Wednesday, July 23, 2008

It's All Moms' Fault... OR Horse High, Hog Tight and Bull Strong

It's all Moms' fault. Though I can't say as I blame them; Overworked, under-appreciated, poorly compensated.... Expected, by default, to have all the answers. Moms specifically, and women in general, were the binding agent of society; it's unsung catalyst, watchdog, engineer, banker, lawyer, arbitrator, inspector general, judge, jury and unfortunately, its ultimate executioner.

Their Mom bag of tricks contained remedy for all manner of ailments, both physical and fiscal; public and private. They were demanding taskmasters and, as a group, a force to be reckoned, cajoled, wooed, placated, satisfied and appeased. They accepted no excuse without elocution of the facts. They lobbied, brain-stormed and barnstormed for our needs and ideals. They were self-less public servants of the first order. They did the stuff that needed to be done. They took nothing for granted. You had to earn their trust, maintain their trust and were royally screwed if you broke that trust.

Who's to say that moving Mom into the daily commute, workforce and, more importantly, out of the house, was a concept conceived by or marketed by a woman or women? The "project" has none of the tell-tales of being a Mom-based idea. In fact, when sniffed more closely there is a definite pungency of evil genius at play. Divide and conquer.

Women had developed their own organizations, standards and practices to deal with the male-dominated worlds of business and politics. Nothing on this planet put fear into any adversary like the prospect of a pissed-off mom. Despite the occasional zealots whose personal agendas over-reached, Moms were a reasonable lot. As long as they got their way, they didn't much meddle in the petty power games men played.

Immediately, there was a somewhat visible, tangible benefit to a two-income household. More income meant more disposable income and more comforts. The community didn't fall apart because a few Moms moved into the work force. There was still a critical mass keeping things in check.

Much of that has been forgotten. Replaced by new images of a modern woman; the equal of any man. Geez, wasn't that a big step down for women? Who ultimately benefited from the partial sea change? Women have proven they can succeed in a man's world, but it's still a man's world. The important things women did out of necessity, are still as unappreciated, thankless, underpaid as ever, but the then intangible effects that came with a Mom's awareness, involvement and influence are neither in the job description nor adequately replaced. What they held at bay, in check or cleansed routinely is tangible now and no suitable replacement has been found.

The harried Mom's who were left to man the fences are out-gunned, out-numbered and pooped. They are dismissed and marginalized in their efforts on our behalf, they are no longer the force they once were. Stretched thin and battle weary, they need a surge too. But somebody would have to organize and sustain it. They've lost many of the tactical advantages of the old ways as well. Their adversaries aren't just men, but women as well. Women who have become equal to the men they serve beside in boardrooms, on councils and in legislatures. Women who mean well, but dilute the woman's point of view. Out of this void spews some of the most toxic of our waste.

Women were once the grass of every grassroots movement. They had the vision and it was good. They had the support, understanding and vested-interests of us all. We clearly miss those Moms. et al or vituperative foul-mouthed bloggers of either gender or Dirty Fucking Hippies or Netroots Nation are a pale imitiation for the interests common and dear to the Moms who put us in our place and kept us on track. We may one day look back to find that while we "won" the battle, we lost the war. We'll know; too late, the wisdom we sold off too cheap.

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