What’s Wrong with Moms Rising

Yesterday’s NYT ran a story about the newly formed and loosely organized women’s/mother’s group, Moms Rising (for some reason I can’t post the link to the story so just log onto nytimes.com, the story was in the fashion section, and is currently the third most popular story on the web site).

Moms Rising is a coalition of women’s groups online organized around fighting the inequities that working mothers face, fighting for universal health-care, and other important issues. I’ve blogged about this group before and if you haven’t signed up to receive their petitions, I urge you to do so: www.MomsRising.org

So what’s my beef with yesterday’s story, you might be wondering?

Two things.

First. Why the hell is it in the Fashion and Style section? There is nothing fashionable or stylish about workplace discrimination against working mothers. Or single mothers facing poverty and having no health-care for their children. So, my first question is to the NYT – a supposedly liberal and progressive news outlet. What, pray tell, motivated you to place a story along these lines in your Fashion and Style section? Why is this not legitimate news for the A section?

My second beef with the article is with Moms Rising. I realize this is a newly formed group and they are doing their best to get working mom’s organized and raise the attention of important issue amongst a new Congress and Presidential candidates.

But the group is making one fatal flaw from the onset and it’s right there in the Fashion section for you all to read with your pretty eyes.

They are not including men, for now.

Aren’t working fathers our best advocates? Surely you all have spoken with your husbands about the importance of supporting and advocating for the working mom’s in their respective offices? Surely you have berated them while relaying a story to you about their days and pointed out the flaws in which they handled that personnel issue regarding that working mom? Surely you have challenged them to become a voice for the need for flexibility and paid maternity and paternity leave, as your beloved husbands continue to climb the corporate ladder?

This, my pretties, is what I view as the great weakness of any women’s movement going forward. Unless we motivate the husbands and fathers and male managers to advocate our issues as well, we will not achieve as much as we’d like. We will not break new ground. Sadly, the marble ceiling is still pretty well in tact and women are not taking the most senior positions of the Fortune 500 and government offices, by storm.

That, of course, is another subject for another day, but we all know that much of the reason is because the most qualified women aren’t duking it out for those positions because they’ve made compromises for their families along the way.

So we can all get our claws out and fight the issues of workplace inequities, flex-time, federally mandated maternity leave and health-care, until our claws need sharpening. But until we include and motivate the men in our lives from the get-go, I just don’t think we’re going to be as effective.

And so, dear readers, I ask you to make sure that you keep your husband in check, you challenge him to be a progressive voice in the workplace, to watch for discrimination against working mothers, and do his best to chart a new path. Every little bit helps, and well, if you’re a Kitty Time reader, I’m quite sure your husband feels the same about these issues as you do. Sometimes, they just need a little reminder.

2 Responses to What’s Wrong with Moms Rising
  1. Judy
    February 24, 2007 | 1:13 am

    Hi, Kitty
    I also saw that item yesterday but didn’t notice it was in the Fashion section. Here’s what I think, in response to your post:

    The organization is women only, at the moment, and therefore the editors see that as a “woman’s” story and put it in a women’s section. It hasn’t gained enough momentum yet to be considered hard “news”. When they have 50 million women on their website, it will become that kind of news, for example.

    I agree with you that it’s not a women’s issue, per se, but a family issue. And men certainly need to get behind it. There are many working single parents today, both male and female.

    As a publicist and someone who deals with the press on a daily basis, that’s my take on it.

    Good post.

    P.S. My WordPress Blog on the media and PR will be up and running soon.
    Best, Judy

  2. kittytime
    February 24, 2007 | 1:44 pm

    Judy –
    Let me know when your blog is up – Kitty Time is particularly interested in media and PR – it’s my field as well. Good point on the location of the story in the NYT, I hadn’t considered that. Still think it deserves the hard news section but at least it was the third most viewed story on their site – at least that shows that the content of the story has legs and resonates well with readers.
    KT

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