Mums, here’s looking at you. I’m leaving the Dads out of this because the number of men I see attacking other people online about their choices about work and children is extremely minute. Quite frankly, if that sounds sexist then I dare you to go and look at any women’s website where the debate (read: attack) is raging about staying at home with your children versus working.
This has got to stop. I can’t go to any women’s website lately without reading an article by a working mother, or a SAHM. Just last night 60 Minutes ran a story on attachment parenting, once again sparking debate. All the stories sound the same after a while – justifying and defending their choice to either work or stay at home. Cue a flurry of comments from women. These women don’t hold back. They are vicious in their judgment of the women that make the other choice and equally defensive when someone does the same thing to them about their choice.
I don’t have children. I don’t see myself having them for a while yet. But the amount of vitriol I see between women about staying home versus working makes me FEARFUL for the amount of judgment I am going to get when I choose to reproduce. Because even though most of the judgers wouldn’t say it to my face, they will be secretly making smug comments behind my back about whichever choice I make. Or they’ll be anonymously commenting about it online somewhere using me as the “example” as to how little Jimmy has problems because I work, or how the mighty have fallen if I stay at home.
Where’s the sisterhood, girlfriends? Why are you, SAHM, blasting comments that “you shouldn’t have children if you’re going to dump them in childcare“? And why are you, working Mum, looking down your nose at women who stay at home because they’re “setting themselves up to have no skills and be unemployable should their husband die or leave“? Where’s the support for each other?
Women before us had to fight bloody hard for equality and for women to have CHOICE. You’re all making a mockery of their hard fight by attacking each other and judging other women’s choices. It’s outrageous and it is down right mean. If your kids were doing it in the school yard, it would be bullying. As adults, it’s putting someone down to make yourself feel better. Or, if we’re honest, it’s bullying.
Wouldn’t it be great if the SAHM vs working parent debate just STOPPED because everyone stopped commenting on the articles, or making comment about how the other option is inferior?
If you’re a stay at home Mum, why do you care what the woman next door does? So what if the woman next door goes to work? Why don’t you just support the sisterhood and help her out? Don’t judge her. She’s doing what is best for her family.
If you’re a working Mum, stop rolling your eyes at the SAHMs. Don’t think that you’re superior because you’re working and you have a career. Don’t think they’re bored and unchallenged, because they are not. They’re doing what is best for their family. Is it really that hard to support each other and look out for each other?
I actually think that the internet, with all it’s wonderful advantages, is caustic in generating animosity among women. The “Mummy Wars”, where online (as well as traditional, to a certain extent) media, blogs and websites are publishing deliberately inflammatory articles so that women attack each other. Well, I’m sure they don’t do it with that purpose – they do it for hits, to drive up their advertising revenue. But it’s become clear: if you want guaranteed hits, write an article about parenting, particularly something that pits women against each other. It’s not just the “Do you undergo paid work or not?” articles, it’s the attachment parenting, the breastfeeding and even the way someone chooses to give bloody birth!
Support each others choices and help each other out. Stop tearing each other down. It helps no-one and just creates negative feelings between women. Just stop reacting to the “baiting” articles! Most importantly, DON’T go onto the internet and slag each other’s choices off. Enough already! Just bloody stop already. PLEASE.
What do you think of the media’s “mummy wars”? Do you think that women are each other’s harshest critics? Do you think the internet has helped generate negativity between women about parenting?