What Michelle Williams Got Right

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From marieclaire.com

I’m sure many of you have heard the now famous (or infamous) speech that Michelle Williams gave the other night at the Golden Globes. What she had to say struck a nerve with many. I’ll be honest, I didn’t know much about this woman before hearing that speech. I didn’t even realize she played Charity Hallett-Barnum, the wife of P.T. Barnum in “The Greatest Showman,” a movie which I loved and have sung along to with my children many (many, many) times. I also hadn’t realized she was Heath Ledger’s girlfriend, and that he is the father of her only child (she’s currently pregnant with her second). But what really struck me was not the roles she played or the partners she’s had, but the way she voiced the opinion of what mainstream media would lead us all to believe is what women collectively believe. Was there any truth to what she had to say?

Well, one of the first things she said was that “as women and as girls, things can happen to our bodies that are not our choice.” Hmmm, I think someone needs to have a chat about how the birds and the bees work with Ms. Williams. True, there are definitely some things that happen to women’s bodies that are not our choice, but insinuating that pregnancy is in that category is misleading at best. See, there’s this thing called consensual sex between a heterosexual couple that can produce this little thing called a baby. So if someone chooses to have sex, there’s a chance of producing said baby. Granted, that baby may not be “your choice” but since you chose to have sex, a possible and very natural consequence would, again, be a baby. Does that mean no help should be given to someone who has had consensual sex if that person happens to get unintentionally pregnant, since she should have known better? Of COURSE not! I think we all need to lead with compassion on this issue, but it must extend to not only the mother but the very real baby she is carrying.

Later in her speech she said, “To choose when to have my children and with whom, when I felt supported and able to balance our lives as all mothers know that the scales must and will tip towards our children.” YES!! DING DING DING! Absolutely! You can definitely choose when to do that! If someone feels the need to pursue a big dream, do it by all means! And if that dream doesn’t include children, then according to sheer logic, that person needs to avoid activities that would create those “things.” But if that dream gets interrupted for whatever reason by a baby, then how in the world is it that baby’s fault? They never asked to be conceived. Why should that baby pay for the choices of their mother and/or father?

I’ve heard the argument often that having a baby (or two) will ruin having a career. I believed that for a very long time. Actually, I believed that until my oldest was born. Granted our daughter was very much wanted at that point in our lives, but I wasn’t about to allow this baby to get in the way of my work ambitions. When anyone would ask me if I would stay home with my child, I would assume that person was extremely ignorant and/or sexist. Why would I stay home? I worked hard to get my chemical engineering degree! Why would I “waste” that by staying home with my baby?

Only when I had to leave her to go back to work did reality set in. My first was so unbelievably awful, too. You would have thought I would have run out of the house singing the hallelujah chorus. But instead, I realized that Jesus opened my eyes to the selfishness of my attitude towards my dreams and ambitions. Dreams aren’t bad to have, but we need to be flexible enough to allow them to change or be postponed when something (or someone) more important comes up. So my priorities changed. And my definition of success changed. I fully recognized that being a stay-at-home mom was not the ultimate “career” move. As Ms. Williams pointed out, “the scales must and will tip towards our children” but I (personally) came to the conviction that in this season of my life, the epitome of success was to raise my daughter without the use of daycare. I realized that by dying to my own dreams, I could have bigger ones fulfilled. I realized my dreams were too small. God’s were and are incalculably greater. Not that staying at home with a baby is always what the LORD wants for all mothers to do, but humbly reevaluating those dreams and ambitions in light of that little blessing and God’s Word is a must.

If I could say one thing to Michelle Williams, I would tell her that I hope one day she can ask for forgiveness for her abortion. Not to condemn her but to free her from the heaviness of that sin (whether or not she recognizes it). God forgives everyone who repents (praise Jesus for His grace to me!). But repent we must all do. Walk boldly, my friends, in the truth of God’s justice and His mercy.

©2024 Mud Hen Mama


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