I once had a poster of a fish riding a bicycle.

Yesterday, according to the internet – which is never wrong, correct? – was Booty Appreciation Day.  A moment of silence, please, while we all absorb that riveting information.
Strangely, Booty Appreciation Day is immediately followed by International Women’s Day – so happy girl power to all of us!  Fish on bicycles, women’s work is never done or is unpaid or underpaid, etc.  We all take many things for granted these days, what with our abilities to choose things or the recognition that we are actual people rather than chattel or property, so I am undyingly grateful to the many amazing women who have changed the world for all of us. 
You know what would be fabulous for International Women’s Day?  Kindness and compassion.  Here’s what bothers me: I’m a statistics girl.  I have a not-insignificant (heh, get it?) background in statistics, and here’s the thing: there is a difference between correlation and causality.  There is also something called statistical coincidence, which is an underlying problem with any statistical study.  There is ALSO something called political motivation to studies, which means that statistics can be interpreted rather liberally, or a statistical study can have a number of conclusions but if one of those conclusions meets the needs of a political issue, then that is the conclusion that will make the front page.  Consider these:
Children in Daycare Get Sick More Often: This was quite a comprehensive study that included not only large daycare facilities but also looked at nanny care and small home-based facilities, and the illness rate of school aged children, all of which had different outcomes.  But the headline informs working moms that they are subjecting their babies to plagues and pestilence.  BAD MOTHERS.
Children in Daycare Are Smarter: Again, another study that had varying conclusions but that is what made the front pages, signaling to stay at home moms that they were leading their children down a path of idiocy. Not to mention that their children will grow up without a strong career oriented mother and will think that women are only good for baby raising.  BAD MOTHERS.
If you want to add in some real excitement, talk about how breastfeeding babies are smarter, thus clobbering any mother who gave their baby a bottle and hence shaved off IQ points, or talk about scheduled C-sections versus VBACS versus home births versus epidurals versus no drugs versus water births versus OMG I ran out of time and had my baby in the back of the car on the way to the hospital.  Maybe put in homeschooling versus public school versus alternative programming.  Or perhaps locally grown organic seasonal meals versus I fed my child an Oreo.  Let’s just think about all the ways we can judge each other on our parenting skills and decisions and then resent and hate each other. 
Let’s acknowledge that we are all doing our best as mothers, every single one of us.  If we have the privilege of choice, which most certainly not all of us do, then that is a blessing and something that we should support each other in.  This may be a little “I’d like to teach the world to sing”, but I really think that we have come so far as women, but we have so far to go, so let’s support each other and our choices.  Right?  Girl power.
Who reads those crappy studies anyway?  Most of us are too busy living our day-to-day lives to really care.  And if someone does care, they either have too much time on their hands or are so insecure about their own decisions that they have to be negative about someone else’s, or some combination of the two.  So for International Women’s Day and every day, let’s practice compassion and kindness, and instead of judging try empathy.  That’s really WINNING.


  1. I totally agree with you! I can’t understand the obsession with judging each other. And I don’t think we judge each other as much as it seems society judges us. When I see headlines like that it drives me crazy! Most people I know are kind and compassionate. I don’t see why the newspapers try to encourage this kind of controversy.

  2. Word. I’ve read a couple of blog posts lately by women talking about how other women tear them down, and I’m not saying they’re wrong, but I haven’t experienced a lot of it. I agree with you, and with Kim — when I feel defensive it’s usually against another goddamned study, not against the other women I know, who all tend to agree that we’re all feeling guilty for something or other, exhausted most of the time, and just trying to keep our kids alive and ourselves sane until suppertime. And I totally don’t NEED a man, but it’s nice not having to take out the garbage.

  3. “If we have the privilege of choice, which most certainly not all of us do, then that is a blessing and something that we should support each other in.”

    That was awesome.

  4. My Mommymoon says

    Congrats on being the blog of the week.

    I hate studies…I really try not to pay attention to it all. I think society & fear are the root of a lot of this judging {know-it-all} behaviour.Lets support each other as moms…women…neighbors…bloggers, lol

  5. So well said, and so very true.

  6. Amen to all that.

    It’s all our scare the plebes media fueling all this- “15 things in your kitchen that can kill- after this message.” Any trick- no matter how low down, defiled, and sick- just to get us to watch one more ad for Febreze.

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