Americans have a hard time writing moms. I’ll get a script and everything’s really great, everything’s well-drawn, but the mom is like this character, like stock footage, they go and get that out. They plug it in, this idea of “mother.” You could lift moms out of any script, no matter what the culture, what the neighborhood, what the economic status, even if it’s a period mom, and you could switch them around, and they’d be the same person. I think it’s because most people don’t really have a human idea, a specific life that they attach to who their mother was. Their mother was there for them, so it either gets deified, or the opposite. That Mommie Dearest kind of thing. We love them or we don’t, or we rebel, but we can’t see who they are. That they are a person in life with taste, with sexuality, with opinions, who is pissy also, who has a right to not be the big tit for you every time you want something. And then we leave, and we go off to college or off into the world to work—you really appreciate your mom then. But there’s that big chunk when you don’t know your mom’s faults, desires, wishes, distastes.
my very favorite part: That they are a person in life with taste, with sexuality, with opinions, who is pissy also, who has a right to not be the big tit for you every time you want something.
in an old post on my other blog ChurchGal (currently on hiatus) i wrote that i thought my mom was happier when she went back to work and came to this realization while watching her during work parties (she'd take us with her because there was no babysitter and dad worked the nightshift.) i saw a different Mom at those parties. well, some commenter went batshit, offended that i could say my mother had an interior life that was about more than caregiving.
if anyone responds to this post, i don't want this to turn into a 'good mommy' v. 'bad mommy' thing; i want us to start seeing motherhood, and talking about motherhood, in all its multiplicity.
and this, from a woman who will never be a mother.
PS: Dear film people - give Woodard more play!