Martha Vs. Oprah

This was buried in the comments of the Oprah thread, and I think it deserves its own discussion. Kristine said... "Just out of curiosity--I'm interested in how y'all would compare Oprah and Martha Stewart. After all, Martha is the only human ever featured on her covers; she's pretty bossy about how people ought to live; her personal life is (ahem) far from admirable; she's at least as out of touch with actual people as Oprah, and yet I suspect a lot of Mormon women like and respect her. My hunch is that she is OK because she has (publicly, anyway) confined her preaching to an area in which Mormon women find it acceptable to excel, whereas Oprah has rejected those boundaries. (A disclaimer: I have no dog in this fight--don't own a TV, have only seen one episode of Oprah ever. I find her magazine more distracting than Vogue when I'm huffing through that last 20 minutes on the Stairmaster, but haven't ever subscribed. My involvement with Martha Stewart is limited to having once made a squash soup for Thanksgiving using a recipe someone clipped from her magazine for me.)" As usual, Kristine has brought up a great question. For me, I think that Mormon women revere Martha because she is a tangible example of somebody who had actually achieved what every Mormon housewife is striving for--domestic nirvana. Also, I think for those of us who like crafts, homemaking, etc, having a successful woman like Martha validates a lot. Oprah validates nothing, and sometimes even goes so far as to criticize and riducule certain lifestyle choices common for Mormon women. For the rest of us, however, who are craft challenged, nay, I would almost say craft disabled, Martha represents something far worse--a smack in the face and reminder of our failures. I don't like Martha. Can you tell? Still, I guess she does have some good recipes. You know, if you have terragon and majoram just hanging about the house. Any other thoughts?


Blogger Tracy M said...

I'm totally laughing Heather- I love your voice in this one, and I'm not going to touch the original question with a ten foot pole!

2/22/2006 03:21:00 PM  
Blogger Heather O. said...


I'd actually love to hear your thoughts on this one, only because I have a hard time believing that anybody feels at all neutral when it comes to Martha. I just can't take her, sometimes, though, just because she represents a part of life that I personally struggle with--being homemakery, craft, and creative. I'd just as soon buy a cake and a sweater than spend the time baking it from scratch or knitting one. Now, if I'm doing these things for a loved one as a gesture of good will and love, that's different. But I have a hard time doing it just because. And every time I see her magazine I am reminded of all of my household defeciencies. No thanks. I'd rather read about how Oprah found true joy from her latest 3 inch heels that can make your legs look thinner.

2/22/2006 04:10:00 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth-W said...

As a person who does have both tarragon and marjoram in the pantry that do get used with regularity, here is how I compare the two women.
I think they're the same animal--that whole cult of personality thing. They're totally larger than life.
One thing you said is that Martha represents "what every Mormon housewife is striving for--domestic nirvana". Here's the thing: Martha does not have a husband! Most of us do, hence the word 'housewife'. Also, I'm guessing most Mormon housewives, aside from my s-i-l, don't have staff to manage their households, clean up baby spit, etc. It's all a facade.
I truly believe on some level The Adversary (as my husband loves to say because he loves to joke about Mo lingo) loves watching us feel like failures when our sheets don't match, aren't ironed and spritzed with lavender water before we put them in the linen closet. I think that while maybe Oprah doesn't validate anything, Martha's inference that if it doesn't look as good as hers, there is something wrong with you is just as bad.

We need another alternative to Martha and Oprah-just an average lady who tries to get her vt done each month, brings store bought cookies to school, doesn't know how to sew much more than a button, can tolerate some dirt, but not too much, plays with her kids sometimes, usually helps them with their homework, prays with the family, tries her best at her marriage, and doesn't tell anyone else how to live their lives. Do you think the networks would go for it? Would we watch it?

2/22/2006 04:13:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really dislike the things Martha does because they all seem like major wastes of time to me. Does she add that much value to her family's lives for the hours it takes to complete one of her projects? I really doubt it. As for personal morals, I find it dismaying that she lacks so much in that area and people still seem to idolize her. I do not reject Martha because she is the domestic maven I will never be, although in some ways that is true. I reject her because she adds nothing worthwhile to my housekeeping, mothering, and wifely skills. I keep a good enough house for my family to be happy, and the rest of my attention is on teaching and enjoying them.


