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Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Reading Outline 4/5/07:Coates, Norma. Moms Don't Rock: The Popular Demonization of Courtney Love

Description: This article describes how Courtney Love is demonized as a “bad” mother in the media. Her fame, at least initially, was due to an article describing how she had used heroine while she was pregnant with her daughter. Other depictions of her questionable mothering abilities include bringing her daughter on stage during concerts, stage diving, presenting herself as a sexual person, and bisexuality. The article also talks about the way the media negatively portrays Love’s own upbringing.

Analysis: According to the article, this popular demonization of Courtney Love serves to police the boundaries of good motherhood. Mothers everywhere can look at the stories told about Love and be assured that they are a better mother than her. Presenting Love as a bad mother reinforces the idea that using traditional, conservative methods of motherhood is the way to be a good mother. The media’s discussion of Love’s upbringing also serves this purpose. By portraying Love’s parents, specifically her mother, as bad then it gives a reason for her own poor performance as a parent. This does not serve as an excuse for Love though; instead it further perpetuates the conservative idea of what a good mother is. Mothers reading about Love’s parents can come to the conclusion that Love is the result of her poor upbringing and so she is walking proof that children go bad if they do not receive the kind of mothering that conservative beliefs say they should get.

Vision: This article focuses on analyzing Love’s depiction in the media and does not provide a concrete goal or vision. The closest it gets to presenting a vision is that society needs to realize there is no solid definition of a “good” mother. The hypocrisy of the “definition” of a good mother can be seen in the idea that children should be with their mothers all the time, but Love is criticized for bringing her daughter on tour with her.

Strategy: This article focuses on analysis so no real strategy is presented.