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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
Real truth July 7, 2010, 10:47 AM

Sorry MsWoman, please revise your ignorance. Affirmative Action is not for white women. I was told by my HR white women are NOT a minority when an unqualified black woman was promoted over me to fill the “quota”

Marion July 7, 2010, 10:55 AM

I am sick to death of the moms and alcohol no matter what color or race they are.. Also of people that make comments on blacks are this way whites are this way. We all know how we are supposed to act and it doesn’t make a difference who or what we are, Wake up and smell the coffee.

Laila July 7, 2010, 10:59 AM

Alcholism = bad -regardless of skin color.

I do find it interesting that a woman who is always preaching about how racist the world is against her and hers is writing such racist trash herself.

Anonymous July 7, 2010, 11:01 AM

articles like this and people like the commenter Quanesha and several others on here are exactly why I am racist.

Why do you have to make everything about race, you all have scholarships only for black people, conferences, television channels, a whole month, etc. etc. All for ‘black’ people… again, name ONE thing that is only for WHITE people…

You say things like this and wonder why you can’t get ahead in life- stop complaining about stuff that happened before you were born and CHANGE history by not writing CRAP like this that just keeps racism alive…

or take yourself somewhere where you are welcome- since apparently giving idiots like you everything just isn’t enough to make you shut up and actually TRY to succeed instead of bitching that the white man is holding you back- move on- you are holding yourself back

angry white woman July 7, 2010, 11:02 AM

articles like this and people like the commenter Quanesha and several others on here are exactly why I am racist.

Why do you have to make everything about race, you all have scholarships only for black people, conferences, television channels, a whole month, etc. etc. All for ‘black’ people… again, name ONE thing that is only for WHITE people…

You say things like this and wonder why you can’t get ahead in life- stop complaining about stuff that happened before you were born and CHANGE history by not writing CRAP like this that just keeps racism alive…

or take yourself somewhere where you are welcome- since apparently giving idiots like you everything just isn’t enough to make you shut up and actually TRY to succeed instead of bitching that the white man is holding you back- move on- you are holding yourself back

Quanesha/ because I hide behind nothing  July 7, 2010, 11:16 AM

well at least mr/mrs anonymous is a honest that he is a racist, but it has nothing to do with me, I am not complaining because a white man has never gave me anything, I have always worked and been very intelligant, An A & B student all my life. I have what I have and I have accomplished what I have accomplished because I put in the work to do so.. and we have 28 days to celebrate that not a full month,and just as I can apply for scholarships so do my white counterparts, and I dont get it because of my skin color as many white americans would love to believe, I get of my merit my ability to openly express myself, be true to who I am. I dont hide behind sheets and words I confront what i have a problem with. I am in your face person as you could see because I can openly post my thoughts under my NAME..I am not sorry you are offended by the fact that you feel as if you have nothing to call your own, if your ancestors did not still and capitalize off of others then maybe just maybe those whites whom feel left out would have some history to cling on to and be proud of, so you dont want to be reminded of slavery well to bad, it happened true, the initial slave master relationship may not still exsit but the discontent about it will always be an issue. you want me and others to forget, how you hung us, burned us, spit on us, raped us, sold us, murdered us, so that you can ease your consience sorry, but the remembering is what keeps me fighting and educating myself to honor those who lost their live for trying, so I wont forget, but I do forgive you, and thank you all at the same time. I dont practice or preach racism, but will not allow my sons black men to go around not knowing their history just because you cant talk about yours.

sm July 7, 2010, 11:17 AM

So are you saying you want to be a drunk black MOM?

Michelle July 7, 2010, 11:21 AM

You did know when you wrote your column, that you would get these kinds of comments from white people. They can’t begin to understand their own “White Privilege.” I work for a predominately white school district which offeres many of it’s employees the opportunity to take a Social Justice class and I was amazed at just how unaware people were of “White Privilege” and how the presenters, who were white had to break it down for them. Believe me, I know there are white people that bend over backwards to be fair and just. They just can’t fathom how wearing this black skin affects every little thing we do in our country. And the person that commented on free college for blacks, what country does she live in. I am a female veteran and could not find free money for my son or daughter to attend college and we’ve got the bills from student loans to prove it.

because I hide behind nothing/Que  July 7, 2010, 11:26 AM

Yes I am drunk off of Educating myself and others..

Leah July 7, 2010, 11:32 AM

Quanesha - Please educate yourself!! You INCORRECTLY and IGNORANTLY state . “you want me and others to forget, how you hung us, burned us, spit on us, raped us, sold us, murdered us, so that you can ease your consience sorry, but the remembering is what keeps me fighting and educating myself to honor those who lost their live for trying” I think you are forgetting the people who sold the slaves (NOT YOU - YOU were NEVER a slave) were the Africans themselves!! It’s so sad that people are given this false impression that Africans were “stolen” from their land and forced into slave. Yes, they were forced, but by black Africans who sold them in the first place (and many African tribes still practice slavery today!!). So the people who held your ancestors in slaver were your own people to begin with.