2/22/2006 04:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd say that a little Martha goes a long way. "All things in moderation" and all that. The kind of stuff Martha does is just overboard. I watched her teach how to make croissants once... They sure looked great but they took more than 12 hours to make! I was raised by a mom who made her own applesauce, ground her own grain and had a garden and an orchard, so I've absorbed the vaules of all-natural and home-made. I can see the appeal of home-grown and made food but the kind of life that Martha espouses is simply too much for anyone who doesn't have an army of house-keepers and gardeners to handle.

Martha and Operah seem to opperate in seperate spheres. Those who follow them (and I'm sure there are those who follow both) listen to Martha to learn how to decorate their homes and cook their meals and they listen to Oprah to learn how to live their lives.

That's the impression that I get, anyway.


2/22/2006 04:42:00 PM  
Blogger Mrs. M said...

ElizabethW is right! There is someone else who should be included in this conversation and that is Flylady. She wants every woman to love herself and she wants to help every woman be a better woman, a better wife, a better mom, a little bit at a time. If you've never heard of her, check out http://www.flylady.com/

2/22/2006 04:48:00 PM  
Blogger Keryn said...

You're supposed to iron your sheets?

2/22/2006 04:55:00 PM  
Blogger hairyshoefairy said...

My friend's mom is an interior designer and was doing a big convention several years ago where Martha would be presenting. This woman said Martha was very difficult to work with and pulled out at the last minute, leaving them in a lurch, because everything wasn't exactly to her specifications. I haven't cared much for her since. I think some of her ideas are good, but her personality is too much for me. I once saw part of the TV movie about her with Cybil Shepard and found it quite humorous how much of a role model I DIDN'T consider her. I think a lot of her things take so much time it ends up not being about taking care of your family at all. It seems to detract from it instead because everything isn't perfect. There is one thing I did learn and still use from Martha. It's how to fold a fitted sheet, but I enjoy folding laundry. Sick, I know.

My mom was given a subscription to Oprah's magazine when it first came out as a gift and never renewed it because she felt the same way a lot of others have expressed feeling; that it was too focused on self and not enough on family. Yes, I think you have to take care of yourself and she shares some good ideas on how to do that, but it swings too far one way and doesn't help make one well-rounded.

There is a magazine that I enjoy and subscribe to. It's Real Simple. I can't remember ever seeing a person on the cover. It gives tips on housekeeping and cooking as well as budgeting, the best time to shop for things, etc. And I don't feel like I'm launching a solitary person to stardom or anything like that.

2/22/2006 05:14:00 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

I used to watch both of their programs but I don't seem to have the time anymore. When I was a regular I took everything with a grain of salt and took ideas where I needed or wanted too.

Oprah's life is not something I aspire to, with a herd of dogs as her children and lover-partner-whatever she wants to call him. I love my sometimes irritating husband and two messy kids that dive me up one wall and down another. Money does not equal happiness because if you have'nt noticed Oprah is always talking about the next thing that has completed her life.

And for Martha, if I had a army of workers preping everything maybe my sheets would have a lovely lavender scent instead of plain old Gain.

I do admire that these ladies have set a goal and found their way to it and in many eyes are successful at what they do. Hopefully,I will someday be seen as successful at the things that I am trying to accomplish such as, being a loving wife and mother, a great cook, a o.k. housekeeper, a avid reader, a somewhat good primary leader,a good friend, sometimes a gardner, find a way to fight the battle of the bulge and have some self esteem left over after it all. So far I am happy, so that must mean I am fairly successful and that is enough for me!

2/22/2006 05:42:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"We need another alternative to Martha and Oprah-just an average lady ..."

I think that would be your mom and your friends. Why spend an hour watching someone on TV, when you can spend an hour visiting with someone you love who is a better role model?


2/22/2006 05:54:00 PM  
Blogger Tracy M said...

Ok, I've got to come clean then if you want to know my thoughts on this one- and they are pretty unformed, at that.

