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Benjamin Brandt

Anne Born, in her "’Mother of Three’ to Ref for the NFL: What’s Being a Mom Got to Do With It?," praises Sarah Thomas for becoming the first female, full-time NFL referee and denounces the media for handling the situation the way it did. Born asserts that reporters labelling Thomas as a "mother of three" is simply an attempt to degrade Thomas' accomplishment. She also states that it is unfair because when men make the news they are not addressed as "father of two" or something of the sort. While I agree with Born's acclaim for Thomas' marvelous achievement, I do not believe the media attempted to minimize the praise for Thomas by calling her a mother. The NBC article that Borne cites is written with the purpose of applauding the achievements of a groundbreaking, modern woman. Why would an artlice written to honor a person have a title that is meant to belittle them? If anything, the author is attempting to add to the achievements of this woman by respecting her difficult task as a mother of three children and now a full time referee for the NFL. Any woman that chooses to raise children is truly amazing. A woman that can do that and contribute to the progress of women's position in society is worthy only of high praise and honor.

Summer Melrose

It is good that a woman is finally a referee in the NFL, albeit, it is pointless to mention that she is a mother. Like Anne Born mentioned in her article about this, she mentions how is degrades what the woman did, as, before even mentioning the woman's name, they mention how many children they have. It's like the fact that they are a mother is the most important thing you need to know about them, even if it is not even close to relevant to the reason that they are being talked about.

Senam Selormey

Congratulations Sarah on your achievement. I commend you for being able to balance life as a mother and also your career. Raising kids is definitely a tedious task. This serves as motivation for many I’m sure, myself included.
Seeking positions in a male dominant field can pose as a challenge for many. The title of this article,' Mother of Three' definitely caught my attention. What a way for the author to caption header, Anne Born! This article should highlight more of Sarah’s strengths and accomplishments as the first full-time referee within the National Football League and not so much her family life.

Nadirah Thompson

I don't find the label " mother of three" at all offensive. However, if the roles were reversed, would Mr. Thomas be referred to as " father of three"? I doubt it, the media would speak to his character and accomplishments.
Sarah Thomas have been branded by most media reports as the "mother of three". Although her journey is a testimony to many women with families that we can achieve anything if we work hard, her children does not define who she is as a person.
As a society ,we tend slap a label on a person followed my their accomplishments. Raven Simone the lesbian African American Actress, Grand mother Hillary clinton is running for president. As women,we are driven by our families, but we want to be recognize for our accomplishments.

Shengyi Fu

Many label females according to their maternal status, such as a "Mother of Two" or a "Mother of Three" over their other titles or achievements. On example is Sarah Thomas, “a woman poised to become the first female NFL referee”, who social media commonly refer to as a “mom” or “Mother of Three.” Despite the minuscule connection between a referee and a mother, individuals in today’s society continues to place the maternal status over any other.

In Born's article, she brings up an important observation: "Yet, how many of you reading this can tell me, off the top of your head, whether or not the Governor of Indiana has children? Do you care? Is he ever referred to as a “Father-of-Three?” People hardly hear anything about dads. For example, in soccer, mothers are generally called a soccer mom, but rarely refer to dads as a soccer dad. This may be due to the stereotypical higher role of mothers over fathers in children’s development. Mothers usually raise and tend the children, from feeding to comforting the children. Mothers supply emotional support; and thus, this may be why we remember the stronger maternal contributions.

Despite the stronger maternal connection to children, paternal care is just as significant. Fathers provide physical and monetary support for the family, including supply money, physical labor such as fixing the car, cleaning the roof, and acts like the strong anchor for the family. Maybe we do not remember the paternal contributions, but they always support us behind the scenes.

We should care about the paternal status, and perhaps should place more emphasis on it. The parenthood status of men should be as essential a component of news reports and features as it is of women. However, the trend of the emphasis on the maternal status have continued for centuries, and much time is needed for such a transformation.

