The War On Women

In Motherhood, Parenting by Jen44 Comments

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.

Be Kind

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!

Love,

Jen




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Comments

  1. Yes, this is definitely one of the true wars on woment…..a civil war. “Ain’t nobody got time for that kind of drama.” Thank you for bringing this up. Different, not wrong, definitely applies to these kind of choices which you describe. Each person travels a unique journey through life. Some of us just need a kayak. Others have a yacht. Choices we make have to fit the path we’re traveling. Okay. I’m rambling. I seriously should go to sleep. Hopefully, those Benadryl will kick in soon.
    April recently posted…8 Things You Might Hear In a House of Boys….Obvious Ones AsideMy Profile

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      Hopefully that Benadryl pill did the trick. My allergies are terrible right now and “ain’t nothing helping that”! Thanks April, I think you summed it up very nicely.
      Jen recently posted…The War On WomenMy Profile

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      I remember that post. I am so sorry. Men really aren’t as “judgy” as women. Men will tell a dude he is stupid one day and then be slapping him on the back the next day. I wish we as women could do that and could find more to build each other up instead of tearing each other down.
      Jen recently posted…The War On WomenMy Profile

  2. This is spot on. Spot on. I’ve watched this very same thing. I’ve been involved in the same thing and was booted out of a couple of peoples blogs because I did what I wanted to do not what the expert wanted me to do. Oh and she wasn’t an expert either. This is spot on.

    This post made me smile.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺
    Comedy Plus recently posted…I Believe…My Profile

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      Now you made me smile! You get it! I was never a real “My way or the highway” kind of person. Perhaps that is why I have been given the opportunity to raise the children I have. Food for thought :)

      P.S. Clearly she wasn’t an expert or she wouldn’t have booted you in the first place.
      Jen recently posted…The War On WomenMy Profile

  3. Yes…YES! I tired of that phrase long ago, but only because I saw most of the war on women from other women. Not just ‘mommy wars’ type of stuff, but in professional situations as well. There’s nothing wrong with arguing pros and cons, but why does it end up descending into personal attacks? Thank you for sharing this. The true face of equality is in respecting each other. Non matter how much we disagree with personal choices, there’s no excuse for being hateful.
    Leslie recently posted…{Spring Cleaning} Garage Organization TipsMy Profile

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      I was reading a comment stream on Facebook last week where several women were discussing a certain position and within just a few short comments it became so mean and hateful with painful personal attacks being slung around! I didn’t understand why the women even felt justified in this kind of behavior. It was terrible! You are also right about the professional environments. Some of my most brutal “wars” waged were at the hands of other women in professional environments.
      Jen recently posted…The War On WomenMy Profile

  4. Great post, we need to hear this. I used to be such a judgy mom (although it was mostly internal, I’m don’t like confrontation lol). Then my son started going to a special needs preschool and I learned SO MUCH from the other moms. Even if you 100% disagree with how someone is doing something, you have NO IDEA what might be happening in their life that led them to make the choice you see. We need to support each other, not tear down. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this.
    Jessica recently posted…Self Care Basics – Daily HygieneMy Profile

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      Thanks for sharing that Jessica. You are so right we have no idea how other people are feeling and the path they are walking. I heard a story a few years ago. A man was stopped at a light and the car in front of him didn’t go when it was supposed to. He waited a while and then lightly tapped on the horn to alert the driver in front of him. The driver snapped out of the car and came over to the other driver and yelled and screamed. The other man was shocked and just let the tirade continue until the man stepped back into his car. A few weeks later the two men crossed paths somewhere and the man who had yelled and screamed came over and apologized to the other man. He told him that he was driving in his car home from the hospital where his wife had just died. He was so full of anger that he snapped and let it all come out on the other driver.

