Monday, May 15, 2006

Mother's Day Round-up

First, the obligatory post on how Mother's Day began as anti-war protest.

Second, the round-up on mother's day coverage is that there's been a noticeable shift. This year's op-eds and features are much more political than anyone can remember. Several of us have been emailing around, and found these very good pieces in the Washington Post (and here's another from the Post), the Boston Globe, and the much smaller Newark Star Ledger. Salon.com offers its own round-up, concurring: there's been a change.

The message is getting through.

Of course, the newspaper that comes to my home, the Philadelphia Inquirer alone, it seems, stood out for a ridiculous article about Mom CEO's and professional moms. These are not, as you might think, mothers who are smashing the glass ceiling and the maternal walls to real power in our society. No, they're mothers who are taking avid notes during a talk by a household organization consultant on how to redo their pantries and best structure their time. I too like well-organized closet, but this article is about three years behind the trend. In a season which saw a real shift to seeing motherhood in a public, political light, this old-style mom's-the-head-of-a-private-empire type of reporting really stood out. (Here's the link, so you can see if you agree. I've been advising people to write letters to the Inquirer: Inquirer.Letters at phillynews.com.)

Let's be clear. Given the wage gap, given the maternal walls we face, given how damn hard it is to have kids and rise to the top of the business world and gain come of that capital, economic independence and public influence, being a mom CEO is a very different thing than being a mother who's an actual CEO. Let's not erase that problem by referring to moms as CEO's or Chief Household Officers when we're not. It's one thing to devote part or all of our lives to raising kids and keeping a home together. That's fine. But that's not being a CEO.

Know how you tell the difference? CEO's get their own private airplanes. A black towncar drives them directly onto the tarmac. They have personal assistants clearing the way in front of them, and cleaning up in their wake.

See what I mean?

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Not only are full time moms not CEO's....today on FOX and Friends, which I happened to catch because you know stay at home moms watch TV when they are not at the gym or Starbucks. Stay at home Moms according to Dr Manny are also likely to be more Obese. Who did a study on this? I guess the Lattes are ctaching up with us? The time of comment that will enrage me the rest of the day.

Lauren said...

Miriam,

I very much agree with you about the Inquirer article. The reporter had no angle, and just seemed to be beating a dead horse. Good to know that the focus is shifting, though, to important issues in other papers.

karrie said...

I also agree. This kind of article is pointless and pandering, even when it is well-intentioned. I work hard to combine my role at home as primary caregiver with a full-time courseload (student), but I am not a CEO, nor would I take comfort in someone labelling me as such. I'd rather see more real support for mothers than slapping on ironic job titles.

Last night I noticed a piece on a blog I follow about the Chief Everything Officer. In the link to one of the winner's stories, she is pictured wrangling all 3 kids while her husband "looks on, in the background". @@

http://www.suburbanchicagonews.com/heraldnews/features/JO14_MOM_S1.htm

Not to denigrate any of these women profiled in the Chief Everything Officer site, but something about the format, and criteria for judging, scares me.

http://peopleconnection.aol.com/ceo

tomama said...

Great post, as always, Miriam.