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I'm Fed Up With Drunken White Moms!

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Kimberly Seals Allers: It probably comes as no surprise that I'm constantly amazed by the double standards that cut across racial lines in the parenting world. For some time, it's been really bothering me (no, really!) that a large and still-growing group of white women has built a successful blogging and publishing platform and branding niche around parenting while drunk (or at least very tipsy).

woman holding cocktail

A black mom would NEVER be able to get away with making money by extolling the virtues of alcoholism and childrearing. If I receive one more mom book to review with a cutesy title featuring some mom's need for alcohol, I'm going to scream. Or have a very strong cocktail.

Witness "Sippy Cups Are Not for Chardonnay," by Stephanie Wilder-Taylor. This is where it all began. Wilder-Taylor, who also penned the really funny blog "Make Mine a Double: Tales of Twins and Tequila," followed up the huge success of her first book with a second tome, "Naptime Is the New Happy Hour." (Just love the cover with the two wine bottles in the diaper bag!)

Then came similar books from other authors: "The Three Martini Playdate: A Practical Guide to Happy Parenting," by Christie Mellor; "Baby, Mix Me a Drink," by Lisa Brown and (a man gets in on it!) "Daddy Needs a Drink," by Robert Wilder.

There are a few non-mom ones, too, which also speak to my white-girls-get-to-joke-about-being-alcoholics point: "You Can't Drink All Day if You Don't Start in the Morning," by Celia Rivenbark; "Crazy Aunt Purl's Drunk, Divorced and Covered in Cat Hair," by Laurie Perry and Perry's follow-up book, "Home Is Where the Wine Is."

Now, don't get me wrong: I love humor and caustic wit as much as the next mom who doesn't take herself (or parenting) way too seriously. I get it. I also totally love my evening glass of wine as much as the next stressed-out mom. (As my children know, when Mommy has her "special cup," stay away for a few minutes.) But a black woman would never be able to write a book promoting the virtues of PWD (Parenting While Drunk), or even close to it.

Let me rephrase. She could write the book, but no one would ever pay to publish it. And she would likely become the poster child for the next Republican-led black-mom-bashing campaign.

After successfully writing three books of my own (and coauthoring a fourth), I've been dying to write my own humorous tale of a black suburban mom on the edge -- minus the alcohol problem. So far, I've gotten no nibbles. I should change the proposal to my secret working title: "Hennessy in my Starbucks Cup." (That's a little trick I learned from the white moms in my daughter's dance class -- putting alcohol in your Starbucks cup, that is. The Hennessy part was my idea!) Maybe then I will get more of a response.

But we all know that won't happen.

The reason it works for white women is, it's assumed that a white woman is educated, capable of drinking all the time and still parenting, and is really only joking. But Stephanie Wilder-Taylor, once the poster child of PWD, wasn't joking: She later admitted that she had a real problem and had gone into recovery. (When she put up that fateful post nearly a year ago, saying that she needed to put down the cocktail and that she was done drinking, the clamor, outrage and cries of treason could be heard across the country.)

If a black mother joked that she drank all the time while parenting, somebody would call Child Protective Services in a heartbeat. (Remember when my neighbor thought I was spanking?) White women are safe. There is no stigma attached to their drinking -- in fact, there is even a trendiness, and some lifestyle cachet. My drinking would scream "unfit mother" in glaring lights.

Because black women are barely viewed as smart, savvy moms in the first place, the thought of us touting and even celebrating drinking-on-the-job would be preposterous. And we certainly couldn't build a marketable and profitable branding platform on the idea. Nobody, not even I (and you guys think I'm pretty bold), would go there. I'm not foolish enough to assume I have that luxury.

I love the liberty and freedom that white people have in this country. They get to be who they are without any preconceived stereotypes or judgments. I just wish that privilege extended to us all.


next: Confessions of a New Stepmom
186 comments so far | Post a comment now
Cheryl June 30, 2010, 3:45 AM

You are right on point. I am sure the moms on here will vilify you as being too color conscious, but it is almost impossible to get white women to understand the priviledge they enjoy is not universally applied.

Anonymous June 30, 2010, 4:47 AM

Actually your point of view is based on your own experiences, not on fact. I’m as white as they come and I’m not remotely impressed by the “white alcoholic and getting away with it mom.” I don’t think it would make a difference to me if a person is white or black. A drinker is a drinker and when they use overindugence as a selling point they lose my respect period. The publishers aren’t nibbling because of a racial inequity based on white drinkers vs black drinkers being accepted. They probably aren’t nibbling simply as an economic perspective. People read about, hang with, relate to others that look similar or have similar cultures. It’s not clearly a bigotry type thing, but more biological. We are attracted to people that look like us. (Look at many married couples, they look like brothers and sisters). So the publishers are just appealing to a demographic that buys a lot of books. It’s a marketing perspective. They know that many white women, want to read about more white women. Kinda sad in a way, but it is what it is.

