Future families

This is in regard to the article “Simpsons better family than Cosbys,” in which NIU Communications Studies Professor Mary Larson was interviewed.

I felt Larson’s opinion of good family interactions was extremely biased.

Larson’s comments such as “having a mother with a pillar of blue hair was better than having one that wasn’t around,” implied that having a stay-home mother is the only way to have a stable family life.

There has never been any evidence to support this fact. Many happy families have consisted of two working parents, including my own.

I have never regretted being in daycare or preschool at an early age, and I respect my mother for pursuing her career while she had a family.

Dr. Larson should know that looking to her own family situation—she mentions at the end of the article that her family was more like the Simpsons—and then concluding “my mother was a stay-home mother, so therefore stay-home mothers are better” is definitely not the way to conduct a scientific study.

I believe it is possible to “have it all” with regards to career and family for women. TV sitcoms such as The Cosby Show and Family Ties portray this.

Dr. Larson explains at the end of the article that most TV sitcoms contain “mothers who are almost always absent and fathers who are ‘super fathers’ who don’t spend time at work.”

Is she trying to claim that having fathers who don’t spend all their time at work is a bad thing?

On the contrary, I would conclude that portraying fathers who are more nurturing and spend more time at home is a good and productive way to eliminate old stereotypes, and to help fathers contribute more to the raising of children.

Instead of criticizing new family situations or what a “real family” should be—according to Dr. Larson—let’s build up new family units, because these are the families of the future.

Chris Mueller

Graduate student

Instructional technology