Too often the discourse of motherhood and pregnancy is shaped around a privileged lens. We discuss what it means for white middle class mothers in America to go through pregnancy, the pressures they feel to live up to a certain lifestyle, and the countless parenting resources marketed to them. We know that the middle class white mother is pressured to live up to being the best mother she could be. The black mother, on the other hand, has an entirely different reality. The black pregnant body is received by society in an entirely different way, more likely to be met with scorn than joy. It is assumed that the father is unknown or out of the picture.
To have a discussion about the implication of the First Lady calling herself the Mom-in-Chief without once bringing attention to her destruction of the “all black women are terrible mothers” notion is so intellectually dishonest it’s criminal. At best, it is disingenuous to the discourse. Yes, the First Lady is a smart woman who should never have her accomplishments minimized, but I reject the idea that she is not allowed to take pride in doing something that black women are told repeatedly that they are unable to do. Who is to say that her challenge to the negative stereotypes ascribed to black motherhood on a national stage isn’t just as big of an accomplishment as her awards and degrees?
This article was written by newwavefeminism, and it’s incredible. Seriously, you need to read the whole thing.
Was Michelle Obama supposed to stand on stage in front of 20,000 people plus her two daughters and say “These two are cute and all, but what I’m most proud of is serving on the board of directors of TreeHouse Foods!” or talk about how being named president of the Harvard Law Review sustains her to this day? Because what Jessica Valenti is REALLY saying is Malia and Sasha’s lives don’t count nearly as much as the degree to which their mother’s bio adheres to middle class educated WHITE feminism. It’s not some abstract debate about mommy wars and such, it is THESE TWO YOUNG WOMEN RIGHT HERE:
How do you look at those two faces and deny their mom the right to get on stage and say they are the most important things in her world? How do you deny THEIR right to HEAR HER SAY THAT? Because when you put your face on camera or your fingers on keys and belittle that relationship, you’re not talking about feminism anymore. At that point you’re huffing white supremacy straight out of the can if you think some random white woman with a microphone pack gets to dictate any of those things.
**SALUTES THIS POST**
*STRIKES UP THE BAND*
lawdy jaysus praise
i don’t even know what jessica valenti said but WHAT IS IT WITH SOME FEMINISTS AND HATING ON MOTHERS. some women want to be mothers, what the fuck is wrong with that
We (white women misandrists) have to be really careful with turning our misandry into a politic, though. Because hating men is very easily co-opted by racist systems to shunt that hate off white men (who deserve it most) and onto men of color (who really don’t, and who are already murdered by the same systems at an alarming rate). Misandry is liberatory only when it is used to oppose white supremacist capitalist heteropatriarchy, not when it has been co-opted.
[TW: Sexual Assault, Rape] I was shocked to see parts of the very Left which regularly slams patriarchy, and condemns sexism and misogyny, unconditionally defending a man who has been accused of rape. I was shocked seeing parts of the Left defending a man who had unprotected sex with a woman who had specifically not consented to having unprotected sex. A man who initiated sex with a woman who was asleep. A man who admits these things, and does not call them rape! And this Left was not even mentioning the word rape – as if it’s not important, as if the wrongs and rights of this man canceled each other out.
I was shocked to see this Left coming up with every excuse in the book for this man. That sometimes people admit to things they haven’t actually done, that the women were CIA agents, that one of them even had the audacity to look happy and throw a party in the days after allegedly being sexually assaulted.
As a woman, this sent me a clear message: if you happen to be sexually assaulted by a man who has done good political things, you better not speak up. Because you will be silenced. You will be called a liar, and people will support the man, because powerful men can get away with these things.
YOU CAN CONDEMN ASSANGE AND STILL SUPPORT WIKILEAKS.
content warning: stalker-ish.
Once upon a time, a guy came up to me at work. I was seeing someone at the time, and he asked if I was single—I told him no. I found it weird that he gave me some self-pity rant about how “all the good ones are taken.” I felt guilty—and I didn’t know why.
Soon, I broke up with said person I was with at the time. This other fellow found out immediately via friends of friends and came up to me at work literally the next day after my break-up and played dumb. He asked about my boyfriend—I told him I was single. (I would’ve lied had I known how much creepy effort he put in to discovering my “status,” but alas, I didn’t.)
He proceeded to continue coming up to my place of work until eventually I started having a fling with another guy. I told him about it, and once again, he seemed heartbroken and sad. Again, I felt guilty—but I really wasn’t interested in him in any way besides friendship.
So the fling died and yet again this dude shows up—odd, I wondered, how he was never around when I was with someone, but began his usual routine when he discovered I was “available.” So, he brought me flowers. Then a stuffed animal. Then sweets. And I wanted to reject his gifts because they made me uncomfortable as fuck, but I remembered his self-pity, and once again I felt guilty, so I accepted them.
I was accused of leading him on since shortly after all this I started dating my most recent ex. Apparently I owed him “at least a blow-job,” one male friend “joked,” while actually defending the guy. “Well you DID take the flowers, and don’t you feel a little bad for the guy?” he asked, and at the time I couldn’t accurately describe my rage, but I clearly can, now.
I found out later that I wasn’t the first girl to suffer through this man’s “affections.” I was regaling my tale of this horrible guy to a friend of mine, and she stopped me mid-story and asked for a description of the guy. I told her, and apparently he’s the same guy that made her stop going to her favourite cafe. He found out she went there on Fridays for a poetry jam thing, and started stalking her.
Then I found more and more women around campus who had suffered similarly from this guy’s attention. I went back to the same male friend of mine who before defended him, thinking surely he’ll see why I was so bothered, now!
But, nope. My “friend” just laughed, and said, “Wow, man’s desperate but determined! Gotta give him that.”
This is male privilege. This is how it works. It guilts and even terrorizes women into thinking that just because a man is being nice to us, we owe him anything. It’s that disgusting sense of entitlement, “Well I bought you flowers and you accepted them, so obviously you feel the same way so take off your pants.”
It’s gross, it’s fucked up, and if you know someone who does this, sit them down and tell them why it’s bad. I’m tired of guys giving their ~bros~ breaks because “Oh, the poor dude just needs to get laid” or some shit.
And if you’re the type that does this, harasses women and then calls them on the phone sobbing when they’ve told you they’re dating someone new (happened twice with this creep) then you need a good stop on the face. You’re gross, and no one feels sorry for you but yourself, so stop trying to guilt us into returning your affections or giving you anything you don’t deserve.