Sometimes when you’re a comedian you say outlandish things just to get a rise out of people.
I totally understand this – I use hyperbole regularly here on StealingFaith. So last month when I heard Bill Maher’s comments on homeschooling, I gave him the benefit of the doubt, assuming the major focus of his attention at the moment was the intricate business of pulling his overly large head from the orifice on his backside.
That can be tricky! Most anyone who has thrown an ignorant opinion out to the general public knows that (and I’ve done it myself enough to realize eating crow isn’t a pleasant experience).
Now, with only a month of recovery time since his anal-head-removal-operation, Mr. Maher has done it again.
Let his words ring:
“No one is denying that being a mother is a tough job; I remember I was a handful,” [Maher] said. “But you know there is a big difference between being a mother, and that tough job, and getting your ass out the door at 7 a.m. when it’s cold, having to deal with the boss, being in a workplace, or even if you’re unhappy you can’t show it for eight hours.”
He was attacking presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s wife, Ann, for not getting “her ass out of the house to work” a day of her life.
Please excuse me while I suck my Suburban’s tailpipe as a response to deep mental angst over his stupidity.
I really don’t care that he’s talking politics. I’m not going to go the way of talk shows and blab about how President Obama’s Political Action Committee should return Maher’s $1 million donation to prove Obama really does love women of all walks of life.
Issues aside, I need to discuss his comment and his comment alone, because apparently there are men in his world who think it’s ok to publicly state women who devote their time to raising children are incapable of work, cannot understand a work environment, and are unable to commit to the long hours Mr. Maher is obviously putting in with his strenuous and physically taxing job of writing pithy satire to amuse the publicly educated masses.
Let me address his points one-by-one:
1. There is a big difference between being a mother, and that tough job. Yep, I agree 100%. Tough jobs are full of stress, financial peril, and office politics. But few jobs have as many loud-mouthed spectators as parenting. To quote a wonderfully articulated blog,
“[My husband] Craig is a software salesman. It’s a hard job in this economy. And he comes home each day and talks a little bit about how hard it is. And I don’t ever feel the need to suggest that he’s not doing it right, or that he’s negative for noticing that it’s hard, or that maybe he shouldn’t even consider taking on more responsibility. And I doubt anybody comes by his office to make sure he’s ENJOYING HIMSELF. I doubt his boss peeks in his office and says: “This career stuff…it goes by so fast…ARE YOU ENJOYING EVERY MOMENT IN THERE, CRAIG???? CARPE DIEM, CRAIG!””
No job besides parenting has the censure of complete, totally uninvolved strangers when your kid throws a fit in public. No “tough job” involves the molding of another human being into a person who can be trusted to contribute to our country.
Motherhood defines “Tough Job” in a way no workplace can compare.
2. [There is a big difference between being a mother,] and getting your ass out the door at 7 a.m. when it’s cold. I don’t think Mr. Maher has ever breastfed or potty trained a child. As someone who has lived through those particular stages, I can guarantee I would have loved to simply have to get out the door at 7 a.m. on a cold morning!
If 7 a.m. is the corporate standard, I want that! That’s way better than waking up four times each night for at least 10 months solid to let a sucking urchin satiate their appetite. I’d love to trade listening for a child’s moan in the night so I can help them to the potty before having to change all the sheets again for getting out the door at 7 a.m.!
How about those moms getting everyone in the family lunch, bathed, dressed, fed, organized, homework in backpacks, and happy by 7 a.m. so they can get to school by 8 a.m.?
Calgon – take me away to a place where the number one priority in life is getting out the door to go to work! Please!
3. [There is a big difference between being a mother, and] having to deal with the boss. I don’t think Mr. Maher knows when you’re a mom your boss is a completely selfish, irrational tyrant who is not only suffering from small man syndrome, but also sporting a tiara, voice like a banshee and the temper and destruction capability of a tsunami.
4. [There is a big difference between being a mother, and ] being in a workplace. The workplace? You mean the place where you can go to the bathroom alone and are given at least a few moments of quiet each day to see your hopes, dreams, and passions realized? The place you can leave at 5 p.m. (or at least at some point in your lifetime)? You’re right, Mr. Maher. There is a big difference.
5. [There is a big difference between being a mother, where] even if you’re unhappy you can’t show it for eight hours. I challenge Mr. Maher to spend eight hours with a four-year-old in possession of a language skills, innate curiosity, and enough emotional intelligence to pick up on an internal storm. There is nothing worse than having to hide unhappiness for (on average) the 13 hours that your child is awake and active, than having a child ask you every four minutes, “Mommy, are you happy right now?”
Mr. Maher needs to see the light. Until he realizes he’s spoken as an ignoramus, he needs to shut his pie hole.
If he wants some hands-on experience I’d be happy to have him visit our house for a week. I’d even let him have complete responsibility for our family after the first day and let him enjoy the life of leisure most moms experience when they either stay at home full-time or work from home.
After all, I could use the solo vacation time. I overlooked negotiating for two weeks a year as a perk of the non-job when I became a mom. I’d also love to hear his “comedy” after his “stay-cation” on our home front.
What do you think about Mr. Maher’s comments? Is he right on in any way?