For some reason, Sarah Palin and her acolytes, or as she likes to call them, the “mama grizzlies,” want us to believe that politically conservative mothers speak for all mothers and that they have a corner on common sense or on the political motherhood market.
I beg to differ.
And there are plenty of fabulous non-grizzly moms running for office, like my friend Aimee Olivo who’s running for her local school board. And my friend Jill Miller Zimon who ran for and won a seat on her town council. And Congressional candidate Krystal Ball, a Democratic mom of a toddler trying to make some headway in a really red part of Virginia. And Ariana Kelly, who’s running for a seat in the Maryland House of Delegates.
You get the idea.
Sure, I’m glad that women, especially mothers, of all political persuasions are finding and exercising their political voices, especially the ones who realize they can do it without demonizing the opposition. That’s why I’m so excited that over 50 amazing mothers of various political stripes agreed to be featured in my Mothers of Intention book that will be coming out late this fall thanks to the amazing people (especially Lucy Chambers!) at Bright Sky Press. In addition to great essays, the book explores the political revolution women and mothers are building online and through social media.
So I have to take exception to Palin trying to horn in on the political mom territory by implying through her rhetoric and advertising that her right-wing supporters are the ones who created this. They didn’t. We were out here shaking things up when she was still visiting the Beehive Beauty Shop to have her hair done in her pre-governor days.
As for the whole “mama grizzly” analogy? Sure, mothers get riled up and all protective about things that impact their children, but we’re usually able to manage without rearing up and taking a swipe at someone. After all, blood stains are just extra work when we’re doing the laundry! For the most part, moms are actually able to use their brains and verbal skills to get most things accomplished, including their “political” agendas.
Sarah, maybe if you tried to have an actual conversation with women about taking part in the process and engaging all mothers, not just the ones you think are like you in that ‘pioneer-woman-of-politics’ kind of way, you’d know that. But I should stop there. I don’t want to give you too many hints about reaching mothers who want in on changing the world.