“Surely this [award] belongs to all the mothers of the world. May they be seen, may their work be valued and raised. Especially to the mothers who stand with an open heart and wait. Wait for their children to come home from danger, from harm’s way, and from war. I am proud to be one of those women.“ --Sally Field, accepting her Emmy on September 16, 2007
So what did you think of Sally Field's acceptance speech (for lead actress in Brothers & Sisters) at the Emmys on Sunday night?
It's been a hot topic around the MAU offices with emails and links pinging from screen to screen, passionate dialogue ensuing.
Ultimately, though she screeched (wild Grizzly mama, anyone?), though she stammered and got flustered (don't we all at some point do that, particularly when we are passionate?), though she cursed (placing the God before the damn, something -- which, whether you'd choose to speak that way publicly yourself or no-- not even deemed censorship worthy by the FCC (in a 2004 ruling)), Sally spoke up for and about and *as* a mother. Both as a fictional mother of a son departed for war, and as a real life mama.
Could she have been a better spokesperson with more modulated tones and less alienation from the cursing? Sure. I thought so at first. And I was so bummed that her entirely eloquent words about mothering got lost in the brouhaha.
But in talking and talking about it, and in weighing and measuring what the Fox network found so reprehensible (censoring, for what it would appear, the personal-is-political content of Fields' speech by cutting the camera away and going to silence), I've come to see that in so calling attention to Fields' gaffe in the the field of societal mores, Fox helped assure Fields' position as not a lightning rod, but a beacon of light itself, to be heard and seen again and again expressing completely appropriate outrage that the children which have been passionately loved and mothered so well, the children for whom we wait to return from war, even go in the first place!!
Were it up to us as a whole, we mothers would declare ourselves and our children-- be they twenty months or twenty years of age-- free from the violence and the outrage of war. We would find another way.
Sally, we thank you for speaking from the Mother Heart when in this present day world it is so unfashionable to do so. We thank you for wearing your Mother Heart on your tear stained sleeve, and for daring to deliver a message for which you will be both reviled and championed. A mother's work, never done, should not ever be a popularity contest, and is, in the end, done for the sake of our childre. ALL our children.
If mothers ruled the world...