And, no, I am not talking about that pesky little war in Iraq where we actually have hundreds of troops being killed in a foreign country. That only makes news when something “newsworthy” occurs because we all know a real war is such a downer to talk about. I am talking about the “newsworthy” war that we all should apparently be up in arms about. The Mommy Wars. Are you battle ready? Did you buy your fatigues and kiss your family goodbye? No? Shame on you! You are at war!
I sat down to try to write a fair and balanced report on this topic. However, there is not one thing that is fair or balanced about this media fueled war. In fact, my keyboard is whimpering in pain as I slam out these words.
Once again the media has grabbed hold of one woman’s opinion about another and simply had to exploit it into the Mommy Wars. I am so sick of this being blown out of proportion and doing nothing but stirring controversy and anger. Why don’t you report it as you really appear to consider it? “Good morning! Today we will be talking about another Rowrrrr Cat Fight between a few women. Stay tuned. We’ll take a hard hitting look at this issue after we report on this pesky Iraq situation.”
Yes, morning “news” shows, I am talking to you. Today Show? Good Morning America? CBS This Morning? I have a question for you. Who are you helping? What greater good are you serving when anytime there is a difference of opinions between at least two mothers you immediately jump on the “Ohhhhh, the Mommy Wars are in full battle mode!” and then talk about it as if all mothers are attacking each other? Is your purpose to get us fighting? Is it to make us judge each other? Or is it just so that you can get us mad enough we talk and you get the ratings? I will give you the fact that you get us talking. About you. About how sick and tired we are of being thrown into your “war” and causing strife among a massive portion of the population who quite honestly would rather find support and acceptance from each other.
Can you show me a list of the people you are helping when you are exploiting your Mommy Wars? I can certainly give you a massively extensive list of people you are hurting. Surely, that is not your intent. Is it?
I know I am not alone in my feelings of wanting to end your Mommy Wars once and for all.
A comment from techmama hits it the point many of us feel.
I also commented on another post that people seem to be missing an important point: Why does the media so quickly jump on controversial issues (by blowing it up and throwing in the word “mommy wars”) without showing other opinions? Sharing opinions is just that. Has the media covered moms in support of families staying together on the road? Or is that not news worthy? Can moms have a good debate on issues without the media or public viewing it as mommy wars?
In the comments about this issueBeth — also of Silicon Valley Moms Blog– brings up a very important point about this entire Mommy Wars topic that gets the media whipped into a frenzy.
One point that is being lost is the media frenzy about creating “mommy wars” from opinions mom have on specific issues. They don’t jump on it when moms talk about their positive thoughts – but if a mom dares share a controversial view – then they jump on it. I want to see the media share our positive messages also. I am tired of this!
Exactly! Why can’t there be more stories on support, helping one another, or the tons of support groups that Moms are involved in? Where is your story on BlogHers Act? Where is your story on Moms supporting another Mom who has cancer? Those who rally around her and are doing things to support her in her life? Where are those stories?
Is there going to be a day where every woman–every mom–agrees with each other? Of course not. If I hear another mom say that all women should work outside the home full time or they are poor examples to their children, will I agree with her? No. Does that put me at war with her? Absolutely NOT. On the other side of the coin, if I hear a mother say that every mom should stay at home with her children or they are bad mothers, will I agree with her? Of course not. Am I at war with her? Absolutely NOT.
We don’t want your “war.” We do not want to be exploited for your Mommy War ratings. Do you want to know what we want?
We want to find an even playing field where we can both agree and disagree without having the media jump into the fray and tell us we are at “war” with each other. We want to find support and learn from our different experiences. We want you to know that we don’t always have to agree with each other to still respect each other. We CAN agree to disagree without your contrived controversies and made-up wars.
Now even Katie Couric is being thrown into this and having her mothering attacked by covering the REAL war in Iraq.
In two separate segments yesterday, Fox News attacked CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric for reporting from the ground in Iraq, calling it “a desperate move” and asking if it was a “ratings ploy or legitimate journalism.”
She is doing her job. HER JOB, people. But no. It is not her job that is in question. It is her mothering.
On Your World With Neil Cavuto, guest host Dagen McDowell featured Janice Crouse of Concerned Women for America, who characterized Couric’s trip as “a clear act of desperation” by a single mother whose “priorities [are] so determined by her ambition rather than her children’s welfare.” Crouse pointedly accused Couric of being a bad mother for going to cover Iraq:
I would say the same thing if this were a man journalist going out there, a male anchor, because when you look at the choice she’s making, she’s saying my ratings are more important than my children. That’s the bottom line.“
First, there are many men journalists going out there and I have yet to read an attack on his parenting skills. Secondly, I have searched all over to find Katie Couric saying that her ratings are more important than her children and have yet to find it. Why? Because that is NOT what she is doing. Just as Elizabeth Edwards is not a terrible mother for taking her children on the campaign trail. Two different high profile mothers. Two different situations. Both being attacked for their personal choices.
