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Christmas cards, peace on earth, domestic violence, awkward holiday card, hannah hawkes photography

When you think of peace on earth does your mind immediately go to women should be seen and not heard? Do you think the above photo can be construed as funny? I don’t. I find it offensive that a family would request this sort of photo that makes light of such a serious topic as sexism and condones domestic violence. How can a photo of your wife and daughters bound and gagged ( even with Christmas lights) with your toddler son giving a thumbs up be found anything but disgusting? But I’m not mad so much as I am saddened that anyone would think this is okay.

I can take a joke just as much as the next person. Hell, I’ve written some pretty off the cuff pieces, dare I say maybe even bordering on offensive, humor pieces about lady bits and I’m no stranger to controversy but as someone who has experienced abuse and spent my childhood being told that I should be seen and not heard, sometimes even threatened by physical injury and other times being on the receiving end of a good slap for speaking up, I don’t find this funny.at.all. In fact, I find that it makes a mockery of domestic violence and women’s rights in general.

I’m not sure why this picture was taken or whose idea it was. The mom’s? The dad’s? Either way, why did the other one go along with it? What kind of message is it sending to their daughters? What kind of message is it sending to their son? What kind of message is it sending to the people they know that they might send these cards to?

There is nothing funny about this photo. I know people push the envelope to get these awkward, funny to some, creepy to others holiday photos. I get that but this photo offends me on every level. This photo clearly sends the message that women should be forced into submission and seen but never heard. It objectifies women and dehumanizes us.

I’ve spent my life speaking up when I was told to shut up. It wasn’t easy and it was even dangerous. It took bravery to break that cycle. Do you know what it feels like to be afraid of your own voice? Do you know what it feels like to be punished for voicing your thoughts? It is a misogynistic way of breaking one’s spirit by humiliating them at their very core. The message is clear, to be seen and not heard means that you are invisible and your thoughts, your existence, do not matter. You do not matter and your very existence is only allowed by someone else’s permission.

Peace on Earth is not achieved by silencing women.

I can’t even be irate by this photo because I am too busy being so saddened that this is the message these parents want to instill in their children. This one photo, that speaks volumes, is telling their children that women should be silent or suffer the consequences and that men only get peace through violence against women. This photo is telling their children that women don’t matter.

I’m sure these parents thought this would be a funny gag but maybe, as parents, they should consider the ramifications and lasting impressions they are making on their children. This one small moment has ripples and if they took this picture, as anyone who has ever told a joke knows, there is always some truth to the joke so if they thought it was funny, somewhere inside they believe that this is how peace on earth is achieved.

Women bound with Christmas lights with duct tape over their mouths, with a young boy giving a thumbs up and a grown man holding a sign that says “Peace on Earth” is not my idea of funny. It’s sexist and wrong. Simply put this photo condones the subjugation of women, in fact, it celebrates it. I want a better world for my daughters and I hope the family in this photo, want more for theirs.

Dear Peace on Earth Family,

I hope this was a failed attempt at being funny and there is nothing more nefarious or, indeed, true about the logic behind this photo. As a mother, a woman and someone who has been told that she was to be seen and not heard at threat of violence for her entire childhood, I implore you to please consider the message you are sending your children, all of them.

Readers, what do you think of this photo of “peace on earth”?

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It’s Thursday and that can only mean one thing…THROAT PUNCH THURSDAY! Life has been a little more chaotic than usual around here with the beginning of kindergarten. I have my 5 year old trying to feel her way around and get acclimated. She’s been feeling left out and overwhelmed  at school and I’ve been paying the price. Meanwhile, little sister is ducking to try and stay out of the way of flying tantrums, plus she is not without her own coping mechanisms.To say I have had my hands full is a grand understatement. Imagine my frustration when my 5 year old comes home and nonchalantly drops this bomb on me, “Mommy, my capris are not uniform dress code.” Me: “What? What are you talking about honey? I read the list , they are fine.” Bella:”No Mommy, in class the teacher made me and another kid stand up in front of the class and she said “THIS” is not dress code.” Me:(in my head) WTF????? Did she just say she was on her kindergarten class version of what not to wear? You know the show where you are tried and convicted of fashion crimes? I calmed myself and thought, Breathe Debi.Wait for the note about the capris that will surely be sent home if they are not dress code appropriate. But that note never came. Shouldn’t there be a note? I mean if it is serious enough to point it out to the entire class, doesn’t it at least warrant a note? Or what, is my daughter supposed to wear them again and have a recurring role on What not to wear?
I emailed the culprit of such a heinous crime. I am waiting to hear her side before passing my final judgment. But in my mind, until I hear further, this is complete bullshit. My girl is already overwhelmed and feeling distraught about kindergarten, how the eff can theoretically pointing to her and laughing possibly make that situation better? I am pretty much pissed off to the extreme. It’s hard enough letting go. Add to that the fact that now I don’t feel like she is in capable hands and its that much harder. I met the transgressor, she seemed very nice and has been doing this for 15-20 years. This is no rookie. I don’t let anyone, not ANY ONE, mistreat my child or make them feel like less than they are. I will go to blows with anyone who tries. Thats pretty normal right? I mean isn’t that my job? Protector of the universe and defender of my children? I’m hoping something got lost in translation. I am fully aware that quite frequently 5 year olds tend to turn a simple notice into a meandering game of Chinese telephone. If I’m wrong in what I think has transpired, I am not to proud to apologize. But if a transgression has transpired, the offender has been put on notice. She now knows that my girl has an advocate who is paying attention.
Theoretical Throat Punch is most definitely being awarded to the person who did not use her common sense. You can’t use someone’s child as your own personal bad example…next time keep your thoughts to yourself and send me a damn note.I mean, what the hell can my kid do about it? She’s 5, she doesn’t dress herself. How in hell is my girl ever supposed to feel at ease if she is being called out for a damn button on her capris? Seriously, its not even a violation of dress code and if it were, it should have never have been pointed out to her in front of the entire rest of the class. Only my good sense and a Godly heart have convinced me to give her the benefit of the doubt.That same benefit is saving people from a literal throat punch.As a side note, just one more piece of ammunition for my girl to add to her arsenal of reasons why Kindergarten is suck! Come on people, you are not making it easy for me to convince little people that good things are waiting at school. Seriously. WTF?

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