The Mommy Movement.
I have been doing quite a bit of thinking about how we identify and organize ourselves (good and bad) when an email landed in my in-box from a reporter looking for comment on the latest move toward organizing politically around motherhood.
Not surprisingly, I have an opinion: We don’t need more ways to divide society — especially on this dimension.
This supercharged motherhood contingent suggests that anyone who is not a mother lacks insights or value and is, by definition, a second class citizen. From where I sit, the elevation and lionization of mothers marginalizes women who couldn’t have children, chose not to have them or are single. A related problem with this carving out of society is that it implies that we who are not mothers don’t care about or can’t relate to children. Not true. I adore my nieces and nephews and want very much for children everywhere to live safe, happy lives with access to good health care and education opportunities. This may be news to the “mommy movement” but their efforts could backfire or alienate by appearing exclusionary.
I don’t vote “as a Californian” or “as an infertile woman” or “as a left-handed person” for that matter though all of the above are various aspects of who I am.
Welcome reader thoughts…
Meanwhile, I also heard from the organizer of a non-profit organization called More to Life. This group aims to help those who are involuntarily childless. So if mothers are in search of a good cause, how about helping those who are made to feel less than or invisible as a result of not being able to have children.
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UPDATED: You can read more about the topic of Motherhood Politics here at The American Prospect in an article written by Kara Jesella. I found it curious that some women didn’t get engaged or “radicalized” for political or community causes until they became mothers. Seems it was only because an issue mattered to their children that they took an interest. Kind of sad, actually. No wonder many live with the assumption that those who don’t have children don’t care about certain issues or other people’s children — they’re seeing the world through a “me and mine first” lens. Hopefully these mothers don’t pass along such insular views to their children.