Wednesday, January 03, 2007

What was your moment of truth?

Cross-posted from the MomsRising.org group blog. If this is your kind of conversation I encourage you to sign up for MomsRising.org today!

Who ever decided that motherhood and politics should be kept separate? I find this very frustrating in Moms' groups. Many groups have stated policies that political views and discussions are not welcome within the confines of the organization. The mandate to be "nice" is holding us back. There seems to be a fear that it's more important to "all get along" than to allow an open dialogue.

Mothers aren't going to get political power unless we act like we want it, and in fact demand it. That is why I am so drawn to MomsRising and the founders' book The Motherhood Manifesto. The facts are aired and the stage is been set for real discussion. Sure, we won't all agree, but as mothers there is a whole lot of common ground we can cover together.

I encourage you to challenge the limits of the Moms' groups you belong to. Political doesn't have to mean partisan. How about if candidates from all parties are invited to speak to your group before the next election? Even more important than helping you to decide who you'll vote for, inviting representatives and challengers shows that Moms care about the policies that leaders are enacting on our behalf. We're smart, we're paying attention, and we vote.

Motherhood is inherently political for me. As a woman who had the privilege of a professional education, gender equality was a near-reality for me before I became a Mom. Then adding a baby to our family brought gender roles to the forefront. I was lucky to be able to afford self-financed maternity leave, and I have health insurance for my husband, but I am all too aware that many women are lacking these basic support systems.

I love that motherhood burst my little bubble and revved up my political engines. The motherhood movement faces many challenges, but we have fantastic resources to draw on if we all work together.

How did motherhood change your political views and involvement? Did you have a lightning-strike moment of truth, or a slowly dawning awareness? I'd love to hear your stories.

3 Comments:

Blogger PunditMom said...

I also thought we were on the way to more gender quality until i joined the ranks of mommy-dom. I hate to admit it, but the responsibilities in our household are so divided along sterotypical gender roles, that I sometimes find myself just shaking my head in amazement. I am all for political mothers joining together. It doesn't mean we have to be out demonstrating every day after drop-off, but if we could find common ground on issues, regardless of which political party we're registered with, think of the change we could foster.

11:12 AM  
Blogger MojoMom said...

I hear you. I get the "gender-role moments of truth" on a regular basis as well. On Tuesday evening, Michael asked our daughter "How was school today?" A logical, caring question...except for the fact that it was a teacher work day and she had no school! She and I had a wonderful day together, but wasn't it "funny" that my husband didn't even need to have this on his radar?

Michael and I are engaged in political fundraising, and he's been a master at making his calls. I've decided that it's pretty fair if he does it for both of us. I have my full-time job + managing the housework and staying on top of our daughter's schedule. He can do his full-time job + make fundraising calls!

11:21 AM  
Blogger adena said...

If you have a moment, read my new blog - I link to a wonderful op-ed by Ellen Goodman in the Boston Globe about Nancy Pelosi, the original political mom!

10:16 AM  

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