The rest of the world doesn’t care about your aspirations

Glosswitch can hit more nails on more heads in one tweet than most of us can in entire essays.

She starts with the way girls and young women like to think they’re different from their mothers, they won’t be complicit the way Mummy is.

Of course, like millions of women before me, upon having children I discovered this thinking is bollocks. It’s not because you stop caring – motherhood doesn’t excise this yearning for individuality– but because the rest of the world doesn’t care about your aspirations.

Physically you’re screwed, socially you’re screwed, because it turns out gender isn’t a performance.

You become “that woman” because guess what? No other bugger’s stepping in to be her for you. What’s more, you start to realise that no one is “just some mum”, not even your own mum. All those years you spent kidding yourself she was lucky enough to identify with servitude!

Motherhood politicises many women. It makes us aware of how utterly facile the idea of transcending the sexed body is (my male partner and I have had three kids. I’ve ended up carrying and birthing all three, with all the risk, pain and long-term cost. Coincidence? I think not).

Mumsnet has been a place where women can rage about the injustice of being a human trapped in a mother’s social position. And no, there was no golden age during which Mumsnet mummies spoke only of dangerous prams and the cheapest make-up remover.

Patriarchy has always mistrusted women speaking without male supervision. The treatment of Mumsnet follows a familiar pattern. In the early days the site was trivialised (“yummy mummies wittering on” etc.), now it’s getting the full witches’ coven treatment.

Anyhow, I get why some women are keen on making dramatic denunciations of all the evil women they encountered at Mumsnet. They’re never going to end up like those crappy mummies. Unlike Rich and me, they shall find a way of doing it all differently.

Read it all. It’s genius.

42 Responses to “The rest of the world doesn’t care about your aspirations”