Sarah Stephen

Anne Born's "Mother of Three" to Ref for the NFL: What's being a mom got to do with it?, she blames the media for how they portray women. Born says the media labels women according to their maternal status. For example, Sarah Thomas is the first permanent female referee in the NFL, but she was identified as the "mother of three" and the "mom" that will make history. Though knowing a women's maternal status is great, I don't need to know that. As well as unnecessary information, knowing maternal status shouldn't increase their significance. If the female referee were single, that should make just the same greatness to history. I think that the media labels women according to their maternal status because they thinking being a mom and being successful is harder to do than being single with the same amount of success. With this said, many women with the title "mother of three" and "mom" might not find this as offensive because their burden of being a mom is carried with their success. Despite this factor, society is built around exalting women by their maternal status.

Born also mentions how men are seen through the medias eyes. She asks the audience if media has praised men through their paternal status:"Yet, how many of you reading this can tell me, off the top of your head, whether or not the Governor of Indiana has children? Do you care? Is he ever referred to as a “Father-of-Three?” It's sad that men can be shown as successful without a paternal status but women can't. Born also mentions labels such as "mom" and "mother of three" can tell readers and the world a different idea just using that title. Society sees "mother of three killed.." more significant than "women killed.." because of this maternal status. I don't think there should be a gap in this labeling. Women don't need to be praised depending on their maternal status, women can accomplish what ever they desire without this label and society should emphasize on what they accomplished.

Matya Kaye

Many women in the news are referred to a mothers. Being a mother implies a sense of maturity and responsibility, but is this information necessary? In sports, Sarah Thomas is going to become the first female NFL referee, yet in a new article about her, she is referred to as a mother. Being a mother has nothing to do with being a NFL referee, so why include this?
Being a mother can be an accomplishment, but by referring to women as mothers in articles ,that have nothing to do with motherhood, they are reduced to female stereotypes. Referring to women as mothers shows that women should be defined by the amount of children they have. This brings modern news back to times when women were believed to be lesser than men and only able to produce offspring. By referring to women as mothers in inappropriate situations, women are reduced to housewives and housekeepers. This can also be seen in the fact that men are not plagued by the same stereotypes and therefore are not referred to as father. If you would not call a man a father in an article, why call a women a mother?
Motherhood is amazing, but not a defining factor of women. By referring to women, and not men, by the number of children they produce, women are considered less than men and considered only a housewife. Women like Sarah Thomas should not be called mothers in articles that are not about motherhood, because they are not defined by the amount of children they have or the status of their family.

Beverly Oates

Anne Born writes that national and sports newscasts, articles and websites are all buzzing with the news that female referee Sarah Thomas is being named as the first female referee in the NFL. The stories being written and the interviews of Sarah herself focus mainly on Sarah, a female, being given this high honor. The question really is what does being female have to do with her ability to do the job? For decades the American people have fought for the civil rights of all people. Whether we are abolishing slavery or fighting for women’s rights, we the American people want equal rights for all people. Yet here we are in 2015 surprised that a woman has been hired as a referee… for football none the less. Sarah herself was an athlete while growing up. In high school she played softball, letting five times, and in college competed in basketball. She has learned the rules and regulations of football, attended training camps, and even been sought out and recruited by several officials looking to promote her. Her ability to do the job accurately and fairly is not questioned. In fact, this has helped her stand out as a quality candidate for the job. So it is not her skills or ability that is the surprise. She has served as a football referee for over 19 years, working up the ranks of responsibility. She has refereed college games, Bowl games and Big Ten games. NFL is a logical next step in her career path. So advancing up the ranks of important games is not what is the surprise of this award. Indeed, the surprise is merely that she is a female NFL referee, that she is receiving such notoriety. I for one am proud of her. Whether more people in general start watching football because of Sarah Thomas remains to be seen. But she was hired for the job because she is fully capable of doing the job. Football has been a male dominated sport, yet it shouldn’t be a surprise that a woman is a referee. There are male cheerleaders, cheering on the male athletes, in what used to be a female dominated position There are football teams that are staffed solely with female players. Instead of being shocked that a female is promoted to NFL referee, we should instead be in a world where this is not big news, but instead just a normal achievement. But until we reach that level of gender equality, to quote Sarah’s own words, it doesn’t matter what your race or gender is,”keep doing what you love.”

