Wednesday, February 04, 2009

And Speaking of Single Mothers...

I realize that my last few posts have all in some way highlighted the single mother experience. So I'm going to keep going with that theme and talk about a newly single mother who is also in the media a lot, my girl, Madonna.

For all accounts and purposes, Madonna is a White woman, and yet she is parenting a Latina, British and African child. We give Angelina all the rainbow coalition credit, but when you think about it, Madonna is doing her part too to expand the definition of the multicultural/international/transracial family.

So, my Meltingpot readers, here's our first Meltingpot opinion poll. Who do you think is going to do a better job at instilling in their children a sense of ethnic pride and identity, Angelina Jolie or Madonna? Why do you think that way?

Everyone who answers will be entered in the second Meltingpot Giveaway. I'm gifting a copy of asha bandele's new book (in hardcover) about being a single mother, Something Like Beautiful. Get your answers in by Friday at 6pm. The lucky winner will be announced on Monday, February 9.



Ms. Wooden Shoes said...

This is a tough call. On the one hand, Madonna's entire career has been all about mixing and melding with other cultures, most likely a by-product of her time as a struggling artist in New York City. We also know that she is building an orphanage in Malawi, her adopted son David's home country.

On the other hand, Angelina Jolie has truly embraced her role as UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador, educating herself on the plight of the world's refugees, visiting different refugee camps in war torn places and giving generously of her time, her resources and life. But since I must choose one, I will choose Angelina Jolie. Despite Madonna's wonderful act of building an orphanage in Malawi, the Jolie-Pitts seem more connected to the various countries they adopted from. In fact, Brad Pitt recently said that they are going to one of the children's home country this summer to begin to introduce him or her (he didn't say which child or country) to that culture. So my vote is for Angelina.

susan said...

I am uneasy choosing because in choosing I'm making a judgment about people I really don't know. Public parenting sucks. Ask a poor single mother on welfare. She's always being judged, monitored, documented.

For the sake of the post I'm going to say Angelina because she has a partner. And while there are plenty of single parents who get it right, the reality is a having a partner is an advantage if you have a partner, who like a single parent,is equally capable.

Shaping lives is one of the most frustrating, confusing, ever changing responsibility a parent takes on.

I think we need to spend more time trying to get it right with our own kids and leave other folks to work it out with theirs.

Anonymous said...

I hope that saying "I don't know" does not disqualify me from the book giveaway (smile); however, I don't know. I am single, and I am (currently) childless, but, the subject of motherhood is close to my heart. I am certain that it takes love--deliberate, conscious and creative love to raise healthy and (relatively) happy children. I am hopeful that neither of these women sees motherhood as a competetion; I hope they both are capable of being loving and available parents and that they use their resources not as a substitute for their love, but as an extention of their love and commitment to the well-being of their children.

-Emerson Zora Hamsa

susan said...

Well said, Emerson.

Nikeshia said...

Hey, I am still here reading your blog even though I haven't commented lately since your visit to Williamsburg.

If I had to choose I would say Mrs.
Jolie. She seems to take her Goowill Ambassador role VERY seriously which is soooo refreshing. I think Madonna will do an awesome job too though. I do kind of wonder what makes people adopt across seas when there are children here that need so much love and attention, but a good thing is a good thing I suppose.

And am I the only one who didn't realize Madonna is 50?

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

I think David and Zahara are going to end up great friends. Their upbringings are so unique and I know the moms have talked.

That said both of them (unlike Tom Cruise, remember his response to Oprah about Connor?) are aware that their children need to learn about their culture.

Ms. Wooden Shoes said...

Yes Nikeshia, I'm thinking you are the only one who didn't realize that Madonna was 50. There was a lot of press about that milestone last year.

MackDiva said...

I think Angelina will be more dedicated to giving her children the multicultural experience.

Spring said...

I hope that both of them will do a great job...they don't really have any excuses, do they?

Angelina and Brad will likely keep their children more grounded, with their service work and apparent understanding of privilege...but that wasn't the question.

Is both an answer that will qualify me for the giveaway?

jstele said...

I will say Angelina because she's said in an interview that her son Maddox is exposed to people from his culture. But I don't really hold that much faith for each of the women. Not to say that they will be racist to the children of color. Madonna, in the past, has made some negative remarks about black men in an ABC interview. This was years before she was married to her now ex-husband.

With Angelina, I don't think she is really aware of white privilege or racial issues. In one interview, she kept bringing up to an Asian interviewer how her sons were Asian as a source of pride. Yes, we get it, you love your sons and are proud of them. But it was really clueless of her to say it twice or emphasize that fact.

I think both women mean well, but I don't think they are fully equipped AT THIS TIME to provide their children with a racially sensitive and understanding upbringing.