Family Law Prof Blog

Editor: Margaret Ryznar
Indiana University
Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

End of Mommy Wars?

From Time:

The havoc the pandemic has wreaked on parents has shed harsh light on the political and economic forces drawing the battle lines in the Mommy Wars. Millions of mothers were pushed out of the labor force. Millions more were left struggling for breath in it. And as weary mothers find themselves continually abandoned by policy makers, more of us are recognizing that any frustration we feel toward each other is misdirected.

Like a lot of divisive cultural debates, the Mommy Wars began on a college campus. It was 1990, and Wellesley College had invited the first lady Barbara Bush to speak at the school’s commencement. The decision upset many students, prompting 150 of them to send a petition to the school’s president arguing that as a stay-at-home mother known largely for her husband’s achievements, Bush did not represent the kind of career woman Wellesley encouraged its students to become.

The incident brought the growing tensions between mothers who stayed at home and those who worked into the national spotlight. “These are the Mommy Wars,” declared Newsweek, calling it the defining feud of the decade. Two years later, the New York Times reported that the wars had “spilled into the national political arena, with Marilyn Quayle championing the fact that she gave up her law career for the sake of her family, and Hillary Clinton defending her decision to combine the two.”

Read more here.

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