I have been taken to task before for talking about the Mommy Wars here as it gives them a forum. I respectfully disagree. You won’t silence me when you throw trash at me. You are going to from hear me. And you are going to hear me tell you that you are wrong to pit mothers against mothers. Because that appears to be the goal here.
It has been noted that the reason the Mommy Wars exist in first place is because women can be judgmental and vicious to each other. Really? There’s a newsflash for you. You can title it DUH! But to add fuel to that fire and use your weapons of mass destruction against us only hurts mothers everywhere–regardless of who they are. (And trust me on this one. There are weapons of mass destruction used in this “war” and I can find them easily and show you how you are making this war worse for motherhood as a whole.)
End it. Now. It is time for mothers to just stand up and say ENOUGH. We don’t have to agree with each other. We don’t have to live the same lifestyles, make the same choices or have the same political views to work together to stop this overly blown out of proportion “war” that we did not sign up for or agree to be a part of.
Are you sick of this, too, Moms? Then let’s end it. Stand with me and tell the media to cut the crap, end their fueling of this idiocy and let us be who we are without pitting us against each other.
Because frakly, I have children to raise and a life to live and don’t have time to fight the Mommy War that the media so badly wants me to fight. I am over it. OVER. IT.
Are you, too. Share it. Speak out against it. Write about it. Tell them to cut the crap and move along to real stories. It’s what I am doing and will continue to do. Because Moms? I am not at war with you. I never have been and have no plans on enlisting.
tags: Good Morning America, Today Show, CBS Early Show, Katie Couric, mommy wars
Cross posted on BlogHer
Sing it, sister.
Well said! Any tips on concrete ways that we can send that message to the media?
As someone who doesn’t have kids, but is the daughter of a mom who caught hell from a lot of people because she had a full-time job in the 80s…can I revolt, too? On behalf of the kids?
It’s “news worthy” because it’s controversial.
If they reported about mothers getting along or mothers with differing views respecting each other’s values, they wouldn’t generate the backbiting hype.
Shame on them [media] for fueling all of this crap.
And yes, I am tired of it.
I’m tired of reading about it and I’m tired of worrying about it.
I think you hit the proverbial nail on the head.
Forget the Mommy Wars.
The idea is the contrivance designed to keep Mothers from focusing on the real issues of the day.
The fact that you wrote this article indicates you are finally waking up to being manipulated. Now…go stop the real wars.
What is a “mommy war”, and who has time to watch morning shows anyway?
You tell ’em, Mom! I still don’t see the media attacking and exploiting the dads in the same roles as the Moms they’re nailing. (not grammatical, but heck, I’m mad as blazes and I’m not going to take it any more! PBTHXH!!)
I know I already commented, but today I passed a church that had on its sign the following phrase: “Working Mother is a redundant phrase.”
Hmmm…this could go a number of different ways.
Thanks for bringing this all together in a post. Yes, I was and am tired of the media only covering controversial issues and spinning a debate into a “war”. Great post.
I’m with you.
By the by, where are the Daddy Wars? Why is it that the Dad’s can disagree and Mom’s can’t? Sigh. It’s all so sad.
The worst bit is that there are so many other really important things that we should be spending our time sorting out. Who has the time for this make believe stuff any way?
You rock. There’s just no more that needs to be said. You’re on target here.
Even though I don’t think Rebecca’s refusal to appear on GMA was borne out of a desire to avoid perpetuating this fictional war, it was a fringe benefit.
But it IS sad that all the instances of online support and substantive discussions go virtually unnoticed.
There are a few factors at play here, and when you talk about the media, you have to always consider the source. Morning Talk Shows, and Fox News. Both are known more for then sensationalism and yellow journalism than actually reporting the news.
No, no news outlet is going to report “feel good” stories unless they have some “sexy” angle to them. Controversy, on the other hand sells, so as long as that is the case, you will hear about the “wars” and not the “good deeds” (Good deeds are so “boring” and trivial – please note sarcasm, that is THEIR opinion not mine).
On the other hand, you are missing one element from the “Mommy Wars.” Using one of your examples, if the SAHM that “declares” all mothers MUST stay home… you may politely disagree, however SHE may declare war on you anyway. Very similar to political blogs, mommy blogs have a tendency to both polarize people to one side or the other, but even in the cases where the wise people “stay out” or “stay neutral” those that are looking to instigate or preach still do so, and are more than happy to be at “war” with anybody that does not have an opinion that is EXACTLY like theirs.
Oh, and for Leanne, Daddy’s can have “wars” too, it is just that nobody cares. There have been plenty of polarizing issues here as well, but few other than those actually involved actually pay attention.
OMG, you are so right on!
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I couldn’t have said it better. You go girl!
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Best defense I can think of is to boycott their shows! Hit ’em in the ratings!
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I agree with Megan, above, about boycotting their shows. We absolutely must make our voices heard by turning the station, not buying their advertised products, and keeping in touch with excellent sites like this one!