5/31/07

Wide-Eyed Idealism

I've had a bug up my arse for the past few weeks about something.
To be quite honest, it had me so pissed of I couldn't speak about it.
I think I finally got enough distance from it to calm down a tad. However, this past weekend, a conversation brought it back to the front of me wee cranium.

What pissed me off so was a segment on the Today show about 'Alpha Moms'.
Really.
I mean...are you kidding me?
It went on to speak about how Alpha Moms are a new marketing target because they make big bucks and they have money to spend.
I'm sorry, but I feel a little queasy when I hear the words marketing target about any group.
Maybe this rubbed me the wrong way because, well, it's just wrong.
Maybe it rubbed me the wrong way because I'm not in that group.
Or maybe. Just maybe it rubbed me the wrong way because it's just another way to divide women and begin a whole other round of Mommy wars.

The conversation that got me thinking about all of this again was between my stepmother, Eileen, and I regarding how the whole feminist/women's movement seems to be falling apart.

I began a long-winded dissertation about how we have this long history of fighting each other and not being able to come together for the greater cause. If you look at the suffragettes, and all they fought for...the vote was won for us and then we fell apart.
And while there may have been pockets of forward-thinking women, it wasn't a movement anymore.
Then fast forward to WWII and women began to feel empowered again. And while we didn't organize, necessarily, to fight for our rights to work outside of the home once the GI's came back from fighting overseas, there again, was a pocket of forward-thinking women who
found new worth in these jobs and wanted to keep them.
If you move on to the next decade, women in the 50's had one role. Or were supposed to have one role. Homemaker. If you failed to do so, or you had any inclination of something else, you were one to be pitied.
And who was doing all the poo-pooing and nay-saying? Yes, the media. But mostly other women. Despite the fact that many of them, deep in their hearts, were longing for something else, as well. But it was not to be spoken of.

Then Betty Friedan opened the floor to discussion. There were the words, in black and white. That we can have more than just what our biology dictates. And the feminist movement began with that little book The Feminine Mystique and a little thing called The Pill.

And while the feminist movement made great strides there was huge in-fighting. We women could not come together for one common goal. While we all wanted the same things, we had to drag each other through the mud to do it. We had to separate ourselves. We had to fit in nice, tidy little compartments. Where likes went with likes - there were categories and subcategories of women.

What is curious to me is that how, a gender so great at nurturing and caring, at reaching out and feeling, can be so mean to each other.
Why is it that we have to take what makes us alike and use it against each other to separate ourselves from each other?

I refuse to participate in the whole fight regarding working moms vs. stay-at-home moms.
It's a ridiculous fight. It's a fight that should not even exist.
A mom is a mom.
A female is a female.
Bottom-line.

It really does burn me up and make my stomach turn to hear things like: Alpha Moms vs. Beta Moms (what is this Brave New World?), Mommy wars, The Feminine Mistake, marketing targets, The war between the Working Mom vs. The Stay-At-Home Mom.
We are falling for these sad, media/socially driven wars. We somehow forget to see them for what they really are. Splinters.

I feel lucky that in my blogging dealings, the women I have met are all so beautiful and supportive of each other.
And I would love if we could come together as a societal group so unified in just being women who want to be recognized because they are
women.
Who, at the deepest recesses of their minds and hearts, really do all want the same things.

**I ran into William again last night. I'll post about that later.

6 ripples in the pond:

deb said...

It's only about money and marketing, not really about women at all. All advertising is designed to make you dissatisfied with what you have, if you were satisfied, why would you buy their "new" product?
It's not personal, it's not even new.

Tabba said...

No, it's not new....and I think that's what is bugging me the worst. That we, as a group, don't always see what it for what it is and let it splinter us....as a group.

And I'm not sure I've even touched on what I was really trying to say. That happens to me all of the time...

thailandchani said...

Looking forward to hearing about William.

Regardless of what the social engineers (and that's what they are), the entire purpose of feminism, in my understanding, is that women should have choices. If we are reduced to only one choice, I'd say it failed.

I remember in the 70s when some women from NOW complained about one member who was a SAHM. That somehow shouldn't have been a choice for her.

That was the point at which I became alienated from any kind of organized feminism.

Peace,


~Chani

Tabba said...

Chani - and that's what I just don't get....why we are our own worst enemy. I think that at the root of it, we can't just come together as women who want equality. Because you're right....that's what it is about. But then you throw these new terms and choices into the pot and we want to scratch each other's eyes out.
I just don't understand why we seem to rip each other apart.

I certainly haven't heard of any Daddy Wars....dad's putting each other down for the choices they make. I'm not saying people don't have opinions. But when it comes to women, it's a different ballgame.

liv said...

I think you should send this to Jen for your just post this month...go girl!

Cristi said...

Great post! This week I'm teaching a group of female students about women's rights, specifically Title IX legislation and thinking outside the girl box.

Interesting coincidence that you bring up Alpha personalities, because I just wrote a blog titled 'Alpha and Omega' earlier in the week referring to me and my husband.