      Sometimes in our limited viewpoint what we think is happening isn’t really what is happening at all.
      Jen recently posted…The War On WomenMy Profile

  5. While “mom bullying” is a major issue, I would hardly label it as a “war on women”. I feel like too many people try to grab that phrase and claim it for trivial things, which in turn detracts from REAL wars, resulting in REAL casualties among women. The ultimate loss of liberty is the loss of life, and of all supposed or imagined “wars” on women, the only real, tangible, and continued war waged against women in America in my opinion is abortion. With sex selection abortions, more women are systematically slaughtered in the womb than males.. simply because they are female. Maybe I’ve opened a big ol’ controversial can of worms with this comment.. but when “War on Women” comes to mind, I think anything less than wholesale murder via savage dismemberment trumps petty annoyances like “mommy wars”. ;-) – http://www.domesticgeekgirl.com
    Gingi recently posted…10 Easy Life Hacks for Enhancing Restful SleepMy Profile

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      I respect this Gingi. What I am talking about here goes way beyond Mom bullying and drills down to an ugly root core of a BIG women’s problem and why we as women are beating each other up. Now onto the phrase the war on women. Right now it is being used as a way to manipulate and stop real discussion, because anyone who disagrees with a certain viewpoint gets told they are waging a war on women. So we have to take that phrase turn it and find out where the real war is. Like I talked about here today. The pro-life movement, which I am a part of has to start talking about this issue outside of that phrase, because it was created as a masterful way of creating a whole world of haters if you disagree.
      Jen recently posted…The War On WomenMy Profile

      1. I’ve never really heard anyone try to shut down conversation while using that phrase – whether they are using it to discuss abortion (for AND against), female genital mutilation, free birth control, or whatever. Personally, I don’t use the phrase. I think it’s become this catchy chic thing that is beginning to lose meaning (much like the phrases “hope and change”, “choice” and so on and so on, haha..)
        Gingi recently posted…AcuRite Copper Cup Rain Chain Product ReviewMy Profile

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          Agreed! You are lucky if no one has pulled this one on you. I had someone tell me that just a few weeks ago as we were discussing differing viewpoints. I thought nicely, but she rebutted with I was a part of the war on women, jeez Louise!!
          Jen recently posted…The War On WomenMy Profile

  6. Wonderful post. I definitely agree that women are often the hardest on other women. We don’t have to agree with everything that people do, but that’s okay. Diversity is a good thing. You don’t have to parent the way another woman parents, even if it’s your best friend. You can figure out what works for you and your life.
    ShootingStarsMag recently posted…Waiting on Wednesday: SkyscrapingMy Profile

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      Truly spoken. Diversity is a good thing. I had a roommate in college who was from a different country. She asked me once why all of the Americans want to be exactly like one another and about the whole “Keeping up with the Joneses” philosophy. That was quite an eye opening conversation!
      Jen recently posted…The War On WomenMy Profile

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      I know! I have a 2 year old that absolutely refuses to stop!! It makes for some interesting conversations with other women…
      Jen recently posted…The War On WomenMy Profile

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      I heard an inspirational speaker once say it takes us 30 seconds to form an opinion on someone and that she hopes we all could take longer than 30 seconds to decide a person’s worth.
      Jen recently posted…The War On WomenMy Profile

  7. This is so true and I wish more people adopted it. There is so much anger associated with seeing others’ success and I’ve NEVER seen a man degrade a woman with as much furor as a woman does another woman.

    In high school, I befriended everyone.
    In college/grad school, I became a bit of a snob.
    In the professional world, I learned that neither was the right path.
    And now in parenthood, I know that I am the one who needs to set the example of acceptance. I work at it everyday.

    Great post, Jen. #truth
    Sarah Nenni Daher recently posted…TGIT Link Party No 66My Profile

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      That is spot on Sarah! I think you are setting the perfect example for your daughter. Our actions teach so much more than our words. Children learn through example and I hope that mine is worthy of the task.
      Jen recently posted…The War On WomenMy Profile

  8. “I believe that the real “War on Women” often comes at the hands of other women.” Amen, my friend! This is such a sad but true statement. I can’t agree more with your 2 fixes: be kind and quit thinking we are experts. We have so much to learn from each other if we just stay loving and open minded.
    Candace recently posted…Google Plus April Linkup PartyMy Profile

