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Who Gets to Say That Jamie Lynn Spears Is a Bad Mom?

It's a lazy, misogynistic narrative that has at its heart the notion that a woman really just better stay home and take care of the kids.
 
 
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Now that everyone in the free world knows 16 year-old Jamie Lynn Spears is up the spout, mother Lynn's book on parenting has apparently been shitcanned by its Christian publisher. In a subtly titled article, the Boston Herald.com says " Mama Spears book on parenting aborted."

Classy.

But the question of who gets to decide who a good mother is comes up with some frequency, as it did recently when Elizabeth Edwards decided to stay on the campaign trail. In addition to getting blasted by faithful husband and concern troll Jay Carney, she was on the receiving end of some mom blog rancour:

Elizabeth, I DON'T LIKE the choices you have made!

Take your kids home. Get off the campaign trail. Your husband is not going to be the candidate, and he is not going to be president. He is not ahead in the polls. He is not going to make it. We need a Democratic in office desperately, and you are harming that chance by going around saying negative things about the TOP candidates and splitting the vote. Worst of all, you are forcing your young children, who should be in school to ride in buses and talk to the press when they obviously don't want to. This election is NOT ABOUT THEM. They deserve some peace, not time with nannies and campaign-trail daycare providers, since, as the Times article describes, you don't have time to see them when you are busy campaigning too.

To which Elizabeth Edwards responded:

I want to be entirely clear. You don't get to say I am a terrible mother because you think you wouldn't make my choices in my situation. You don't get to say that my children don't want to be with us when you don't know them and when, parenthetically, you know that happy children can be periodically disagreeable. You don't get to judge me because you think you know exactly what you would do if you had my disease. I want to be really clear: you don't know. And if the sun always shines on you -- and I pray it does -- you will never know.

Jane Hamsher is the founder of FireDogLake. Her work has also appeared on the Huffington Post, Alternet and The American Prospect.

 
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