The Problems With This Single Mother Meme Floating Around Facebook
I love my hometown, Indianapolis. Very much so. But there are times, particularly when I’m on Facebook, that I realize the place can be so judgmental and close-minded. I often stumble across statuses, discussions and memes that are completely backward and mean-spirited. And, as much as I miss home sometimes, I’m increasingly more appreciative of the fact that I live in a more open-minded, liberal area.
I was reminded of this yesterday when I stumbled across the meme above on the page of a boy with whom I went to high school.
I frowned and then sighed. Sad.
Sad to find yet another example of the ways in which people who reside in the place I call home are so intolerant. There are several problems with this meme. First, the assumptions. We don’t know that these children were birthed by this woman. She could be their older sibling. That might be a stretch for some of you but the point is, it doesn’t matter. These children look healthy, well-fed and well groomed. We don’t know the circumstances of their births but why do we need to? Is it really any of our business or reason to make a meme? I find it shocking that people haven’t learned their lesson about using real children just to get a cheap laugh. No matter how these children came into the world, it wasn’t by their design or choosing. And as such, they shouldn’t become the butt of a cruel joke when they are not responsible. They’re just children, some of them old enough to suffer the consequences of a social media post gone viral.
And then there’s the comparison aspect of the meme. This woman’s body is compared to a car…a used one.
It harkens to R Kelly’s “You remind me of my jeep.” I used to sing that song back in the ’90’s before I knew any better. But now that I do, it’s amazing that the song was so readily accepted. A woman likened to a car, a piece of property that depreciates in value as time passes? That song and this meme prove that society’s consideration of women has not progressed nearly as far as it should have. It’s absolutely tragic that a woman’s worth as a person is reduced down to her vagina.
While the meme may seem innocuous, it only serves to perpetuate some of the more cliche and detrimental ideologies about women. Like the notion that your value is based on how well you can please a man. And according to this post, a woman with four children has nothing to offer in a relationship.
It’s disgustingly untrue.
Thankfully, some other people in Indianapolis, shared an alternative to this degrading meme.
People say a picture is worth a thousand words, but if those words are going to be hurtful, rude and full of assumptions that only promote misogyny and ignorance, then perhaps they’re best kept to yourself.