Sanctimommies—holier-than-thou parents who shame anyone who doesn’t adhere to their self-abnegating view of motherhood—are tiresome. But their nemeses, the self-proclaimed “bad mommies,” can be equally exhausting. Most of the “bad mommies” are just trying to look cool and aren’t actually bad mothers. They’re just pushing back against the martyr dogma that says our children must be the center of the universe at all times. But sometimes identifying as a “bad mommy” can lead you to some questionable parenting, and this post from xoJane editor Jane Pratt is from outer space.
The headline pretty much says it all, in all-caps: JANE PRATT, WORST MOM IN THE WORLD: SHOULD I BRING MY 10-YEAR-OLD TO A SEX SHOP? The easy answer is obviously, no. Not that 10-year-olds should be taught that sex is shameful or dirty, but before they even hit puberty, they do not need to know about what Dan Savage calls “Olympic level” sexual antics, the accoutrements of which are on display at the sex shop Babeland, where ex-Sassy and Jane magazine editor Pratt was considering taking her child. Pratt’s explanation for considering it is that her daughter has already seen sex toys before and that Pratt will have to leave early from the party at Babeland to get her daughter if she doesn’t bring her to the sex shop.
For once, the Internet commentariat tells Pratt she’s out of her cotton-picking mind. One especially funny commenter named Eve Vawter, who is also the associate editor at the parenting website Mommyish, sarcastically writes:
Yes, I know, many parents feel there are more appropriate places for a young child, a museum, the zoo, Build-A-Bear Workshop - but all of you parents just don’t realize how terribly important it is to be open and honest with your young child about butt plugs and spreaders bars!
Pratt didn’t end up taking her kid to Babeland. But as she boasts on Twitter, “I did NOT bring Charlotte to @Babeland_NYC toys with me, btw. Not because I was being a Good Mom but because she didn’t want to go.” A “Good Mom” doesn’t just have to be a societal construct that oppresses us. A good mom can actually, you know, be a good mom. At least her kid was mature enough to know going to the sex shop with her mother would probably not be fun.