Friday, May 18, 2012

Division Equals Subtraction, Now That I Think About It.

Last week, the cover of Time magazine once again ignited a heated debate amongst many women (and some men) in this country. I am not even going to touch on it because I am not giving it any more attention than it's already been given but what I did find to be most thought provoking was why these debates rage on over and over and over again. The "Mommy Wars", as they've come to be called, just won't stop. Breastfeeding, bottle feeding, homeschooling, stay at home, work from home, work outside the home, discipline, free range, helicoptering, attachment, etc, etc, etc. This list just seems endless.

I personally do not ever get into commenting arguments with people on any of this. The only thing I usually say is to just do your personal best, stop being judgemental and mind your own business. Lately though, I have been giving more thought to the WHY this keeps happening. My first reaction was that people argue and judge is because they feel insecure about their own life choices/circumstances but I really think that the problem is deeper than that. I wish I had noted something I read awhile back, because now that I want to reference it, I of course cannot find it but the thrust of what I read was this: the way to keep the status quo is to keep those who might change it fighting amongst each other.

The more I thought about this, the more it makes sense to me. This theory can apply to so many situations. Think about it - this whole country is just furious. Furious and divided. Yet the pot keeps getting stirred, we keep fighting with each other about pretty much everything and nothing ever changes. By remaining fragmented and focusing on non-issues like whether or not my neighbor breastfeeds her baby or not, we cannot consolidate and affect real change. Those that are making decisions and basically running everything will remain in power and the rest of us will continue pushing further and further apart until the fracture becomes a break.

I am not referring solely to the current political environment and I don't even know who "those in charge" even are. I do know that I feel like my life is not all that self determined somehow. I do feel like whomever is stoking the "mommy wars" has some kind of agenda that really isn't to advance the cause of motherhood. And I can promise you that I am sick to freaking death of people attacking each other online, in person and on TV. No common ground was ever reached by two people calling each other vile names and ridiculing their positions. You want me to listen to your point of view? Then don't act like an ass and understand that extremism convinces me of nothing other than that you are probably crazy.

I think division of people keeps them from gaining power. I think the "house divided" point is the absolute truth. I want to hear what you have to say, I want you to listen to what I have to say and see if we can meet somewhere in the middle. Having strong convictions is great and while I don't think that everything has a true center, I do think that we can do better than we are at the moment. And I really think that people need to see each other as people first and not as a talking point attached to a body. Because were I to seriously define who I am, I don't start with Independent voter, or breast feeder, or work outside the home mom. I start with human and surely we can all relate to that. 

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