Social Media Turns Purple As Mothers Stamp their Feet in Purplestockings
Hundreds of women around the UK, US and Ireland are marking the beginning of an irreverent, uncompromising and vocal movement of women.
The hashtag #PurpleStockings is trending on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram as mothers make themselves seen. And heard. Doing what they love - but what no one wants to see in public: mothering their children and demanding that it be valued.
“Mothers are in bondage — and not in a 50 Shades way,” says Purplestockings founder, Vanessa Olorenshaw, as her highly acclaimed book, Liberating Motherhood: Birthing the Purplestockings Movement launches in a purple haze.
“If it is true that there have been waves within the women’s liberation movement, then mothers’ rights are the flotsam left behind on the ocean surface of patriarchy. We are currently experiencing a tsunami of ‘fourth wave’ feminism yet, for mothers who want to care for their young children, little seems to have improved. Many mothers remain alienated from feminism, feeling that it still doesn’t speak for us or recognise our lived reality. We see, too, that politics and economics seem to have no place for maternal care.”
So what’s with the Purplestockings? Says Olorenshaw, “You may have heard of the terms ‘Bluestockings’ to signify key, educated, intellectual women in the eighteenth century; or ‘Redstockings’ to describe women’s liberationists. In the tradition of those sisters, I decided on ‘Purplestockings’ to signify a maternal feminism, to nod to the Suffragette colours, to invoke the nobility in mothering, and because it aptly combines the hue of its two predecessors.”
Mothers, and the work that they do, are hidden in plain sight. “The reality is stark: mothers — as a class — are, in gradual steps, losing the rights, freedom and economic ability to raise their own children, within the patriarchal and capitalist project. Many of us are forced away from our babies and young children against our wishes — financial pressures leave us little choice but to find paid work to put food on the table and a roof over our heads. Our bonds of motherhood are being replaced with binds to the market and wage slavery.”
It's time to speak for motherhood. It's time to demand that it be celebrated and valued. As Naomi Stadlen, bestselling author of What Mothers Do says in the Foreword: “This book is a call for justice — justice for mothers. It is a call long overdue.”
Liberating Motherhood has been acclaimed by international bestselling parenting author, Steve Biddulph as “The Female Eunuch of the 21st Century”. Endorsed by activists, academics and authors including: Attachment Parenting UK, Shami Chakrabarti, Basic Income, Dr Michel Odent, Dr Oliver James, Baroness Alison Woolf.
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