One Million (minus one) Mums1 Mar 2012
I’m very proud to be a Mum. You probably get that from how much I talk about my kids. But at the moment I’m not feeling very proud.
Nothing to do with my kids who are capable, more than capable in fact, of driving me up the wall and round the twist with their behaviour, but what is currently making me almost ashamed of being a Mother is a group called One Million Moms.
If you could define what makes a Mother, what makes us all the same, I would say it is the desire to be the very best Mum we can be to our children. But some of us have very different interpretations of what this means.
This group One Million Moms (the spelling gives away that they are a US-based pressure group) has some very strange ideas indeed, and my concern is that the world thinks that, due to what sounds like a huge number of followers, they speak for the rest of us.
OMM are currently campaigning against toy maker Mattel, department stores Target and Macy’s and the television show Modern Family. But their biggest campaign involves pressurizing JCPenney—another department store—into dropping Ellen DeGeneres as their spokesperson.
An OMM statement read “Funny that JCPenney thinks that hiring an open homosexual spokesperson will help their business when most of their customers are traditional families. By jumping on the pro-gay bandwagon, JCPenney is attempting to gain a new target market and in the process will lose customers with traditional values.”
It would be easy to dismiss this kind of talk—as far as I’m concerned, dressing up hate speak as ‘traditional values’ or ‘putting the family first’—as being from a vocal minority, but the name suggests at least a million people, a million people responsible for many millions of children, feel this way. And if that weren’t frightening enough, one of their number is a reporter for Fox News.
Sandy Rios told her viewers “JCPenney is supposed to be Middle America., the place where families shop… children should not be exposed and propagandised in homosexuality.”
I may not be One Millions Moms, I am just One Modest Mum, but I’d just like to say that I actually want my kids to have role models like Ellen DeGeneres. She seems kind, funny, friendly, happy, intelligent, a great communicator, sensitive, emotional and full of energy.
I am delighted to expose my family to those qualities and in fact can think of very few other celebrities or notable public figures that I would rather they try to emulate.
Whether she marries a man or a woman is absolutely no business of mine or my children’s. Ellen herself said on her talk show, “I stand for honesty, equality, compassion, treating people the way you’d want to be treated and helping those in need. To me, those are traditional values. That’s what I stand for.” You go, Ellen!
This isn’t a matter of belief. Being gay is not a belief. One Million Moms are attempting to remove an individual’s rights and an organisation’s rights. They are openly asking for discrimination. I don’t know about you but I don’t want my kids growing up with discrimination, no matter how “traditional” it might be.
JC Penney are a huge company. This controversy won’t affect them much. It won’t affect Ellen DeGeneres greatly either. She’s rich enough and has plenty of other work.
And both have earned lots of coverage and huge positive publicity from the OMM campaign. But what about smaller companies who will have to think twice about their choice of ambassador in future? Can they afford the person they feel best embodies their brand and speaks to their customers if that person is going to be abused by a small minority of angry people.
Small because it turns out that One Million Moms is not actually all that big at all. Their Facebook group has just 40,000 members. And one good sign is that there is already a Facebook group standing up for JCPenney and Ellen with more than 100,000 members.
Oh and by the way, if you do happen to read this, One Million Mums… go and put that disgusting DVD of Finding Nemo in the bin. You don’t want Dory’s voice corrupting your family.