FEMINIST FRIDAY: This Commercial About The Reality Of Motherhood Was Banned During The Oscars

Welcome to another edition of Feminist Friday! That time of the week when we gather around to watch our fave videos on repeat, centered around a feminist theme. This week it’s all about moms and motherhood. And we’re not just talking about Mother’s Day, which, as John Oliver points out in this great analysis, is not exactly geared toward celebrating motherhood in the way it really SHOULD, at least here in the United States anyway.

First up this week is a video that went viral after the brand shared publicly that it was rejected from an advertising slot during the Oscar’s televised event. Frida Mom is a company that makes products to help moms prepare for postpartum recovery, including disposable underwear, peri bottles, nursing gowns and more.

The video they made shows an honest and realistic portrayal of a new mother waking up to the sounds of her newborn crying, going about her daily routine in the bathroom as most new moms do. But ABC clearly thought this reality was far TOO honest for viewers, and banned it!

“The ad you’re about to watch was rejected by ABC & the Oscars from airing during this year’s award show. It’s not “violent, political” or sexual in nature. Our ad is not “religious or lewd” and does not portray “guns or ammunition”. “Feminine hygiene & hemorrhoid relief” are also banned subjects. It’s just a new mom, home with her baby and her new body for the first time. Yet it was rejected. And we wonder why new moms feel unprepared,” says the description.

Celebrities like Busy Philips spoke up about how outrageous it was that the reality of postpartum motherhood is considered “offensive” for prime time America, and fellow actress Elizabeth Banks agreed with her social media comment. They are right. It is utterly depressing and infuriating that motherhood gets celebrated in such frivolous, superficial ways, but not in the ways that it counts. Watch the video below for yourself:

The second video this week shows another side of how motherhood in America is celebrated with lip service only. Before we continue, it should be pointed out that the United States in the only developed nation in the world not to have any federal paid leave policy, but you may be lucky enough to live in one of only a handful of states, or work for a particular company, that happens to offer it. In other words, paid leave is NOT available to every mother (or father) like it is in other developed nations. This is a travesty and shows the downside to a society run by capitalism.

One mother who knows this all too well is athlete Alysia Montaño whose story has gone viral since writing about how Nike dropped her like a hotcake after she had a baby and took time out of her professional running career. Yes, that same “female empowerment” Nike which cashes in on fake feminism with its highly produced videos that appeal to the masses, but contain no substance when push comes to shove.

After she wrote her op-ed in the New York Times, Alysia was part of a video sharing her story and talking about how she is championing more athletic companies who sponsor female athletes to include maternity leave policies in their contracts. Watch the video below to learn more about this issue and why more brands and companies in the athletic world should be putting their money where their mouth is:

For us it begs the question: how can America call itself “the most powerful nation on earth” when we can’t even take care of mothers in basic ways that other developed nations have already been doing for years now? It should also be noted that the US has the highest rates of maternal mortality in the developed world, with rates of black women dying up to 4 times more than white women. That just shows you the grave intersection of sexism and racism embedded into a healthcare system that is sorely lacking in patient-centered care.

Perhaps this is why so many women are eager to see the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment into the US Constitution, now that Virginia just became the 38th state to vote for it and reach the minimum threshold for its ratification. Unfortunately the deadline for Congress to ratify the ERA has long since passed, but now with renewed focus and daily activism around this issue, there are legal scholars and activists involved in this fight who are working to make sure we don’t miss this opportunity. With issues like paid leave, maternal mortality, and other ways society is missing out on championing the true value of mothers, there has never been a better time to capitalize on the current wave of feminism and pass the ERA.

Watch the MSNBC video below with human rights lawyer Kate Kelly (from Equality Now) who talks about the significance of the ERA. And if you want to be part of the cultural change toward championing motherhood in impactful ways, we recommend donating to Moms in Office, a Political Action Committee run by Simona Grace, recently voted by American Mothers as the “2020 California Mother of the Year” for her efforts to help elect more moms to political office. As a working mom herself, she understands full well the value of seeing more moms in office, proposing and passing policies that actually benefit families, rather than simply celebrating mothers with empty cultural platitudes. Read more of Simona’s story in our interview here.


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