Wednesday, April 07, 2010

political motherhood


“Look around—there's only one thing of danger for you here—poetry.” - Pablo Neruda to the armed forces searching his house after Pinochet's military coup in 1973.

So I recently added myself to The Mom Blogs directory – icon & link at the bottom of the sidebar. I'd like more traffic here. I'm experimenting. One must do that now and again, it seems, experiment, though one is mistrustful of groups and highly mistrustful of groups that involve parenting.

You are invited to include your blog in up to three categories. In theory, this seems pretty good. In reality, you are choosing from a limited pool you didn't have a hand in creating and it brings up some interesting conundrums. I put myself in moms blogging in California. Pretty straight forward. Then I put myself in something called “Beyond Motherhood.” Seems to be the catch-all for those of us whose essence is not represented there. And the last one I am in is “Political.” I couldn't help but notice that this was one of the smallest categories. Much smaller, for example, than the listings for “Scrapbooking” (currently 234 blogs listed), “Fashion and Beauty” (451), and “Shopping and Reviews” (941). And I ask myself, how can this be?

Yes, I do mean, how can this be that “Scrapbooking” is not only a major interest of so many people, but that parents have TIME to scrapbook AND time to BLOG about it??!!?? But these are minor distractions when I think about the question at heart here: Are you trying to tell me that parenting isn't political? Cuz, um...

If you don't think that labor choices and food choices and school choice are political, I'm not sure what to tell you. If you don't think that raising children in a world of climate change and war isn't political, then you are a lot different than I am. I mean, when you get right down to it, for godssakes, if you've ever taken your infant outside with or without a hat and been accosted by strangers with vocal opinions, you've dabbled in the world of political parenting.

But I don't just write about parenting, eh? And if you don't think poetry is political, well, where do I start? Let's start with these words: Pablo Neruda.

Poetry not political? Tell that to the poets who've been exiled from their homelands because of their ideas. Tell the poets who've died for their words.

And check this awesome site out that I just discovered Split This Rock. A huge thanks to my colleague and friend Diana García for turning me on to this one. It is a group of activist poets trying to help other poets take their place in the movement for social justice. Diana was just part of a panel at the STR conference in DC this past March. The panel was called BIRTH AND THE POLITICS OF MOTHERING IN CONTEMPORARY POETRY. Sorry, did I just write that in all caps? Yeah, well, there's a bug crawled up my butt on this one and, trust me, be glad you're at a safe cyber distance from me.

If it's too much for you to name choices in how and why you mother, or when and what you write “political,” fine, be a language coward and see if I care. A rose by any other name, lovies. Just do me a favor and don't call it “scrapbooking.”

6 comments:

Christine Gram said...

I hear you. I'm astonished by people that don't bother to think about their parenting choices. It's so unnatural to me that I wonder if their skulls have hinges and they set their brains on the nightstand at night. And sometimes for get to put them back in.

How can you not think about these things?

I get quite a bit of traffic when I participate in NaBloPoMo ... there's one every month (not just November)... I did it once in February.

Dianne said...

I think a lot of people just create a little world around themselves and try to stay within it

I know a lot of my family and the people around me are like that
they would much rather discuss new curtains than health care

generating more traffic takes time
one of the best ways is to comment at other blogs
people almost always respond and others there notice a really interesting comment

Kitty said...

Thanks for the tips. I've been trying lately to read more of what's out there - and comment, though I am not so good at this part. It's a slow process and I'm picky about who I latch onto in the blog world. Not everyone is as splenduferous as you two ladies! ;-)

honestmomblog said...

Hi Kitty,

Just stumbled upon your blog by searching, you guessed it, the Momblog directory. So it's working--you're getting more traffic already. ;) I saw the category "Beyond Motherhood" and thought, wow, that sounds interesting...way more so than "Scrapbooking". Ha!

I just started my own blog um, yesterday. It's about parenting, and I'm equally apprehensive about the momblog scene. While I'm not writing about the political aspects of motherhood...at least not yet, I am writing a bit off the beaten path about it. Love you to check it out if you have a minute: http://honestmomblog.wordpress.com

I do like your writing, btw, and look forward to reading more....

bobbie said...

Glad to see more attention to your blog. And I'm particularly glad you have both Christine and Dianne following. They are both really great ladies. I think the three of you share much.

Christine Gram said...

I came back to check on this, chuckling to myself. I'm now facing "repatriatizing" myself and punks and one of the suggestions about dealing with it was to timeline and, ugh, scrapbook, our period abroad. It actually is starting to feel like a pretty good idea since I've been having near panic attacks at the thought of moving back to CA and feeling like all this will just vaporize into distant memories. Even just to print out all the mass files of photos we've taken and put them in chronological order. And we'll have to write in some notes to fill in the banks.

I still won't be trolling scrapbooking sites though.

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