The Feminist Breeder, Gina Crosely-Corcoran, told the world of women bloggers to stop bashing each other after a series of snarky commentaries about placenta eating, endless nursing and pre-chewing a baby’s food. I loved her post so much I’m going to lift an entire paragraph here:
Because, seriously, what’s the point? I’m all for spreading public health information. I have opinions about LOTS and lots of things. But I’m also educated enough on these topics to understand why women might be motivated to seek answers outside the mainstream. I don’t always make the same unusual choices as some other mothers — but I have epoche. I get it. And it’s no skin off my nose if Alicia feeds her baby like a birdy.
Shaming women and accusing them of bedding with the patriarchy just because you don’t understand them might draw lots of traffic your way, but it doesn’t bode well for your credibility as a feminist. At least not in my mind. But maybe I’m just too supportive.
The Feminist Breeder got me thinking about another example of mean-girl crap in the world of women bloggers. We ( bloggers identified as political/feminist/pro-reproductive right supporters ) were called “Commie Mommies” during the voting process for a spot on The Top 25 Political Mom Blog list by our more politically conservative blogging compatriots! Commie Mommies is catchy but I don’t think the moniker was affectionate.
Nobody wins when women start thinking they know how other women should live their lives. It’s simply liberal or conservative ethnocentrism, swaddled in baby blankets when women start telling each other how to parent, live, work or procreate. Case in point, Ann Romney. Her station in life is one of extreme privilege. Mitt Romney’s sound bite policy regarding state subsidies for parents is something like: go to work, sorry we don’t have any daycare, birth control, affordable housing or jobs. He’s recklessly out of touch.
But going after his policy through his wife is like hosing down a Fancy Feast cat from the TV commercials. Even if the smug cat’s life of leisure is infuriatingly out of touch with other cats, the cat is not the issue. The consumer who buys the pitch is the issue. And in the case of Ann Romney, Ann is not the issue. An economy approved by voters who support shoddy public policies, economic inequality, no health care reform, elitism in higher education, limited child care and wars, they are the issue.
Where does the Ann Romney-never-earned-a-paycheck and the Alicia Silverstone-chew’s-her-baby’s-food judgmental buzz originate?
I need look no further than dropping a car full of teenage girls at school to find the roots for women begrudging each other’s choices. I listen to them critique outfits, listen to them giggle. Hear myself wearily call everyone out and lecture about the importance of loving thy sisters. And, I always throw in, “She’s (being the object of critique) got nothing but nice things to say about you.” My daughter doesn’t miss a beat. But the girls who have never heard my mother’s line for reminding her daughters (my sister and me) to knock off the judgmental crap, are startled. How do I know? Did I read FB? Did I follow the girl in question on Twitter? My daughter tells her friends to relax. I’m making a point.
The point: “Putting each other down is not the way to succeed. It’s not the way to forge better relationships. It’s the opposite.” My daughter says the words like she’s reading for an eye exam and leaves out inflection and passion. But she knows ‘em. By god, she knows ‘em.
I’m a proud Commie Mommy, but I love thy sister, no matter what. I don’t have to agree with her, or even like her, but I gotta love her. Otherwise, I’m judging from the back seat of the car, about what some girl wore to school.
My son, in the seat next to me, weighs in, “Girls are such bitches to each other, why is that? Guys don’t like you, it’s just done. Girls like each other but say crap about each other. I don’t get that.” My son and his friends are also subjected to cultural expectations a’plenty. But his point that guys who share friendship, don’t put each other down. That point resonates and lingers and makes me think and leaves me at a loss for any explanation other than a nod of agreement.