SPIRITUAL SOAP: Weird & Güd - Hidden Mothers Unite
No one experiences the gamut of Weird & Güd like moms do
Before we were The Black Sheep, we were a newsletter named Spiritual Soap. Please enjoy this article from our history!
I enjoy research too much and I’m a shameless critic. Weird & Güd is the conjoining of those misanthropic qualities into something useful: recommendations and fascinations neatly packaged together for you every week, no hermeticism required.
Moms — doing the most ridiculous things to get a photo of their kids since photos have existed.
Hidden Mother Photography — It’s not the name of some witch-house goth band, it’s a real period of photography in the mid to late 1800s. It’s hard being a mom. Not only are you a mom, which is hard, but sometimes you have to be a mom even when nobody wants to acknowledge that you’re a mom.
Hidden mother photography was born of necessity during a time in photography’s history where taking one photo was not child-attention-span friendly. Really it was no-one-attention-span friendly, but kids really protested these things. Moms, babies, and photographers struck a deal where everyone wins and mom gets a blanket thrown over her head to hide her presence while she helps everyone else.
Hidden mother photography had a surge of interest appear around 2010; exhibitions were hosted and photobooks were printed. What this new interest says about our relationship to family photos is up for interpretation. I like to think it’s a universally appreciated reminder of the unsung labor mothers have provided throughout history. It’s also possible that it’s just amusingly weird to see Victorian babies pacified by their poor, blanketed mothers.
My mom would like more photos with me too but at least she’s never had to do this.
Pounds and pounds of bodily autonomy. Somewhere Loretta Lynn, who once said “If I’d had the pill back when I was havin’ babies I’d have taken ’em like popcorn,” is smiling.
The Pill by Loretta Lynn — Most people don’t like music recommendations. Music is personal and that personal relationship renders a well-intentioned hope of sharing an experience into the ugly sweater grandma gives you for Christmas — a burden you have to wear upon receiving and feign enjoyment over. This is not a music recommendation; think of it as a feminist history lesson set to music.
The Pill is a song written for those women tired of being nothing more than a hidden mother. Before Beyoncé reminded us that girls run the world, Loretta Lynn reminded us that contraception is one of the main reasons why. This song is exactly what you think it is — an anthem to birth control. Recorded in 1972, the pure excitement in the song’s lyrics reflect a time in reproductive rights history where, for the first time ever, women had a taste of full reproductive autonomy.
Almost. Although the Supreme Court decided the government’s historical efforts to be our mom were weird and creepy (i.e. unconstitutional), it did still allow 26 states to remain mildly weird and creepy by banning birth control use for unmarried women. Weird and definitely not güd.
It might not look like feminism, but sometimes the best activism is the kind you don’t recognize.
Billboard ad, January 22, 1972.
This song was banned by many radio stations which, naturally, only made it more popular. The Pill is a country song through and through, making it that much more controversial. It’s a throwback to that more genuine brand of country music that told us stories with real heart and hadn’t yet become a polarized propaganda machine for praising over-priced trucks and bad beer. The song became a PSA for the wonders of birth control. Loretta Lynn even recalls rural doctors thanking her for making birth control seem way cooler than a doctor’s office pamphlet ever could — because when has a pamphlet ever made anything more attractive?
This old maternity dress I've got
Is goin' in the garbage
The clothes I'm wearin' from now on
Won't take up so much yardage
Miniskirts, hot pants and a few little fancy frills
Yeah I'm makin' up for all those years
Since I've got the pill
I hope this makes your week a little weirder and a little güder. Now go forth, be weird, and above all, be güd.
I sit alone at a desk biting my nails to bring you every edition of Spiritual Soap. Is it worth it? Don’t tell me, show me.