Politics, culture, and war

Sunday, May 8th, 2005

The Christian Science Monitor reports on the “Mommy Wars”

“We heard mothers talking about the kind of hypersexuality that’s out there, about violence and disrespect, about body image, all the things that are not exactly news, but cutting across a huge and diverse sample of mothers,” says Martha Farrell Erickson of the University of Minnesota, lead researcher on the study, released by the Institute for American Values in New York. “What they would really like to see is mothers and fathers joining forces more effectively to take on some of these issues.”

Politics did not come up naturally in these mothers’ group conversations; they see the solutions more through the avenue of personal and community action, rather than dumping these problems on the doorstep of government. But there is a stark political fact that strategists from both parties are keenly aware of, and which could telegraph a major theme in the next presidential race: the “married parent gap.”

Does the Monitor force the plotting of national politics here? If real people are concerned about the rush of influence into the family circle, why is the news thrust a “strategy” issue? “Mommy Wars”?

Just a question.


One response to “Politics, culture, and war”

  1. Trixie says:

    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.