“Don’t make this about politics. Stay in your lane.” The “this” that doesn’t mix with politics? Motherhood. These were comments I received after speaking up on the atrocities that took place at our Capitol. Sadly, most of these statements came from white women. Let me say this louder for the folks all the way in the back: Motherhood is political. Full stop.
Yesterday the world watched in horror and disgust, but for many Americans, especially Black and brown citizens, no surprise. President Trump has been laying the groundwork for an insurrection over the last four years and most recently with his repeated false claims of election fraud. All of this came to a culmination on January 6, 2021. MAGA rioters showed up to the White House with guns, where they looted offices, broke windows of our Capitol, and assaulted officers. The lack of immediate action by law enforcement to quell these domestic terrorists was not unnoticed. Even more so when compared to the riot gear, rubber bullets, and tear gas peaceful Black Lives Matter protestors had been met with just a few months ago.
What does any of this have to do with motherhood? As a Black mother, with Black children and a Black husband — everything. People of color don’t have the luxury to opt out of politics. And regardless of color or race, our very way of living is shaped by our political leaders. Each one of us holds a responsibility to be civically engaged. Even when it does not seemingly have a direct impact on us or those we love.
Below are 6 ways motherhood and politics continue to go hand-in-hand today. I also want to note that it was not too long ago that BIPOC, women, LGBTQIA, and other marginalized groups did not have access (and some still don’t) to these services/benefits. This list is by no means exhaustive:
6 Ways Motherhood And Politics Go Hand-In-Hand Today
- Access to healthcare: From prenatal and postpartum coverage to paid parental leave (which the U.S. does not have mandatory paid leave) to healthcare coverage itself — all of these are regulated by our government.
- Education: Public education budgets and access to certain schools and resources — resources for children with disabilities.
- Minimum wage: The hourly compensation businesses are required to pay workers.
- Housing: the ability to rent a residence or apply for a loan or purchase a home.
- Marriage: and the federal benefits that come with it.
- Natural resources: the water we consume, the air we breathe, etc. — policies are put in place that directly affect how clean and consumable these things are for our families.
We as mothers do not and cannot actively shy away from politics, as it directly and indirectly determines so many outcomes for us, our families, and fellow citizens.
Ravelle Worthington is a wife, momma of three, and the founder of Mommy Brain.
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