The media it seems are just obsessed with ‘mummy-bagging’ at the moment. ‘Mummy bloggers’ are just opportunistic wenches looking for freebies to mindlessly blog about to a mindless readership. Women of child-bearing age read ‘mummy porn’ described as crap-tastic drivel aimed at the lowest common mum-dominator. And now the ‘mummy mafia’ are camping out at a school gate near you, ready with a whispered and bitchy critique of your drop off ensemble, your child’s behaviour and a stack of party invites without your child’s name on it.
All this ‘mummy’ nonsense is just sexism plain and simple and I’m sick of it. Excuse me while I don my ranty pants.
On today’s article about the so-called ‘mummy mafia’, how about we take the ‘mummy’ out of it and call it what it really is – bullying. By putting the ‘mummy’ tag on it makes it sound like all mothers are up to this. That all mothers are insecure in some way – either by choosing to bag out on other mothers or by being intimidated by those who do. It also lessens the impact of the behaviour to idle gossip and bitchiness, when the described acts of exclusion and cruelty are the hallmarks of bullying behaviour.
This behaviour undoubtedly exists, it happens in workplaces too and is not only carried out by women, but by reporting it in this way it perpetuates that good old stereotype of women dragging other women down.
Instead of that, let’s look at the behaviour itself and how it effects the children involved. Bullying in school is a hot topic and I’m pretty sure it doesn’t happen in a vacuum. In alot of cases, bullies breed bullies in a carnal act steeped in ignorance, fear and bigotry.
Why am I so riled up about this, when my days of school drop offs are so far away? As a parent of a child who has a physical difference, the thought of this kind of behaviour fills me with a kind of rage that makes me want to go on a sense slapping frenzy. Bullying stories of all kinds tend to scare the pants off me, particularly when the ones doing the bullying are the same ones raising the next generation.
So what is the answer? There will always be cliques at the school gate, like attracting like and all that, all I can do is be secure and confident within myself and instil these same traits in both my boys. That it’s okay to be different, to smile at everyone, even if you receive a sneer in return, and turn your face to meet the sun.
Mummy ‘aint a dirty word. But bullying sure is.
<ranty pants back in the cupboard>