These are both really great pieces/arguments. They are worth the read.
From Amber Robinson at Essential Baby:
Over at Salon.com, Irin Carmen was disappointed by “an arc that begins with anti-colonialism, immigration and women being dragged to jail, but returns to the cult of motherhood.”
Initially, I agreed, re-tweeting Valenti’s tweet.
And then I wondered – what is so terrible about putting parenting on a pedestal? Why is it unfeminist to identify primarily as a mother, before anything else? Is it not possible for women to be many things at once?
A key point for me was that Ms Obama did not say that being a ‘mom’ was the most important job in the world (because that’s ridiculous), but that it was the most important role of the many roles she plays.
And then from Amy Gray at Pesky Feminist:
I dislike defining myself as a mother. I find it insulting and actually incredibly embarrassing sometimes. The implied notion I am nothing without my children (or, when talking to other feminists, that I’ve betrayed them somehow). That few men, unless they make money from a related industry (and even then it’s rare), ever mention they have children.
There’s a reason why it’s insulting and annoying. After giving a deft and soaring speech within a template that rarely affords women that option, Michelle Obama positioned herself as “one of the girls”. She traded the intelligence she is known for the emotions she is expected to market, which is understandable on the campaign trail but still upsetting for others who expect more from her.
This is a really interesting debate for feminist mothers… and I would love to hear what you think about it all before I comment. (I should also mention that I am friends with both these women and I love that their thoughtful writing is progressing this whole debate).