Anonymous June 30, 2010, 5:37 AM

Hmm, and I’m tired of angry black moms. I don’t know anyone who is cheering on any drunk moms - black or white. As for the “privleges and freedoms” white people get in this countty that you are always whining about - when I can go to college for free because of the color of my skin like you and your family then maybe I’ll feel like I experience some of the privileges YOU have.

chris June 30, 2010, 6:19 AM

When I read your last post about Chris Brown, I actually thought that your “black” following was way too hard on you but now you go and write about white drunk women and I realize that maybe no one (black or white) actually likes your writing. You are very judgemental and your a racist. As a white mom who doesn’t drink at all, I can tell you that I’m not impress with ANYONE - black, white, male, female who drinks too much while caring for their children. Please stop making your post about race. Even though I grow up with a racist father, I have gone out of my way to not be racist or judgemental toward any other group of people. I am now raising my kids, I have taught both my kids that all people are worthy of kindness and friendship. It really irrates me that I feel I am doing all I can in my own family to teach my children to not judge anyone based on their skin color, their sexual preference, their finicial situation, or anything that may make someone different than we are. If every parent taught this to their children, society would be much kinder and accepting.

Leah June 30, 2010, 6:25 AM

I honestly don’t know anyone championing or glorifying any “drunk” mom - black or white. I’m actually fairly offended by this article. Would a white writer EVER be allowed to say they were fed up with Drunk Black Moms - NO - that would be racist. Black women joke/talk about about beating their kids, going to the club and getting their drink on, etc. all the time but no one can write “I’m tired of abusive Black mothers”

I understand momlogic likes to create drama and that why they keep printing these clearly racist writings but I think it’s sad that this author NEVER writes anything just straight up about being a mom. It’s always about how racist everyone is against black people and how much she dislikes white people. I think she’s stylistically a decent writer - I just wish she had a bit more content and thoughtfulness in her articles.

AnonymousMom June 30, 2010, 6:41 AM

I live in a very diverse community and hang out with moms of all races - Asian, Black, Caucasian….we all joke about “needing a drink” all the time. NONE of us are huge drinkers, maybe a glass of wine a few times a week, a mixed drink or two at a party. Why would I view the statement differently depending on the race of the person saying it?

I think maybe you are just upset that your own idea for a book hasn’t had any interest in the publishing world yet. I think it is always easier to claim racism than to face the fact that maybe you’re idea isn’t good enough or the writing isn’t up to par. Work on your own self before racially attacking others.

I get so tired of people thinking that ANY group (“whites”, “minorities”, etc) has it “easier” than anyone else in this country. I have seen life from many angles in our wonderful nation and can tell you - no matter who you are, it takes hard work to make it.

Quadfather June 30, 2010, 7:17 AM

Your dislike is well placed. It is about the market and sales not so much the truth, actual events or even sound advice & practice. Publishers are gatekeeps for sales. Do not be surprised to see alot of crap aimed at the right demographics. I could share some e-mails from high end publishers in the “Christian” market that would well, leave ya wondering. Keep up the sharp eye for baloney!

Jamie June 30, 2010, 7:27 AM

I agree with the poster who said it is not lack of interest in your “humorous” book but perhaps lack of talent. EVERYONE with an English degree (me included!!) thinks they can write and want to author books, but in reality, most of us just don’t have the hook. Please stop blaming your race and just look at reality.

Deandra June 30, 2010, 7:47 AM

Don’t you get it? That IS the funny part. This seemingly smart, affluent, prim & proper white woman is driven crazy by her kids & needs a drink!

It would not be funny to see the typical on-welfare, living in the ghetto, feeding her kids kool-aid, fat black mama drinking, because, well, it’s expected! There’s nothing tongue-in-cheek about it.

Whitemomma June 30, 2010, 8:06 AM

Drinking while parenting is just plain destructive. Why does this have to be a racial issue? Or a political issue? You just told me that I’m a bigoted alcoholic because I’m a white republican mom. Ouch! NONE of the moms that I hang with, no matter what their color, drink while parenting. You need to choose different friends.

