My Hollywood Family- The Shocking Truth

I had a very stark reminder tonight about how different we all are.

As my husband and I celebrated the addition of another Academy Award to his resume, I remarked online how nice it was to hear so many of the acceptance speeches include thanks to wives and kids.

I’m a wife. I have kids. I notice these things.

Of course the internet being what it is, it didn’t take long before a very snarky comment was thrown my way by a conservative– “Yeah, they are such role models for family values.”

And I suddenly remembered what I had clearly blacked out since November 4th:

Many people in this country don’t believe my family has values. They can’t comprehend my family is “good” or “virtuous.” It’s incomprehensible to them that we are decent Americans.

We live in that scary place called California. My husband works for that really pornographic and satan-filled industry called “Hollywood” and OMG I have one hell of a mouth. Clearly we can’t be normal, good, decent human beings.

Nearly half of America still believes this way. They are shocked we raise children and teach them of love and kindness. They don’t know how to behave when I tell them I cooked dinner last night, and the kids cleared the dishes. That we attended a charity function. That we help our neighbors that we contribute to our community. That yes…we are actually GOOD people.

I suppose it serves me right to a degree to be stereotyped. It’s much easier for me to think of the right wing as some religious extremists idiots who believe in fairy tales instead of science. But alas, it’s not that simple is it? As much as I LOVE sweeping generalizations about the morons of the GOP and their equality hating ways, we all know they all don’t fit into that picture I try, myself, to paint.

Even in my anger, I have conceded time and time again that…ok, fine…not all Republicans are stupid. And not all religions teach hate. And don’t think it doesn’t pain me to have to concede this fact, time and time again.

So I think it’s time to shed some light on the other side of the coin. That now rather angry and defeated segment of America still stinging from their loss in November. Still trying so very hard to hate their President. Still hell bent on believing we’re all evil, indecent, NONfamily loving liberals out to destroy their churches and their way of life.

They quip that it’s laughable those accepting awards on a stage in California could possibly love or value their families enough to thank them. To mention them. To even remotely care about their loved ones.

Well tonight that quip went directly to a family involved with those on stage. Who know FULL WELL their kindness, their love for their families, and their humanity. Who sat with family to watch as our livelihood -you know that pesky economy thing you keep talking about- had an industry celebration.

Yes as the Right mocked the “self important Left” for fawning over “actors” …the Left is here, calling out many of the smug and self-righteous Right. Who seem to think their virtues are better, and more pure. Who seem to think they are more decent, and they are living the life of Saints as we wallow in sin.

I almost feel sad that you miss the humanness of a family- any family, not just those you think are good. That you assume we’re out cheating on our taxes, robbing banks, teaching our kids to fight and hurt others. You condemn GOOD families because they are different than yours. Because in your mind, they can’t possibly be anything but wrong, or evil. They can’t be anything but unnatural because they don’t work the same way YOUR family does.

Yes, I do feel sad. I feel sad because when I meet you- sure I have my own assumptions- but they never include that you don’t care for your loved ones as I do mine. I might question your motives and I might question your sanity, but I can’t possibly question your family. Sure, I find it odd. Sure I find it unnatural. Sure I’d never do it the way you do…but I’d never assume you weren’t capable of thinking of your family during a celebration.

That how foreign this concept of “liberals are good people” actually is to many in on the Right. They can’t even comprehend that we have families or values.

Newsflash: Conservatives don’t own the rights to good, decent, loving families.

Newsflash: Liberals love their wives and spouses and partners and children too.

Newsflash: Kindness and generosity are NOT conservative values, they are HUMAN values. Just like you don’t want the GLBT community owning the rights to the Rainbow…YOU don’t get to own the rights to FAMILY.

So how about we move forward from here. I’ll do my best to not assume you’re all uneducated, backwood, anti-science, anti-common sense, tank-loving, sexist, homophobes…and you do your best to not assume we’re all coke-sniffing, baby-killing, irresponsible whores….

Sound good?


  1. Jim-

    Clearly, the folks who are on “the other side” are offended by the broad generalization and thus are not answering the question. I think if Erin wasn’t so fucking broad ranging in her attack, it would be fairly elementary, and common sense, to discount what those “radical types” are saying and doing.

    The fact that she didn’t makes it hard to simply answer that one question, because it wasn’t simply “one question” that was “posed”.

    That’s the bed that was made. Now she/you has to sleep in it.

  2. As an aside, any college debate class will teach you that honest and effective debate stems from the mutual respect of all parties. That that wasn’t present ever in this “debate” makes it a stupid conversation and not worth of hashing out as no one will ever “win”. It’s only an opportunity to attack those you (generalized) don’t agree with.

  3. Jim, I would agree that’s a ridiculous statement but unfortunately so were many of the statements made in this post.

  4. Well, Aaron, it’s good that we have you around to educate us. Let’s see, you’ve corrected other people’s comments, grammar, tone and the framework of the entire post. For such a “stupid conversation” you sure have a lot to say about it.

