Ladies, put down your weapons, your words of shame and blame, and one-upmanship. A truce has been called. Both sides have agreed. The mommy wars are officially over. We have bigger battles to fight, and the only way to win them is to join forces, united in a common goal: to protect the rights of our sisters, our mothers, our girlfriends, our daughters.
We felt so safe in our little bubbles, didn't we? So safe, in fact, that we got a little bored, craved a little drama and some conflict, so we turned on each other. Stay-at-home moms decided they were the superior ones because they'd sacrificed their careers for their children, were there every day to pick them up from preschool and make them snacks and kiss them good morning and good night.
Working moms, however, knew they were the gold standard of their gender, balancing the same child scheduling and home organization as stay-at-home moms while still working a full-time job, proving to their daughters that they were just as smart and capable as any man. A line was drawn, and we let it divide us. We got mean.
Blame social media or a lack of empathy for one another, but it got ugly there for a while. We saw a mother struggling to breastfeed her baby in public and chided her for not being covered up. We saw another give her newborn a bottle of formula and criticized her for not breastfeeding. We said C-sections and epidurals were the easy way out. We judged women for having too many children or none at all, for being too involved in their children's lives, and for not being involved enough.
We were hateful and trolling. But no longer. We've learned that we're so much stronger together.
We've learned that we're so much stronger together.
Of course, it started with the election of a president who claimed to be the biggest advocate for our gender yet also seemed to only judge us by our appearances, our sex appeal. We tried to understand how a man who said he supported us, a man who obviously loved and relied on his daughter, could also threaten women's access to affordable birth control and health care, attempt to defund Planned Parenthood, and appoint judges who don't support Roe v. Wade.
It didn't take long for our bubble of gender equality to burst. Suddenly, the different ways we decided to parent our babies and children started becoming less important, even less apparent.
Sure, we had chosen different paths in how we balanced work and home life and in a million small decisions about how we parented, but on one thing, we could agree. We all believe that no matter what is on a woman's résumé or what kind of mother she has decided to be, she has the same rights as any man, and those rights deserve to be upheld and protected.
And so we marched, more than 5 million of us worldwide together, to show, as the Women's March so succinctly expressed, that "women's rights are human rights, regardless of a woman's race, ethnicity, religion, immigration status, sexual identity, gender expression, economic status, age or disability." And regardless of whether she coslept, breastfed, ate cold cuts while pregnant, or allowed her 2-year-old to watch YouTube.
And today, we stand together again for International Women's Day. Whether you're boycotting work and shopping or attending one of hundreds of events across the country or going into the office or staying home with your children, your voice matters, so use it.
As comedian Aziz Ansari said during his SNL monologue in January, "Change doesn't come from presidents. It comes from large groups of angry people." And as we see our rights threatened, we women are angry. Just not at each other. Not anymore.