I'm calling it: "The Mommy Wars" are over
On the page facing Tsing Loh's feature, there was Caitlin Flanagan smiling face in an ad for her new book To Hell With All That: Loving and Loathing Our Inner Housewife. So what to make of Flanagan? She is certainly getting a ton of media coverage and stirring people up by lobbing grenades of controversy. She is an undeniably talented writer, but after seeing her sell herself out at the cost of all her credibility on The Colbert Report, I decided that I no longer have to take her seriously. I literally felt like The Mommy Wars jumped the shark right before my eyes on the night on April 20th when Flanagan appeared on The Colbert Report. Here is a brief excerpt, in which Stephen Colbert, in character as a right-wing pundit, was trying to see how far he could push Flanagan's defense of her neo-retro position:
SC: Those were the golden days...the time you're talking about...I could have you lobotomized [if I were your husband], just by saying you were unbalanced..
SC: Those are the days you are talking about, when women who needed money had to depend on their husbands, because even if their relationship wasn't good, they weren't independent...
SC: This is the golden age you are talking about...
CF: Yes, it's an eternal golden age.
SC: So better for you for a woman to be dependent on her husband no matter what the situation is?
CF: Well, certainly you press the point when you put it that way, but...
SC: I'm trying to press the point.
CF: ....and you'll not find any refutation from me. More or less you're on target there.
SC: Really? (incredulous pause)
SC: You are a perfect woman.
CF nods and smiles: I've been told that.
(The Colbert Report, 4/20/2006)
So to really declare The Mommy Wars dead, we have to answer the question, What's Next? For activists like myself who have been waiting for an action-oriented vehicle to appear, the organization we've all been waiting for has finally arrived on the scene, just in time to capture the awareness that the media has created about motherhood and transform it into real social change. Run, don't walk to MomsRising.org, created by Joan Blades, the co-founder of MoveOn.org, and feminist writer Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner. Their new book The Motherhood Manifesto has jumped to #3 on Amazon.com and I say more power to them. I'd emailed them a few weeks ago to invite them to be guests on The Mojo Mom Podcast, and Kristen said they'd come on, but now I have a feeling that I'll need to get in line behind all the major media outlets. That's fine with me--I'll still be here to cover this story!
You can read my complete review of The Motherhood Manifesto on the book's page on Amazon.com. This Mothers' Day, you owe it to all Moms to read it for yourself! And if you are wondering where to get all the energy and inspiration you'll need to propel you into action, I'll remind you that that's what Mojo Mom is all about.