It really hadn't occured to me the parellel between Ms O. and Ms M. I supposed it should have, but I can be obtuse these days. Given the question I posed in my Oprah post, it's entirely reasonable to ask the same question about Martha, and even apply the same standards.

If I make that assumption and apply the standards that confuse me about Oprah-worship, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that Martha would have all of the same foibles of too much money, misunderstanding of the common woman, disconnected from reality, etc, etc...

And even if I try and justify why I might like Martha but not Oprah, it only becomes hollow, because ther really is no deep, inherent difference- only personal taste. Here is an excerpt that I wrote about Martha back in Sept:

"Martha is back, and I am happy about it. I don't care what anyone says about her, I don't care what she may or may not have done, and I don't care that people like to bash her for being Martha. I don't even care that some women feel inferior when watching her and need to put her down... I love how pretty she makes things, and how many good (sic) ideas I have gotten from her shows and magazines over the years, and I don't care at all that my house does not (and will never) look like hers.

So by that statement, I guess I better get out my hat and start eating it.

It needs to be made clear, however, that I do not consider Martha a moral role model, nor even a role model of any kind for me. I get good ideas from her, and I like that, but I am sure there are millions of women who like Ms. O for the very same reason.

While I CAN'T go out and buy the $300 jeans Ms. O espouses as fabulous, I CAN got buy a gallon of sunny new paint and spruce up my bathroom. Splitting hairs? Definately.

Actually, when I think of Martha these days, I wonder at the cold comfort her scads of money bring her- she has only one child with whom I have read her relationship is strained, no companion, no grandchildren and tons of money.

It makes me think of the Shel Silverstien poem about the greedy man who is granted all his wishes, and turns everything into gems and gold- then spends the rest of his life praying for "one...real...peach."

So, there you go.

2/22/2006 06:24:00 PM  
Blogger Mo Mommy said...

To me Martha is the epitomy of the "Molly Mormon" myth. The woman that other women look upon as perfection. Able to have a perfectly clean and well decorated home while cooking elaborate meals at every turn and using old egg shells to pave her new walkway. And that's just on Tuesday.
Martha fails to make it obvious that she has scads of minions at her disposal for prep and clean up. Not to mention limitless resources with which to purchase expensive items. Sure, it's great to make your own pillows, but when the fabric you're using is a $20 a yard brocade, it's just not feasible for every person to follow suit. This helps lead to a culture of excess and debt. So yes, I feel that Martha is the same as Oprah, except she comes with recipes.
My house isn't unsanitary, but it is usually messy, real people live here. I use things from a box to supplement my dinners. And, thank heavens, my son's school doesn't allow homemade goodies(though I do make killer lemonade cookies) BUT, my kids and spouse are happy, well fed, loved and for the most part healthy.

2/22/2006 06:29:00 PM  
Anonymous jamisue said...

Martha, Martha, Martha. Hmmmm. Coming from someone who, like Heather O., is Molly Mo challenged,(when asked by the bishop about calling me to be homemaker leader my DH replied "Homemaking leader? Her? Are you kidding?") let me just say, Martha is the Devil. Oh wait! I forgot. I work outside the home -- I'm the Devil.

O.K. so Martha is one of my minions in hell upon whom I seek to cause pain, torture and maybe a little poke with the ol' pitchfork. Oprah is there too, but maybe I'll invite her over for a nice meal of fire and brimstone,nicely laid out with ironed napkins. I think she'd be better company.

2/22/2006 06:53:00 PM  
Blogger Tigersue said...

I enjoy Martha from time to time. At least I know that she does know how to get her hands dirty and work in a garden!
So she has lots of help, but I know there are lots of people who enjoy doing crafts, and homemaky things, No I am not one of them! But at least she is trying to get people to think about what they could do, and I don't think that is a bad thing. Is it bad to say gee I don't measure up to her? Yes, but I think we do that enough as women, I know I compare myself to women I know and love, I don't need to do it with someone I see on TV. Not worth the effort.

2/22/2006 06:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Nichole said...

I read the first post about Oprah and was so shocked at all the women that dislike Oprah! Now Martha? Seriously, they're probably some of the very few female TV personalities who promote women's strengths and self worth (granted, Martha once did it from jail by making salad out of dandelions). So many female celebs just give women a bad name, period. I agree wholeheartedly that celebrities in general are treated with WAY too much undeserved respect. I also think that they receive a lot of undeserved criticism. As you say, let's not "deify" them - they're only human.

Blech. I don't like being one of the only opposing opinions! I guess being pregnant is causing underdogitis.

2/22/2006 07:30:00 PM  
Blogger Kristine said...

Well, I should come clean, too. The suspicion that prompted my question is this: I think Mormon women in particular, and conservative-leaning American women in general, are very uncomfortable with powerful women and with female ambition. Martha makes it palatable by confining her ambition to a sphere in which women are allowed to exercise power (over their households) and even be competitive (albeit in a covert, creepy, self-destructive way--not gonna try to whup you in Church ball, but I will try to make you feel inadequate by bringing a plate of cookies more spectacularly decorated than yours to the Ward Christmas party).

Oprah's power is more direct and obvious and in-your-face--she shapes the cultural world (her book club is *the* arbiter of what rises to the top in contemporary fiction), she is politically active, and she challenges traditional notions about sexuality and family. Of course that's uncomfortable, especially if you happen to hold some of those traditional notions dear. (Or even if you believe that there's no reason to bother with any fiction written after George Eliot, or Willa Cather at the very, very latest!!) There's no way to separate Oprah's ambition or her exercise of power from the glossy pages of her magazine, as there is for Martha. So we can like Martha, because even if we know that she's a shrewd manager, a sharky trader of stocks, and a nearly megalomaniacal builder of her personal brand (that is, at least as ambitious and ballsy as Jeff Bezos or Bill Gates), we can convince ourselves that all she *really* does is show us how to perform proper women's roles better.

I'm inclined to cheer both Oprah and Martha, not for the content of their shows or magazines, but for ripping the "No Girls Allowed" sign off of the media money clubhouse.

2/22/2006 07:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Ariel said...

"We need another alternative to Martha and Oprah-just an average lady ..."

I like the mom in Malcom in the Middle. The house is always clean enough, but never presentable. She's sometimes in curlers and sometimes in a robe, sometimes dressed to the nines, and usually somewhere in the middle, depending on what's going on. She's often stressed about something. Her kids don't always tell her the whole story, or even any of the story, but she usually finds out anyway. I don't turn on the TV much, so don't see the show a lot, but she strikes me as much more of a "normal woman" than anyone else on network TV. Plus, it's a funny show.

2/22/2006 08:33:00 PM  
Blogger nestle said...

Is this a bad sign when I had written this rather impressive rant on Martha and I accidentally deleted it?

*this may wander a bit because it's a rant ... it's also long

My feelings are that Martha has almost single handedly taken the theory that women need to have a clean home to absurd proportions. I believe she has created the Utah mormon/molly mormon philosophy. I feel that because many mormon women believe in her theories of homemaking they compare themselves to her and her minions which is bad enough but they also compare others to that "ideal". It creates the mormon holier than thou attitude many people feel about our religion. I mean seriously if I don't have fresh flowers in my bathroom am I that terrible of a homemaker? I feel she is a big reason for the whole women depression thing happening in Utah? Is that the reason why many women (some of my friends included) have been told by their husbands that they need to pay more attention to their homes because ALL their linens aren't ironed (or any for that matter), house decorated according to season etc. (depressing I know).

I'm actually inclined to like Oprah over Martha because of the above statements. I don't feel that Oprah holds women who do not live like her in contempt like Martha and Martha followers do. Both women are egocentric but I feel that Oprah is actually improving life of women vs. belitteling them by telling them they are not doing thing correctly or that they need to be doing more than they can handle. I think Oprah encourages women to reach outside themselves to improve themselves and help those around them unlike Martha (what does she do for others??? OH yeah I forgot, nothing but depressed housewives).

Sorry about my rant. I just had to sit through an enrichment meeting telling me that the way I set my table (i.e. without a tablecloth) is a virtual sin and that "just going the extra mile of adding chargers to the absolute necessity of candles and tablecloth to your meal will make your family appreciate what you do for them"... umm tablecloth????? candles??? What a waste.

I'll end with a link to the Screwtape letters by C.S. Lewis. (before reading the link, if you're not familiar with the Screwtape letters are the following:
"My dear Wormwood,..." So begins this product of C.S. Lewis's wickedly funny imagination, a correspondence between two devils, Screwtape and his young nephew, Wormwood. As the senior fiend advises his young apprentice in leading humanity astray, Lewis delves into questions about good and evil, temptation, repentance, and grace, offering knowledge and guidance to all who are trying to live good Christian lives.)


2/22/2006 09:10:00 PM  
Blogger Tracy M said...

NEVER in my life have I ironed a sheet, pillow case, napkin or other linen... do any real women DO that?? Heck, my kids are lucky if their church shirts are ironed for Sunday- seriously!

If I were at a homemaking night and someone told me I had to have a tablecloth and candles on my table, I would send all my little red headed monkeys to HER house so they could knock the candles over and set the table on fire. Then I would walk out of the meeting!!!!

Seems like both Ms O AND Ms M have pitfalls and advantages, our job is to find the ground that works for us, not against us.

2/22/2006 11:19:00 PM  
Anonymous jbn said...

Domestic nirvana. Mormon women are striving for this? Missed that one in the scriptures. That is a Mormon culturally-based false doctrine that needs to die a sadistic death.

2/22/2006 11:24:00 PM  
Blogger Heather O. said...


Amen, sister!


Great points, and thank you also for providing such a thought provoking question for us.

I don't know how uncomfortable Mormon women are with female ambition. It's an interesting thought. Do we try to pull women down who want to break out of traditional roles? I'm not sure, but there is definitely tension between women who are focused on success outside the home and women who are not. Maybe that's why we try to out do one another's cookies at the Ward Christmas Party--trying to come up with some tangible manifestation of worthwhile pursuits, and figuring out which one pursuits are better. Yeah, I know, decorative sugar cookies aren't exactly earth shattering, and such activities can definitely be counterproductive and energy wasting, but I confess that I myself have wasted energy on exactly that kind of endeavor. Sad, but true.

I guess the other question could be, where does all of this come from? Why do we feel such a higher sense of self worth and accomplishment if we forego reading a good book and spritz our sheets with lavendar instead? (Not that I've actually done that--I will unilaterally choose a good book over sheets any day. But, Kristine, Willa Cather? Sorry, she does nothing for me. I really tried to love My Antonia, but no go. I guess I must be missing something?)

2/22/2006 11:47:00 PM  
Blogger Heather O. said...

Elzabeth W. said, "As a person who does have both tarragon and marjoram in the pantry...."

I am speechless, and overwhelmingly impressed. You go, girl. I'm coming over to your house for dinner!

Actually, I should confess something, too, now that everybody seems to be coming clean. Not only do I have majoram, too, it was actually growing in our garden in great abundance this summer. It kept the mint in check.

I do not, however, have any tarragon, and wouldn't have the slightest idea what to do with it even if I did.

2/22/2006 11:54:00 PM  
Blogger Lisa M. said...

I'll take Ellen Degeneris, any day.

Can't abide the other two. Uck.

2/23/2006 01:47:00 AM  
Blogger nestle said...

tarragon is AWESOME on veggies. I actually add it to some peas instead of salt.

2/23/2006 10:34:00 AM  
Blogger Elizabeth-W said...

Try tarragon on baked chicken--
Last night I got a call asking me to teach RS on Sunday (our ward just got split last week and they need a teacher). Somewhere around midnight I found myself not only freaked about getting a lesson ready I started worrying about centerpieces and such. We have been meeting in the chapel for months, but now will be back in the RS room, so now I have to pay attention to such things.
After reading the posts today I think I can absolve myself of some guilt about no centerpiece. However, I wonder if I will be judged a poor teacher if I don't have cute hand-outs?!

2/23/2006 01:03:00 PM  
Blogger Heather O. said...


Please don't do cute hand outs. They add nothing to a lesson, unless your lesson is about emergency preparedness and your handout is a list of things to put in a 72 hour kit. They take a long time to make, they distract people from the lesson, half of them either end up the RS floor, (which you will feel obligated to clean up!, the trash, or mashed in somebody's car for two weeks.

