through the media, and I myself have had to activate my ‘watchful
Every single thing that our children are exposed to should be
questioned, evaluated, and decided upon. What they eat, what they
wear, what they see and hear, the list goes on and on. If you have
children you probably have had this realization hit home at one
point or another. The fact is, whenever we watch a television show,
or we buy a product or service, we are also buying into an
idea; and we seriously have to ask ourselves what
perceptions are being reinforced by the different media that our
children are exposed to.
For example… the Disney Princesses.
These fictional women were put into the media spotlight without any
regards to the fact that they would become role models to millions
of girls who would one day grow up to be women. (You can read more
about this in the New York Times article What’s Wrong with Cinderella?) One of
the underlying messages of the stories involving the Disney
Princesses is that in order for a girl to “live happily ever
after” she has to marry the prince and become a princess. I’ll
admit, that’s what I thought when I was growing up! Hopefully one
day Disney will evolve to where the Princess lineup includes a
That being said, all parents should remain aware of
underlying messages our children are being exposed to.
Because I am a lesbian mom, I am especially concerned with media
that is anti-gay or ignorant of gay families. Two-mom and two-dad
families need access to media that provides ideas and messages that
they can identify with and support, and prime time television shows
with gay and lesbian characters. We need mainstream magazines with
LGBT couples on the cover; and we need more games, books, cartoons, and coloring books for our kids too. I’d like to see a
cooking show hosted by two-moms combining their knowledge to feed
the family, or a sitcom. As a lesbian mom, it is important to me
that gay families get more exposure in the mainstream media,
especially when the mainstream media wants my lesbian money! It
would be nice for my children to turn on the TV and see families
like theirs for a change – and let’s face it; we can’t
watch ‘The L Word’ with the kiddos.
You can find a list of 100+ items for gay families on the Family
Equality website here. If you are a lesbian mom like me, you can find
free coloring pages for your kids from the Buddy G: My Two Moms and Me website. I
personally am looking forward to the day when two-mommy and
two-daddy families are regarded with the same perspective as any
other family in society, and are represented with class and dignity
throughout the mainstream media.
Julie Phineas is a lesbian mom from Southern California. She
spends her days as an Executive Editor for LezGetReal.com, and
she also shares her adventures as a lesbian mom on her personal
blog at lesbianmommy.blogspot.com.