Saturday, May 5, 2012

An Open Letter to One Million Moms

Today I have been feeling a little glum. I have a lot on my plate and I saw a post on Perez Hilton about One Million Moms at it again against JC Penny. 'Pennies' (as I grew up calling it) put a picture of a happy family flouncing in floral in their catalog. Normal right? Well OMM is angry because the parents of this flouncing floral family are two women. They want is to harass the poor store managers at JC Penny about the 'disgrace' they are. In my opinion, the 'threat' to 'traditional family values' has nothing to do with sexual preference and everything to do with the state of the current nation.

So, sitting with my thoughts I wrote a simple letter and sent to to One Million Moms and the American Family Association. I know it falls on deaf ears, but I wanted to throw my two pennies at this issue. I decided to also post it here on my blog because well, I can.

"An Open Letter to One Million Moms

While I understand any attempt to open your minds and hearts may go unnoticed and nonetheless unappreciated I feel compelled to write to you for some reason that I cannot explain. I recently became aware of your organization during the JC Penny 'scandal' in which you called for JC Penny to 'restore your faith in them' by firing their new spokesperson Ellen Degeneres. To my elation JC Penny did not succumb to your bullying and kept Ellen in tact, she is a fabulous human being in my opinion and I love seeing her going strong in her career. Just today I saw another one of your gripes with JC Penny. In their catalog a loving joyful family is being depicted. Everything on the page is pleasant, colorful and happy. Your problem is that the parents in this spread happen to be two women. This, to you, threatens 'traditional family values' and you call for more harassment of the department store.
Before I go any further, I'd like to tell you about myself. I am 23 years old and newly married to my husband. We had been dating since we were kids in high school. You can say we are an 'all American couple' blue blood in our veins and pride in our hearts. We rent a nice simple apartment from a family member and adopted the cutest and sweetest dog in the world. We want to have a ton of children and to live in a modest house for our own piece of The American Dream. This all sounds great right? A heterosexual union producing more kids in a pseudo nuclear situation - it sounds like how things are supposed to be.
But it isn't.
My husband and I work all of the time to pay the bills and to obtain a normal routine. He has a steady, great job with wonderful health care benefits. I on the other hand went to college and earned my Bachelor's Degree. Yes, I was so proud of myself and after graduation my best friend and I decided we would build our own business. In the meantime we would work day jobs to pay the bills and to go forward. My husband and I had a nice savings that we would continue to build to buy that modest home.
Soon into this bubble the sky fell and the savings got chipped away at. One big medical bill here (hey, we have health insurance right?), one car dead over there life began to happen. Building a business in a recession isn't easy, especially when you face unemployment in your day job. Now, the savings is being suffocated and the dream of home ownership moves farther and farther away. The economic structure of America no longer supports its Dream.
On top of that, having children in a one bedroom apartment with possible PCOS on the bill of health also threatens our little family. Every day goes by, we work, we come home, we look at each other to see what kind of money we have to buy what food that will last us the longest. This recession sucks for everyone and many people have it a lot worse than us, but still we struggle to get by.
Many people will shrug at this story 'he should work 2 jobs, she should give up on that business, make more money, buy a bigger house, acquire more debt' but we are trying to hold onto that small piece of what we truly want so we don't get anymore lost than we already have. It seems the only way for us to own that modest house is to win the lottery, but I'd most likely get struck by lightening first.
Now, going back to your problem with a same sex couple in the JC Penny catalog threatening your traditional family values - I think that is a hack. The recession is more of a threat to your children than any homosexual would be. Two women raising a family has no direct affect on you or your values, but not being able to afford a wedding for your daughter and her fiance and watching them struggle while renting a small apartment is.
JC Penny realized the threat of the recession to American Family, they lowered their prices and kept the quality. They understand the true threat that is upon us and decided to keep up with the times and create a warm shopping environment that allows back to school clothes for every budget. On top of that, they depict regular families. Family's come in all different colors and configurations. We learn that in kindergarten.
We also learn that judging people based on their color or creed is also wrong. Now it is time to expand that to sexuality. Two men sharing a bottle of wine and watching a movie on a Friday night should not interrupt your family values. It should enforce them. Two humans committed to a life of love and companionship have every right to raise a family regardless of their sex. Plus, what happens in somebody else's house is none of your business.
As One Million Mothers, maybe you should teach your children what truly threatens their future. A declining economy, dishonest people, and hatred. We never talk about violence in relationships - that is actually really threatening to family values. But instead of teaching our boys and girls to love honor and respect each other, we teach them to target the 'immoral' homosexuals because their unions are 'wrong' because a religion or a 'feeling' tells you to. Instead of explaining that love comes in all colors and genders we stick to the impossible illusion of perfection that was drawn up ages ago. We buy everything on credit cards to keep up while we fall farther and farther behind. We don't fight for health care research or ending violence instead we steady our hand at the next target.
We create organizations that harass other organizations that are just trying facilitate the ever evolving American Dream.
Because we are in America, you have every right to your opinion. I just hope you realize that you are missing the mark. The more energy you put into taking down loving relationships the more energy you take away from actually making a positive change for your children's futures. You have gained so much attention by having meltdowns about homosexuality in the media and I know that makes you proud. But what truly positive comes of that? You teach the world that whoever has the biggest stone to throw makes the biggest impact, regardless of the message. You could do a lot of good in the world, you could raise awareness for young women about abuse in relationships. Or you could work on the self esteem of our youth which seems to be depleting even more than out economy. But we all know what you do instead.
Sometimes I get so upset. I have a Mother. One day I hope to be a Mother and I hate to share that title with your organization. I know that when I am a Mother, my children will be unafraid to love whoever they want. They will be able to openly communicate with me about any relationship. I cannot keep them safe from the narrow minds out there. I cannot keep them safe from organizations such as yours that threaten my personal values. I just hope I will be able to afford that roof over their head to keep them safe from everything else.
I hope you all have a lovely season and learn to open your hearts to the possibility of beauty in everything.
Stephanie Coiro
One Million Humans"