It was on a popular mommy blog’s post about the upcoming US elections that I read the comment (and I’m paraphrasing), “I thought this was a mom blog. Don’t make it political,” and I was incensed. Or, annoyed at the very least. The mere idea that a mom blog should not be political upset me to my very core. It led me to ask the question, Why not? Why shouldn’t a mom blog be political?
Whereas I’ve always had a firepit burning in the core of my belly when it came to social justice, I believe that motherhood and politics merged back in 2016. I was hired at a job that I labelled my dream job. My boss seemed cool, relaxed, and understanding about things like work-life balance. This was particularly important to me as a mother. But, then the US elections happened, and the ripple effect of that outcome permeated even beyond the US borders. Suddenly it was okay to be sexist, racist, and homophobic. Suddenly there were so many more of these uglies, as I see them, feeling free to roam the streets. My boss, much to my surprise, was one of them. Slowly the comments came out—the gays this, the immigrants that—each day becoming more and more ugly. I was naïve and slow to come around to my new reality, but a turning point came for me the day that Alyssa Milano began the massive wave that would become the #metoo. I was pumped. I was excited. I went into the staff kitchen to pour myself a cup of coffee and my boss and his cronies were in there, talking US politics. In my energetic state—feeling as I was that a monumental change was on the horizon of human rights and equality—I said, You know, I believe that if and when the day comes that Trump gets ousted, it will be at the hands of a woman. I expected some form of agreement, even if it was only in the form of a nod or uh-huh. I expected that I wasn’t speaking to a room of uglies. But I was. I really, really was. I was not speaking to a room of males that believed women are equals, I was not speaking to a room of men that saw the validity of #metoo, I was not speaking to a room of men that thought women had any place in politics. I had obviously not read the room at all. But once I did, I was legitimately incensed.
Four years later, not enough has changed in the world of uglies. If anything, they’ve become that much more fervent. But, so have the voices of the other side, the ones that do believe in equality is a basic human right that should be available to all citizens and inhabitants of each town, city, county, state or province, country, continent and planet. Whether it’s about #blacklivesmatter, LGBTQ rights, or a woman’s ability to make decisions about her own body, the voices have gotten stronger, firmer, filled with resolve and backbone.Which is what made me particularly exasperated when I read that comment, amongst other similar sentiments. Because when there are people out there who still question the validity of any of the above, and who go entirely out of their way to denounce the most basic rights of another human, how can it not be political? And not only that, but shouldn’t the mothers be the ones to get the most political? The mothers, who are raising the next generation of black youth, gay youth, straight youth, white youth; the mothers who want all the hating to stop and who teach that love is love; the mothers who want to raise strong women who don’t need hashtags like #metoo, should be okay with getting political. 2020 is political. 2020 is all kinds of political. Get. The. Fuck. Political. You don’t have to take to the streets and wave flags but, have the conversations and make them count. Don’t shy away. It’s okay if it makes you uncomfortable. Get political.
That same boss and I had a face-to-face confrontation at one point where he suggested that he be allowed his opinions and I be allowed mine. He thought it was a reasonable approach. However, I did not agree. When one person’s opinions hinder the human rights of another, they are no longer entitled to their opinions. This is the realization we’ve come to in 2020. This is the truth that needs to be taught to future generations. Change is actually possible and women can be the leaders of change.
The suffragettes had a slogan that read, The young are at the gates. The young are at the gates of change. The young must be led by their mothers.