Moms Who Do Everything Are Bad for Feminism

Catherine Crawford

5 hour energy commercial

It took me way too long to realize that the commercial for 5-Hour Energy Drink was not a joke. Usually, it’s the other way around because I can be a tad gullible. But this commercial is so ass-backward that I kept expecting to see Amy Poehler or Samantha Bee step in and reveal the gag. The fact that it’s in earnest is kind of alarming (and yet still kind of funny).

When you watch, you’ll see an overworked mom come home from a long day at the office. After a stop at the grocery store (bags in hand), she’s greeted by a house of kids and chaos -- all in need of her attention. Luckily for Ma, Dad tipped her off to seemingly copious amounts of 5-Hour Energy Drink to deal with her “second job." Apparently, the stuff will keep her sufficiently jacked up to take care of dinner, housecleaning, baths, and everything else that needs to be done.

It looks like she’s going to need it as she’s running the ship solo. The whole time she is rushing around the house taking care of business, her husband is sitting on the couch smugly reading a magazine. 

Really? Haven’t we come any further than that?!

I’d love to get Elisabeth Badinter’s take on the commercial. 

You know, Elisabeth Badinter, the leading French philosopher and feminist who says that because of the current emphasis on breastfeeding, ecology (aka cloth diapers), and behavior, women have taken a major step back in their quest for equal rights. Earlier this year, Badinter published a book titled Conflict, Women, and Mothers, and its contents set off a heated debate in France over what Badinter terms a “regressive” mothering movement. Badinter contends:

"Good motherhood" imposes new duties that weigh heavily on those who do not keep to them. It contravenes the model we have worked for until now [and] which makes equality of the sexes impossible and women's freedom irrelevant. It is a step backwards.


The outspoken Frenchie worries that the mounting pressures on recent generations of mothers to do things “perfectly” is turning back the clock. We can’t do it all, and many moms end up either stepping out of the workforce and/or being overly stressed and guilt laden. I can’t argue with her there, as I’ve seen and experienced the worst. I really hope there's a middle ground out there somewhere.

In the meantime, maybe I’ll just pick up some of Mommy’s little (5-hour energy) helper. Or not.

What do you think of this commercial? Do you think mothers have set back the feminist movement?

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