I was and how I conceived my children and how I live my life. I can teach my children that all people are worthy of love and that they can marry a boy or a girl when they grow up, or they can marry nobody at all if they so choose. I can teach them that education is important and that respecting themselves is one of the most important things they can ever do. I can talk to my neighbors and invite them over for BBQs and I can show up to church.
They call themselves One Million Moms, but their facebook page only has about 50,000 “likes” on it. I’m only one mom. But if 10 moms read this, and they each talk to one mom and on down the line, then we’ll outnumber them before midnight hits.
I know I have friends and readers who are much more conservative than I am, and I respect that. But I will go toe to toe with anyone who tells me that my choice of a woman for a partner makes me unworthy of the rights and responsibilities guaranteed me by the Constitution of this country. I am not the enemy. There are much bigger fights worthy of fighting. Ellen on JCPenney commercials isn’t one of them.