May 2, 2023
In the UN world, Mother’s Day has been controversial for a couple of decades, with the CEDAW compliance committee, back in the early 2000s, telling the country of Belarus to get rid of Mother’s Day because it perpetuated “negative stereotypes” and Armenia to combat the stereotype of “women in the noble role of mother.” But the same anti-motherhood feminist nonsense has gone mainstream, particularly in the corporate world.
Perhaps, like me, you’ve received emails and notifications prompting you to “opt out of #Mothersday” communications from your favorite retailer. (See articles about it here and here.) Why? Because of the corporations’ fear for women’s mental health and women being “triggered” when confronted with the specter of celebrating motherhood.
Certainly, there is a need for sensitivity for women who yearn to be mothers but have experienced fertility challenges or never been married, or to those who have lost their mother. I have those circumstances in my own family, including having lost my mother at a relatively young age. While I often shed tears of gratitude and sorrow on Mother’s Day, I appreciate the opportunity to pause and honor mothers – mine and others. Motherhood is something that deserves to be celebrated.
But the anti-mother and anti-family forces are running with this effort to diminish and attack the notion of motherhood – issuing “trigger warnings” and treating motherhood like a cultural plague that must be guarded against. One can’t help but note these same retailers don’t send out “trigger warnings” regarding other holidays or commemorative events – or commemorative months!
Today’s Issue Update brings the story of a young woman who came to understand her role as a woman and mother and had the courage to stand up and speak about mothers at the feminist confab – the UN’s Commission on the Status of Women. Alexis reminds us that a woman’s greatest happiness – and the potential for influencing and changing the world – lies in marriage, motherhood, and family.
Wendy Wixom, President
United Families International
Young Woman Speaks the Truth about Motherhood to Radical Feminists at the UN
(Click here to see Alexis deliver her address at a parallel event at the UN during CSW67)
by Alexis Goodman
I had a childhood that may be familiar to some of you… and foreign to others. I was born and raised in a very rural community in the Midwest of the United States. My father was a turkey farmer, and my mother a stay-at-home mom. Together they created a family of eight children, and I am number seven.
Watching my four older sisters grow up and start families at a young age made me realize I was very different from them. When asked what they wanted their ideal husband to be like, they would describe him in detail. When asked what they wanted to be when they grew up, they said simply, “a mom” with several children. It never seemed to be a question for them.
But it was a question for me. As a child, I never remember thinking about marriage and family, and although I loved my family, I never considered having one of my own.
Technology, social media, the entertainment industry, began to shape a conviction in me to never have a marriage or family. My family’s insistence on these things only solidified my conviction. I wanted to stay single and become a lawyer or writer. I was angry and didn’t want to just “throw away my life” as I saw it.
The anti-family rhetoric in today’s mainstream media has become a social contagion. The rest of the world validated me and the message was clear: we are past the time where only men get to live out their dreams while women live out a jail sentence in the home.
In an effort to solidify my convictions, I wrote a letter to myself.
I need you to promise that you will never get married. You would be unhappy, unable to fulfill your dreams, stuck inside a house all day, unappreciated, having to do things you have NEVER wanted to do, and be depressed. Do NOT do it.
By signing this you are taking the promise to not get married. If you so choose to break this, you will accept your lot in life as a failure and forever be designated to cleaning up other people’s messes. What an honor. (That’s sarcasm). I will see you as a failure and be embarrassed of you. By signing below you agree to the terms and will NOT get married.
Alexis Goodman, February 27, 2019
It felt like the whole world was in the 21st century and my family was stuck in the 1800’s. They eventually picked up on my thinly veiled annoyance with their “antiquated” ideas and called me the radical feminist of the family.
Some of you might feel this way and I can tell you I completely understand. But I can also tell you that I have changed because of two reasons.
First, I remember one day my father returning home from a long day working in the turkey barns. He walked through our back door and stood in the living room, pausing before heading to the bathroom to take a much-needed shower. His hair, face, arms, hands, and clothes were coated in dirt. A pungent odor emanated from him; the ripe smell of 30,000 turkeys. But even stronger than that stench was the exhaustion radiating from him as he leaned against the wall in an involuntary show of fatigue.
As I watched him, I was shocked with myself. My father had been in my life from the very start and yet I never once realized he was a walking contradiction to the anger that was within me.
There, standing in front of me, was a man not living out his dream career. My father never wanted to be a turkey farmer. But when money got scarce, he did what he had to do: provide for his family. Which in the end, made him truly happy.
And then I looked over at my mother to see her peacefully making dinner. I can’t tell you how many times she had told us all she had ever wanted in life was to be a mom.
Suddenly I had new eyes to see. My mom was living out her dream while my dad worked a foul job.
And finally, my second reason came from getting older. When I moved out, I came to realize this world isn’t all about me. Even my own life isn’t all about me. It’s about the relationships I form, the way I treat people, and the family I will create. Job titles will come and go, but family is forever.
I currently work with United Families International as a writer. I am a part of a Professional Society at my college, and I am creating a club for our community to raise awareness for anti-human trafficking efforts. But most important is the family I have started. I am now married to a wonderful man who supports me in everything and encourages me to attend law school. The anger I once held so tightly within is gone and I feel peace.
Before, I was looking down on my hard-working mother and father, and all my siblings. I felt they were brainwashed. But they weren’t the ones brainwashed; I was. I was conditioned by mainstream media to think motherhood is man’s attempt to enslave women. Social and entertainment media can have a significant impact on children, as they constantly see a wide range of content. Studies have found that children’s—especially teens— attitudes are shaped by technology regarding social issues, politics, and personal values.
But fortunately for me, I was able to realize family is the height of achievement. If it hadn’t been for the healthy family I had growing up, I might have been unable to let go of that anger.
You are some of the first to know that my husband and I recently found out I am pregnant. And I can tell you with complete sincerity I have never, in all my accomplishments, felt so tied to a purpose. We are beyond excited and can’t wait to build our family.
So, in conclusion, I stand as a testament that women can do both. I think that is the greatest empowerment you can give a woman, to tell her she is so strong and courageous as to build a loving family while also pursuing her dreams. Let’s end the wars on motherhood and family regarding whose better and just help each other raise the next generation.
Alexis Goodman was raised on a ranch in Dadeville, Missouri. She loves spending time with her husband, reading, hiking mountains, and learning new hobbies. She is currently a student at Brigham Young University-Idaho, where she is working to get a degree in Political Science with an emphasis on American Government.