Cheyenne Acker

In "'Mother of Three' to Ref for the NFL: What’s Being a Mom Got to Do With It?", Anne Born argues that women should not be referred to as mothers in situations that do not relate to their parenting. When Sarah Thomas was announced as the first permanent female referee in the NFL, media sources, such as NBC Nightly News, referred to her as "Mother of Three". This information is not necessary in this context. The article does not report on Thomas's three children or her parenting; it reports on her upcoming occupation. Therefore, her professional life, not her private life, should be discussed. In Born's article, she questions the reader's knowledge on the Governor of Indiana: "how many of you reading this can tell me, off the top of your head, whether or not the Governor of Indiana has children? Do you care? Is he ever referred to as a 'Father-of-Three?'" The media does define men by their family status or parenting. Women, on the other hand, are constantly referred to in context of their family and status as a mother. Children, or lack thereof, do not define women.

M. Hobert

In this society women are usually defined and described by their association to other people. It is a way of diminishing them and their achievements, or making them seem dependent on others. In the case of identifying Thomas first and foremost as a mother, it is about implying the utmost importance of a woman being a mother, like that is the best thing she can do with her life. I think it's all about keeping women down. This is just another example of the male-dominated culture we live in.

Sahar Kaleem

Anne Born argues that women should not be defined by their children or by their parenthood. I agree with this argument; in news stories, only information relating to the topic should be included. If being a mother does not pertain to the topic,then that bit of information should not be given.
It is quite condescending to include the fact that a woman had children when reporting on a great feat. It shows that society does not expect mothers to have time for anything other than their children, an opinion I do not agree with. First off, it is not solely the mother's job to raise her children; the father should do an equal amount of work if both parents work full-time. Also this mentality shows that society still has not moved past pre-World War 1 values that women should not work.
There is no point in stating whether a woman has children or not. Children are not a hindrance and they should not be perceived as one. Mothers can still accomplish great things.

Samantha Hackett

I completely agree with Born's argument. In the media, women are always referred to by the number of children they have. This is a sexist remnant of the past, referring to the notion that all women are good for is having kids. This also refers to the stereotype that a woman's only job is to have kids, and that kids hold a woman back and make having a successful job impossible, when this is simply not true.

While having a kids may cause a setback in a mother's career, this setback will be short-term, and most mothers are back on their feet in no time. Like Born mentioned, when have men ever been referred to as a "father of three" or the like? As I mentioned before, this is a sexist stereotype that permeates our culture and is overdue to be eliminated. Women should not be defined by how many children they have, for they can still be very successful with children.


Being a parent is not the most important job that any person can have. Some people just simply dislike parenthood and choose not to follow that path. I do not believe that stating the amount of children that a women has is needed in something that does not have anything to do with parenthood. While being able to balance this job and balance three children is a huge accomplishment, including her children is almost saying that it is surprising that a mother has a job aside from her children. If she wants to bring up her children then it is her right to do so, but not ours. Males are not held to the same standard. When Hillary Clinton first started campaigning for president, the media asked her how she would be able to handle the job with all her grandchildren. Mitt Romney has way more children and he was never asked how he would handle his job with all of them because it was assumed to not be his responsibility.

R. Sidhu

It seems strange that after all the progress and gender equality we claimed to have achieved that one of the most defining traits of a woman should be her children. Were the same true of men, it would be an understandable label. Children do take up a lot of time. However, why should this affect men and women differently? We live in an age where there are working mothers and stay-at-home dads. The mentality of women taking care of the house and men making income should not be affecting modern views. However, while the media may be biased, they most likely did not mean any harm. Rather, they were attempting to present what they viewed as an achievement. Perhaps, we ought to pity fathers who receive no credit in raising their children.
This is not a one way issue, this is a pervading stereotype that negatively affects both genders. Rather than viewing the problem as a blow against women, it should be taken as an outdated perception of gender roles that hurts all genders.

Patrick R.

