Monday, May 9, 2011

Modern Family Mother's Day Episode

I'm not a very sensitive person, and I don't get offended easily.  So maybe I was just in a funny mood the other night, or ate some bad shrimp- but I found the most recent episode of Modern Family about Mother's Day sort of incredibly offensive to women.

One of the major plotlines of the episode is that one of the gay fathers, who stays at home full time with their daughter, is treated like a mother on Mother's Day, and resents the implication that he is "like a woman".  He, and his partner both spend the entire episode making these really offensive comments like, "There's nothing we (gay men) hate more than being treated like women.  We don't have a special time of the month, and we don't want to come your baby shower."  They say it with such disgust in their voice, as though being compared to a woman is the most terrible insult you could possibly utter.  And they keep harping on it the WHOLE episode.  I almost expected them too look at a moldy piece of bread at some point in the episode as gasp, "That's so disgusting!! It's almost like... like... like... a woman!"

I found it all very offensive.  Can you imagine if the episode was about a dark skinned Caucasian going on and on about how insulted they were that someone mistook them for an African American (implying that being African American is so utterly despicable...)?  Or if someone who was straight flipped out about being treated as if they were gay?  Isn't this the main reason that society has moved away from using "gay" and "retarded" as adjectives?  I also hate how the episode "redeems" this plotline- by telling the insulted character that "it's ok to be compared to woman, because women are so nurturing".  Apparently we're back to 1950's when our only worth is as a mother/homemaker.

Anyway, I'd love to hear other people's thought on the episode if they've had a chance to watch it.  It's on HULU if you're super interested. 

End of rant.


  1. I thought the same thing. I kept wondering why he wasn't delighted! So glad to hear I wasn't the only one thinking those thoughts.

  2. Misogyny knows no bounds. Alas. And certainly popular TV loves misogyny, no?

  3. Ditto - I love that show but this episode made me uncomfortable. He should have reveled in the fact that he was able to be at home with their child everyday. Many women would love to be able to do that. If he doesn't have a period to deal with, then what is the excuse for his behavior?

  4. (random commenter! I've been reading for a while, but flying under the radar!) I actually felt the other way. But then- I am a gay woman and I know what it's like to have people ask if you're "the man" in a relationship. I was glad that they were pointing out that in a gay relationship... there isn't a woman- hence "gay". But I do agree, they did go about it in the wrong way. I honestly think they meant to dislodge the notion of gender roles, but the actually managed to make it worse! Hm. Maybe I'm just seeing what I want to see.