Justice

Non-Mothers Have a Brilliant Response to Facebook's "Offensive" Motherhood Challenge

February 5th 2016

By:
Taylor Bell

A Facebook hashtag encouraging women to share the joys of motherhood is instead inspired a fierce, and often hilarious, social media backlash.

Many women say they find Facebook's 'motherhood challenge' offensive.

The 'motherhood challenge' encourages women to post pictures of themselves online to demonstrate how happy they are to be mothers, and to tag other women who they think are "great mothers," according to the Guardian. It's the similar principle that drove the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, in which people perform an action and then invite others to participate.

However, in contrast to the massive support enjoyed by the Ice Bucket Challenge, many non-mothers are rallying against the hashtag, claiming it excludes both women who don't want to have children and those who struggle with infertility and miscarriages.

Among the critics is English comedian Ellie Taylor, who posted a series of photos of herself on Facebook cuddling a bottle of wine, the Independent reports. She captioned the pictures: "Non-Motherhood Challenge: I was nominated by myself to post five pictures that make me happy to be a non-mother. Such special memories."

Non-Motherhood Challenge: I was nominated by myself to post five pictures that make me happy to be a non-mother. Such special memories.

Posted by Ellie Taylor on Monday, February 1, 2016

Another woman boasted of her child-less life on Reddit by posting a picture of herself and her husband with an unstained white couch.

The image was accompanied by the following caption:

"Here's my five non-mom challenge. I actually like my husband after over six years of marriage, and we like to go on child-limited (aka... NICE) cruises around the world (get fancy for each other) and scuba dive. We flipped a house, sold it, and bought a Steinway piano with the profit (my dream... 23 years of playing). Up until last month, I was a military flying weapons officer. Carpe diem! and... WHITE COUCH!"

Clearly, many women are enjoying their child-free lives.

I was nominated for the #motherhoodchallenge. Here are my favourite photos of what it means to be a mother.

Posted by Vikki Stone onMonday, February 1, 2016

One mom even used the 'motherhood challenge' as an opportunity to support programs for people who cannot have children.

The response to the hashtag is apparently fueled by many people's irritation with how motherhood is romanticized and revered. The Guardian's Flic Everett explained:

"It’s not the casual posting of photos aimed at friends that I mind. It’s the revived fetishisation of motherhood, the idea that it’s a 'challenge' that only 'mummies' can understand, an exclusive, excluding club of laughing, shiny, breast-feeding super-beings who know exactly how to raise “great kids” and will only invite others of their kind to join the party. In truth, the idea of tagging people you think are “great mothers” is as offensive as tagging people you think are great in bed."

Of course, there are others who hate the 'motherhood challenge' simply because it's flooding their feeds with unwanted pictures of moms and their children.