In her article ""Mother of Three" to Ref for the NFL: What's Being a Mom Got to Do With It?" author Ann Born applauds Sarah Thomas for becoming the first permanent female referee in the NFL and criticizes the coverage by the media of her accomplishment. Born talks about how those writing headlines in the media have overemphasized her role as a mother, where it is just plain irrelevant and unnecessary, and I agree with her position. In her piece, Born cites an NBC News interview in which the headline described Thomas as "the 'mom' who was about to make NFL history." While I believe the media surely had no intention of demeaning Sarah Thomas on the basis of her status as a mother, the heightened prominence of this title in media coverage of her is questionable. Does being a mother put you at a disadvantage? Does it make you less of a referee? Does being a mom keep you from doing anything else? Of course not, and while the media should still laud her groundbreaking achievement as a woman and a mother, it should reduce its excessive emphasis on gender and treat Sarah Thomas equally with her male counterparts.

Naomi Peng

In the article "Mother of Three", Anne Born praises Sarah Thomas for being the first permanent female referee in the NFL. However, in news headlines Thomas was known as "The Mother of Three". Born argues that women should not be defined by their parenthood or number of children. I completely agree with Born because the amount of children a woman has no relation to having achieved something.

Mentioning the amount of children a woman has while reporting an accomplishment places a stereotype that the woman's job is to stay at home with the kids while the men go out and work which is no longer true in today's society. As stated in the article, there are many stay home fathers and working mothers. Also, children could be perceived as a restriction or a limitation which is not true, as well. Some people may begin to question, "Does having children keep someone from performing their best?" To prevent these questions from appearing, media should not broadcast an achievement by emphasizing children or their mother-hood because whether they have kids or not should not matter.

Anokhi Patel

I fully agree with Born's argument that society needs to end diminishing a woman's achievements by counting how many children she has. Although we claim to have come far in sexual equality, we still believe that a woman's purpose in life is to take care of the children. Children should not be perceived as a set back in a mother's life, but as an encouragement to do more. But the truth is, there are many men who have taken up the traditional woman's role of a house mom. This cancels out the sexist stereotype of a woman's role in society. The judgement of women is bringing our society down because women are blocked from doing many thing, when they have the ability to achieve so much more.

Sam Van Roy

In the article "Mother of Three", Anne Borne writes of Sarah Thomas, the first permanent female referee in the NFL. Borne tries to argue that a person should not be defined by their gender, or parental status but by their merit and what they have achieved.
I completely agree with this. In our day and age why should it matter whether or not a woman has one kid or ten, when she is being evaluated because of her profession. This relation between professional achievements and maternity is completely irrelevant. Would the fact that a man had been the father of two while breaking records even come into conversation other than to say that he did this for his children. Of course not, and just as this is irrelevant for a man, so should it be for a women. Because of the media creating a standard like this for women, it makes the general public unable to overlook such trivial facts, and the truth of the matter is it is wrong.

Millie Patel

This article sparked my interest because, are women really progressing in their search for equality? In this argument by Anne Borne, we are compelled to think, why mention "mother of three"? As we have seen in the NFL as of now, no referee has been known in such a way. Being a mother has no connection to Sarah Thomas' job as a referee. We should pay close attention to the fact that Thomas has both a professional and personal life. Nurturing and taking care of children have always been attributes given to the female gender. It is a generalization to title the first female referee as a mother. In all the male referees we have seen, not one has ever been addressed as a father to the public. People take on such jobs to fully engage in the professional area, it is not the job of the public to make Thomas feel as though it is one of her jobs as a woman to be a mother. This "mother-figure" stereotype fails to leave the minds of people in todays society. These are the kinds of things that women continue to fight for in their life.

Carl Dela Cruz

Anne Bourne discusses an important topic in society today. The public looks at women the same traditional way as before. Sarah Thomas, being a mother, does not relate to her job as an NFL referee. A person should be measured by her hard work, not her gender. Male referees aren't referred to fathers, so why should women be? The parental status of a person should not affect people's judgments on the person. Society has claimed to reach an equality between men and women. Their actions and views should prove the claim true. Both men and women deserve to receive equal opportunities.

