Confession: Motherhood is for Everybody!
My sister in law gave me one of those daily desk calendars as a Christmas gift this year. The calendar is full of quotes for feminists, one per day to be exact. Before I settled down on New Year’s Day, I opened up the calendar, curious to find out the quote for January 1.
It was a pretty accomplished day for me: I’d managed to reconfigure the website, format eight birth stories, tested, published, and promoted the release of Oh Mama! mostly during my son’s two-hour nap.
Today’s quote is:
Feminism is for everybody. — bell hooks
My first thoughts on this, admittedly, were, uh, really? That’s all you got, desk calendar? Especially from bell hooks, a woman who I knew was brilliant and had a lot of powerful, insightful things to say, but who often completely went over my head when I was introduced to her in college. “Feminism is for everybody.” Is bell hooks trolling us?
I didn’t spend too long in this negativity spiral before doing a u-turn and actually being very content, validated, and inspired by these simple words for three reasons:
Feminism is for everybody
I’ll unpack this pretty quickly: feminism is not just for women. Everyone benefits from the concepts of feminism. It’s a nice reminder going into the new year to combat the inevitable snark from others from time to time.
The universe sends us signs
I’m going into this year opening myself up to all the signs I’ve overthought, doubted, and ignored in the past. More recently in my life, there have been way too many things that appeared just as they were needed. When I followed them, I had peace in my decisions. I will continue looking for them, and taking note. This quote feels like such a sign. Which leads me to…
Motherhood is for everybody too!
If you’ve followed this site for more than a month, you know that the magazine’s been re-branded. After hearing feedback from someone about my energy being focused on motherhood more than anything, I decided to run with it.
What was once, Like A Woman Series, is now Motherhood. My initial reaction to this move was positive. It felt right. Once I put it out in the interweb, I felt immediate regret and doubt. It felt uncomfortable and almost like a cop out to limit my audience to mothers. I worried that the women who were not mothers would feel excluded, or worse, turned off. I feared being dismissed as just another mom blog, and embarrassed for again changing the direction of this project that still feels very new.
But then, I read this quote, and it reminded me what I have been saying all along: there is value in specificity. Specificity is universal. As a mother, I view the world with one more lens, and right now that lens is stronger than others. It’s altered the way I see things. It’s given me more specificity, another layer. Not everyone can say the same, but that doesn’t mean that what I have to say can’t be accessed by someone else, especially by other women.
On top of all that, focusing on motherhood, talking about the world from a mother’s perspective, examining the things that affect mothers, and the effect mother’s have on the world, is not just good for mothers. We ALL came from mothers. Do I need to say more?
What strength, what freedom, this simple quote has given me to end my day. bell hooks is masterful, I tell you. For shame, my doubt.
And with that, Happy New Year!
~ Jackie Leonard, Founder & Editor