What Kind of Mother Are You?Joanne Bamberger
Politicians know they need women to win elections. We vote more than men. And since the majority of women become mothers by the time they’re in their forties, that means politicians need moms.
Now, you’d think in light of that, they’d pay a little more attention to us in the political down times. As our husbands know, wooing is a very important part of any good relationship! But even with the wooing, I’d like to see them stop with the name calling. No, it’s never really been anything bad, but candidates often feel the need to put labels on mothers who vote. As we head into the pre-Super Tuesday part of the 2012 presidential campaign, what kind of mother do you think you are when it comes to the issues? Do any of these labels fit?
Soccer Mom 1 of 5Politicians know that women -- especially moms -- are the voters they need to woo to win an election. Moms might be too busy to focus on 3,457 debates, but they know the issues and they take voting seriously. Sadly, moms started getting labeled for ease of discussion. One of the first shorthand references for mothers as a voting bloc was the infamous "soccer mom" -- suburban, middle class white moms too busy shuttling kids to soccer and other after-school activities to be truly focused on the issues. Image via Joanne Bamberger
Security Mom 2 of 5The George W. Bush campaign was credited with using the phrase "security moms' to win the 2004 race against Senator John Kerry -- mothers who were focused on war and homeland security as their primary issues. The funny thing was that even though Bush used this to his advantage, Kerry actually polled better among women voters on security issues than Bush II. Image via Robert Couse-Baker & Wikimedia/CC license
Wal-mart Mom 3 of 5In the 2008 campaign, as increasing numbers of voters were concerned about the economy, the shorthand way to refer to voters those mothers who identified that as their number one issue was "Wal-mart moms." Common wisdom was that so-called "kitchen table" concerns would trump worries over security issues and concerns over the cost of gas for the minivan. Image via iStockPhoto/Catherine Yeulit
Mama Grizzly 4 of 5Former Alaska Governor and 2008 GOP Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin famously coined the term "mama grizzlies" to talk about her political followers -- mothers who shared her politically conservative views and felt it was important for their children's futures to become more politically active. Palin said these women would take to the political stage, as they rose up to protect their cubs. In 2012, are there any mama grizzlies left? Image via Wikimedia Commons/CC license
Facebook Mom 5 of 5The women of social media, especially those using Facebook, may be the next group politicians focus on for their political wins. As I wrote in my book, Mothers of Intention: How Women and Social Media are Revolutionizing Politics in America, women are the majority users of online tools and have rapidly become very savvy in how to use those tools to advance important social and political agendas. Image via Wikimedia Commons
Joanne Bamberger writes the blog PunditMom, and is the author of Mothers of Intention: How Women and Social Media are Revolutionizing Politics in America (on sale now at Amazon!), a bipartisan look at how women online will be a force to be reckoned with in the 2012 election! Follow her on Twitter and Facebook!