Monday, August 5, 2013

Boycott the Mommy Wars!

The kind of battle I find myself fighting...
 I saw this article from Jezebel (no, I have not read the Time article it references and no, I will not waste my time on it).  The so-called "Mommy Wars" are just another marketing ploy meant to get women all riled up and feel like some company or magazine "gets" them.

Give me a break!

You can dig up someone who strongly objects to anything, and someone who just as strongly advocates it.  For most of us, we've got waaaaaaay more in common that not.  Most of us moms don't have the energy to wage any kind of war, except maybe on diaper stink.  Or tiny Lego clutter (because those things hurt).  Most of us just want someone to get through this motherhood thing with - no matter what our own motherhood experience looks like.

Child-free?  Sweet!  Let's go out last-minute after bedtime.  Or, if you like children but don't want (or yet have) any of your own?  Come have dinner at our place!  (Or not right now, unless you can bring your own table and chairs or are cool with not sitting in the same room...because our new house lacks a real dining area...)

Child-free and dislike kids?  Well, our friendship is going to have to be somewhat on hold for awhile because those little jerks just won't leave me alone!  I totally respect your choice - at times I'm even jealous of it.  I haven't had an uninterrupted conversation that I didn't pay a sitter for in 5 years.  I'm going to start a career in my late 30s, and that's a pretty scary notion.  Do I regret having my children?  Absolutely not.  But do I think it some sort of imperative that I be a mother to be a woman?  Of course not.

My point is, I am not waging a war against other women.  No one I know is waging this war!  Moms or otherwise, this "Mommy War" is a media creation to sell magazines and products.  It might as well be part of A Day in the Life of a Target-Market Female.

The Mommy Wars bear an unfortunate resemblance to the perpetual war in Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-FourWe women do not break down into heterogeneous groups along easy-to-spot lines.

And we certainly don't divide into something akin to Oceania, Eurasia, and Eastasia and wage perpetual war.  Just as in 1984, this is an outside force - one we (implicitly or explicitly) expect to reflect reality and keep us informed - purposely and deceivingly making it look as though we must constantly battle to maintain our values and lifestyle.

In reality, these magazines and so-called journalists are constantly battling to maintain our readership.  I fear that it perpetuates a lack of trust in each other.

Wouldn't it be more interesting and less stressful to read stories that help us understand people who, on the surface, seem to be very different from us?  Shouldn't we be looking for common ground to end these silly wars?  Wouldn't that, perhaps, help end the very real wars in our world?

Thanks to Amanda Field Photography for these great photos she took last spring!

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