We decided that, in honor of Mother's Day, May would be the perfect month for our Motherhood in Film and Television series. Many films and television shows don't do a great job of portraying mothers; they're often shown as either entirely absent from their children's lives or completely overbearing nurturers--an example of what we like to call (s)mother love. But some films and television shows manage to convey the complicated experiences of motherhood by creating three-dimensional characters who connect with their children in complex ways.
We want reviews of films and television shows that both positively and negatively capture motherhood. We want to explore what it means to be a mother, including how step-mothers, foster parents, single mothers, gay and lesbian parents, primary caretakers, women-run households, etc, fit into definitions of "motherhood." We welcome critiques of downright awful illustrations of mothers (Monster-in-Law, anyone?) as well as praise for more nuanced examinations of mothers (as in Pieces of April--one of my personal favorites). We want to see representations of motherhood in different cultures and how the rules of what it means to be a "good" or "bad" mother may vary.
Our culture in particular obsesses over mothers. We sexualize them: MILFs. We chastise them: no breastfeeding in public! We ogle them: celebrity baby bumps, for instance. And we blame them for pretty much everything: check out Katha Pollitt's piece "Wisconsin GOP Legislators Go After Single Mothers" for a recent example of this horrifying conservative phenomenon.
In short, this is a wide-open theme, and we welcome all proposals that examine motherhood in film and television, however one chooses to interpret it; there are, after all, no strict definitions. Here is a list that might give you some ideas on where to start:
- It's Complicated: Black Mothers and Daughters on Film
- Films About Mothers and Daughters
- Movies About Moms
- Mother Movies at the Box Office
- TV's Idea of Motherhood Changes With the Times
- Motherhood's Rough Edges Fray in Reality TV
- TV Moms
Here are a few basic guidelines for guest writers on our site:
- We like most of our pieces to be 1,000 - 2,000 words, preferably with some images and links.
Please send your piece in the text of an email, including links to all images, no later than Friday, May 18th.
-Include a 2-3 sentence bio for placement at the end of your piece.
Email us at btchflcks(at)gmail(dot)com if you'd like to contribute a review. We accept original pieces or cross-posts.
For inquiries/ submissions: email@example.com