Writing at the intersection of motherhood, feminism and my Latinidad

17 May 2009

Fem 2.0 tweetchat

It's over.

Since I participate fairly regularly, I immediately noticed who wasn't on. I'm trying not to take it personally, I really am. But being told that I'm trying to force a rift where there isn't one, that I offended people by voicing an issue I have felt since before I was a mom and that by making sacrifices...well I feel pretty beaten up.

I don't know how many times I have to repeat this.

I tried to bring in mom issues to feminist conversations and I got a lot of blank stares.

I tried to bring feminist issues to mom conversations and I get silence or even thrown out.

Thanks to the few people who have sent me "Me too!" tweets, emails & comments. Because I feel very alone on this issue right now. I am questioning whether or not I'm not imagining all of this. But I know I'm not. And that must mean that others are lucky enough to have a circle of mom friends who are also feminists. I love my non-feminist mom friends thou. We connect on other levels and sometimes they whisper encouragement. When I became a mom I knew I would make sacrifices. The first one was to horde my vacation time for maternity leave. That meant I didn't visit my sick mom until it was too late. Call me selfish...I do. The next was declining an internship because it would have meant giving birth, moving & starting internship all within a month. I get up at 4 am to catch a 7 am flight so I can be at home one extra night for my daughter instead of flying in early so I get a good night's sleep. I can't do it all. It looks like I do some days, but believe me, I don't...not even close.

Don't worry about me...I'll be ok. All it will take is one look I get in certain circles when I try to bring my full life into conversation and I'll be snapped back into my divided world.

8 comments:

I'm new to your blog, but I wanted to leave a comment to say "me too". I'm a mother & a feminist & I feel utterly alone. The group I was part of before baby holds their meetings in a bar right at baby bedtime. I haven't been in a year & a half. I'm with you.

I'm not a mom, but I watched the chat last night. I find feminist mothers to be strong and amazing people. My mother was a feminist who taught me that mothering is a political act. It saddens me to see the divisions between feminist mothers and mothers, just as it saddens me to see the divisions between mothers and nonmoms. Keep up the good work.

Didn't get to follow the chat, but yeah, as a feminist mom it can sometimes be hard to get feminists to walk the talk. I mean, it's great to talk about supporting moms, but until you have your meetings at a coffeehouse with a kids' play area instead of at a bar, you aren't being mom-friendly.

I've actually had more luck on the other side, in talking with moms about feminism, because it's easy to draw the connections between what we need in our daily lives and the societal and policy changes that need to be made to get them.

I'm doing a series on the CA NOW blog about feminist motherhood, and just did one about ways government could institute truly family-friendly policies.

Hi Veronica,
I've been checking out these Twitter chats, and I gotta state the obvious. The reason you feel alone is because the people that would hear about that chat are already ensconced in the mom-feminist-blogger community!

I'm not a mom, but I can tell you that the handful of women I interviewed for my piece are all with you (and have friends that are with you). I have friends with children that are with you. A lot of my Girldrive interviewees were with you, too (see Siman, Jessica and Katie from Wisconsin on the Girldrive blog). But none of them know about Fem2.0. Most of them don't even have Twitter!

So many moms aren't feminist activists and bloggers. So many mom bloggers aren't explicitly feminist. But the ones on the chat are. It just seems too niche-y of a space to hash out these issues.

I'm not a mom but I am a feminist. I don't blog much but I do check in with Roni occassionally. I heard her message loud and clear. I know what it's like not to be able to bring your whole life with you -- picking and choosing who you will be depending on who you are talking too. I didn't realize the same thing happens to moms but I do now. I am sorry that it happens and promise to do better.

First of all, I want to say to my friend Veronica not to personalize the tweetchat. The divides between women are deep and painful, and no matter who brings the issue to the group, that messenger is going to receive a lot of pent up anger. Women have tons of pent up anger, and from what I've seen in the blogosphere, that's what gets readers to comment on your blog! The blogosphere looks like a chumfest some days...I don't dig it...

I feel sad that these divides exist, but I want to continue foregrounding them and discussing them. I think these are manifestations of internalized sexism and that we women need to address them. I must say that I don't like the Tweetchat format for serious, in-depth discussions, and I've expressed this to a few people. Not only does it feel like everyone's talking at once, but there is no chance for processing a very loaded comment! And a discussion about divides is surely going to elicit loaded comments. As a movement, we need to address how we deal with loaded issues.

I thought Veronica was getting beat up, but because I know her to be an extremely capable person, I didn't jump to her defense; I wanted to give her the space to handle it. I've said this before and I'll say it again: some issues are too complex to be tweeted, and this is one.

Although I don't identify as a mom, even though I have grown stepkids, my feminism puts mother & child at the center of my analysis. It's the fundamental unit of civilization, imo. We need to keep addressing these issues.

As the chat progressed, I thought that it was going very well. As people felt heard they were able to hear others. Tweetchat does NOT promote one of the most necessary ingredients for real dialogue--being heard. It's hard enough in face to face groups and Tweetchat does nothing to make it easier.

You know how I feel about this. I AM a Feminist - and I AM a Breeder. Moms can (and ought) to be Feminists. Feminists should know that we aren't going to have any more Feminists unless we are Breeding them. Hay-lo?

But I felt very, very alone once upon a time. Which is why I started my blog (and came up with my moniker.) Unfortunately I didn't see any of that chat because I haven't caught onto the chat train yet, but I can only imagine. I've dealt with my fair share of them.