Mommy communities are a boon to the digital age mothers. Here, we can share our motherhood struggles, address issues about parenting, that often get glossed over by the social idea of motherhood. Everyone would have us believe that being a mommy is a blissful experience, as shown in baby care product advertisements. But when it comes to cracked nipples, sleepless nights and colicky babies, these platforms help women find support and solutions to their agonies. These communities are also a platform for mothers to discuss the current social changes which affect them as parents. One such topic is the endorsement (or not) of feminism.
An equal and better society is not possible if we don’t embrace feminism.
A letter from a popular moms’ community is under the scanner for claiming that their community is feminine but not a feminist one.
In the current social atmosphere is it a good move to reject feminism, that too as a community of mothers?
Being feminine and feminist are indeed different, but they are not opposites. We don’t have to choose one of them. We can be both feminine and women who believe in equality.
Feminism perhaps is the most misunderstood word. It is often confused to be a bra-burning and man-hating cult, which is reactive and unreasonable. All these are symptoms of militant feminism, but not feminism. The later doesn’t hate men, and just believes that all humans are equal. Yet, such is the fear of militant feminism and the criticism it draws for being unreasonable, that it has ended up making feminism a bad word. Women willingly distance themselves from the concept of gender equality, due to misinformation.
However, it is essential that mothers become aware of what true feminism is and endorse it openly. If we want to rid our patriarchy and curb sexual crimes against women and girls, then mothers have to embrace it with open arms.
Practising and imparting values of equality to young minds in Indian households is a difficult task.
Mothers who want to teach their boys to respect and empathise with the opposite gender, often find themselves at the losing end here. Their opinion and virtues are bogged down by those around them. Their efforts to teach their children that boys and girls are equals go to waste, because often elders and peers around them influence them to believe otherwise. Eventually many mothers just feel dejected.
Communities for moms can become platforms where mothers can realise that they are not alone in their struggle. They can find and give support to other moms as well as form a collective front to raise a more balanced society. Now is the time, as great as any, to start teaching our children about gender equality. Amidst the cries of #Beta Sikhao and to give girls equal treatment, mothers need to unite. The task at hand is a tough one. But by uniting our forces we can take a step towards moulding the next generation into a sensitised one.
Picture Credit: flexiboss.com
Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section. The views expressed are author’s own.