Angry Mom

I’ve been meaning to write a story about “maternal profiling” for a few months now. Maternal profiling being the filthy practice of discriminating against pregnant women and new mothers (and even women who seem like they are going to get pregnant soon — employers reading wedding rings and incipient eye wrinkles like tea leaves…). Anyway, I posted about this on the Huffington Post this evening. So far, just a few comments. I’m a bit surprised I haven’t heard from more similarly indignant mothers, both new, old, and expectant. And dare I hope — dads? Would love to hear what you think, either here or there.

7 thoughts on “Angry Mom

  1. Kiki Peppard

    Maternal Profiling has its roots in Pennsylvania. My name is Kiki and for the last nearly 14 years I have been trying to amend the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act to forbid employers from asking job candidates about their marital and childbearing status during job interviews. We are now into our 8th consecutive year that bills have been introduced and held hostage by Republican committee chairpersons who refuse to bring these bills to committee for a vote. At the end of this year, it appears these bills will die again at the hands of the He Man Woman Haters Club.

    I’ve recently been interviewed by the British newspaper THE GUARDIAN and BBC radio who informs me that they are very much interested in seeing how we Americans are going to handle this problem of legal discrimination against mothers.

    I have one question – why does everyone hate mothers so much so to write such bitter, distasteful comments on the web? Just this week a story appeared on the front page of The Morning Call, an Allentown, PA newspaper called Mom Fights for Law against ‘maternal profiling’. At the conclusion of this story and many others, I have read women called “breeders”, told to “get over their problems they made the choice to have their babies so now deal with it”. Other women have written in “I’m sick of picking up the slack for people who take care of sick kids”.

    I always wondered why this law hasn’t passed in so many years and when I read these hateful comments, it is any wonder? Speaking of women “making the choice”, I thought a great ally to help get this legislation passed would be the pro-life groups. That hasn’t happened. Does support begin at conception and end at delivery?

    As far as taking care of sick children, I began to propose that we lower the driving age so children could drive themselves to the doctor so mama won’t have to leave work to get them medical attention. We wouldn’t want that slacker leaving work again to drive them.

    Single childless women seem so bitter to see a law like this pass but they don’t see the whole picture – they are victims too. Any human being with functional ovaries is at risk for discrimination. Imagine the highly educated female college graduate denied a position because she is young enough to reproduce so she would be considered a hiring risk. I haven’t read one complaint from a mother who had to pick up the slack at work because a single childless co-worker had to take their elderly parent for medical care.

    I haven’t heard from a man who was asked during a job interview about how many women he impregnanted and what were his plans for future encounters resulting in the conception of a child and being denied employment because of his procreational abilities.

    Imagine the widow of a man killed in Iraq defending this country needing to work to provide for her family – denied employment because she is a SINGLE MOM! It happens.

    Imagine the faces of the children going to school sick because if their mom needs to stay home to care for them or take them to the doctor, she will likely lose her job and then there will be no income.

    Why does the American Society hate mothers and their children?

    Barack – Hillary – are you listening?

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  2. Jennifer Sellers

    As a recently divorced mother who had previously been a stay-at-home parent, I could not be any angrier with the current state of American employment opportunities.

    For a brief stint last summer, I re-entered the work-force only to be replaced by a new college-grad with bigger boobs willing to work longer hours for less money. While the company insisted they would not fight my application for un-employment, it was a moot point as my previous three years developing language and social skills to our country’s future didn’t qualify me to receive such a benefit.

    Since then, I have applied to numerous companies. The only job offer has been a part-time position at a local bar/restaurant that didn’t require looking at my resume (where the obvious employment gap would set off the MOM flare gun.)

    I question whether or not to wear my old wedding ring just to give potential employers who do requre resumes the image they would prefer. I have been outright asked whether or not I plan to have any more children and how I can accomodate childcare if traveling is required. Again, questions I am sure that are hardly directed at a man.

    So, if anyone is looking for a marketing coordinator that has experiencing balancing tight budgets (see Million Dollar Baby), working with difficult people (hungry-tired toddlers are unruly AND irrational) with an exceptional talent for organization (try having all that baby gear in an 850 sq. ft. apt.) – I can start next week.

