You all know from my blog entry "Acceptance" that I was raised to accept and love people for who they are. I have to stay true to myself and my opinions.
It all started last night when I was surfing through Yahoo news and a certain headline caught my eye. It said,
J.C. Penney Won't Fire Ellen. Anti-Gay Group Loses Battle.
Anti-gay groups really piss me off so of course I had to read on. To summarize, a group called One Million Moms is urging J.C. Penney to rethink their decision to use Ellen DeGeneres as their new spokesperson. Why? Because Ellen is openly gay and they think it's "Funny that J.C. Penney thinks hiring an open homosexual spokesperson will help their business when most of their customers are traditional families." and that "The majority of J.C. Penney shoppers will be offended and choose to no longer shop there."
HUH???? What is a traditional family anymore??? I know very few "traditional" families. I know a lot of families with single parents, or people that have divorced, and even those divorced and remarried. Those families all seem to work just fine even though they wouldn't be described as "traditional" families. I would not argue that those families are setting a bad example to society. If there's love, there's a family.
Since my son went to bed at 7:30pm last night and I actually had some time on my hands, I decided to further investigate this issue. After posting my support for both Ellen and Penney's on Facebook, I began my research.
I started to wonder why people would see Ellen as an offensive spokesperson. Is it merely because she is openly gay or could there be another reason? I did some internet reading on Ellen DeGeneres and I could not find anything negative about her! In an October issue of Parade magazine, Ellen was asked about her decision to leave American Idol after one season. Her response: "It was hard for me to judge people and sometimes hurt their feelings." She also stated that "The world is filled with negativity. I want people to watch me and think, 'I feel good, and I'm going to make somebody else feel good today.'" (http://omg.yahoo.com/blogs/now/ellen-degeneres-making-people-feel-good-ever-wanted-193640215.html)
Oh yea, I can totally see why someone like that would make a poor role model for Americans. PUHHLEASE! The more I read about Ellen, the more I liked her. In the comment section on the OMG yahoo article I read, a woman stated that when her husband was dying from cancer, he would watch Ellen every single day and she always made him laugh. She also said that Ellen could make him forget what he was going through, and she'd always be grateful to her for that.
As far as I can tell, Ellen has always stayed true to herself and who she is. Even though it was a risky move, she had her character on the sitcom Ellen come out of the closet in 1997. It was the first time an openly gay character starred in a television show. She has been in a relationship for about 8 years to her now wife Portia di Rossi.
Again, other than the fact that she is gay, I can't find anything controversial about her. She didn't even pose naked for Playboy or anything! In fact, she seems like an amazing role model. A good person with a good heart, who makes people laugh and is happily married. Isn't that the definition of a positive role model? Aren't those the qualities we should be judging a person on? (And FYI-, my friend 'Sue' says, "Good for JCP...Cover Girl thinks she is a great spokesperson...if she told me to buy dirty towels...I probably would...she is so trustworthy!!")
Now, onto this One Million Moms group. A friend, let's call her Ms. Squirrel, sent me their website and we spent the better part of last night discussing. Their purpose is to protect children from "vulgarity, profanity, immorality, and violence." Sounds pretty good to me! But, as my friend Ms. Squirrel pointed out,YOU don't get to decide what's immoral for me.
If you sign up in their website, there are form letters that you can send various companies and organizations to get "your" point across. Some of the things they are emailing companies and sponsors about besides the J.C.Penney/Ellen issue is: a Modern Family episode in which a toddler said the F-word (it was bleeped out in every scene and supposedly she actually said the word 'Fudge") and an advertisement that Macy's had in their catalog for their registry that showed a cake topper with two grooms.They state that "Your only commitment is to send the e-mail on behalf of our children. Do it for your children."
Whether or not you agree with the gripes of One Million Moms is NOT my issue. My problem is, who gets to decide what's right for my child? Actually, I do. I'm his mother. This group wants network execs to police the airwaves and make them safe for kids.
But sadly, they have a very strict definition of safe, one that doesn't match mine.
Of course I want to keep my son safe, but I believe it's my job as a mother to teach him what's safe and
unsafe; what's appropriate, and what isn't. I also want to teach him to make decisions for himself. That's my god given right as a mother.
Trust me, there are much worse problems in this world than whether or not J.C.Penney's uses a gay spokeswoman. Why not put all that energy into helping hungry, homeless, abused, or neglected children? And as my friend Ms. Squirrel suggests, "I think we need a Ten Million Moms group to stand up and show them that "the majority" of Americans truly embrace the diversity of the American family." Amen to that!
And props to J.C.Penney's. You've just gained a lifelong customer!