With all respect to Ms. Blickley and Ms. Menendez, I realize they were trying to walk the tightrope between injured party – as members of “the media” and entertainment reporting. Sadly, they were also far from the only media to take this approach to Pinkett-Smith’s comments.
I strive not to be one of those people who uses being a parent as a means of dismissing the opinions of those who aren’t, so this barrage upsets me and puts me in the position of having to go to the “Well you’re not a ‘Mama Bear’ so maybe you can’t ‘get’ it” realm.
It’s just not acceptable to dismiss, relegate, and downgrade a woman’s remarks by playing the “oh that’s just the mom in her talking” card. The mom in a woman is probably the part everyone ought to be coming from, even if that “mom voice” talking is the memory of one’s own mother.
This is doubly true when the topic is something as harmful and potentially life-threatening as bullying. It’s a not hard to see the problem when the audience for this parade of intolerance and denigration is our non-celebrity children who read and watch it online.
Pinkett-Smith has clearly met and exceeded her personal limit as a human (not a mom) for the mean-spirited way in which some online infotainment media attack young celebrities with the kind of ferocity that generates lots of page views by our kids and lots of snarky thinking too.
Therein lies the lesson in the actress’ posting. Our children may never become celebrities, but they are all exposed to the constant barrage of unfiltered, cyber nastygrams posted by some in the entertainment media. Their unchecked bullying of celebrities influences kids to bully the non-famous in much the same way.
When The Onion posted an Oscar night tweet aimed at Oscar nominee Quvenzhane Wallis, 9, using what I consider to be about the vilest slur on the female anatomy, their social networking skills jumped the mama shark and that’s a pretty dangerous stunt indeed.
The actress asks the same questions we, as parents, rhetorically ask schoolyard bullies: “Do we feel as though we can say and do what we please without demonstrating any responsibility?” In Pinkett-Smith’s anti-bullying manifesto she adds, “…simply because they are famous?”