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  3. Jo

    I’m a college graduate and law school graduate. And now a mother of two. Finding a job has been a downright joke. I got pregnant right after graduation. My job at that time was not understanding. So I left. And every other job has offered pitiful pay w/ part time hours. I take these jobs so there won’t be too many long gaps in my resume. If I’m asked I say that I was studying for the bar or that I was ill. Sucks to have to lie but often necessary.

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  4. Jojo

    I just wanted to say about the “bitter, single, childless women” the problem is that many mothers use their kids to get time off or as an excuse as to why they can’t do some of the crappy stuff us bitter childless ones do! It’s okay if it’s genuine, but I know I’ve felt pretty bitter myself when I know for sure it’s not genuine. I think that’s why such anger. Also remember a lot of women who want children aren’t able (for whatever reason) to have them so there’s a helluva lot of sadness out there, and as one of those I know that there was a time when I felt I was going crazy with grief and loss and kind of felt like I wished there was a way I could get the people around me to understand that I needed time off myself – but still the mothers kept taking so much time off that I was forced to work overtime and do the crappy stuff, and that all happened at a time I felt in so much pain – I actualy hadn’t know such pain was possible. So to sum it up I think the single childless women get bitter because there seems to be no room for their feelings or needs, and it does feel like mothers get listened to far more – maybe because their feelings and needs are much more understood and accceptable. I have learned the most painful way why childless women are always depicted as bitter – it aint much fun, I can tell you, when your pain is so dismissed and not legitamised and you see people who seem to “have it all” getting more and more free passes! Maybe this all sounds bitter too! Just trying to explain who it feels on The Other Side!

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  5. Jojo

    oops i forgot to put in the relevant part – so this thing about women with childen being discriminated against, once again, why do women with children think they should have it all? Women who don’t hvae children might get more career options, but I kind of think that’s okay. There has to be something good about not being able to hvea children and all the pain that we go through. Believe me I’d swap positoins in a second if I could exchange my job for being able to have children, and knowing what it’s been like for me i wouldn’t be complaining about less career options. Sorry, more bitterness I guess, but i do sometimes think that you guys just don’t get it that nobody can have it all, not you, not me, not anybody, so maybe we just have to apprecitae what we do have. Truly sorry this is a bit of a rant and a rave but this stuff pushes my buttons!

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  6. jocelyn

    The problem with this whole situation the way I see it is that mothers are disrciminated against by employers but when mothers DONT then they are told that it is their fault if they happen to struggle financially and that they need to stop being “lazy” and just get a job.( how dare you feel as though you are doing something valuable just by raising kids!) right? Life is getting more and more expensive all of the time even for people with no children.

    So this is an issue of peoples skewed perceptions about the necessities of life in general. We have to continue to reproduce because it is necessary to continue life and replenish the millions of people who die everyday. But instead of people facing up to the reality of that we choose to act as though mothers are doing some silly selfish thing that is purely a matter of personal whim. As if babies grow on trees. So it’s a catch 22. If mothers work we are criticized as trying to have it all and if we dont we are “being lazy” and trying to get over. Then if we point out this contradiction we are told- nobody forced you to have children, as if having children serves no purpose other than to satisfy some selfish overindulgent womans taboo desire to bear children. It’s pitiful.

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  7. Leigh Anne

    I stumbled across this blog while looking to see if anyone else was feeling like me. I completely agree with Jojo. Here I am again, working late night on a project I’m co-leading with a woman who is supposed to be reviewing a document on which she’s already behind. I have not children or husband and when I asked her if she’d be getting to it, her reply was that she has been dealing with a sick child and now has to have dinner with her husband. She also said how she’d been working so hard. I’m sorry, does that negate my hard work, late nights, and stress simply because I have no child and husband. Give me a break. In addition, three days ago, another colleague blamed “back to school” for missing a meeting this morning and coming late to another meeting this afternoon – with child in tow. I agree that my and Jojo’s views are brushed off as those from bitter childless/husbandless women which is unfortunate because this seems to be happening more are more frequently.

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