Dara June 30, 2010, 8:31 AM

I agree. But my feelings have nothing to do with color. I can’t stand when parents, moms and dads, complain constantly about their kids and needing a vacation, a drink, meds, etc. You chose you have your children, appreciate it. Time flies and soon you’ll be able to sit home alone and drink yourself silly..

kymommy June 30, 2010, 9:40 AM

Hmm…. doesn’t BET stand for black entertainment television? thats 1 thing us “whites” couldn’t get away with it. so consider it even!! hahaaaaa

michelle June 30, 2010, 9:53 AM

I’m tired of hearing white people accuse black people of being “racist.” The real offense is that Ms Seals Allers dared to speak the truth. Certain white people just don’t want to hear it, preferring to keep living in denial about our supposedly color-blind society. Well, I have seen enough evidence of the double standard with my own eyes to know it’s real. We DO judge black mothers more harshly. On plenty of occasions I witness busybodies (usually older white women) actually approach black mothers on the bus or train to give unsolicited “parenting advice,” to berate them for their supposed parenting lapses or even for the crime of having a child without a wedding ring. I don’t know if this is the right thing to do, but whenever I see this I butt in and tell the busybody to back off. Would they dare do that to a white mom? No. My toddler has been disruptive, thrown things, etc., and you can bet no one has ever said anything to me except to chuckle about how “it’s the age.” Whereas the assumption with black mothers is that they’re welfare-dependent child abusers and everything’s their fault.

Micaela  June 30, 2010, 10:10 AM

Do you ever write about anything that doesn’t have to do with poor you being black? I am a white woman & I am married to a bi-racial man (black & white), & I have a very diverse group of friends, & fortunately, none of my friends are as stereo-typical as you. And the way you go on & on about how white people get this, & poor black ppl, hmmm…bet you will never see a blog with a woman talking so racistly about another group, black, hispanic, indian, asian…Because that is not allowed. I understand there are diffences with different races, but maybe you should try to be friends with the white people around you & maybe you will see that not every white person is one way. Oh yeah, about the drinkiing-give me a break! It has nothing to do with color.

Lee June 30, 2010, 10:33 AM

I totally disagree I feel at all like just whites have privilege etc. I mean I’m a single mom and I’m white I get judged and put down for everything from returning to school (which I am paying for outta my pockets) to dating, not dating, tattoos etc. I believe that we are ALL lucky to live in the US but I ain’t seen a white or black mom yet get away with what you say. But that’s the thing how things look to you are usually based on where you’re standing.

Ashley June 30, 2010, 10:40 AM

I am tired of DWP being glorified period. I think it has nothing to do with the race of a parent. It is sad that you see things this way. It seems like you are full of a lot of hate towards white women. Let me tell you what I hate. I hate the way some, not all, white men and black women look at me when they see me with my black husband, as I am white. I hate the way some people won’t even talk to us or take our order in restaurants. Most of all I hate the way people see us as different races when we are first and foremost from the human race. Perhaps next time you feel like writing an article that will yet again segregate people you will reconsider for all the children. So that they don’t have the same hate in them when they are grown up.

Beloved Mother June 30, 2010, 11:13 AM

Honestly,
If you have a problem with the image of modern black mothers perhaps you should take them to task my dear. after all the reputation has been hard earned.

Anonymous June 30, 2010, 11:42 AM

Racism exists, I believe it always will. Mostly because of what we do to ourselves. Everyone has opportunity no matter what they say. No matter where you come from, you have choices….positive ones that can impact the course of your life. I think you should stop focusing on these negtive things, they are only bringing you down.

th June 30, 2010, 11:58 AM

OHH EMMM GEE! Kimberly, I am ethnic. I hail from Guyana (my mama is black and father of indian roots) Now I AM SO TIRED OF READING YOUR RACIAL POSTS THAT REPEADLY SOUNDS LIKE A WHINING CHILD! Ay yi yi already with the “oh i cant do this but you can” You might as well march into your bedroom stomping your feet and slaming your door like the kid you sound like. I totally get it I really do. And there are some people out there who do view Ethnic mother in a different light. Call it unfit call it whatever you want, but the thing is that you are ALSO PASSING JUDGEMENT on other mothers so you too are GUILTY of the same crap you are whining about.

I can honestly say that I do not see a black ‘burb mom getting heat from a white ‘burb mom about drinking (jus for clarification i live in a very wealthy suburban neighborhood and love my whities, blacks, indian, chinese vodka drinkin mommies) . I do however feel that if they were to pass down the street in the hood (where i am from)and see the mothers sitting on the porch with tht brown bag and a kid on the sidewalk running around heck yea they r gonna get tht *sideye*

I think the stigma of black women drinking are unfit mothers, stems from the whole “if you are on welfare why do u have money to buy liquor?” I believe that people have a problem AS DO I with people who constantly scream that they cannot afford this and that yet they some how seem to find those pennies for tht sip of henny and gingy.

& b4 i get any crap about if im tired of reading this woman whining posts - i will say that your titles are pretty damn catchy, and cross my fingers in hopes that your post will somehow not be so charge and filled with “ANGRY BLACK WOMAN” writing. LAWD Kim, take a deep breath, go and get tht “special cup” of yours and have a drink. I PROMISE WE WONT JUDGE U. :)

Anonymous June 30, 2010, 12:18 PM

WHO GIVES A DAMN!!!


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