10 May 2012

A "TIME"ly Call To Arms

My new issue of TIME has not yet arrived, and when it does, I will send it directly to the recycling bin.  I will not go there and I ask that anyone who really wants to see the end of "the mommy wars" do the same.  There is no possible positive outcome from the topics addressed in this issue. If it is super pro-attachment parenting criticizing anyone who doesn't breastfeed, co-sleep and cloth diaper, I say:  "I am the only one who knows the right choice for my family."  If it is anti-attachment parenting, telling us breastfeeding is gross or saying that co-sleeping causes SIDS, I say:  "I am the only one who knows the right choice for my family."  So lets all do parenting a favor and recognize this for what it is: a thinly veiled, sad attempt at capitalizing on a current trend. 

The only thing perpetuating this whole "mommy-wars" phenomenon is our own willingness to engage in the in-fighting.  In-fighting that is often, I might add, instigated by the pervasive normalization of everything by male standards.  If you think the media is not controlled  by old, culturally-white men who stand to gain everything by engaging this last venue for anti-feminist rhetoric, then that is your real problem.  Notice it is "mommy-wars" and not "parenting-wars" or "daddy-wars."  Sure men may be making all the rules, but they sure aren't suffering from the fall-out.  It may not be as obvious as say anti-choice legislation, but this is one of the many quiet, subversive ways that women will always be kept in our place.  Sure, I probably sound like a crazy person right here, but think about it.  Don't we all kind of know this is true?

Here is the pact I am making:
  • I will try not to judge other parents; their choices are their own business. This will be hard, I am a bossy-know-it-all by nature.
  • I will not sit around sighing "why can't we all get along" because we can, we are choosing not to and all the whining in the world won't fix that.
  • I will make sure that I recognize parenting as important work for all people involved.  Fathering* is a big deal too and I will not let the focus on women devalue the input of the "non-mom partner."
  • I will not get sucked into the endless debate that shameless pot-stirring like this issue of TIME inspires.  The fact that printed news is a dying medium is no excuse to be so anti-humanist.
I take it back, this magazine does not deserve to be recycled.  If you think this is shameless exploitation of the current war on women just so TIME can make some cash, mail it back with a letter saying so.  Just so we are clear: this is an election year, really serious news is happening worldwide and wasting an issue on this tired old mommy-bashing is a waste of all our time.  Anyone else with me?  

*Fathering here meaning the role of the person not traditionally identified in the role of "mother."  The fact that many families do not consist of the traditional heterosexual pairing should be accepted as part of the over-all goal to end this regime of parenting (mommy) guilt/ fear culture.