Parking for pregnant women?
Last week in New York City, Councilman David Greenfield proposed new legislature introducing a bill for pregnant women with mobility issues or physical problems to access fee parking in “No Standing” or “No Parking” zones. The response from the general public was passionate and very mixed.
On one CBS local news blog a person wrote, “What a great idea (NOT)! Now all of the continuously pregnant welfare moms will get free parking. Let’s encourage women to crank out one baby after another by giving them special privileges.”
Many men admitted they would miss-use the privilege, “If this bill is passed everybody including me (a man) will have one of their Doctor friends write them a note.”
Which is just the point. We don’t award privileges easily in America. There is an immigrant mentality, “I came to America with nothing, pulled myself up by my bootstraps and made myself what I am today – and so should you”. (*Writers note:I am descended from immigrants).
We shout, we judge, we name call. We get fat, and then resent all the other fat people. (*Writers note: We don’t use the f-word in my house. In my house it’s ‘large’).
Another woman wrote, “Ridiculous, I carried three children and never once pulled this one. I am now legally disabled and do have a parking permit. I use this because I need it not because I’m going through a ‘normal’ part of being a woman!”
So what is a ‘normal’ part of being a woman, and should we award a special place in society for mothers to be? Why are we so ambivalent about the standing of mothers in our society? Actually, ambivalent might be a gentle term. We’re radically, schizophrenically ambivalent. Mothers grace the covers of our People Magazines, bellies bursting, toddlers in tow; African, English, American, Asian. We use our children like a badge of courage. They are our identity and we are stars in their eyes, just like Angelina Jolie is a star in our eyes. Or is she? Do we despise her like we despise the killer mother in Florida this week who shot her children at point blank range.
Perhaps all this mastication is just a mirror for the larger social phenomenon of cultivated self-loathing mothers have for themselves.
At the core of all our mother-loving is a conflicted mother-loathing. We are constantly insecure about our parenting skills, the way we parent, or don’t parent, ourselves as caregivers, our insecurity as women and our secret reality, that we actually really are still just regular people, with desires, dreams and fallibility inside that smooth, forced-illusion of Teflon perfection.
As proof of this look no further than the headlines here; ‘Too Much At Stake To Be Nice‘ by Ayelet Waldman, “There is no denying that a current of sanctimony and even vitriol runs through the waters of contemporary motherhood.”
Rather than ending this blog with a whining ‘Why can’t we all just get along?”, I’m going to leave the reader with a basic higher truth, and let you come up with your own perspective. Hopefully this truth is one that embraces ‘A Religion of Kindness‘ as the Dalai Lama espouses. We can always dream big, can’t we?
Mothers are the physical conduit to life for all mankind. They are individuals multiplied and then divided — Of course it’s complicated.
So, why can’t we all just get along, and give the poor pregger lady a damn pass for 60 days? Seems kind of civilized to me.
BIO: Joy Rose is the founder and sometimes fearful(Opposite of fearless) leader at the helm of Mamapalooza Inc., Mamazina Magazine and the Museum Of Motherhood. She is a feminist and rarely ambivalent but like all people, does give in from time to time to bouts of self-doubt. Despite this, she perseveres daily, to give voice, power, respect and devotion to MAMAS everywhere – Hoping that you too will become a MAMA: Modern Ambassador For Maternal Advancement™. You can join her weekly on MingleMediaTV, every Wed at 7PM (EST) or Twitter @TheMediaMom, or E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org (Photo courtesy Peter Freed for PRIME, The Book)