Like actress Sally Field, I am a mom. Unlike Sally Field, I do not live in La-La Land. We breathe a different brand of oxygen. We hold diametrically opposed worldviews. We have nothing in common but stretch marks.
Contrary to tongue-tied Sally's incoherent Primetime Emmy Awards diatribe, childbearing and childrearing experiences do not bond all women in a universal sorority of non-confrontation. There are sheep moms. There are lion moms. We know which kind Sally Field is.
"If mothers ruled the, ruled the world, there would be no god-damned wars in the first place," Field bleated. In the Gidget Guide to Parenting, mothers are appeasers and hand-holders. Our maternal instincts supposedly lead us to shun fights and coddle bullies instead of disciplining them.
There would be "no god-damned wars," Silly Sally, because we'd all be conquered chattel if Field Diplomacy "ruled the world."
Motherhood and peace-making are not synonymous. Motherhood requires ferocity, the will and resolve to protect one's own children at all costs, and a life-long commitment to sacrifice for a family's betterment and survival. Conflict avoidance is incompatible with good mothering.
On the playground of life, Sally Field is the mom who looks the other way when the brat on the elementary school slide pushes your son to the ground or throws dirt in your daughter's face.
She's the mom who holds her tongue at the mall when thugs spew profanities and make crude gestures in front of her brood. She's the mom who tells her child never to point out when a teacher gets her facts wrong.
She's the mom who buys her teenager beer, condoms and a hotel room on prom night, because she'd rather give in than assert her parental authority and do battle.
She's the mom whose minivan sports insipid bumper stickers preaching non-intervention at all costs: "Peace is patriotic." "War is not the answer." "It Will Be a Great Day When Our Schools Get All the Money They Need and the Air Force Has to Hold a Bake Sale to Buy a Bomber."
Hollywood can afford to indulge Sally Field's inarticulate naivete. America cannot. And the very moms that Sally Field claims to speak for know it.
This weekend, I met dozens of military mothers in Washington, D.C., who fervently oppose the Sally Field/Cindy Sheehan model of maternal submission and immediate surrender. They were among several thousand grass-roots activists who turned out for the "Gathering of Eagles" counter-demonstration on the National Mall.
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