  5. Sure do, kristy. Welcome to the chaos.

  6. I find it offensive and ridiculous that you don’t see all the people out there demonizing my family. When it happened to my face last night. But again, I was told not to take that personally…because I’m “over sensitive” …right?

    This doesn’t just happen randomly, you know. Certain parts of the family I married into believe that I’m less virtuous than they are as well. This is not some isolated incident. Call it a sweeping generalization, after very plainly worded my post so as NOT to include everyone on the Right, if it makes you feel better…the fact remains there is a very large and very loud segment of the population who thinks my family isn’t good.

    And they can #suckit

    And I wasn’t avoiding commenting because I was too busy being offended …

    I wasn’t commenting because I was actually tending to my family. That one I’m defending as true and good.

    And yes, Jim…I do think you care less about your fellow WOman. Because if you did care about women you wouldn’t spend your time attempting to control their reproduction. So your actions tell me very clearly you don’t give a shit about me or my fellow women. Only about how to control them.

  7. But Erin… there are people on the right that you find offensive. Roles are reversed. You know. You can be offended at them and they are offended by you and in turn you are offended by them because they are offended by you.

    And on the big wheel keeps turning.

  8. What fascinates me is this idea of demonization. Conservatives seem to have it all worked out when it comes to the rest of us.

    If you believe in equal rights for women, you’re morally bankrupt; if you believe in equal rights for gay people, you’re morally bankrupt; if you’re poor or homeless, you deserve to be ’cause you must have brought it on yourself; and God knows, if you’re a person of color, you aren’t even on the human radar spectrum as far as some people are concerned. Check out the cartoon in last week’s New York Post.

    And of course we don’t love our families either. Or defend out country in Iraq and Afghanistan. Or believe in raising our children to be valuable, upstanding citizens.

    No, of course we don’t. Because we believe in equal rights for women and gay people, and freedom of speech, and the concept that there’s more to the world than just any religion’s take on existence.

    All Erin asked for was the following:

    “So how about we move forward from here. I’ll do my best to not assume you’re all uneducated, backwood, anti-science, anti-common sense, tank-loving, sexist, homophobes…and you do your best to not assume we’re all coke-sniffing, baby-killing, irresponsible whores….”

    I think that’s a reasonable request. And it took a liberal to make it.

  9. Amen Megan.

    I will do my best to assume they are not all that way…but (as Aaron is egging me to point out) if they are that way- I’m calling them out.

  10. er.. i don’t recall mentioning anything about reproduction? guessing that one was supposed to be directed at someone else.

    @aaron i can sleep wherever i want. but i get your point about no one wanting to answer the question that still remains unanswered.

  11. Yes, it was soooo touching when Sean Penn thanked his wife. Oh wait, he didn’t. Even though she was sitting right there.

  12. Jane,

    Are you serious? Did you even read this post? Did you even watch the dozens of other winners that DID? Have you ever accepted anything on stage and forgotten to thank anyone?

    I think Jane just proved my point about that demo.

  13. And as a woman, I find it highly offensive when other women insist that only a pro-choice person is pro-woman.

    Do you honestly not understand the pro-life position at all?

  14. Yes, of course, an Oscar-winning actor, someone who gets PAID to remember things like . . . lines, just forgot to thank his WIFE. My bad.

  15. AngieNextDoor says:

    I’m sorry, but I have to say something about the pro choice/ pro life side conversation going on…
    It is a fantasy to think that all conceptions must be brought to term by all women in every case no matter what. Yes killing an unborn child is awful, but you have to concede that it is the liberals who are the people more likely to prevent women from having to kill their unborn children in the first place (by advocating sex education) ? The Right Wing solution (abstinence) is also a fantasy because you can’t stop humans from having sex. Sorry.

  16. It is true, I do believe pro choice is pro woman. The opposite is enslavement. Oppression. You are not oppressed by choice. You are not forced to abort a child. Choice is freedom, anti-choice is control of your body.

    You are confusing being pro choice with being ANTI life.

    I suppose if you believe Sean Penn NOT thanking his wife is some proof that all liberals hate family…you really are as closed-minded as you are coming off in this thread.

    *edit* and if Sean Penn NOT thanking his wife, while the many many many many others onstage DID is again your proof…you baffle me

  17. I vote for everything Coulter says is what we should take as truth from the Right. I mean…she’s just like Sean Penn, right? /snort /eyeroll

  18. Just to clarify what I think is a really minor point, Sean Penn was asked about not thanking his wife and he said he wanted to primarily focus on the professionals related to the film. During the post Oscar interviews he spoke glowingly of his wife and also when he appeared on Oprah.

    Just to clarify what I think is a really minor point.

  19. Nah, I’m sorry — I don’t really take Sean Penn’s speech as indicative of anything. I’m not even sure why I brought it up (I didn’t even notice this omission, until I read about it on another blog where they also mentioned that he and RWP had been on the brink of divorce recently. It’s my default position to assume thinks like that are the man’s fault, esp. since my daughters have been watching Princess Bride a lot lately, but of course that has nothing to do with your conversation here).

