More on terminology: “Mommy Wars”

Saturday, May 14th, 2005

In a comment in my post on what I thought was typical journalistic conflation, Trixie of Distracted Diva writes

The term “Mommy Wars” is an interesting bit of rhetoric. It is commonly used to describe the imaginary schism between stay-at-home mothers and mothers who work outside the home. Groups who are not supportive of women’s rights use this term to create a perceived discord between these kinds of mothers, painting each as hostile to the other, and to then present this image as a reality to the culture at large. This also creates a no-win situation for mothers, who are not supported by the either/or ideology implicit in this rhetoric, and allows the culture at large to focus on a fictional “catfight” rather than on the real issues affecting mothers’ ability to care for their children.

This is well stated. Trixie rubs this coin to the understuff, revealing the “emptiness” of media-common terms, which may be anything preceeding the word “war.” But here’s another related issue. We talk a lot about “values” in the commons. But rarely do we drill down into the notion of what constitutes value.


Comments are closed.