Time's Mother's Day List of Best Pop-Culture Mothers Has Gaia, Not Mrs. Cleaver

For Mother's Day, the Time magazine website decided to make a list of the ten worst and best mothers in popular culture. The worst list was pretty standard, but the best list was at times bizarre. For example, the number ten best is... the savage Queen Mother from the Aliens movies? Number eight is....Hester Prynne, the single-mom adulteress of The Scarlet Letter? There's no Mrs. Cleaver or Mrs. Huxtable, but a savage killer? Then there's the number three best mother: Gaia, or Mother Earth. Caryn Brooks wrote:  

Greek gods and goddesses have their own set of morals that have nothing to do with how things roll in the world of mere mortals. So don't hold it against Gaia that she married her son Uranus (look it up, it's real), and had him later castrated — that's just how the Greek deities did their thing. What is important here is that Gaia, also known in English as Mother Earth, is responsible for the things we love on this planet. Things like: the oceans, the skies, the fields, the plains. Respect Mother Earth and you respect yourself. 

Mary, the Mother of Jesus? No spot. Here's the Caryn Brooks summary of why the Queen alien is a great mommy:

Fans of the Aliens movie franchise most likely remember the Queen alien as a force of intergalactic evil. True, she is the mother who lays the molten eggs, which eventually turn into lots of mean little buggers that seem to exist solely to torment Sigourney Weaver's Ripley and kill everyone close to her. But what is the Queen really doing when she spews acidic saliva and hurls her inner mandibles toward a human's neck? She's protecting her babies, trying to find them safe haven and nutritious food to make them grow into big, strong healthy aliens. Like all good moms, she will take out anyone who is a threat. Focused (perhaps to a fault) on guarding her young, she is the ultimate mother warrior. And she doesn't even expect her kids to buy her flowers on Mother's Day. Now, that's a champ.

And Brooks on Hester Prynne wearing the scarlet A:

Like so many other single mothers before and since, Hester supports herself, resists community officials' attempts to take Pearl away and, most importantly, teaches her daughter that no amount of public shame can diminish what is inside you. "This badge hath taught me — it daily teaches me —it is teaching me at this moment — whereof my child may be the wiser and the better," Hester says. Little do they know that Hester is really teaching her daughter about pride rather than their imposed lesson on shame, and for that, she wins stealthy great mom honors.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis