OMG! Obama is Stealing Motherhood!

Yes, this is the latest faux freakout from the wingnuts. The Department of Education last week announced a change to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form that will more accurately reflect the many different types of families that exist in this country.

Today the U.S. Department of Education announced that beginning with the 2014-2015 federal student aid form, the Department will—for the first time—collect income and other information from a dependent student’s legal parents regardless of the parents’ marital status or gender, if those parents live together.

The 2014-2015 Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, will provide a new option for dependent applicants to describe their parents’ marital status as “unmarried and both parents living together.” Additionally, where appropriate, the new FAFSA form will also use terms like “Parent 1 (father/mother/stepparent)” and “Parent 2 (father/mother/stepparent)” instead of gender-specific terms like “mother” and “father.”

“All students should be able to apply for federal student aid within a system that incorporates their unique family dynamics,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “These changes will allow us to more precisely calculate federal student aid eligibility based on what a student’s whole family is able to contribute and ensure taxpayer dollars are better targeted toward those students who have the most need, as well as provide an inclusive form that reflects the diversity of American families.”

Seems perfectly reasonable, of course — but not to those who are inherently unreasonable, like Cathy Ruse of the Family Research Council. She’s hopping mad and sees this, bizarrely, as an attempt to deny her motherhood:

As a mother, I find that deeply offensive.

I carried my children for 9 months in my womb, I endured the pain (and joy) of birth, I nursed them for many months after they were born, and every morning they jump into my bed screaming, “Mommy!”

But the federal government says I’m Mommy no more…

Mr. President, I dare you to tell my daughters I’m not their mother.

Yes, of course. This is just the next step toward tyranny. Next week they’ll announce that any child who refers to their parents as mommy and daddy will be rounded up and sent to forced indoctrination camps modeled after A Clockwork Orange. Seriously, lady, get a grip.

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  • badgersdaughter

    In before people moan that it’s discriminatory to call one parent “1” and the other parent “2” as if a primary-secondary relationship is assumed to exist.

    I actually do think that there can be two lines on the form, both marked “parent”.

  • badgersdaughter

    Or even more than two, if the instructions are worded properly. But the Feds aren’t quite there yet.

  • dingojack

    But apple-pie is OK, right? RIGHT?!?



  • So she is a mommy but not a parent?

    The things these people (pretend to) get upset about!

  • No. Apple pie is right out. Haven’t you heard?

    There is no pie in Wingnuttia.

  • And why is Cathy Ruse working outside the home?


  • Jackie, Ms. Paper if ya nasty

    Wow, so adoptive moms and step-moms aren’t really mommies according to this fundy cretin?

    What about moms who can’t or don’t breastfeed?

    Does she not realize that one can be both a parent and a mother? How does she imagine that making room for other kinds of families excludes her in any way?

    Gah, people like that just make me itch.

    …and does she assume that gay parents’ kid don’t come bouncing into their beds at the crack of dawn on a Saturday too? How do they accomplish that? I want them to teach me.

  • Larry

    If she’s mad now, wait till Obama forces her into a same-sex marriage!

  • Mr Ed

    In other news a spokesperson for the Department of the Interior today announced that 17 picnic tables will be replaced at national parks with new tables made from recycled materials. A group of family values leaders claimed that, “Obama is trying to rob our children of a family by forcing them to eat off of fake tables.” Fox News analyst wondered if this would expand the debt and speculated that the tables were secretly made in Benghazi. Three conservative southern Republican representatives announced that they will be starting impeachment hearings over the purchase of picnic tables.

    I for one have hit outrage fatigue, anything and everything is an outrage so nothing is of note.

  • blf

    But apple-pie is OK, right? RIGHT?!?

    No, it’s tarte aux pommes. Which means it’s p0rngraphic. Tart. Whore. P0rn. So it is not Ok at all! Why are you trying to corrupt the youth of USAlienstan?

  • Doug Little

    Wow, how self centered is that, fucking unbelievable.

  • …and does she assume that gay parents’ kid don’t come bouncing into their beds at the crack of dawn on a Saturday too?

    That’s easy. On Planet Wingnuttia, gay parents won’t be allowed to exist.

  • Scientismist

    So let me get this straight. To consider a more specific, perhaps extreme, but possible, example: Ruse thinks that, say, a college age child of a stay-at-home lesbian parent, with a same-sex partner who is a corporate CEO with a 6 or 7 figure income, should list on the FAFSA application the income of her biological mother from her costume jewelry hobby, but not the much higher professional income of her second mother, just because her two mothers can’t get married in Texas? Does Ruse really want the government to subsidize the education of kids that don’t really need it, or has she not thought out the implications of what she says? Does she think… Well, probably not.

  • Synfandel

    Children of non-conventional families should not be eligible for student aid, because for them financial need is a lifestyle choice.

  • Scientismist

    Oh, I think I figured it out. Ruse doesn’t mind the two lesbian ladies paying full price for the daughter’s college education (when the non-biological mother has a large income), but there still should be no place on the form for the names of two female parents, for two mothers. If they want to put in an application (in the case where both mothers have low incomes), then the daughter has to be forced to decide which to name as mother, and which as father. The government should demand to know, “Who’s your daddy, kid?”

  • Synfandel

    The government should demand to know, “Who’s your daddy, kid?”

    Obviously, the one with the larger income. Welcome to the 1950s.

  • dingojack

    Kevin (#5) – so we’ll just tell mom we ate it right? But WHICH ONE!?!


  • ah58

    How dare they ask the student for their parent’s real names. They’re Mommy and Daddy dammit! These lines shouldn’t be on the forms at all.


  • diatreme

    While this is better than it used to be, it can be still improved. To fill this out, parental involvement is necessary, and some parent’s won’t or can’t help (if you’re illegal you’re not filing taxes for example). The better improvement would be if the income information is pulled directly from the IRS, than having to depend on a parent being involved. I’ve know of several people who couldn’t go to college, because one a$$hole “parent” wouldn’t volunteer the info needed, and there was no other way to obtain it, and then they couldn’t fill out the FAFSA which you have to just to apply to most universities.

  • I strongly object to this change. My husband and I have always insisted that our kids call us Thing 1 and Thing 2.

  • vmanis1

    It amazes me the lengths people can go to find things to get upset about, when we are faced with climate change, economic injustice, and ABC putting on a series (`Zero Hour’) whose total audience size was statistically indistinguishable from zero.

    Ms Ruse should get a life.

  • martinc

    Oh well, at least it didn’t say ‘pitcher’ and ‘catcher’.

  • thumper1990

    Lol what? That doesn’t even make sense. Normally I can see how the wingnuts have spun the story to their benefit, or I can see the paranoid delusions that have led to drawing whatever conclusion they have from the evidence available… but this? I got nothing.

  • Anne Marie

    I’m just imagining her freaking out and slapping a teacher and shouting, “PARENT-Teacher Association? How DARE you? I didn’t GIVE BIRTH for 389743 hours to not be called MOMMY!”