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August 30, 2007

Mommy Wars on the Campaign Trail

Brawling_womenIt's easy to criticize the parenting choices of celebrities.  Some say it's fair game since those of notoriety put their lives in the spotlight for all of us to see.

There are certainly plenty who make their money from scrutinizing and publicizing the lives of the rich and famous.  As a society, for some reason, we seem to be OK with that.  But what would you do if you put some critique out there on your own blog and the person with the instantly recognizable name fought back?

That's what happened this week when one blogger chose to follow-up on the recent New York Times story about presidential candidates taking their children on the campaign trail.

Rebecca on D.C. Metro Moms' sister site, Silicon Valley Moms Blog, expressed her extreme criticism about the life choices that Elizabeth Edwards has made.   She even called Edwards a terrible mother, though later took that off the post saying she had changed her mind.  Edwards, a blogger herself, posted a response in the comment section.  Needless to say, the dust-up garnered a WHOLE lot of media coverage.

As a "recovering lawyer," I certainly defend Rebecca's right to say what she did and to hold those opinions.  But as someone who is VERY tired of the whole Mommy Wars "debate," I was frustrated because moms who lambaste other moms about choices they make for themselves, their children and their families should realize that Mommy Wars proponents (read: news outlets who sell advertising and publishers who sell books) will ultimately use those comments to keep that topic alive when it really needs a decent burial.

The question that that keeps rolling around in my head is:

Aren't we doing ourselves more harm than good when we second-guess the decisions of other mothers?

The media love a good cat-fight and, on some level, that's how the Mommy Wars discussion gets portrayed.  When we dress-down other women and their choices, media coverage of it sends the signal that women who engage in this discussion aren't to be taken seriously.

I know that many have carved out a niche for themselves dissecting and analyzing this so-called phenomenon.  I say let's just turn the page on this one, write "The End," and say goodnight to the Mommy Wars.


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