Disclaimer: this blog is not about my “Mama”. “Mama” is referring to a generation of women.
Miranda Lambert’s song compares her reaction to a broken heart with that of her mother’s. Recently, with the astounding number of “Me too’s” that I saw and am still seeing on my Facebook feed, I couldn’t help but think about this concept. So as the song goes, Mama is telling her daughter how she “should” act in response to something that has left her emotionally charged. It really struck a chord with me, and I tied the two together when I read a quote from Reese Witherspoon, from her introduction speech at Elle’s Women in Hollywood event. She acknowledged that she had been sexually assaulted more than once, and then said this, “For the young women sitting in the room, life is going to be different for you because we have you, we have your back. And that makes me feel better because, Gosh, its about time.”
It got me thinking about how on the surface maybe “Mama” might appear to be able to keep it together when everything falls apart, sitting there looking demur with a powdered nose, crossed legs and her mouth closed, but where did that get Mama? “Mama” is the voice of “just sweep it under the rug and don’t talk about it”. Say what you will about the way female expression has changed, but women just took a HUGE STEP towards finally getting the respect that we saw Jesus identify way back in biblical times! How sad also that the Bible outlines the way women should be cherished by men but generations of women have felt like they had to put up with it or fear the consequences.
Anyway, I had a sad moment or two recalling the times that I have experienced sexual assault or harassment. So many women are talking about assault experiences they were never able to tell anyone about! All the trauma and secrets are coming out and its sad but at the same time I know its providing so much healing. Not only that but women are coming together to make a commitment to change things. I challenge those of you who fall into the “Mama” category mentioned in this song, that its not too late. As long as you’ve got breath in your lungs then we can change and encourage women to definitely speak out when they’ve been taken advantage of, teach them its not something to be ashamed of, that men don’t have the right to treat women without dignity and that rape culture IS a thing. If you’re not familiar with what rape culture is, its an environment where sexual violence against women is prevalent and its normalized and excused by the media or pop culture. A common example of this would be the objectifying of women’s bodies, using mysoginistic language and glamorizing sexual violence. Maybe “Mama”can recognize that its wrong and its been going on for far too many generations. I don’t even blame “Mama” for being that way, I’m sure her “Mama” must have taught her the same thing. Meanwhile I feel like it has allowed some men to take advantage of women – and get away with it. When I think about my daughter and what I’ll teach her, one thing is certain, I hope to share a legacy that endures through ALL generations!
The Inspiration: Miranda Lambert- Mama’s Broken Heart