ControverSunday – Open Topic of Controversy!

I didn’t forget it was ControverSunday today. I wrote it down in my prompt book and I was excited because there, a topic, already ready for me! Except it’s an open topic day. I was supposed to think of something I have a strong opinion about. I had a month. I have a lot of strong opinions.

This is the sound of my brain thinking.

Yup. Still thinking.

Circumcision? Epidurals? Boob jobs? Pole dancing? No, not pole dancing. I am not going there again.

Then I remembered the post I wrote about the term “Yummy Mummy.” I wrote this in November, 2007. So I’m reposting it, with this disclaimer / addition (and a few edits)(because I just can’t keep my hands off):

The “Yummy Mummy Club” that I reference in my post has grown into a website / community where a lot of fabulous writers work. One of them, Earnestgirl, is a truly amazing writer. She wields words like small, sharp knives with intricately carved handles, knives that you hate to sully with your hands but you just have to pick them up and adore them. She is also a dear human being. I have even met her for tea. I am by no means besmirching the site, its creator, or its authors. I love the work you do.

Did you guys know there is a Canada’s Yummiest Mummy contest? It’s audience-participation, mostly, but the entries are also judged by the Mummy Mafia.

Holy shit.

I know – it’s all about the advertising. Lots of people like free stuff. I like free stuff. If I get free stuff for being me, well, that’s a good day. But “yummy mummy?” Didn’t that term die a horrible, fiery death 2 years ago? WHY NOT?

The only thing yummy about a mummy is her milkful breasts – which, by definition, excludes mothers who don’t make milk. And after that, she is whoever she is and that person is probably not edible. Right? Are you mothers out there edible? Are you YUMMY? I just don’t get how it’s supposed to be a compliment to be referred to as something that sounds like a rhyming snack food.

The website explains that a yummy mummy is defined as someone who is more than ‘just’ a mother. Someone who has not forgotten her ‘old’ life and who makes time for her friends and self. Laudable goals. Some women do consider themselves ‘just’ mothers (against their wishes to be considered more) and many women do lose their identities temporarily when entering or enduring motherhood. I agree that it is worthwhile starting (reviving?) a counter-movement to the old idea of putting your partner and children first always forever.

Seems to me, though that while with one hand you are issuing a battle cry to women to be whole, complex and unique, you are using the other to slap them back into the compartment next to the dill pickle dip and dark chocolate (two things that I, personally, would call yummy.) You are equating a woman who is a mother to a consumable item. Because heaven forfend a woman should not be available for desiring, owning or consuming.

Sure, the word “yummy” can be used to describe anything attractive, not just food. Shoes can be yummy, I guess. That’s a yummy purse. OK. Yummy husband you have there. Ick, but it’s just a word. But in every context, yummy means “I like it and I want it.” Do you describe something as yummy that you don’t want to own, have, keep? It’s a quality that indicates publicly the worth of the object in question.

So like milf, may it rot in hell for all eternity, yummy mummy to me means “just because I have used my reproductive organs for their intended purpose does not mean that I am any less possessable.” It’s a statement meant to reassure a worried world that growing a human inside your body and then raising it does not make you any stronger or more resilient or more sure of yourself. Any *different*. You are still the edible, wantable, grabbable, acceptable-to-society YOU.

The implication is that underneath it all, despite the life-changing (life-creating) we’ve done, we are still the same.

I submit that we are not! We are changed. We are bigger, smaller, greyer, flatter, saggier, perkier, crankier or happier. All of those things. None of those things. More and less than those things.

And so, I declare myself the original Unsavory Mummy. Back off or I’ll spray.

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