While I absolutely love the book, and the conversations it’s spawning, I do try to remember that, say, attachment parenting, although it seems like 90% of people I know are trying to do it, is a BLIP on our nation’s radar. Most babies are on formula, most babies are in daycare, most babies are vaxx’d, most boys are circumcised, etc. I hate to pick on people who are already on the fringes for trying to defend their choices, many of which are great, sensible choices. How can women attempt to agitate for issues which ARE choices without being judgmental? One could say, never, but if you think that circumsion is genuinely wrong, do you say so to other moms? Do you try to convince people? When is it ‘mommy wars’ and when is it ‘lobbying for change’?
Well here’s the thing – they may be on the fringes population-wise, but not in terms of their cultural power and significance. And I don’t see it as “picking on” as much as I do thinking critically. But maybe that’s a fancy way to say picking on, I don’t know. And some of these issues – like anti-vaccination – have a huge impact even if they’re just practiced by a few people. The CDC says the whooping cough epidemic is at the worst its been in 50 years. If you can watch a video of a kid suffering with whooping cough and still not vaccinate…I don’t even know what to say. So that’s a tremendous public health issue. But with all of these issues, it’s always going to be painted as “mommy wars” so long as it’s women debating things. The difference for me in terms of what we should be focused on is lobbying individual mothers versus trying to create systemic change. It seems to me that all of this nastiness on mom boards and blogs (and I’m sorry, there IS a lot of nastiness) is a distraction that keeps us from politically mobilizing. So no, I’m probably not going to say to an individual mom that I think such and such is wrong (unless it’s vaccination then I’m just going to make sure my kid goes nowhere near her kid) because it’s not likely to create change that has any lasting impact.
Interesting interview with Jessica Valenti on her parenting book
October 4, 2012 by blue milk
Posted in attachment parenting - problematic?, babies, book review, breastfeeding, daycare, feminism, feminist motherhood, motherhood, motherhood sux, politics, work and family (im)balance | 7 Comments
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