Taylor Griffith

In Anne Born's article "'Mother of Three' to Ref for the NFL: What’s Being a Mom Got to Do With It?" she discusses a part of a very important topic in society; the inferiority of women. Sarah Thomas, the first women to become an NFL referee, was classified in headlines as "mother of three". Being an NFL referee has nothing to do with being a mother. We don't see headlines about guys being the "father of four" because the way society views men is different than of woman. We see men as more successful and by categorizing women as just mothers when they're so much more diminishes their hard work and achievements. Women who achieve success should be treated just as men and instead of classifying them as mothers they should be classified as the strong hardworking women they are.

Margaret Parker

"Mother of three:" it seems an innocent enough title. Yet as Anne Born speculates in her article about Sarah Thomas's recent appointment to the NFL, reducing women to just motherhood, especially when irrelevant to the subject matter, can have misogynistic implications.
Allow me to begin by stating something that should be obvious, but is often used as a bitter retort to feminist claims: there is nothing wrong with being a mother. Raising a child is tough, raising three, I imagine, much tougher. Yet the offense here lies not in calling Ms. Thomas a mother of three, but in assuming that that it is the most important piece of information anyone needs to know.
When you describe someone as a mother, it creates a loving, nurturing image, one not particularly related to the NFL. This often catches viewer's attention, but at a price: it almost directly implies that motherhood is incompatible with a career, particularly a high-profile, strenuous one. In a world where women are judged repeatedly for choosing to have (or not to have) children, insinuating that this choice also pre-determines a career path is irresponsible and toxic.

Josh Haeker

In her article, Born objects to the constant 'devaluation' of women by referring to them as mothers when reporting an action. It is human nature to judge things, so no matter what she does this will not change. However, I do agree that more needs to be reported than just 'mother'. I also think shifting away from including the words "mother" or "mom" in the title would be apropriate. However, I while I agree with her goal, I disagree with her reasoning and her viewpoint. By classifying someone as a mother, it automatically implies that this woman has children. Since having a kid is a life-changing and priority shifting experience, the word mother being included into the title clues us in and therefore emphasizes or devalues the action done, depending upon its nature. For example a title such as 'mother of three goes on homicidal rant' has more horrible implications than 'woman goes on homicidal rant' because the title and state of motherhood thereby amplifies the already horrific nature of the deed because the perpetrator similarly gave life to another and therefore better understands human and family bonds. Similarly, 'mother of 3 saves her infant from burning car' has less heroic implications than 'woman saves infant from burning car', because again motherhood implies a connection and woman does not. (Not to diminish the act of saving an infant from a burning car in any way, I mean no disrespect) So, to reiterate, I disagree with Born's view and reasoning, but I agree with her goals. -just my thoughts

Elena Newman

In our society, women are often referred to with some connection to their “motherly” status, whether by the number of kids they have, or by their personal home life, rather than their accomplishments. Sarah Thomas, the first permanent female referee in the NFL, was noted as a “mother of three” in the title of an article written about her career. This example reflects a culture still tied to traditional, backwards gender roles and stereotypes that not only hold the individual woman down, but hold society back from achieving its potential. Society’s limited views on women hold them back from truly being free to be anything they want and have the media and society recognize them as such. The media constantly places women in places it subconsciously believes they should be, rather than where they actually are in life. Women are referred to as mothers and wives rather than the business owners and coaches that they are, while men generally receive their proper job titles instead of “father” and dad”. These limited views hold society’s progress back as well. In part because of the stereotypes that America’s culture has, men have more advantages when it comes to jobs, and work in more “sophisticated” and “powerful” positions than women do. This means society is missing a whole part of its population that could be producing innovative new ideas and furthering American success. If people worked on widening their minds and being aware of the little hints of stereotyping, society could take full advantage of all the wonderful women it has and work more towards its potential.

Savannah Crawford

The fact that women can't do something without the news mentioning that they have kids is very sexist I think. Women should be able to achieve different things without having their motherhood mentioned in the article. I think women can multitask very well and do great at balancing their schedules. The fact that this mother of 3 is trying to do something that she loves is great. If she can balance spending time with her kids and working it shouldn't matter if she has kids or not. When men with kids do things and it makes the news the fact that they have kids is not mentioned in the article. It should be the same way for women. It's not fair to women to be categorized as a mother whenever they do something.

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