April 2, 2011

The Mom Pledge

Setting an example
You'd probably be astounded to learn, but I'm pretty much a misanthrope.

Don't get me wrong, on an individual basis, people are great.  But when you give them the power of numbers, or even worse anonymity, they turn into a really despicable group.  This is a lesson that I learned very early on in life, when a friend of mine informed me that when people were making fun of me on the bus (I was at piano practice and not available to be taunted in person) she stood up for me on my behalf.  I think she expected me to be really grateful, but instead I was hurt.  Not hurt that they were making fun of me, I expected that, but hurt that first of all she couldn't have stood up for me when I was actually there, and second of all that this was such a big deal- that just telling a group of mean kids that they were being mean about a nice person was extremely noble.

You'd probably also be surprised to learn that I'm pretty much a misogynist.

As awful as people, as a group, can be- there is no group of people worse than women.  It's astounding.  Women are painfully competitive.  And from about the time that puberty hits until, so far as I can tell, death, women spend an amazing amount of their energy (again, as a group) completely DESTROYING each other.

Setting an example
Elaine once said on Seinfeld that girls don't beat each other up.  "We just pick on you until you develop an eating disorder."

And it's true.  And it doesn't stop there.

There's the rumor mongering, there's the back stabbing, and then there's the backward compliments really meant to prove that we are so much more in control and competent than the other women we call our friends.

That said, individually, we're all people.  People that other people, other individuals, can find common ground to share.  People with shared fears and dreams, and who under the herd mentality that makes us so abominable in groups or when nobody knows who we are, really just want everybody to like them.

And that is why mommy-bullying bugs me so much.  Not only is it behavior that should, at best, be reserved for children, but it's behavior that we pass along.  Parents are the template upon which children model themselves.  What does that mean for a child when they can hear and see their mother constantly asserting her superiority over other mothers?  How does that child not grow up to join in on the causing of eating disorders?

Setting an example
So I've taken The Mom Pledge.  When I first heard about this, I thought it was crazy.  Why on earth would mothers, particularly mothers who make a point of publicizing themselves, behave so horrendously?

And then I remembered.  Because they're still people.  Who, in large and anonymous groups, have given themselves a platform for asserting superiority and demeaning all those who might not comply.

And I will have nothing to do with that.

Perhaps it's because I'm so isolated from other mothers, but I have hardly ever experienced mommy-bullying first hand.  At worst, I've felt snubbed.  But I've never felt it in a mommy-specific way.  I always assumed it had more to do with the fact that I just tend not to get along with other women.  But after talking to one of my good friends, and one of my only other mommy friends, I've come to understand that it's more than that.  For some reason, there are mothers out there that genuinely want to tear other mothers down.  That want us all to believe that their way is the only way, and all other mothers are somehow criminal for adhering to a different philosophy, or a different lifestyle.  There is a breed of viciousness that only mothers share.

Setting an example
Is it an evolutionary necessity?  By asserting your dominance over other mothers, do you somehow gain an advantage for your child?

Maybe when we were hunters and gatherers, but not now.  Now we need to work together, constantly, to make this world a place where our children can live in peace.  Together.

So, other mothers, remember that we are not just anonymous, or conglomerated.  We are still individuals, we are still role models.  Every second of every day.  And we need to take pride in that, but more important we need to see it as a responsibility.  Go take the pledge yourself.

Because we're all in this together.


  1. So much about this post is awesome! I think if I had to pick my favorite part, it would be this: "Maybe when we were hunters and gatherers, but not now. Now we need to work together, constantly, to make this world a place where our children can live in peace. Together." LOVE!

    Growing up, all my friends were boys. I could not stand girls. Their behavior annoyed me, and I had no interest in the drama that seemed to be such a prevalent part of their lives. As an adult, I have forged strong friendships with other women. And I'm lucky enough to have never experienced the online bullying personally. But I see it every.single.day. And it makes me sick.

    So I started The Mom Pledge. Thank you so much for joining our community! I'm proud to have you as a member. :)

  2. My children are grown but I'm still taking the pledge! Many thanks for your extremely positive and thought provoking article.

  3. loved reading your story (and especially the elaine quote, too true!)You couldn't be more right about children modeling parent behavior...that's exactly why I took the pledge and hope others will, too.

  4. Huh. Well, FWIW, based on this post alone, I think you're pretty freaking awesome. Thank you for this!

    I found you through the M&M blog hop.

  5. Great post, I had not heard of mommy bullies and I cannot imagine who has the time. I have felt the full brunt of female bullies from childhood to the present. I have a horrible disorder that causes me to speak at times before thinking about the effects of what I am about to say. When this happens, someone’s feelings get bruised and the daggers start flying. I have scars on my back from the many attacks that I have sustained through the years. The mom bullies either need another kid or two, or should seek employment.

    I am one of your newest fans from Bloggy Moms.



    Be sure to vote on April's Banana of the Month @ http://tiny.cc/hot_bananas


  6. Great Post. Following you from "Calling all Commenters."

    I actually limit my blogging and reading to the groups that I have discovered in the communities that I am a part of - excatly for the reason you bgan your post with. Bullying. Not that it has happened to me online - but I am sure it will - but because it really pains me to read such hateful comments. Over the smallest of things.

    Our children are reflections of the adult culture that surrounds them. Is it no wonde that bullying is on the rise.

    I will take the pledge.

  7. I don't see any of this gender-specific bullying. Some of the men and women I meet are abusive, and some of them aren't. I refuse to allow gender to influence my actions, and am tired of hearing about it.

    If, like you, I went around attempting to befriend entire cliques, then I would have neither friends nor a husband. People need to be understood as individuals. Be nice to people. If someone is nice to you, make sure to be nice back. That is how I plan to create the world that works for me.

  8. I admire your attempts to befriend cliques! That's just not how I work. Cliques are just random groups of people. I try to go into cliques with similar interests in the hopes of finding an individual or two that I want to befriend.



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