First off, you should understand that this is not a political post. I’ve been an activist, and at times a very effective activist. This post isn’t about that. This post is about people.
One of today’s big buzz phrases is “The War On Women” I tire of hearing that phrase, especially with the context for which it is currently being used. I suppose it is an effective phrase that has focus tested well and has been designed as a PR point by people who make a lot of money. I’m a PR professional, so I keenly recognize this and there are times that I have participated in developing such catchphrases myself in order to push a product or idea. I know how the game works. It doesn’t mean I have to like it.
So let’s discuss the “War on Women” free of the PR professionals, political pundits and media typecasting.
I believe that the real “War on Women” often comes at the hands of other women.
Yes, I am looking at you sister… and myself.
Whoa there…. what are you talking about Jen??
Have you ever read the comment stream on an article that professes “breast is best”? Do so and you will quickly see what I am talking about.
Today there are many options open to us as women in many parts of the world. We can breast feed, we can bottle feed. We can attachment parent, we can choose to have no children. We can choose to work from home, we can choose to work out of the home. We can choose an educational path or training that we are interested in and fulfills us. The point is, we can choose that which works best for us as a person or as a larger family unit. If that is how we go about making decisions, than truthfully what does it matter what others think about our choices? As long as you aren’t breaking the law and hurting people and are finding a path that makes you a better person, I say do it.
Enter stage left other women and “experts” who have an opinion on why what we are doing is wrong…….
How many of you have sat at a play group and felt like you had to explain, and likely defend why you were bottle feeding instead of breast feeding your baby? Perhaps you have had to explain to other parents why you are OK with going to McDonald’s every once in a while. Or maybe you have needed to justify to all of your friends who are getting married and having babies why that choice doesn’t yet feel right for you?
Why as women in 2015 do we feel we need to explain or defend every one of our choices?
So what if you use disposable or cloth diapers? You home school? Glad it works! You feed your baby organic food? Wonderful! Your children play outside in your child proofed and fenced yard without your supervision? That sounds like a plan! You let your children ride their bikes alone around the cul- de sac while you make dinner? Great!
Except it isn’t, because we all know that this isn’t usually how any of these conversation would really go, because there is only one right way to do things. Because many woman believe that if you do it differently than me or them or her, you are obviously wrong and weird.
This is only the tip of the iceberg here and goes way beyond “mommy wars”. I know there are so many other examples I could mention where we as women cringe before other women who want to sit as judge, jury and executioner on another woman’s choices.
I am tired of it. I wish as women in someway we could move forward by encouraging and supporting one another rather than looking to knock down and ridicule. It’s time to end this front of the “War on Women.”.
How do we do this?
First, stop thinking you are an expert on everything
No one person is an expert on everything, and, truthfully, it should be all right to NOT have an opinion on everything. Sometimes our “expert” status will prohibit us from continued growth, because each person and woman here on earth has a story to share. If we are wise we can take the opportunity to learn something new from someone everyday.
Don’t say it if it is going to hurt someone. Period. There are lots of people today who feel if they scream the loudest than their viewpoint will “win” the day. That view is just killing us as a society. Take a moment to listen, and see what you can do to encourage another woman before you become a member of the jury.
I would hope that as women, we could get to the point where it is about people, rather than about being right, or continually comparing ourselves to someone else. That is when the War on Women will stop.
Is this a realistic goal? Maybe. I do know that perhaps a few other women with this same viewpoint moving forward together with a determination to unite rather than divide could do a whole world of good. So today I am choosing to be part of that group. Even if I am alone, but I hope and don’t think I am. You are welcome to come along in any capacity you can, because together we will be better and stronger.
Stay Happy! Stay Informed!
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