Her fury has built over a turbulent summer stateside, just in time for the presidential electionby Hephzibah Anderson / October 2, 2020 / Leave a comment
There is plenty in this world to feel enraged about, from the looming climate catastrophe and pernicious social inequality, to smaller things like littering and sloppy grammar. If you happen to be a mum, you can likely add to that list some very specific gripes, including the corporatisation of childhood (the empire that is Peppa Pig—don’t get me started), the endless wiping, dabbing and mopping, and, of course, “momikers,” the cutesy names society generates for us: yummy mummy, wine mom, mumtrepreneur.
Fittingly, the latest addition is “rage mom.” Its Americanised spelling flags its provenance but its transatlantic resonance has seen the term embraced by everyone from Telegraph columnists to Patty Murray, the highest-ranking woman in the US Senate, who may, she concedes, be more of a “rage nana.”
The rage mom, we’re to believe, is a political force to be reckoned with. Her fury has built over a turbulent summer stateside, just in time for the presidential election. She has had it up to here with months of shouldering homeschooling along with her customary burdens: the bulk of both the household chores and the childcare, all while trying to hang on to her paid job. Now that schools have reopened, she’s spending her newfound downtime waving Pinterest-worthy placards at protests and posting about social injustice on Facebook.
Most of us could probably use the energy boost of some rallying slogans at this point. But the odd thing with this movement’s members is the way they have willingly “mommified” themselves. The idea that mums might have election-turning clout is not new; but it used to be the spin doctors rather than the mums themselves who embraced the labels. In New Labour’s heyday, Tony Blair’s strategists dreamt up “Worcester woman,” an archetypal middle England 30-something mother-of-two, while George W Bush appealed to “security moms” in his post-9/11 re-election campaign. Rage mom isn’t even alone in the 2020 campaign: Joe Biden’s digital director seeks to target “suburban Facebook empathy moms.” What’s irksome is that, once elected, politicians have a habit of ignoring the policy areas that have left these mums incandescent with ire to start with, siloing off childcare, education and equal pay as “women’s issues.”