Morticia Addams is a Goddamn Paragon of Feminist Motherhood
I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while, ever since we first watched The Addams Family as a drinkalong last October. I realized then, that Morticia Addams was the epitome of what feminism means to me. But as I sat here trying to write the post (after watching the movie again with two of my besties), I realized that it’s not just that she’s this badass feminist…or it is, but that’s not why she means so much to me.
It’s Mothers Day, y’all. If you’re like me, this Hallmark holiday is one of your most dreaded days of the year. To say that my relationship with my mother is rocky would be the understatement of the century. In my house, gas-lighting was a daily occurrence, and it was legitimately years before I allowed myself to realize what a shitty situation I was raised in. I mean, I knew the abuse wasn’t something that was supposed to happen, but I held onto it for years, truly believing that it was my fault. I still struggle with that.
Because of how I was raised, I was terrified of motherhood. The last thing I wanted to do was raise kids who were terrified of coming home every day, or who were made to feel deep down in their bones that they were worthless and would always be worthless. As I re-watched The Addams Family last week with Herc and Mosie, enjoying picking out Morticia’s hardcore feminist leanings with people I love, I realized that the very best part of her as a character is how she’s the type of mother and wife I long to be. I’m working on it.
Let’s talk about why she’s so amazing, shall we?
She talks to her children without yelling.
This probably shouldn’t be a big deal, but it absolutely is. Morticia’s style of parenting may seem laissez-faire on the surface, but the way she speaks to her children as just small humans in need of guidance instead of treating them as burdens to be suffered is outstanding. I’ve always tried to treat my kids as people, and I think this might be something I picked up from Morticia because it certainly was not the way I was treated at home. They talk to her, and she listens. She is not dismissive, and that is everything to a child.
She’s not afraid to make her needs known.
This one is actually really important and I something I still have a hard time with. In the scene pictured above for the first point, she’s teaching her daughter that a reasonable request can be couched as a demand.
Wednesday: May I have the salt?
Morticia: What do we say?
As women and mothers, we frequently put the needs of others ahead of our own, and we are trained to do this from birth. Asking for something in less than polite tones is typically frowned upon, and we will live with moderate unhappiness because we don’t want to be seen as shrill or demanding. Morticia cares not for your social mores and will tell you exactly what she needs.
She promotes the fuck out of body positivity and healthy self-esteem.
Morticia doesn’t care if you’re fat, skinny, hunchbacked, conjoined or a giant ball of hair. She thinks you’re fucking beautiful and wants you to know that. I’ve suffered from body issues my whole life (when I was down to 110 pounds [at 5’11”] after an illness when I was 16, I was still told that I wasn’t thin because my hips were too wide – yes, really) so one of the things I try harder to do than almost anything is to make sure that my children know that I think they are smart, gorgeous, hilarious and just all around amazing. If they are down on themselves about something, I try to work through it with them before they have a chance to crush themselves. Just like Morticia taught me.
She hasn’t allowed marriage or motherhood to impact her sexuality or femininity.
I’m totally guilty of this, and I know it’s because I have so many other things going on that sometimes it’s just too much effort to even want to feel pretty. But Morticia has no qualms about taking some HER time in order to make sure she’s looking entirely on point. This also ties in with how entirely comfortable she and Gomez are with their PDA. They give no fucks who is around – strangers, kids, family, neighbours – Gomez and Morticia are never NOT into each other, which brings me to…
She gets out of her relationship what she puts into it.
Even though Gomez is sometimes full of ridiculous ideas, she feels no need to tear him down. She builds him up with love and praise and receives the same in return. Also, theirs is a realistic example of a healthy BDSM relationship…and let’s be honest, that’s not something we see a whole lot of.
<Hercsley> two things i am 100% sure of:
<Hercsley> 1) Morticia & Gomez have a defined safe-word
<Hercsley> 2) they NEVER need to use it
This Mothers Day, I’m raising my glass to Morticia Addams, the woman who taught me everything I need to know to be the best mom and wife I can be.