Skip the handouts. If you want to go for extras for the lesson (which you DON't HAVE TO DO!), grab a bouquet of flowers at the supermarket for 5 bucks instead. Much better.

2/23/2006 01:09:00 PM  
Blogger Tracy M said...

Elizabeth W-

Here, Here! I second everything Heather O. said. Skip the fancy (and distracting and unimportant) centerpiece and for heaven's sake, skip anything that requires a glue gun!

I'll take a thoughtful, well-prepared spiritual lesson over a lot of fluff and cute handhout ANY DAY! As a matter of fact, if I got more substance and less fluff, I might actually LIKE going to RS again! (not that "fluff" and "well-prepared" can't go together, but IME, it's tough!)

2/23/2006 02:13:00 PM  
Blogger hairyshoefairy said...

What about some other "powerful" women in the church. Sis. Dew, the RS General Presidency, YW presidency? I'd read any of their stuff over Oprah and Martha and day becasue when I listen to them I feel like I can do it. I can become the kind of person I want to be. They are empowering to me and I always feel edified listening to them or reading their books.

Elizabeth-W, don't worry about a centerpieceor handouts. I teach RS once a month and never have either. Given, I live in a rather unconventional branch right now, but personally, even when I lived in a "normal" ward, I honestly don't think anyone cared. Like Heather said, I think it's just distracting. If you do want to do a centerpiece maybe just bring a picture of the Savior from your home. Then if people aren't listening to the lesson cuz they're drawn to the centerpiece at least it's of something that still directs them to Christ.

Just a note: I don't have anything against centerpieces. I don't see anything wrong with them. I just think too often the teacher focuses too much on getting that right than preparing the lesson. Just my not-so-humble opinion.

2/23/2006 02:24:00 PM  
Anonymous Heidi Ann said...

I saw a bumper sticker once and I thought what it said was AWESOME -- "Please be patient with me, God's not finished with me yet." I guess they're not perfect. Maybe the problem is that with the image they put forth, we expect them to be. Neither have the Gospel, why should we expect them to live according to it? It would be awesome if they did (yuck, I used the word awesome twice), but they don't. Anyway, recently on a documentary about genealogy, they did Oprah's line for her (even went to SLC Family Hist Library). I found out lots about her on that show.
1. Her parents were never married.
2. She was raised by her grandma, then her mom, then to her dad.
3. At age 14, when she went to live with dad, she was pregnant. She gave birth and the baby died.
4. She was sexually abused by her cousin's boyfriend. She'd agree to sleep with him to keep him from beating her cousin. That all happened while living with her mom.
She's been through a lot, even before the end of high school. I watched her tell all of that in that documentary.
As for "Marthie", as I like to call her, ever wonder how somebody that into "perfection" must feel? Sounds like it's pretty painful to me. I bet she's pretty hard on herself. I've had all the thoughts about these two that've been posted. I need to be more charitable toward them, even if they do make pretty big targets of themselves sometimes. I can't be prideful about considering myself to be more humble.

2/23/2006 02:28:00 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth-W said...

I have taught RS for years, and never have had a handout, unless it was something I wanted someone to read during the lesson--but still, I have been in some wards where it is sort of "done". This ward isn't, thank heavens, but my old ward in Portland was totally that way. Cross my heart, I promise to be all substance, no fluff.

2/23/2006 02:57:00 PM  
Blogger Allison said...

I like Martha because she is what she is. She seems to know what she does well, and doesn't generally seem too concerned with being everybody's best girlfriend. I can watch her show without gagging most of the time, because even though I have slobbish tendencies, every once in a while I like to cook something really cool or make something fun (her Halloween specials are the best for this kind of stuff). I have a harder time watching Oprah's show because it seems more emotionally manipulative -- like the producers really want me to feel what the in-studio crowd is feeling, and most of the time I either can't relate or I find it draining.

Admittedly, Martha is probably not a nice person or someone I'd want to hang out with or invite over for lunch, but like Oprah, she's pretty much a self-made woman, and I have total respect for that.

2/23/2006 04:45:00 PM  
Blogger Amber said...

I plan to buy myself a sign for my kitchen that says "Martha Stewart Does NOT Live Here."

