This was the reaction of more than a few folks when they heard that I was starting to blog about motherhood. While it put me on the defensive, I also concede that they have a point. My single friend in Manhattan is feeling a bit inundated on Facebook by friends writing about their children; my husband points out that given the amount of blogging about motherhood, a lot has already been said (some of it very eloquently, I might add!) and that I should probably think hard about what, exactly, Global Mama is going to contribute.
So here’s the idea that motivated me to start a column called Global Mama. A lot of the conversation I’ve seen about motherhood and family life is pretty focused on individual experiences in the good ol’ US of A, which is fine and well (and also important–last time I checked, we still don’t have universal health care or paid maternity leave or a host of other national policies that would help a whole bunch of working families). But we also live in an increasingly globalized world (witness the development of all those mom blogs and the virtual communities they have created). I’m not just talking about the fact that so much of what we bring into our homes in the U.S. is made elsewhere (plastic toys made in Chinese factories) but also that the U.S. is attracting huge numbers of immigrant women–many of them mothers–who come here to make money to send home to their families, so their kids can eat food and buy clothes and go to school. Many of them working for professional working moms. All connected by globalization and the changes we’ve witnessed over the past several decades. All global mamas.
This column intends to bring together a diverse community–including researchers, activists, writers, thinkers, scholars, parents, paid caregivers, and kids–about what it means to have families and provide care in a globalized world. What are the effects of globalization, migration, technological change, transnational and transcultural exchange, and the development of globalized media culture on mothering and parenting? on our ideas about what motherhood is and what it looks like? As Arlie Russell Hochschild puts it in the anthology Global Woman, how do we create a “global sense of ethics” in a globalized world? And how can feminist commentary from a range of perspectives help inform our take on the myths and realities of motherhood and on debates within the public sphere?
So here’s my invitation to you, dear Girl with Pen reader, to offer your feminist perspectives on motherhood and family life on Global Mama! Contact me at email@example.com.