As Mother’s Day 2012 approaches, we have to ask, is the Women’s Movement moving backwards?
In the heated political months preceding this year’s presidential election, women’s issues continue to be a hot topic, with anti-abortion legislation on the books in seven states, the ‘Mommy Wars’ fueled by the media desperate to highlight attention-grabbing headlines, and women debating among themselves who’s got the more elevated point of view. One could ask, ‘Is the women’s movement moving backwards’?
This week's Time Magazine cover of 26-year-old mother breastfeeding her 3 year-old-son, standing on a stool, has sparked a whole new controversy in yet another arena of the motherworld regarding attachment parenting.
Renee Moilanen says, "We're all in this together. If there is a 'Mommy War' going on, my friends and I didn't get the memo. We recognize there are ups and downs to all lifestyles, and we don't have the time - or the energy - to fight about it. We're just trying to take care of our families the best we can. And if the rest of the world insists on a battle, I'll be the first to wave the white flag."
In the ‘I’m a Feminist Now What Blog’, a student writer speaks about taking a step backwards in the women's movement in the following ways. “Between placing barriers on women getting birth control and now placing women in traumatizing situations and creating barriers to abortion, I’d say we are taking a step back.”
She goes on to say, “My professor looked at these two things as just events, nothing pushing us back. Perhaps that is because they are still being decided upon. But after spending 1.5 years studying the political agenda and agenda setting, it is horrifying that these issues have even made it to the chopping block. We should be concerned. We should be offended. And we should be scared. I know I am."
In the relatively "safe" zone of the newly opened Museum Of Motherhood in New York City, every day is Mother’s Day. Neighborhood women from the surrounding Upper East Side, along with mothers from the Bronx, Brooklyn, Westchester and beyond, interact with a spirit of discovery and collaboration. We realize that when we get people from different backgrounds, economic statuses and varying educations together in the same room to talk about our personal experiences, stereotypes become human beings, human beings start conversations, and compassion and understanding begin to undermine previously-held assumptions and prejudices. It's a supportive environment and we love that!
For me, as the Founding Director of M.O.M., the most important thing we can keep doing is talking, sharing ideas and awakening to own lives as mothers, hyper-local activists, green-makers, caregivers, job-workers and homemakers. The issue isn’t our differences – it’s creating and sustaining an even playing field, a respectful dialogue, equal rights and as many healthcare, work and living options as possible to satisfy the varying needs of individual women, mothers and families.
I encourage each of us to favor deep reflection, communication in our own homes and tolerance this Mother’s Day. Those meaningful ways of being will set the tone for improved conditions for us all.
If you are interested in joining us for any of our multiple events at M.O.M. this May or throughout the year, simply access our online Calendar at MOMmuseum.org
Joy Rose is the Founder & President of Mamapalooza, and currently acting as the founding director for the Museum Of Motherhood. Joy is a rock and roll mama advocating for women, mothers and families with radio, tv and events. Working with Mothers and families through a vast network of blogs, mom events and media platforms, Joy believes in the products and services she endorses and is a nationally recognized, award winning producer, writer and activist. A feminist mom with four children, she is a NOW awards recipient, who works with the the M.O.M. Conference annually in NYC. She is also the publisher of Mamazina, formally known as Mom Writers Literary Magazine and founder of The Mom Egg, Housewives On Prozac band and the Mom Rock movement she is an activist for women in the arts and beyond.
The Museum Of Motherhood is supported in large part by our Gymboree partner Deb Whitefield. It’s through her savvy business acumen and devotion to basic feminist tenants that she’s been able to be the kind of partner who has created her own success in the business world, and has demonstrated a willingness to help and support other women along the way.