During the holiday shopping season I wrote a post about a blogger battle over the pros and cons of getting discounts meant for Moms when you don’t have children. The Amazon Mom program in particular. I read the essays on both sides of the issues, and as many of the comments as I could comfortably handle.
“You know what is the most fucking annoying about this???? My husband and I signed up for Amazon mom – because I was pregnant and we thought oh! Great time to do this! At 17 weeks I lost the baby and I CANNOT GET OUR PRIME MEMBERSHIP CHANGED TO SOMETHING THAT DOESN’T HAVE MOM IN THE NAME. It’s upsetting, it’s ridiculous, and no one at Amazon cares, I mean, b/c why would they, but it is really, really annoying to me. I just want to give the discount back so I can stop seeing the word “mom” on my stupid Amazon.”
About 20 people sent her condolences and hugs, and my heart ached for her, too. Because, of course, I knew how she feels.
I’d be interested to hear if this type of Mom-labeling is merely annoying to women who chose to be childfree. These days, it’s annoying to me, too, and that’s all it is. But, when the realization that kids weren’t happening for me really settled in, for several years, Mom-labeling would either leave me in tears or just piss me off. For hours. Mother’s Day? Forget about it. People act as though every woman is a Mom the way that “every” person is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day. No thanks.
The commenter on Gawker is in a very different space, of course, wading through waves of post-miscarriage grief. Push through to the core and this particular hurt is the same: A three-letter descriptor that you didn’t earn and don’t want.
I written before about blogging groups and agencies with Mom in their name who invite women like me with cheery smiles and a peppy, “oh, it’s for everyone!” Programmatically, I have yet to see it ring true. To push the issue can make me feel petty, but why? Is speaking up for my feelings less appropriate than the woman who miscarried?
I believe that advertisers and marketers are after the 4/5 of American women who are mothers. If a few of the remaining 1/5 are upset, so be it. It’s not intentional…it is what it is, as they say. Whether brands understand the depth of their injury to 1/5 of their consumer market, or the dimensions of the problem, isn’t part of the equation. (My money says they don’t.) What might it take to change that status quo?
Bottom Line: I saw this comment, it resonated with me, and because of this blog I knew it would resonate with many of you.