Warning: this is a soapbox post and a rant.
Am I the only one who gets totally annoyed by these stickers? My instant reaction is to cringe, and this has stayed the same pre and post parenthood. So why do I dislike these stickers so much?
*My initial thought was aren’t people with these stickers advertising to pedophiles? I know that is cynical and bleak, but I did think about how you are telling the world: Hey,we have a baby boy and daughter! Oh and the mommy sticker is holding a briefcase, so she might not be home after school!
*And that gets to my next reaction. So sometimes these stickers go beyond being stick figures and they have little accessories. Maybe the son gets a soccer ball and the daughter gets a pink princess wand (ugh), but the mom, the mom, almost always has a briefcase, a purse, and I even saw a vacuum once! Oh lord, don’t get me started. Yes, these are all the roles of a mother–we either work or shop or clean. The husbands, however, never seem to have a briefcase. I guess because it’s a given that they work, so that’s not a needed symbol. The husbands get accessories like a grill or a football. If women get anything “fun,” it’s a cellphone or a wine glass (because we love to drunk chat). I mean I do love to drunk chat, but that’s not my main focus in life. Could a woman be in uniform? Could a girl be reading a book? Or maybe a mom likes to grill?
* I’ve never seen family stickers depicting a same-sex family, ever. Now I live in the south, and NC just legalized same-sex marriage!, so maybe same-sex family stickers are happening elsewhere. But, I think many same-sex couples/families wouldn’t feel comfortable/safe advertising their family on the back of their car. (You also don’t see mult-racial families represented). There are people who might key their car, smash a headlight, or even worse wait for them in a parking lot, based on knowing that personal information. So, I guess what really bothers me about those heteronormative family stickers is the brag factor and privilege that comes with displaying one. Look at me! I have a family like society says I should! We have a dad, mom, son, and daughter! We fit inside all the boxes! Check!
* I like bumper stickers that are funny and maybe tell me something interesting or original about a person, but these family stickers just reinforce how unoriginal people are. “We are exactly what we should be” is what these stickers say to me. There’s something sad to me about people who feel the need to express themselves in such a limited way. So you get to pick wavy or straight hair and an accessory? And this feels expressive to you? I’d honestly rather you stick a pro-choice or Sarah Palin bumper sticker on your car; it might say more about you.
Now I realize this post is going to piss off some people. They’ll say I’m a grump, and I probably am, a little. They’ll say they are just happy. And why can’t they just be happy? Well, they can be happy, if ignorance is bliss. And why can’t they just be proud of their family? They can, just be proud in a more humble and decent way.
Also, I’m not talking about the zombie family stickers. Those are awesome.