YIKES!! So sad how ignorant people are!!

because I hide behind nothing/Que  July 7, 2010, 11:47 AM

Leah

Sweety you did not give me any information that I did not already know, you merely just proved my point as to why white americans want to forget about slavery, and no I was not sold, hung, burned, raped or any other horrific act of your white under the sheet ancestors. Yes some of my African ancestors may have traded us for personal offerings from your ancestors, but does that excuse the treatment that others had to endure? I think not. So Ignorant? I beg to differ..

Anonymous July 7, 2010, 11:54 AM

@ galadrial: we as individuals have our own mind which can make a dicission of NOT becoming as others… My youngest of 5 mixed race children is a beautiful black male teen and his father which was my husband was the love of my life and my grand babies are black and rican. I grew up in an all black which became mixed race neighborhood. I was treated badly for being white. I feel that books like these should not be written reguardless of race. I was a daughter of an abusive alcoholic, I beat the stats by NOT becoming as my parents when I became a parent. WHEN IS THIS BLACK AND WHITE THING EVER GOING TO END WTF! We both need each other… BTW!… Where I live is considered mostly white type of town yet when my daughter who has tan skin got a job and student loans within weeks

Leah July 7, 2010, 12:23 PM

Que- obviously the information was new to you since YOU stated (incorrectly) that it was the whites who had done this “to you” (not your ancestors) in the first place.

My ancestors (Irish & Jewish) have suffered too. The Irish were the FIRST slaves in this country and we all know Jews are the only people it is still okay to be openly prejudice against but I don’t go crying the blues. I accept that yes there are some people who are racist and that’s just the way it is but I don’t sit there and say I am OWED anything because of what others have done to MY people.

Say it Loud I'm..... July 7, 2010, 12:30 PM

Angry White Women”scholarships only for black people, conferences, television channels, a whole month”

Damn right we have scholarships, conference television channels and a half of month.. We deserve it, we are the ones who build America and you guys claimed the prize for it…You no it and I no it everything in America is centered around YOU peoples..Im not one who blame a white person for anythng, you white people are merely non significant creatures to me, who have no control over my destiny…

Barbara Samuelson July 7, 2010, 12:32 PM

I am a white woman. I never drank to get through parenting 4 children who were less than 16 months apart… I would be outraged at any woman who did that… What are the luxuries that I have??? Hmmmm. I am presently disabled, no car, all my friends have deserted me and I live off 700 dollars a month. No housing assistance. My rent is 485… not to mention utilities. I barely have food to eat. Wow, those are some luxuries. You know some of us also fit in stereotypes. Heavy women, poverty level woman and disabled people. Guess what? Doesn’t matter what color you are when you fit into this country and stereotypes. I do not sit and blame black people for my lack of luxuries… nor do I blame whites. Come on, this race card is ridiculous. I love people for who they are… people who are down to earth and of good character. No MATTER what race… The ignorance level in this country only perpetuates this prejudiced opinion, as well as, others. I also do not sit drinking my life away… couldn’t afford it any way. Please check your racism at the door for now on… I find that more Black people are prejudice than whites depending on the area where you live. I do not hate anyone. I do not use stereotyped judgment on people because I know what it feels like. Please be more considerate of what you perceive to be relevant truths. Also, The Republican comment got me. I am a republican/conservative…. what does that have to do with blacks? There are many Black republicans! Are they against you too? There are prejudice people on all sides of the political agenda… they lie to get elected… But, because I am in a specific party doesn’t make me a racist. I am so tired of all this petty arguing. If you want to make it in America you have to strive for it. You have to work for it. Unless your daddy is wealthy. So welcome to the white girl that sits on your corner. only our skin color is different girl.

Christie Mellor  July 7, 2010, 12:36 PM

First of all, may I point out that my book, “THE THREE-MARTINI PLAYDATE” was the first to be written using the cocktail metaphor? Second of all, if you didn’t read my book, I would hope you would at least understand that the title IS IN FACT METAPHORICAL. It is not intended as a literal exhortation to down a bottle of vodka at your child’s playdate. Sheesh.

because I hide behind nothing/Que  July 7, 2010, 12:40 PM

leah
Again sweetie I already knew, but my question to you is this, if you are neither Black or white, why are you even partaking in a conversation about racial issues among Black Americans.. where do you fit in. I am not crying the blues I am merely giving my opinion on issues that affect me..

Christie Mellor  July 7, 2010, 12:48 PM

FURTHERMORE, I don’t consider my book to be in any way a “Drunken mom” book. It was written (by the way, this grates on me, but THREE-MARTINI PLAYDATE was published TWO YEARS before “Sippy Cups are not for Chardonnay”) as an antidote to the overbearing parenting trend, the title being an homage to the three-martini lunch. Heralding a more relaxed era of parenting, and a certain mindset. It is not a guide to alcoholic parenting. Get your facts straight before you go to print!!

pebbles /que July 7, 2010, 12:52 PM

Leah

Also let me correct you, although some African had slaves, I dont recall them walking around with sheets, burning down houses, hanging men and women, and if I am incorrect please feel free to direct me to a book that states those things went own in Africa as well. Again I am in the business of knowing where I stem from and not where my ancestors wher placed against their will. You being of Jewish Decesent should be able to empathize with the displacement of a Race, but I guess you never really took time to dig into your history…

Me July 7, 2010, 12:59 PM

I have unsubscribed thanks to you and your offensive view. I hope your boss is pleased.


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