This post is not about Natasha Richarsdon’s death, (though I will take a moment and say that we’re all thinking of her children and husband and family. Her death is very sad, and a reminder to appreciate loved ones every single day). Rather, this is about the coverage of her death. Well, one story in particular, from ParentDish.
Through our Twitter feed, I read the headline “Natasha Richardson’s Death Leaves Moms Mourning.” It left me scratching my head. Sure, moms are mourning, but isn’t everyone else mourning too? Does a person’s mom-ness make the mourning somehow more important? I don’t think so. I’m not yet a mom, and I feel I can appreciate the tragedy of children losing their mother (I have a mom I would be devastated to lose), or of a husband losing a wife (ditto on my husband). And yet, you wouldn’t see a headline that reads “Natasha Richardson’s Death Leaves Wives Mourning,” or, for that matter, “Heath Ledger’s Death Leaves Dads Mourning.”
I understand why it makes sense for anyone to want to relate world events to their own lives, and why a parenting blog might mention her children and family in discussing her death. But, it seems to me that the headline, and certain parts of the story just put “momness” on things that don’t require “momness.” It just seems unnecessary, and, dare I say it, a little silly. And really, it’s not a topic that lends itself to silliness—I think it does a disservice to the larger story.
Some of my colleagues see what I’m saying. Some disagree with me. And ultimately, I’m not that worked up about it. And, I don’t mean to single out the writer of that story, nor is this meant to be some kind of attack. I’m genuinely curious: what was that all about? I’d love to hear from ParentDish, or anyone else on this—what do you think?
—Megan, CF‘s Managing Editor, and editor of canadianfamily.ca.