Google "A Mother's Unconditional Love," and the first page of results (and probably a lot more pages) will be filled with guileless blog posts about the magic and special nature of Mom's love. The phrase "A Mother's Unconditional Love" itself has worked its way into the popular consciousness, and tracing its origins would probably be a fascinating PhD thesis.

My thesis is that this phrase represents, in its most distilled form, the special version of misogyny and profound disrespect that is reserved especially for Moms. Why? Because the very concept of "unconditional love" is totally dehumanizing. Mediated as we are in our bodies, in language, in society, in politics, humans are beings of conditions. There is literally nothing about us that isn't a condition.

"Unconditional Love" is the verbal act, just is, taking Mom for granted par excellance. It is a phrase intended to quell one's own anxieties by castrating Mom's ability to judge, and rendering impotent her estimation of value. Guess what, folks?! Mom doesn't love you unconditionally. How do I know this? Because I am a mom.

I'm giving up my freedom and most of my dreams to raise my children. And while I don't want anything in return for this sacrafice, and I don't envision any particular ideal future for my children, you can bet your life that my love for them is conditional. I will be very disappointed if my children turn out to be bad people, or if they waste their opportunities in life.

Guess what? If you murder me in my sleep and then go shoot up an elementary school with a machine gun, not only will I cease to love you, I will wish that you were never born. In the hereafter if there is one, I will roast marshmellows on your burning soul and refuse to even look you in the eyes.

Guess what? If you try to rape an incapacitated woman behind a dumpster in college, I will not forgive you. I will disown you. I will hope that nothing but disgrace and ruin visit your doorstep for the rest of your days, unless you spend every last minute of your remaining time in this dimension repenting for your sins.

Guess what? If you think it's a neat career choice to spew lies as White House Press Secretary, in the service of an illegitimate neo-fascist regime, I won't be proud of you. I probably will stop calling you and inviting you over, and hope that your foul ambition slowly erases you from my life.

If you think that I am a mom, and therefore I owe the world my "unconditional love," you are sorely mistaken. And as the effective ur-metaphor of every major religion's deity or horizon-of-possibility, whether it's God, Allah, the Tao, or Buddha, I can tell you in whose image I was created, and I can assure you that neither does God have unconditional love for you. You were given life to do good deeds, and if you neglect your duty, your soul will be cast into the darkness forever.

I hope that clears things up for you, about how Mom truly feels. Don't tread on me, indeed.