The Women Wars are already in full swing this political season, and the “big” election isn’t even until November. So far we’ve seen:
- The Working Moms v. Stay at Home Moms, courtesy of Hillary Rosen and Ann Romney,
- Reproductive rights framed in terms of Personhood bills in several states, culminating with my favorite add-on, the “Every Sperm is Sacred” clause in Oklahoma;
- New requirements that every woman contemplating termination of a pregnancy receive an ultrasound, whether it’s medically necessary or not- (I hope the State Government pays for that cost, otherwise, it’s another unfunded mandate)
- Women knitting Uterus models to send to lawmakers with a note attached saying “Here, now you have one of your own- leave mine alone…” and
- A Wisconsin bill trying to define single parenthood as a contributing factor towards a child abuse and neglect.
I’m sure I’ve missed some as well. (It seems fair to throw the new parenting books, Bringing up BeBe and Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, and the book labelled “momm porn” – 50 Shades of Grey in there as well.)
I don’t know about you, but this is starting to drive me crazy. I’m getting tired of all of this brouhaha all the time, and every politician trying to wring more money out of the latest hot issue, on the left and the right. It all seems just so manipulative in the media, and so out of touch with reality.
I know Moms that Work, and Moms that Stay Home, and good number, like me, who try to finesse both. I work from home, with a flexible schedule, to try to maximize what I do professionally and what I need to do to make the family train run on time. I have friends who volunteer so much, it should be a full time paid job. And I have friends that have chosen or ended up not having kids.
In the end, we’re all women, and we have views all over the political map. We want to have the choice to live our lives and feel good about what we do, without people banging on about how working means we’re neglecting our kids, or how not working leaves our kids deprived of opportunities and/or good role models.
I want to be able to go to the Gynecologist without it becoming a political issue, regardless of what I discuss with my doctor.
I want to be able to cook a meal for my family without every choice being scrutinized about whether I’ve given them a nutritionally balanced enough meal and made politically correct choices about the source of any or all proteins, and what that says about our underlying moral or political beliefs.
I want to be able to talk to teachers at school without automatically being considered a hysterical helicopter parent, but just someone whose concerned about their child, ina normal way.
I want to be able to bring in a snack without being torn apart by the possible sugar content and whether it’s organic enough or somewhere, somehow, ever passed within 20 feet of a peanut.
I want to volunteer and do so with a free and open heart, because it’s the right thing to do to help out where I can. I don’t want it to defend it from folks who think volunteers must have too much time on their hands or nothing better to do.
I also want to help teach my kids that true “charity” and civic engagement begins with giving of yourself to others, through hard work as well as money, by example. Writing the check is easy. Showing up and putting in the time and labor is harder, but it’s what being part of a community entails.
I want to be able to flow between my roles as Mom, teacher, entrepreneur, cook, chauffer, project manager, wife, imagineer, domestic engineer, keeper of the keys, author, friend and more without having to justify any of it to anyone else- because we all wear different hats every day, sometimes several at once, and the labels don’t matter as long as the job is completed.
In the end, I want the freedom to do what I want, as long as I am being responsible for myself and those I care about most. I want to be treated as an intelligent adult, not a bumper sticker. I want to be considered a citizen, not a desirable demographic group.
Regardless of our religion and politics, I believe women just want to be treated as humans and not objectified or vilified every morning in the paper, being told that every choice they make is being watched, weighed and analyzed to the point you don’t want to get out of bed in the morning.
I guess it’s a sign women are becoming more powerful and have a greater say in our culture, since everyone is trying to shape our viewpoints and convince us that we need to do one thing or another in order to be part of the group. But women are individuals first, not just a mindless group of sheep you can wind up and point in a direction and we’ll all go there without asking questions.
So please, Media at large, and politicians in general, back off. Sure, there’s plenty to debate because we feel guilty that doing it all sounded like a good idea, but we discovered quickly you can’t do it all at the same time, even with an iphone.