    As a conservative, the thing that bothers me most about the Republicans is this attempt to own the family values — especially when we’ve got awful, hypocritical human beings like Spitzer, Gingrich, etc.

    As a woman who is pro-life more than pro-choice, although I understand how the competing rights to choice and life can be very, very complicated, I find a blanket statement that to be pro-life (anti-abortion, let’s say) is “enslavement” or “oppression,” is small-minded, narrow-minded, hysterical and prejudiced.

    If you can’t concede that the pro-life movement, in its desire to protect life, even though we realize that sometimes protecting life injures or supercedes the right to choice, has some merit, some appeal to people who value life in all forms, then I think you’re incapable of dialogue, and therefore as stifled in your thinking as those poor, moribund conservatives you revile.

  20. Yo all are making my point for me. If this was simply about the Hollywood hatred then that’s the only thing we’d be talking about. But somehow, we ended up on reproductive rights. While I appreciate that that is a strong issue as well, the idea that Erin is only attacking a small number of people is laughable.

    Give this thread time and it will become about gun rights, civil rights, gay rights and will ultimately culminate in Godwin’s Law.


  21. Well good, now that Aaron is gone….

  22. Erin, you know that I’m a conservative Republican. I’m also very supportive of Barack Obama. I may not agree with every thing the man says or does, but I’m no Rush, I don’t want him to fail.

    However, in the last few months when I come over to read your blog, I read negative comments about conservatives and Republicans, and you have every right to make your points and state your opinions — it’s just that too often, I feel like I’m being slapped in the face for being who I am and thinking differently.

    Never have I felt that your family is “bad” or not virtuous simply because you are a liberal or Democrat. I admire you greatly. I think you’re an amazing wife and mother, a wonderful blogger, and an inspiring political activist.

    My only wish is that you didn’t paint such an awful picture of the Right. Not all of us are as horrible as you say. I don’t believe that I fit into that painting, do you?

    I’m sorry that one lunatic took a shit on you, there is no excuse for that behavior.

  23. Dana I very honestly fine there are very few of you like YOU. Or…I attract the whackos.

    I think blogging the way I do, I get the nut jobs more than most. But, I’m very sad to say that I also get this from my inlaws. So I take from that …that it’s NOT just the whackos and nut jobs, it’s also the people in your own family.

    I blog loud, and I blog angry, and I blog so people stand up and realize. I wish more conservatives like you would speak out to those extremists that give you all a bad name. I know I’m no fan of PETA or the idiots that burn down new construction in the name of environmentalism… but it seems this “moral majority” and preachers of “family values” are not only ignored…but held up as examples.

    It’s disheartening at best.

  24. I’m guessing your rant at Jim was intended to be directed at me. And your stance about being pro-life is simply astounding. It’s simple, if you want to maintain choice, then don’t get pregnant. If you do, you still have choices… keep the child or put it up for adoption. How exactly is that enslavement?

    Aside from that issue, you really REALLY need to learn how to argue a point. This post was all about how pissed off you are that people judge you without knowing you, assume you’re a bad person, or your family isn’t moral or whatever.

    You then state that because I’m against abortion that I don’t care about my fellow man (or woman more specifically). You seem to find that belief acceptable.

    I’m sorry dear “Queen” but if that’s ok, then so is someone assuming that you’re immoral, or an unfit mother because you support abortion, or because of the industry your family participates in, or hell because of where you live. Please note, I do not condone or agree with those assumptions but you apparently do.

    You see, once you start accepting wide sweeping judgements about people that YOU don’t agree with, you lose any ground to argue against those same kind of wide ranging, broad strokes stereotypes being applied to you in a negative way.

  25. Ok, for review

    I actually have a paragraph or two up there lamenting how I have the habit of making sweeping generalizations about the right…and how I tend to circle back and eliminate the NON asshats of the bunch.

    So I’ll wait a sec while everyone read that.

    And yes, that was directed at you, not Jim. And no, I do not believe all women have a choice in having sex. I also don’t believe society gives all women a choice in having sex even when it’s NOT rape.

    So yes, I do think YOU have issues with your fellow humans if you can’t see that. It’s very clear to me, as a woman.

  26. Ok, well then as long as the people who are insulting your family “tend to circle back and eliminate the NON asshats of the bunch” then you’re on the same level.

    That, actually is my point. In your idiotic ranting and raving, you in fact show that you’re just as intolerant as the people you’re bashing with this post. And, ironically enough, you stated:

    Yes, I do feel sad. I feel sad because when I meet you- sure I have my own assumptions- but they never include that you don’t care for your loved ones as I do mine.

    Unfortunately, your comments to me in this thread actually suggest just the opposite being as how I have a wife, a mother, and sister who are all women who I, according to you “have issues with” and “care less about.”


  1. […] have amazing tools to tell our own stories in our own words, in real time. Stories of life, death, politics, joy, success, struggles, failure, family, art, life, love, and […]

  2. […] punditry you’ll find stories of my struggle with balancing motherhood and career. Posts about my family’s moral compass, teaching sex to my kids, and even just my thoughts as my children […]

Speak Your Mind