Personally, I can't stand to watch even a moment of Martha but enjoy going through her recipes on her website of ingredients I'll never find at my local store. Martha is all about appearances and perfection (but I still steal her ideas from time-to-time).

Whereas good ol' Oprah is a favorite of mine. She instead focuses on improving our inner core. She's become a bit more celebrity focused than I'd prefer but I still enjoy watching her show.

Great site; I'm a Mormon Mama new to Blogger and love what you're doing here. Keep at it!

2/23/2006 05:25:00 PM  
Blogger Colee said...

I admit I don't like Martha or Oprah. I am skeptical of anyone who sets themselves up as an ideal to follow. Someone mentioned Sheri Dew as a role model and I appreciated that because she is genuine and does not set herself up as perfect.
When Sister Dew was in the RS Presidency she came to our stake. I enjoyed what she said and the thing I enjoyed the most was that she shared some of her foibles and weaknesses with us. I remember thinking how nice it was to know that a wonderful but imperfect person could be in the general presidency.
Sometimes I think we are tempted to put up a front that everything is perfect in our lives and that we have it all together, but my favorite people are those who will share strengths and weaknesses, successes and failures because we all have them.

2/23/2006 06:26:00 PM  
Anonymous Deb W said...

Martha Stewart isn't saying you HAVE to iron your sheets, she's just doing what she does to make money. As far as I know none of my friends have ever received a phone call from either of those ladies telling them to do a better job.

I totally believe that we put the pressure on ourselves to be the opitamy of domestic perfection. I don't think it's fair to blame others, whoever they may be, for our own inadequate feelings. And yes, we do have amazing role models in the church, but the rest of the female world hasn't heard of Sheri Dew.

Some people like to make centerpieces or live with guys named Steadman. Looking down on them because of personal opinions is hypocrytical.
If you'll excuse me, Oprah's on. ;)

2/23/2006 09:53:00 PM  
Blogger annegb said...

I love Martha Stewart! I'm married to her male counterpart.

But wait--you don't own a TV? How do you watch The Office and American Idol and Grey's Anatomy? And Law And Order SVU?

Back to Martha Stewart, I think it's pretty safe to say that, although her time in jail was cushy, it sets her apart from Oprah. I would love to see how Oprah did after six months in jail.

Not that I would survive it, either. I'm just saying.

I saw something on the View a long time ago and the women were saying who they'd marry if they had to marry a woman. And I thought, "I'd marry Martha Stewart. Because she would cook and clean to her hearts content and I could do what I want." Then I thought of my husband and realized that I pretty much did marry Martha Stewart.

This man will come in to me every morning to discuss what we're having for dinner and what we need to cook it and who's cooking. I just look at him and wonder when in his life he ever went hungry that it's so important to him. If I don't make the bed, he does. If I don't do the dishes, he does.

It drives me crazy, really. It's not as much fun as all the women in my ward think it is. Although he's good in a pinch.

2/24/2006 07:30:00 AM  
Blogger Thoroughly Mormon Millie said...

Kristine said: "I think Mormon women in particular, and conservative-leaning American women in general, are very uncomfortable with powerful women and with female ambition."

I don't think so - I hope not. Look at Sheri Dew. Yes, she's single, but she could have resigned herself to a low-profile position somewhere and NOT tried to achieve. She chose to be the best she could be and is where she is because of her ambition, and I think it's completely admirable. Look at Debbie Fields - married, mom of 4 or 5 kids, and she's kicking butt with her little cookie business. My hat is off to both of them.

The fact that Martha suggests buying her $26-for-a-half-dozen duck eggs to display for Easter ("such beautiful colors") and can make creme brulee every night for dessert doesn't make me feel inferior in the least. What American/Mormon/conservative women don't really care for in Martha is her prickly, superior attitude and her now-famous shady business dealings. She can stand there and smile oozingly into the camera and say "It's a good thing" till the cows come home, but we're not fooled by her. We value goodness and kindness and honesty in people, and she obviously is NOT "a good thing." There are women in my ward/stake that I would watch be "homemakery" on TV a million times before I'd watch Martha.

3/02/2006 02:44:00 PM  

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