In what is turning out to be a cultural showdown between the "tolerant" elite and middle America, critics are blasting the new movie Moms' Night Out as being sexist and anti-feminist. What that actually says about the critics is that they are only supportive of choices like their own.
The choice of millions of moms who choose to stay at home with their children is attacked and belittled by critics in an unprecedented display of hostility. The Wrap demeans all stay-at home moms in one fell swoop: "Allison's lack of a profession consigns the character into Eisenhower-esque irrelevance."
The New York Times insults stay-at-home moms, especially those with toddlers, and minimizes the tremendous emotional and physical toll that being "on" takes on a person, one who takes care of children round the clock, with no time-outs, no down time, no breaks at the spa or gym, just the constant task of taking care of children, day-in and day-out, with only the rarest of nights out. The critic obviously has no frame of reference from which to speak when he slams Allyson, played by Grey's Anatomy's Sarah Drew, saying that her "character, frankly, is an insult to the millions of women who have much more to deal with."
Wow. Could he BE more insulting? As a mom who chose to stay at home with my children when they were small, making sacrifices so that I could invest in my children, I can honestly say that it was much easier during the periods that I was a working mom than a stay-at-home mom. It was worth it to stay home, but much more difficult, on many levels that only other stay-at-home moms (and dads) can truly understand.
Perhaps this critic should take time to read the very realistic, eye-opening apology from a stay-at-home dad to stay-at-home moms everywhere that The Inquisitr recently reported on. It's a thing of beauty. That guy now gets it.
And the directors of Moms' Night Out get it. The movie is a powerful validation of the struggles of moms everywhere, not just stay-at-home moms.
Toronto Globe and Mail falls flat as it answers its own question. "Mainly, you have to wonder why Allyson doesn't just hire a nanny, find a job and get out of the house. Ah, but this is a Christian movie...." Wrong answer. Yes, it is a movie by Christians, but what does that have to do with her not finding a nanny, etc.? Allyson has made the choice that millions of other moms make - to stay home and raise her own children rather than hiring out their upbringing to someone else.
A number of critics blast the movie, incorrectly characterizing the underlying theme as being that "a woman's place is in the home." They have missed the point entirely. How about this: A child's place, especially a preschool child, is with someone who loves him or her more than life itself, who is invested in the outcome of the child's life, who truly knows and cares for that child for himself.
A mom's decision to stay home and be there for her's own children is not an easy one to reach. It requires sacrifice. Sometimes dreams have to be put on hold for a season. It's hard. And through the day-to-day grind, many moms feel overwhelmed and unappreciated, and wonder if the sacrifice is worth it. Moms' Night Out does a beautiful job of honoring that sacrifice, and telling moms that "we are enough."
The critics have come out in droves to tell women who take care of their own children full-time that they are irrelevant, and unworthy. More and more, those who decide to delay careers for the sake of the children face discrimination and outright hostility from those who profess "tolerance," but actually reveal that they are not truly tolerant of those of whose choices they disapprove. And therein lies the crux of the matter.
The message of Hollywood and the media is that a mom only has significance if she has a job. The message of Moms' Night Out is that a mom has significance. Period.
[Image via Moms' Night Out Facebook]