Men love their mothers. Everyone knows that. You can tell your buddy that he smells or that he’s an idiot, and he’ll laugh it off, but you best not say a word about his mom. Everyone knows that.
Here are some of the things men say about their moms. “She’s the strongest person I know.” “She was incredibly smart.” “She was the hardest worker.”
I used to find it endearing when men spoke about their mothers this way. Often choked up, they speak as if they respect their mother more than anything else or anyone else in the world. There’s no way this man can be sexist, right?
If most men feel this way about their mothers, and if we know there are a lot of sexist men, then something doesn’t add up. I am starting to think that a lot of men seem to think that their mother is some sort of female warrior outlier. She is or was so special not because she, like many women, could budget for the house and build a fence and soothe a bee sting and work full time and drive everyone everywhere and help with algebra, but because she was one of the only women who could do all those things.
Better than MOST women.
Ask your friends, men. They will probably also have warrior outlier moms. Amazing! You and your friends happen to have moms that are better than most women.
The other day I commented on my Twitter account about Chris Matthews saying on Hardball that Sally Yates had handled herself in a way that some women don’t know how to. Just like men with their moms! Complimentary, with such respect, but only for that one woman, as if she were an exception to the rule.
Women are strong. Women are smart. Women can handle themselves in a hearing in front of congress. Your mom is not special. She’s a woman. And I suspect she wouldn’t mind hearing that you realize that this Mother’s Day.