There IS No War!

Mon, April 30, 2007


Apparently, there was never any need to have this war.

It’s one that’s been created by those in power, for their own interests and we can start de-escalating right now!

No, I’m not talking about that war. I’m talking about this war!

I almost missed this piece in the New York Times last week called, “Mommy Books: More Buzz Than Buyers.”

Turns out, that even though there’s plenty of press on the topic, and many of us spend time discussing the likes of Leslie Bennetts, Caitlin Flanagan and countless others, they are not getting rich on their book profits. According to the Times story, Flanagan only sold 9,000 copies of her most recent book and my arch nemesis Linda Hirshman only sold 4,000 copies of hers! Hardly a revolution, in either direction.

So why so much attention to this purported trend that isn’t a trend? Because it gets us all anxious and helps to sell those books.

For a long time, I’ve thought that this was a conversation that only a handful of the most foruntate mothers can have — the “dilemma” of whether to work a full-time job or stay home and care for the kids. Most women in this country don’t even have the luxury of that conversation.

My thoughts were echoed by by Arianna Huffington in my Q&A with her:

” … [T]his whole debate is rather elitist. Most women don’t have the luxury of choosing whether they work or stay at home. They have to work. The key thing is that we, as a society, owe women equal respect for whatever choice they make. And, as women, we need to support each other in making this decision… not spend so much time pointing accusatory fingers at those who choose to follow a different road than we have.”

I think that about sums it up. “War” over. Truce called. Everyone move along! Let’s get back to what comes more naturally — supporting each other, whatever we decide to do with our lives.

Let’s create a market for THAT kind of book!

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8 Responses to “There IS No War!”

  1. Amanda Says:

    Thank goodness. I thought maybe I just had a lower middle class chip on my shoulder: “Decide?” WTF with decide? I guess I decided the bills needed to get paid!”

    Thanks for this post, and interesting tid bits on the “war.” I think the reality is that moms have precious little time to read and we all know exactly where we stand on this issue/non-issue. I certainly don’t need to pay $12.95 to have someone repeat my opinion and that of my detractors.
    Write a book on dealing with guilt, working less while earning more, and staying on the self-care and bra wearing on weekends wagon. That I could stand to shell out a few bucks to own.

  2. Lawyer Mama Says:

    Well, that really puts the whole media spin on the “Mommy Wars” into perspective! I have to admit I’m happy to hear that LH only sold 4000 books, but I think I’m a bit disturbed by the fact that Ms. Flanagan sold more.

    Great post, PM!

  3. impromptublogger Says:

    Ehh whatever! I certainly did run into some elitism and snobbisness when I was briefly a member of a local Mom’s club when my dd was little. I felt definitely looked down on because I wasn’t a SAHM. However, some of the members were VERY nice and it was mainly just the few unfortunately including the leadership then. Also, at the time I definitely felt some under-the-surface anti-Semitism. Ironic since now the club president is a member of my temple!

  4. Lisa Giebitz Says:

    Thanks for pointing out that staying at home is often regarded as a luxury most people cannot afford (without some major cutbacks in lifestyle) these days. There are many moms and dads who would stay at home with their kids if they could, and feel little pride in working because they have little choice. On the other hand, many people do like to have a job and wouldn’t leave altogether even if they could.

    That’s why I say that I have the *opportunity* to do it for a few years. Since we can manage it at this point in our lives, why not? My husband is looking forward to the day that we either switch or can manage to both work out of the house.

  5. Paige Says:

    You know, I read that NYT article the other day and meant to forward it to you. Kudos to you and to Ms. Arianna for saying it’s time for us to stop this ridiculous Mommy War crap and support each other.

  6. Gunfighter Says:

    I am a regular reader of the Huffington Post, PM, and I was pleased to see you there!

    I even left a comment.


  7. Expecting Executive Says:

    Completely agree. However, when the media eggs them on, there are certain women who eagerly will rush to the “front lines” to begin tossing bombs back and forth. Sigh. Nice post! Thanks-

  8. rissie Says:

    While I do realize that the majority of working mothers have no choice in whether to work or to stay home with their children, to call staying at home “a luxury” is a misnomer in the grandest sense. At this point in our society, many mothers can stay at home with their kids if they choose to give up other things. I have been staying home with my son for the past year and our trade-off has been a loss of income in the six figures. But I know I will be returning eventually. My DH does not make as much money and we have tightened the purse strings as a result.

    That said, I have no sympathy for some mothers who work because they want to but tell me they wished they could stay home with their kids. My SIL works because she and my BIL want to keep their 4400 sf house for themselves and their one son. Then she turns to me and says she wishes she could stay home with him like I do for my baby. Puh-leeze! She is working for their house and their toys and should be honest about it. Don’t pee on my leg and then tell me it’s raining!

    Thankfully, we live in the USA where we can choose to work or stay home and we should be proud of our choices and our lives whatever they are. Other countries don’t have this “luxury.”

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