Hey Time Magazine. Are You Man Enough?

by Janelle Hanchett


Hey Time Magazine. Are you man enough?

Are you man enough to take it?

Can you take my motherhood?

Can you take my breastfeeding and baby-wearing and co-sleeping?

Can you take my bottles and strollers and cribs?

Can you comprehend my ambiguity?

Can you fathom my depths…

Can you breathe under the weight of my power?

As I dodge your attacks like a milky stealth fighter – as I stride along the battleground with cracked heels and giant breasts and a mouth whispering fuck you, and goodnight moon.

Are you man enough to know you have no place here?

Are you man enough to step aside?

You and your misogyny mean nothing to me. You and your sensationalism, your breastfeeder-gone-pedophile assault,  your  airstrike against us: mothers, all mothers, as you fuel fires for profit, to separate, diminish, annihilate.

Your violence is a buzz in my ear, a chuckle rolling off my tongue, a speck of dust in my eye, as I kiss the feet of the child I birthed in a tub in my living room.

under the knife in a sterile room.

on my back in a hospital with an epidural –

and dignity.

Are you man enough?

I know what you’re doing. I get it. You’ve lost your footing, in the face of these women you can’t control. These women who baffle you. These women who raise your children and fight your wars, pay your mortgage, lead your country and make you squirm.


It’s intimidating, isn’t it? Us.

You think if you divide us you’ll destroy us.

Ah, but you won’t.

We’ve taken it all already. Taken it all. Through immigration and migration and slavery and the suburbs. Through sickness through booze through death. Through oppression and suppression and depression. Through beating. Through black. Through light. Through loss. Through all.

We’re mothers.

Are you man enough to take it?

All of us?

Are you man enough to step aside?

Out of here. Out of this warmth – this red – this raging burn of love and hips and hands and milk – infinite chains of women you’ve never known. And will never know.

But I do.

We’re all here. All of us. Every form. Right here.

With nothin’ to prove.

Are you man enough to see it?

Are you man enough to let it go?

Because I can promise you one thing,





In our sleep, in our bones, in our weakness and in our strength – our many hues of the same undying strength – we’ve always been enough.

  • Emily @ Southerners in SoCal

    So powerful! I loved this so much.

  • Marisa

    Thank you Janelle! Yes we are!!!!!!!!

    I have goosebumps.

    • Marisa

      Oh! Happy Mother’s Day! <3

    • nasta

      i have goosebumps too!

  • Elizabeth

    Hallelujah preach it sister!!!

  • Melissa

    THANK you for saying what I was thinking but couldnt find the words for. Happy Mothers Day

  • Melissa

    Very well written!!!

  • Julia

    fist pump! you are awesome.

  • Erika

    Wow! I feel incredibly empowered.

  • Jessica


  • Wendy

    Here’s the thing- my now-6 year old breastfed for 15 months. I never NEVER thought I’d be the mom still nursing a 15 month old. But then again, the pre-baby me would have never in a million years guessed that I would be a cosleeping, baby-wearing, stay at home mom who made my own baby food. Motherhood completely took over my life- in a good way. I was into attachment parenting before I even knew what it was. It just felt right for me. Some of it was too much, and some of it I went pretty far with- I made it work for me. Most moms who do attachment parenting do the same- they give and take from it to make it work. We all fiercely defend our choices as moms and get worked up when we feel attacked- as many of us do by the Time article- but we know the truth. And the media/other moms/people who question what we do and how we do it- screw ’em. We need to just keep on keepin’ on, doing the best we can.

  • tonia

    Nevermind, *this* is my favorite.

  • Danielle

    That’s right,we sholdn’t be divided. Together we must be fierce. Happy Mother’s Day !

  • Carrera

    Awesome post! That stupid cover made me so mad on so many levels. This was the last thing women need leading up to Mother’s Day.

    Also, Happy Mother’s Day!

  • kim

    I have been stewing over this piece-of-shit TIME article for days. I wanted to write something, but didn’t have the words. Then I started thinking…and I knew YOU would handle this better than I could have imagined. You are so fucking amazing, J. I’m proud to call you my sister wife.

  • Kristi'smomma

    Push ’em back, Push ’em back, wwwwwwwaaaaayyyyy back!!!
    Great rant, loved it.

  • Shelly

    Yes!!! From the moment I saw that stupid cover, I knew there was something deeply troubling about it, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. Thank you for nailing it! Awesome.

  • Sandy

    Hell, yes!

  • kim

    I came back to read this again and had to pin it. So, so good.

  • Jennifer

    Somehow I missed this until Kim posted it. I’m all misty over here. You should send this somewhere to get published. I’m not kidding.

  • Marie

    I second Jennifer’s comment. Publish. Power to the mamas.

  • Beth

    Thank you, for so eloquently putting my fears and my triumphs into words and reminding me that the media is a waste of space!!

  • Melissa Vanni


  • Amanda


  • Claire

    Thank you for posting this on mothering.com or I would never have read this fiercely poetic piece. I got chills.

  • Lori Dyan

    I love this! You are a freaking warrior…

  • Lisa

    You just made me cry again. Thank you for that. I’ve been ranting about this POS story too, them making a huge sexualized sensationalistic deal out of motherhood. Out of a mother’s choice for her own child. Now mind you, I chose not to breast-feed my own until she was three, but that was MY choice. Damn straight we need to stand together as women and tell these fools to step back. They have no right and no place questioning until they’ve walked 10 miles and 20 sleepless nights in our shoes. you tell ’em!

  • Julie B

    That was pure awesomeness. Mom’s Unite!!!

  • Megan Broutian

    Best answer to the Time Magazine article I have read, so far, in the blogosphere. You go girl!

  • Leah

    I’m weeping and cheering and lactating and roaring all at the same time. Thank you for this incredible response!

  • Pam

    Yes!!!!! Thanks for this amazing, insightful, moving post.

  • Summer

    Wow! I loved this and I am loving your blog! I’ve been reading post after post as I lay here by my sleeping , nursing six month old. Your writing is fantastic and your wit is refreshing. I’m thrilled I stumbled upon your space.

  • Sofia

    So fucking perfect. I only wish I’d found you sooner.

  • Laurel

    Wow. Just… wow. I wish I’d found this blog before that article came out. I would have shared the SHIT out of your post. You are fierce, whip-smart, and right on with this response.

  • Tracy r

    Beautiful righteous anger. These words of yours mean so much to me. Thank you…just thank you

  • Andrea

    I think that’s a roar!

  • Laia

    Bravo, Janelle!