Emma Thompson Offends Working Mothers When Talking About Her Year Off
Another day, another celebrity who thinks she knows how to be the perfect mother. While Angelina Jolie's comments about privileged mothers were fortifying, on Tuesday, Emma Thompson expressed some unsavory opinions about working moms: "You can't be a great mom and keep working all the time," she told the Daily Mail.
This calls for a slow motion "Ohhhhhhh nooooooo."
As much as I love Emma Thompson, whose incredible acting is topped only by her raucous, drink-swinging behavior at awards shows, I'm deeply disappointed in her narrow-minded and dismissive comments about parenting. In the Daily Mail interview, she discussed "taking a year off" recently to spend more time with her family:
A year off was my birthday present to myself. I didn’t actually act or write. I was just a mum. I taught drama at my daughter’s school, cooked meals and had fun. I highly recommend others to do the same if they can afford it.
She said it herself: if they can afford it, but then goes on to say "motherhood is a full-time job." It seems impossible that our Emma would be so unaware that most mothers don't and won't ever have the luxury of putting their working life on pause to spend more time with their children, but of course, that doesn't make them unworthy parents.
Thompson's view of motherhood is idyllic and therefore, partly delusional. It's a curt, privileged dismissal of mothers who cannot afford to abandon working in order to spend time with their children. It's a misunderstanding not only of the wealth disparity that stands between Thompson herself and most working moms, but simpler than that, it's an elitist and classist "I'm better than you" with her nose upturned. Which, from an actress who is so talented and respected, is more than disappointing. It's surprising that she appears to be so unsympathetic.
Twitter reacted, of course, but we doubt Thompson will respond to any of the tweets, since she also thinks that social media is going to destroy us all.
Hopefully, Thompson takes a moment to clarify her comments on motherhood because she can't really think this way, right? Right?