Rosie and Me: Moms with Mouths-Kids in the Crossfire

My stomach churned. My blood boiled. The Rosie photo making waves across the talk shows and blog posts has moms and pundits all a flutter.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

My gut reaction, upon seeing this photo of Rosie O’Donnell’s daughter dressed in fatigues, was anger and confusion. Why is this darling girl wearing bullets? What sort of sick political statement is Ro making, exploiting her daughter this way?

Then my brain kicked in, I took a deep breathe, and realized Rosie has one hell of a point. Don’t get all crazy on me now-yelling about how much you hate Ro. Use your head and listen to me for just a second.

Whatever her reason for posting this picture, whatever the situation surrounding this picture (Rosie says the kids were playing dress up), and whatever you think of her—stop and think about WHY you are reacting the way you are to this captured childhood moment.

Let me show you another example, a photo of my son a few years ago at Halloween. Does your blood boil when you look at this? Do you question what kind of mother I am?

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

I mouth off on political issues all the time. I am against this war. I use photos of my children all the time to further my causes. To make my points. To make you think.

So why lash out at Rosie?

Ask yourself-is it because it’s her daughter..not her son?

Is it the bullets?

I see kids playing with toy guns all over my neighborhood.

Or is it because the thought of war, violence, military is too much for you to handle in the context of children. We teach them to respect our soldiers, to look up to them, to say “Wow, Captain Killing Machine-I think you are cool…I want to be just like you when I grow up.” They play war in the backyard. They even use their fingers as guns when there are no toys to shoot around.

Makes you uncomfortable, doesn’t it? Those two child soldiers ready to fight, simply doing what we have told them is admirable, honorable, and acceptable.

Now go look at the photo of Rosie’s daughter one more time. Go look at the photo of my son one more time.

Tell me the difference.

Bravo Rosie. I’ll keep posting my photos and mouthing off, promise me you will do the same.

(photo from


  1. Neither photo bothers me. Personally, it takes guts to post these photos.

    I don’t know if I would be able to post a photo of Dawson to promote a political cause. It doesn’t seem right at this point, because he’s so young.

    He can’t speak for himself, so why should I just assume he believes or will believe in the same things I do? I worry that when he’s older he’d resent me for it.

    Maybe that will change in time. I don’t know.

  2. Actually, I take that back! I did post a photo of Dawson wearing a t-shirt for a political cause!

    I’m guilty!

    And he probably will grow up to hate me for it.

  3. I saw this pic on a forum the other day, and boy oh boy they were outraged.

    I wasn’t sure of the context of the pic (the story Rosie put behind it) but my first thought was that children do what they see.

    BTW, my little princess was a scary dragon last halloween, and the one before that she was a pirate. I got raked over the coals a few times because of it. *rolling eyes*

  4. We used to play a game called “Best Fall.” One person pretended to be a machine gunner and would “shoot” the rest of us as we ran by, one by one. Whoever died most creatively won.

    If we would have had fake bullets, we would have thought that was cool.

  5. Not too many people like Ro, but I just love her to death.
    I remember playing ‘cowboys and indians’ when I was a kid. Would that now be considered politically incorrect? *sigh*

    I often wonder how somebody like her deals with the backlash constantly. Over nothing. Over regular normal stuff. Her backbone must be made of steel.

  6. Hear ye, hear ye! I didn’t get the outrage and found it pathetic that people are going ballistic over one damn photo from a child who is obviously well cared for and living a priviledged life but then make no ruckus over the actual child soldiers who are living a hell beyond any of our imaginations!

    Wanna see how sick those fuckers out there are? I did a thing for the Kos once and the comments were sickening… the link, if there is any interest at all, is here… Imagine the backlash if I had actually written something other than what I thought in the title!

    It is a sick world with very twisted priorities I’m afraid!

  7. exactly! thank you! she could have been playing soldier and she took the photo and saw it a different way. I used to play GI Joe and set up boobie traps along the yard, was my mom sick for sharing the photos of it? And even if it was for political purposes, who cares? I doubt the girl is going to join the military and be a terrorist now. she’s so cute by the way.

  8. I think the sad part of this photo is that everyone is up in arms about it because it’s Rosie’s daughter, but I’m sure that many enlisted men and women overseas see children looking just like the child in the photo, but they are not playing dress up. Very scary stuff. Rosie’s point is made, there is no doubt. I hear her loud and clear.

