Mommy Wars

…because even feminists are not immune to them.

Last week my Twitter feed erupted into a shouting match between two feminist moms that I truly admire. As I watched my feed fill up with their own defensive, angry, accusatory tweets, (and those of their respective supporters) I wondered how things devolved to this point.

And then I remembered…feminists are human too.

We get upset, we get hurt, we take offense, and sometimes we just might take things too personally. But it’s a shame when things end up in a place where the message, which was an important one, gets lost amid insults, accusations, and shouting.

I actually had a moment where I thought… Aren’t we better than this? 

Aren’t we, as feminists, able to rise above this whole mommy-war BS and actually debate something without resorting to snark and sass? I’m not saying that we, as women – mothers – feminists – shouldn’t get angry. Anger can be good. It can be a catalyst for change, the push you need to get things going, the spark needed to spur a movement.

So let’s get angry.

But…let’s get angry at the problems, not our fellow mothers.

As I read the tweets, blog posts and tumblrs associated with this argument, I saw both sides. Both women had valid points, and at times, (even if they couldn’t see it) actually agreed with each other. What could have been a healthy discussion over sketchy, unfair marketing tactics somehow turned into an argument over judgment and shaming.

The sad part is, when you boil down the whole “mommy wars” thing – that’s usually at the root of it. Some people are judged, others are shamed, and nobody wins. Instead of actually talking about the issues, stereotypes are enforced, and very rarely does anything good come of it.

In the end of this whole debacle, it seemed like each side retreated to their respective corners, unwilling to find a way to discuss the issue at hand without getting personal.

And yeah, I get it. I do. I’m a mom. I understand being unable to separate the personal and political. I understand feeling personally attacked when larger issues are the ones being targeted. I get the reality of the situation. I just think it sucks. I know that comes off sounding like a petulant child pouting, but that’s sort of where I’m at with this whole thing.

I feel a bit like a kid who watched her parents fight, neither of which ended up “winning” in the end.

And that’s the thing with these “mommy wars.” In the end, we all lose. 

3 thoughts on “Mommy Wars

  1. Thanks for this post. I’m at war enough with myself (my internal mommy wars) so I found this post comforting. I also like that you highlight that it’s okay to get angry and angry can be good. The personal is political, but sticking to the issues makes the argument clearer and better for all.

    • You’re welcome. And YES re: internal mommy wars. No matter how much we try to consciously avoid it – there is this trap of the “good mommy myth” that we can fall into (either in our own heads or juxtaposed against others).

      And yes – anger is totally good. It can be cathartic. But if that anger spills over into lessening the message, that’s when it gets tricky. How do we maintain the balance?

  2. Pingback: Always More Mama Drama « The Mamafesto

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