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      Thank you Candace! I think you are such a great example of this, truly. I know that personally I just have so much more fun in life when I adopt an attitude of learning rather than trying to be a know it all. The latter gets kind of lonely.
      Jen recently posted…The War On WomenMy Profile

  9. YES! Everyone’s a critic and everyone’s an expert. I am pretty mellow but even I had to learn a lot. Between my first and second kid, I quickly realized that billions of us are doing this giving birth thing, and that we all do what we feel is best for ourselves and our families.
    Tamara recently posted…Things That Make You Go Hmm..My Profile

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      Very wise Tamara, when you put it that way it makes the “experts” seem very small indeed considering there are billions of us doing this parenting gig.
      Jen recently posted…The War On WomenMy Profile

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      That was a great post Kristen. I would like to be Superwoman, mostly just so I could fly, but sadly that is not in the cards :)
      Jen recently posted…The War On WomenMy Profile

  10. Sometimes It just feels like I can’t even talk to other people without it turning into judgement. One of my favorite phrases is “you do you.” Whatever works for you is what you should do. We have all made different life choices and some of us have clawed our way along with a lack of choices. As long as you can hold your head high and declare that you are doing the best you know how with what you’ve been given, who is anyone else to judge!
    Rabia @TheLiebers recently posted…The Relief of GraceMy Profile

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      I like that phrase! For some reason, I can hear it in a voice like Joe Pesci saying it, maybe that is not the voice you are thinking of??

      That is an excellent point Rabia, clawing, scraping, walking whatever our road is it would sure make it a lot easier w/o the judgement!
      Jen recently posted…The War On WomenMy Profile

  11. I think if you feel confident about your own decisions on how to live/parent you won’t feel the need to justify them, regardless of what other people say. I’ve never met a woman in real life who’s been judgey out loud about my choices in a rude way. (The Internet is a different story, though – that’s where all the trolls hang out.)
    Jenny @ Unremarkable Files recently posted…7 Quick Takes about Cracking Down on Shoplifting, Feeling Empathy for Stinkbugs, and a Blast from the PastMy Profile

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      Down with trolls and also mean PTO people who have said less than kind things to my face…. You are right though, we should feel confident in our decisions and what our gut tells us and go with it.
      Jen recently posted…The War On WomenMy Profile

  12. Fantastic post Jen! I faced (and still face) this often when we decided we only wanted one child. People are so confused and wonder why, and I find myself explaining all.the.time. It’s frustrating! Things may change for us in the future, but for now we’re happy where we are.
    I think sometimes as women, we are our own worst enemy. We need to be less judgmental of one another.
    Tiffany | A Touch of Grace recently posted…Fresh Strawberry Muffins, Muffin #5My Profile

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      It’s interesting that people would feel like they even need to have an opinion on that. I am sorry. My mother used to tell me that “God would let my heart know how many children would fill it” and he did.
      You are right we can definitely be our own worst enemies!
      Jen recently posted…If Adults Acted Like Toddlers We Would Go To JailMy Profile

  13. I want to say something insightful and original, but I’ve just read all of your comments and simply agree. Do love your quote “don’t become part of the jury.” We can learn so much from each other if we just stop overlaying our own (sometimes uninformed) biases over others’ choices, and instead really listen and observe. Your example in a previous comment about the man whose wife had just passed away is really encompassing; we should all stop and consider the fact that we don’t know what is going on in another’s life (and therefore, we do NOT know what is best for that person/family) before jumping to conclusions.
    Wendy recently posted…“1st on the 1st!” for April: A Discarded Table and a Little Chalk PaintMy Profile

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      Thank you Wendy! That story about the 2 men really struck me. We just never know the struggles another person is facing. I too wish we could treat others like we would want to be treated.

      I had a friend once who told me that before she said or acted on anything she would think how it would make her feel if someone did that to her children. That is a powerful thought process!
      Jen recently posted…If Adults Acted Like Toddlers We Would Go To JailMy Profile

  14. Jen, you are so right. The real war on women comes from each other. I know I have felt it, and probably have contributed to it as well. Thank you for the reminder. Let us be lifters and bearers of one anothers’ burdens, not the ones that add to it. Kindness counts.
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