    The only photo I was ever enraged about was Prince Harry dressed as a Nazi for a Halloween party. And I just felt that the boy must have flunked world history class to have dressed up like that for Halloween. Not a good plan, Harry, ya know?

    What angers me the most is that people are upset about a photo, and not about the war. People, save your energy for what really matters, not some photo.

    Know what I mean?


  9. NeverBeenBarbie says:

    I could totally be off base here, but I assumed the outrage was from people who thought Rosie was cynically using her own child to make a blatant political statement. Kind of a left-wing version of rabid right-wingers using pictures of their own adorable children to protest abortion.

    Personally, I have mixed feelings about her photo. I do think it smacks of a manipulative ploy, using her child in that way. (And I’m a leftie tree-hugger Canadian.) Sure, protest the war all you want. But do you have to make your child part of it?

    But she does have people talking, so do the ends justifty the means? I dunno… guess it’s up to the individual to decide.

    One question, though, based on some of the comments above: Are people actually taking the photo seriously and thinking that Rosie is a bad mom because she was letting her child play with live bullets?

    Yikes. They must be the ones who believe angels walk the earth and think that Elvis is alive.

  10. I don’t know that anyone is really that upset about the pic itself. It’s more their issue(s) with Rosie.

    Alex was outside most of the day yesterday in an old Halloween costume of an Army Tank. Liberty was an airplane that was quickly recast as as an army plane. They played war. Does that make me a bad parent? I don’t think so. Maybe you do. Is it any better because I didn’t take a pic of it?

    Overall, it’s just not a lot different than the ‘cowboys and Indians’ of growing up. Many parents will tell you that no matter how much you monitor kids or forbid guns into your home, eventually they will create something to replicate what they want.

    People just need to mind their own business. Giving something this much attention (positive or negative) is exactly what prompts celebrities and gives them their power.

  11. Just wanted to de-lurk to say…really good post!

  12. I must confess this is the first place I ever saw this photo. I have no idea of the context in which it was released (what point was Rosie trying to make?) but the picture itself disturbs me simply because it makes me think of the “child soldiers” pressed into service in Africa and that are turned into killing machines. If Rosie was trying to put a white, American face on that issue, I saw bravo for her. Until the average person can see their own child being exploited that way, they won’t do anything about it.

    Perhaps people are reacting because of a dislike for Rosie after her remark that American soldiers are terrorists.

  13. I do not always agree with Rosie’s messages/opinions, but I always admire her for voicing them. It takes courage to be her when she must know no matter what she does, she will be criticised.

  14. Neither of the photos bother me either. Boys (and some girls too) have always played “Cops and Robbers” and nobody has ever been concerned about it before.

    I don’t always agree with what Rosie has to say, but I admire her for taking a stand.

  15. First off, Rosie says her kids were playing soldier and she took the photo. Sorry, I don’t buy that.

    My problems with the photo are two-fold. First, the bullets. No way in heck would I let my kids play with something that looks so real (let alone bullets).

    Second, she’s using her child to make a statement. I really think if Rosie wants to make a statement, she should do it herself. I think the most political shirt my son wore had to do with breastfeeding LOL.

    I’m against the war. But my kids have camo-print clothes, and their toy figures have guns. We don’t have toy guns for them to play with, but they do have swords (big pirate fan here) and lightsabres. No one is going to mistake those for real.

    I think your son is cute, BTW.

  16. I triple-love Rosie, but the picture of Viv did bug me.

    I hate this war, love the warriors. Blame GW Bush for it all, not them.

  17. The only problem I have with the photo is that her daughter looks so sickly in it. I want to check her over for fever, plump her with chicken soup and confine her to the couch until her color rosies

  18. What I thought, which I was surprised people didn’t talk about, is that there are child ‘soldiers’ in hundreds of countries,children who are kidnapped and forced to fight, the world isn’t in an uproar about that?!
    Great post!

  19. I agree with NeverBeenBarbie. My problem with this photo is on several levels – the first of which is that people are even bothering to talk about it. The only reason Rosie every does ANYTHING is for attention, and this is no exception. She knew exactly the kind of outrage it would inspire and did it intentionally. I don’t buy for a minute that her children were just playing and she happened to snap a picture. My boys have camo toys and gear all over the place, respect our soldiers, and know the real use for a firearm. I couldn’t care less that she posted that picture, or that it was of a girl instead of a boy, whatever. It was the motive behind it. I would never use pictures of my children to push a political agenda.

Speak Your Mind