But in the case of the Collin County Conservative Republicans (CCCR), at least, Mother’s Day is also apparently a perfect time for divisive social politics.
On Sunday morning, the political organization published a contentious statement to Facebook.
“Happy Mother’s Day to all of the women who actually gave birth,” the post read. “This is not a day for girly men.”
Well then. Conservative culture warriors obviously don’t take off for weekends and holidays.
While it isn’t shocking that conservatives would further work to alienate transgender folks at a time when transphobia is skyrocketing in Texas and beyond, it’s slightly more surprising that they’d be so brazen in admitting it.
CCCR’s post offended some social media users, but not necessarily in the way you might think.
Certain commenters weighed in to argue that stepmoms, as well as foster and adoptive mothers, all count as “real” moms. One social media user also emphasized that they understood who the group had meant to honor in its Mother’s Day well-wishes: “all the moms without penises!”
That definitely turned out to be the case.
To avoid any remaining ambiguity as to the group’s aim, CCCR then clarified that they wanted to piss off one particular subset of the population, namely non-cisgender women. The post was edited to make it known that CCCR had intended to be edgelords (or edgeladies, as it were) of epic proportions.
“Happy Mother’s Day to all of the women who actually gave birth. And the women who are mothers,” the post now reads. “(Edit made for moms who did not birth a child, but for real women who are mothers[.]) This is not a day for girly men.”
Later on, in the comments, CCCR again wrote that it didn’t want to upset any cisgender women with kids.
“This is made to offend men who claim to be women and who think they can be mothers,” the group’s comment continued. “This was not made to offend real women.”
CCCR President Jessica Bartnick told the Observer, in part, that she wasn’t personally offended by the post, which struck her as “humorous.” Bartnick, herself a stepmother, further claimed that cisgender women “are being disenfranchised by a mental health issue erasing biological women.” (Editor's note, 05/16/23, 7:12 p.m.: Bartnick emailed the Observer on Tuesday to complain about the inclusion of the term "cisgender" in the preceding paragraph. She said she was misquoted. To be clear, she did not use that term, nor did we directly quote her as using it.)
“Liberals entertaining this ridiculous idea that men can somehow now become women just because they feel like they are, is an attack on women’s rights,” she continued. “And as a conservative, I cannot stand back and watch men take away the rights of women.”
Of course, Texas Democrats weren’t too pleased with the group's messages of derision.
Michael Tijerina, communications director for the Collin County Democratic Party, wrote via email that the post is another example of how “out of touch” CCCR is with residents of the Collin County area. All mothers are respected in the Collin community, be it those who gave birth or “those who are chosen parents through adoption, marriage, or personal choice to raise a child in need.
“Being a parent used to be considered a sacred ideal to the [R]epublican [P]arty, but now it is joked about and belittled because of their lack of compassion and respect for all Texans,” Tijerina’s statement continued. “We are saddened that they choose to spread division, hate, and ugliness on a day that should [be] used to spread love and respect for people in our community.”
"Get a life." – Ike Hajinazarian, Texas Democratic Partytweet this
Reached for comment, Texas Democratic Party spokesperson Ike Hajinazarian, who lives in Collin County, responded to CCCR’s controversial post in a three-word statement: “Get a life.”
Attacks on LGBTQ+ rights have ramped up this legislative session.
Texas leads the nation in the amount of anti-trans legislation this year, with roughly 60 proposed bills, according to the website Track Trans Legislation. Bills that have passed out of the chamber in which they were introduced include those aimed at drag performances and student sports. On Monday, the Texas House passed Senate Bill 14, which would ban gender-affirming care for minors.
Last summer, the Republican Party of Texas made its bigotry official with an updated platform. The state GOP’s formal position on homosexuality is that it’s an “abnormal lifestyle choice.” The party also rejects “all efforts to validate transgender identity.”
The Collin County conservatives didn’t stop with that one anti-trans post. The group later went on additional social media rants.
“It is not too far right to believe that only women can get pregnant,” read another Sunday CCCR post. “It is the liberal’s [sic] progressive propaganda that wants you to believe that men can get pregnant. Don’t let liberals gaslight you into thinking that common sense is crazy.”
Next they waded into religious waters.
“You can’t follow the teachings of the Bible, and be a liberal,” the organization posted on Sunday afternoon. “Don’t let liberals lie to you and tell you that they believe in God.”
Wait a minute, hold the phone. Didn’t Jesus befriend sex workers, feed the poor, welcome immigrants and preach against casting judgment? We also thought he encouraged everyone to love their neighbors — must have missed the biblical caveat advising: “unless they’re trans.”